Outside of buying direct leads, lead generation is possible through either marketing or prospecting, which require time, money and effort. Here are my top strategies for generating leads without listings websites. 

Leveraging listing websites for the purposes of generating leads, as most strategies, has pros and cons associated with it. The pros are how fast leads and even a deal can happen for you. It’s possible. Listing websites were exactly how I moved my business from rentals to sales. I decided to bet on Trulia. It seemed interesting and relatively inexpensive. This was before they had been bought by Zillow.

However, three agents received leads at the same time and the experience for the client was terrible. I didn’t make money but I knew that it was possible. I felt it and I doubled down by buying leads through Zillow. It worked and eventually my spend reached as high as $6,000 a month. It was expensive.

Listing websites essentially require you to buy leads with the hope of closing them and making a solid return. Outside of buying direct leads, lead generation is possible through either marketing or prospecting, which require time, money and effort. Below are my top strategies for generating leads without listings websites. 

1. Pick up the phone and call 

If you’re looking to get leads for the least cost possible, the most effective thing to do is pick up the phone and start dialing. There’s plenty of scripts and tutorials out there on approaches you can take. Experiment. It will take time, but it won’t cost you that much in the scheme of things and it can be very lucrative. I’ve personally found great success by simply calling a lot of people. 

2. Leverage the power of marketing 

Achieving true scale isn’t possible without building systems and leveraging the power of marketing. Your brand, your message, all need to come together to cut through the noise that surrounds your ideal clients.

Even though we are about to enter a new decade, the tried and true mailer still works. Everything needs to be done with a specific purpose and that purpose really needs to be centered around providing value to the consumer. Provide massive disproportionate value. Your message needs to be about them, and not about you. 

3. Send out a good old postcard 

Within my brokerage Warburg Realty, agents shared a few ways that they produce leads through marketing efforts, both free and paid.

Warburg Realty Agent Domingo Perez Jr. shared: “We created a gorgeous postcard invitation with a line drawing of the house and a handwritten note inviting each resident on 8th Street from 6th Ave to Prospect Park West to come by my “friends and neighbors” open house to enjoy some pumpkin pie, apple cider, and hot chocolate.

I personally handed them out or made sure to tape them onto everyone’s door. A total of 38 people showed up to the open house, I had an offer on the spot and two offers in writing by the end of the day.”

4. Go live on social media 

Social media continues to provide opportunities for low-budget to no-budget reach. Going live, in particular, can be a helpful strategy in making sure your sphere and followers see your content, ideally content that is relevant to them.

Broker Claire Groome of Warburg Realty shared that “… clients LOVE when I post showing live videos on Instagram. I have had a lot of questions about the properties I’m showing and also a couple of showings from them. Recently, I sent a mailing and I got five responses. I posted a live video on Instagram and I received about 10 comments and 2 calls and ended up closing one sale.”  

5. ‘Pay to play’ on social media 

Besides going live on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc., you really now have to pay to play if that’s going to be your route. It too can be a crowded space. Proper planning and execution are critical.

You need to be prepared for the fact that it can take three to six months before you see results from this. The idea that you’re going to start posting and converting leads within a week is not likely to materialize in your reality. That being said, anything is possible! 

It’s a great time we live in. Besides cold calling, we can send text messages, and other direct messages. People are accessible on Twitter, Facebook messenger, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so on. Send them a DM! Say hello. Make contact. That’s the most important thing. You need a plan to make contact and deliver value.

Whether that’s through marketing efforts with the purpose of achieving inbound leads, or through prospecting efforts where you are generating outbound leads. Identify who you want to reach and what that person values. Deliver that. And watch the leads flow in. From there, the money is in the follow-up! 

Gill Chowdhury is an agent with Warburg Realty in New York City.

Are you ready for what the industry holds in 2020? Inman Connect New York is your key to unlocking opportunity in a changing market. At Connect you will gain insight into the future, discover new strategies and network with real estate’s best and brightest to accelerate your business. Create your 2020 success story at Inman Connect New York, January 28-31, 2019.

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