Real estate lead generation is simply the process of acquiring information on a possible buyer or seller. The goal is simple – turn a home buyer/seller lead into a prospect, then a client, and finally into a closed client.

With the unpredictable nature of real estate, it’s good for realtors to have a steady pipeline of real estate leads in their arsenal. When the market is warm and interest rates are low, you would never likely run out of clients. But what happens when the market cools down and your network of leads quickly lessens?

As well, it would make things easy for the real estate agent if the lead is someone he already knows and trusts. He could contact the lead right away and establish the connection. But what if there are no referrals? He would need to look to the general public and find individuals who are considering buying or selling property.

Many real estate agents have always favored traditional outbound marketing methods to acquire real estate leads. They would go out into their neighborhood, knock on doors, and distribute flyers or boldly introduce themselves to potential customers. Besides this, they would also buy lists of contacts, then pick up the phone and start cold calling each lead source.

Then came the digital age, and along with traditional outbound marketing methods, there are now plenty more ways to get leads for your real estate business.

How do you get real estate leads?

There are various online and mobile channels that real estate agents can use to attract, engage, and nurture leads. Here are some of the top real estate lead generation ideas the pros use:

Generate leads using the best real estate lead generation companies

Zillow is currently the largest real estate website in the digital landscape, with an average of 195 million visitors per month. And with 90% of homebuyers making use of the internet to house hunt, according to a report The National Association of Realtors (NAR), it is where you want to establish your real estate business online.

If want to get even more leads, upgrade to Zillow Premier Agent, their advertising platform lets you advertise in local real estate across Zillow and Trulia listings. The consumer reach is currently unmatched by any other real estate network, so it may be worth your time and dollars.

Bold Leads is another lead generation company you might want to use to target real estate leads. They get leads by using Facebook Ads and their lead capture landing pages or “funnel” templates.  What makes them different from Zillow? Three things – they only advertise for one agent in a particular zip code, they use their own algorithm to display ads to people who are most likely to be buying or selling, and their ads have extremely high conversion rates.

Engage leads with automated text messages

Text messages have a 97% open rate compared to 20% for emails, with millennials making up the bulk of text users.  Millennials and GenXers have abandoned email entirely, or maybe just check their email once or twice a week. Try using text messages instead of email to communicate with your online leads, this will catch their attention immediately and you can get your marketing message across more quickly.  You can even automate all your communication using efficient and reliable real estate CRM tools, like Salesforce and Real Geeks for lead management. These tools let you send out automated text messages and even have several open text conversations with multiple leads all at once.

Use online reviews

We all know that word of mouth marketing is the most organic way of spreading information and have it go viral. In the online world, reviews are the new word of mouth, particularly among millennials who spread information from one person to another through their recommendation. And with Millennials make up a third of the buying population, and with almost 70% of the checking online reviews before making a purchase, according to a report from Consumerist, it’s one lead gen strategy you’d want to use to grow your real estate business.

Increase response rates with Facebook Messenger ads

The key to increasing response rates is to engage with potential leads quickly and hold their attention immediately. This is almost impossible to achieve using traditional forms of lead generation which involves too many steps. In each step of the process, there is a high possibility for a lead to lose interest or even completely drop out of the lead generation process. With Facebook Messenger ads, however, you can start a live, real-time conversation the instant a lead clicks an ad. And what’s really cool about this type of ad is that the lead starts the conversation with you, you don’t need to ask for their precious contact information.

This few seconds advantage already eliminates several steps in the conversion process. In contrast, filling out a form can take more minutes and those minutes can easily put you at a disadvantage of losing the lead.

Using custom home valuation landing pages

Another great lead source, particularly for leads who want to sell their homes, is by creating a lead-optimized home valuation landing page and advertising it on Google Adwords pay per click and Facebook. You can also post links to your landing page on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and any other social media you use. Boosting your posts will greatly help increase your reach and target audience.

Host an open house

Real estate open houses are one of the best strategies for getting leads extremely quickly. Obtain a listing for one area of local real estate and put up several open houses in the area. Turn it into an event – hire a local food truck, give out coupons for free lunch at the food truck for those people who come and sign in, record a video, or better yet, stream it live while talking to potential clients and looking over the beautiful home as the main attraction. Potential buyers will be able to view the house while you’re streaming it and will be able to ask you questions that you can respond to in real time.

Contact expired listings

Expired listings is another great way to build your network of leads. A cost-effective and efficient way to get quality expired listing contact information is to buy it.  This way you don’t have to manually search and collect contact information yourself from public records and the MLS. Use online lead platforms like REDX, Zillow Premier Agent and Bold and BoldLeads, which are great lead sources to buy expired leads.

The strategies and techniques for real estate lead generation is constantly evolving. You need to have innovative and creative ideas to adapt to the never-ending needs of target buyers and ensure you have a fool-proof system that will work as changes take place. A good lead generation company can solve many of your lead gen real estate needs so you can have more time to focus on closing deals. Looking for more information on lead generation real estate agents or brokers, I invite you to book a 20- minute lead gen call.