5 Simple Tips for Better Real Estate Lead Generation

Growing your real estate business is only possible if you find a way to get your audience's attention. But a home buying (and selling) journey that is increasingly independent has made that process more difficult than ever before.

Other real estate agents like you are constantly pitching their services, hoping to insert themselves into the home buying process as early as possible. How do you stand out? Effective lead generation could be the key.

Once potential clients enter your database, you can send them your newsletter, provide them with new listings in their preferred area, and much more. But how do you get to that point?

The Downfalls of Purchased Lists

The easy answer for real estate agents has traditionally been buying the contact information of potentially interested home buyers and sellers. Services like Zillow and Realtor allow companies to buy these leads, filling up your contact database relatively quickly.

But this strategy also comes with a number of potentially significant downfalls. Consider:

  • There is no guarantee the contact information you purchase is up to date. Blink, and you may end up paying for hundreds of leads you cannot contact.
  • The leads you purchase have probably never heard about you. They are unlikely to pay attention to any marketing message from an unknown source, meaning you have to spend valuable time introducing your business and hoping for the best.
  • Competition for these leads tends to be immense. Because buying lists is a well-known concept, you will be just one of countless real estate firms trying to reach out.
  • If you're not careful, marketing to paid leads may violate CAN SPAM laws. In fact, most marketing email platforms expressly forbid brands to send messages to these contacts for that exact reason.

Take these points together, and suddenly purchasing your leads doesn't seem nearly as convenient or successful as it initially appeared. Organic lead generation, on the other hand, becomes more appealing.

How Organic Leads Save Time and Maximize Efficiency

Brands in any industry tend to have two types of marketing goals: aspirational, and functional. On the one hand, marketing has to play a crucial role in growing your business. But on the other, it has to stay within your resource capabilities, using as little budget and time as needed to reach your more aspirational goals.

It may not seem like that's the case initially, but organic lead generation offers the perfect compromise between both worlds.

Yes, it takes time to set up. But once you get there, your online presence can run efficiently to generate contacts of potential buyers who actually want to hear from you.

Especially if you have not taken advantage of the inbound marketing concept, this priority requires a change in marketing strategy. Over time, though, that change (especially if you follow the agile philosophy) will save you time while simultaneously creating more high-quality leads. To achieve both goals, here are 5 steps to get you started.

1. Optimize Your Website for Organic Conversions

Most times, your organic lead generation will occur on your website. That, of course, means your website needs to be ready. A streamlined navigation and CTAs should point to your sign up forms, while free content such as case studies and blog should establish enough audience trust to give you their contact information.

But two things are more important than everything else in this type of conversion optimization: landing pages, and gated content.

On your landing pages, make a compelling case for why potential home buyers should enter your contact database. Variables like effective visuals, skimmable content, social proof, and optimized sign up forms can all help you accomplish that goal.

At the same time, for optimum organic lead generation, you need to offer your audience something in return. Gated content, from webinars to long-form whitepapers and home buying/selling guides, should wait behind your landing pages as a reward for signing up. The more relevant the content to your core audiences, the better.

2. Build Your SEO With Lead Generation in Mind

At this point, search engine optimization is no longer a secret concept. For 53% of potential home buyers, the first step in the research process is an online search. In that process, 86% of your audience is looking toward real estate websites like yours as their most important information source.

But if you focus on organic lead generation, simply building your SEO to attract website traffic is not enough. Instead, focus on keywords that home buyers and sellers who are ready to become leads would search for.

These keywords can range widely, and should be directly connected to your gated content. If, for example, your offer a comprehensive guide for helping home buyers close on their home, look to optimize the related landing page for a long-tail keyword such as what do I need to know about closing on a home.

The more relevant you can make your keywords to your conversion goals, the better. You'll attract not just people who are generally looking for information, but specifically for the information you can provide--in exchange for contact info, of course. 

3. Take Advantage of Native Social Media Lead Generation

Not all lead generation efforts have to occur on your own website. Just as you want to save time and effort, so does your audience. If they come across your content and offers on social media, they may not feel like leaving the network just to become a lead.

To reduce that type of friction, consider taking advantage of native lead generation. Both Facebook and LinkedIn now allow advertisers to generate organic leads directly within an ad on the network.

The concept is surprisingly simple: create your content as you would any ad on Facebook (or LinkedIn). Then, attach a sign up form similar to one that would live on your website. Except now, the user will not be required to leave the network to fill out your form, and some of the fields (such as name and email) will be filled out dynamically based on their profile.

These types of lead opportunities feed directly into your contact database, allowing you to generate organic leads beyond your website.

4. Make Use of Referral Opportunities

Referrals are a crucial part in growing awareness of your real estate company. Many of your clients will come based on recommendations from their friends and family. The key to success is automating that process, and using it as a catalyst for lead generation.

You can accomplish that goal in a variety of ways. For example, consider incentivizing referrals by offering exclusive content for both existing clients who refer new leads and the new leads themselves.

Ultimately, happy clients generate referrals. But you also have to give them an opportunity to do just that, which high-quality content can provide. If you send out a regular newsletter, why not ask them to share it with their friends to get on board as subscribers as well?

5. Use Data to Optimize Your Lead Generation Over Time

Finally, don't underestimate the power of data to optimize your organic lead generation over time.

Going back to the introduction, your goal should be setting up a largely automated infrastructure that brings in leads while you focus on making your clients happy. By continually optimizing your efforts, you can make sure that everything keeps running smoothly and you can sustainably grow your talent base.

For instance, A/B testing can be an invaluable source of determining which elements of your website work, and which don't. Evaluating your SEO efforts helps you focus only on the most high-converting keywords. Finally, social media campaign reports help you understand whether your budget is better served on LinkedIn or Facebook.

The effective use of data is the key to success in digital marketing as a whole. If you know exactly how your current tactics are performing, you can make the adjustments necessary to prioritize your time and money, and improve your results.

In the end, you'll waste less time on efforts that are not proven to work, maximizing your effectiveness as a result.

Of course, you might need help getting there. An emphasis on organic lead generation can be immensely successful, but only if you set it up with the necessary expertise and resources to start.

The above five tips can help you get started. For more insights into maximizing the efficiency and success of your real estate marketing strategy, contact us.