Generating real estate buyer leads consistently is what sets the successful agents apart from the agents who can’t quite cut it, especially early in their careers. If you want to climb the success ladder in the real estate industry, you’ve got to have strategies in place to create a steady stream of buyers.
And, don’t forget, most first-time homebuyers plan on being in their new home five years or less, so these buyers are going to be sellers before you know it. Taking the time to establish a solid buyer leads strategy early will pay off for years to come.
We reached out to real estate high rollers from across the country to get the inside scoop on the best strategies to get more real estate buyer leads, and here’s what they had to say.
1. Throw a Housewarming Party & Make All Your Buyer’s Friends Your New Clients
New house envy is a real thing for people who are considering a home purchase. Use this to your advantage by throwing housewarming parties for your clients. Jennifer Murtland, a top producer with eXp Realty, uses this approach all the time with great success:
“We get a ton of buyer leads by throwing housewarming parties for our recently closed buyer clients. The formula is simple: We supply the food and prizes for up to 60 people, and they supply the guest list.
“This is a great way to introduce yourself to your client’s friends and family, because it’s super easy to connect with them personally and have great conversations. While at the party, we have a gift card drawing where all guests have to do is enter their contact info, so our lead database grows by the dozens every time we throw a party.”
2. Treat Your Renter Clients Like What They Are: Pre-buyers
Everyone gets excited when a new lead pops into their inbox, but some of us are let down when we read these four words: “I’m looking to rent…”
Some of us, but not all of us.
Brad Pauly, one of Austin’s real estate leaders, actually encourages these moments. He coaches his team to be looking for these opportunities, and here’s why:
“We don’t need to buy leads—we create them ourselves by nurturing leasees. By teaching our agents how to grow their network organically through leasing, we’re handing them a near sure thing when that leaser is ready to become a buyer. Typically, people want to lease prior to buying, especially when they’re new to the area, so helping them secure a property lease first helps us build trust and establish a relationship. When our clients are ready to move up to buyer status, which typically takes less than two years, our agents are ready to help.”
3. Use BoldLeads to Capture Exclusive Real Estate Buyer Leads
A lot of strategies for real estate lead generation can be pretty labor intensive. It takes a lot of time and effort to build relationships with people, and that can sometimes keep you from doing what you’re best at: selling houses.
If you want to free yourself up to work with clients now instead of two months from now, consider is a full-service lead generation company like BoldLeads to fill your inbox with exclusive buyers. Here’s how it works:
BoldLeads creates ads on social platforms like Facebook. Potential buyers click on that ad and are taken to a landing page where they enter their contact information in exchange for a list of local homes that are for sale. Once they submit their form, they get their list, and you get a notification that a new lead is in your inbox.
Sure, you’ll need to nurture them afterwards with lots of communication in order to keep them in the funnel, but the hard work of getting them in the funnel in the first place is done for you.
4. Focus on Engagement Instead of Marketing on Social Media
So often, real estate agents look at social media like any other marketing outlet. You write your copy, post your pictures, pay your fees, then sit back and wait for the leads. This should not be your strategy for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Your buyers are on these platforms and they’re looking for more than just static posts—they’re looking for interaction.
Ashley Hutton lives this mantra with big-time results. She says:
“Social media is a powerful tool, but the way you use it is the difference between generating a serious number of leads and not getting any at all. Social media is meant to be social; if you’re not interacting with people, you’re not doing it right. Make sure you’re actively making new connections every week with people in your community. Interact with their posts, make comments, and engage in conversation. Join Facebook groups that you can contribute to, and be a resource to people there. Follow hashtags relevant to your area on Twitter and Instagram, let people know you’re around, and have good things to add to every conversation. Yes, this is time-consuming, but the better you get at it, the bigger your returns become.”
5. Use Social Engagement to Generate More Leads From Your Sphere
According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly half of all buyers in 2018 used an agent that they either knew from their personal sphere or were referred to by someone in their personal sphere. Your own contact list is a rich lead source; most real estate agents don’t maximize this opportunity.
We asked Sarah Drennan, a leader over at Terrie O’Connor Realtors, to share the successful strategies she lays out for the agents on her team. This is what she told us:
“I encourage my agents to work the people in their sphere first—the people who already know, like, and trust you! They are your best source of real estate leads because you already have a relationship with them. Pain points lead to real estate needs, so be observant, be helpful, and be ready. For example, if your contact’s youngest child is graduating from high school, they might soon be empty nesters. Perhaps it’s time to downsize? Maybe the commute to a new job is harder than your friend thought it would be. Selling and moving closer to work might be a great option. Pregnant with triplets? A one-bedroom condo isn’t going to work. You’ve got services that your friends and family need—remind them you’re there to help!”
6. Use ProspectsPLUS! to Reach Entire Rental Communities Quickly
Nearly every first-time homebuyer is renting their home before they make the decision to buy. This makes rental communities prime targets for marketing. Direct mail marketing is still an incredibly effective strategy for generating real estate buyer leads. Unlike even the most effective email, a great postcard ends up on the refrigerator, keeping you top of mind for months to come.
If you’re looking for a direct mail option that is easy to use, has a ton of design options, and won’t break the bank, definitely check out ProspectsPLUS!. When it comes to buyer leads for real estate agents, we love the “Free List of Homes” postcard, or the “Fence-sitting Buyer” postcard.
Put in your personal information, make a couple of tweaks to the copy so it reflects your community, and boom, you’ve got a real estate buyer lead-generating machine.
7. Try Demographic Farming Instead of Geographic Farming
Chevy Chase was onto something in “Caddyshack” when he said, “Be the ball.” If you want to attract a certain type of buyer, you’ve got to do more than just know their demographics—you need to know who these clients are as people. This is especially true for younger, first-time homebuyers.
This group is looking for things their parents weren’t looking for—things like a smaller footprint in a home and green technology. They communicate in ways you’re probably not familiar with, like Snapchat or Facebook Messenger, and they have expectations about service that you need to be able to meet.
Jamie Klingman knows all about this. As a Certified Military Relocation Specialist, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and a Certified Master Negotiator, she makes it a point to get into the heads of every prospective client group.
“A great way to generate buyer leads is to identify a niche of buyers and immerse yourself in their world and culture. For example, young professionals often are ready to buy after a year or two in their new jobs. Understand where they hang out, what types of homes they would be buying, and really educate yourself on all aspects of what would make an agent appealing to them. Understanding different buyers and their specific needs and wants leads to not only one lead, but often a large pool of clients!”
8. Get Involved With the Local School District to Become Every Parent’s Go-to Real Estate Agent
Within communities, there are networks that people gravitate towards and organizations around the things that people care about. Communities of faith, community sports leagues, nonprofits, and, of course, schools. Injecting yourself as a resource into the local school community is a great way to get yourself in front of prime time homebuyers: families with children.
Benjamin Ross of the Mission Real Estate Group uses this tactic regularly while serving his Texas clients. Here’s what he had to say:
“School districts are always looking for people to help volunteer for various programs. Not only is this a great way to serve my community and help our kids learn skills they can use in the real world, it’s also a big-time opportunity to pick up buyer clients. I serve as an adviser to the entrepreneurship program that our local district sponsors. If the school district trust you enough to let you work with the students, their parents will trust you enough to help them buy a home.”
9. Meet Your Buyers Where They’re Looking for Real Estate: Become a Zillow Premier Agent
Zillow is the internet’s most frequently visited real estate website, and your buyers are spending time there. A lot of it.
With more than 186 homes viewed per second on the platform, buyers are coming here to get information about their next home. The Zillow Premier Agent program not only puts you in the spotlight along with the homes your prospects are viewing, it also gives you other great perks, like featured placement in the Zillow Agent Finder and access Zillow’s new Live Connections program.
If you want to learn more about Zillow and the Premier Agent program, we’ve written a comprehensive guide you should check out.
10. Use Video to Communicate Your Message, Services & Opportunities
It’s no secret—video dominates internet content. Google has even started featuring YouTube videos more prominently in search results, giving real estate agents with good video content a chance to outrank juggernauts like Zillow.
Considering that the average attention span on the internet is about eight seconds, few people are going to read your 1,000-word blog post about why you’re the best choice for a buyer’s agent in your city. But many, many more of those people will watch you say the same thing in an Instagram Story.
Melissa Gomez, award-winning broker with ERA Top Service Realty in Queens, New York, is committed to her video strategy. Here’s what she told us about how to make it work:
“I’ve been using Instagram for the past few years to generate business, and it has been a great resource for attracting more buyer leads. I’ve also started a vlog called ‘#MoneyMondaysWithMelissa,’ a weekly YouTube mini-series that poses and answers real estate questions in under 60 seconds. This makes it compatible with Instagram as well. When I use IGTV (Instagram TV), I try to summarize everything in under two minutes in order to keep the audience’s attention. In the series, I take normal questions that buyers will typically ask and answer them through the videos. Posting these videos consistently will result in new followers, and I’ll even receive DMs or direct calls with inquiries about working together.”
11. Make Yourself the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Real Estate in Your Neighborhood
Buyers want to work with a buyer’s agent who knows every street, every home, and every nook and cranny of the most desirable neighborhoods in town. If you want to sell the homes in a specific location, you’ve got to know everything there is to know about them.
Neil Clayton, top producing broker from Engels & Völkers in Nashville, gave us his two cents on how he generates tons of hot buyer leads just from being a hyper-local agent:
“When a real estate agent is laser-focused on an area, they become the local expert. To be the most knowledgeable real estate agent in my area, I make sure I know how many homes are for sale, have sold, the absorption rate, average prices, average marketing time, and so on. Once I have all this knowledge (and a system to stay up to date on any changes), I’m not shy about sharing it. People know that I’m the broker to turn to when they want into this specific spot, and, of course, the homeowners in the neighborhood are easy to convert into seller clients too.”
Bringing It All Together
Anyone can generate a few buyer leads, but if you want to succeed, you’re going to need a steady stream of leads every week. Remember, these buyers are going to eventually turn into sellers too, so investing in your buyer lead funnel now creates opportunities for multiple transactions down the road.
Do you have a tried and tested buyer lead generation strategy? Tell us about it in the comments, and let’s keep the conversation going.