Similarly to any type of real estate business, managing lead generation is a key part of real estate investing. We've created a guide on real estate lead generation. Keep reading to learn about what lead generation is, different lead generation strategies that will work best for a real estate investor, and some tips on how to nurture leads once they come in from your lead source so you can master the lead generation process from start to finish.
What is lead generation for real estate investors?
At its core, lead generation is a marketing term. It describes the process of turning someone from your target audience into a paying client. While all sorts of companies use lead generation tactics in their business, this process is especially key as a real estate professional and an investor. For you, a lead might be someone who wants to sell their home, or it could be the end buyer who ends up purchasing the home after you have done renovations. Alternatively, if you're following a buy-and-hold investment strategy, a potential tenant could also be a lead.
There are two main ways to go about generating leads: inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Inbound marketing refers to processes where the potential lead comes to you because of content you've created or other initiatives you've started. Outbound marketing involves you directly soliciting business from the potential client. Ideally, you should aim to use a mix of both inbound and outbound methods as part of your real estate marketing strategy.
Six lead generation ideas to try as a real estate investor
Now that you know a little bit more about what lead generation is and how it works in the real estate industry, let's go over some lead generation ideas you can use to find potential customers. We've listed six solid ideas below. Read them over to get a sense of which might work best as part of your lead generation strategy.
Develop a lead magnet
In marketing terms, a lead magnet is a free item or service given away in exchange for the ability to gain access to a potential lead's contact information. While most people offer a downloadable gift accessed through a landing page, as a real estate investor, it may be more helpful to offer a service as your lead magnet. For example, you could offer to give seller leads a free comparative market analysis so they have a better idea of how much their home is worth.
Start content marketing
As the name suggests, content marketing involves creating content to help position yourself as an expert in the field and draw people into your real estate website. While blogging is the most common example of content marketing, you could also have your real estate team create a newsletter, send out emails, or create videos of your listings. Best of all, content marketing is a way to generate free leads as opposed to the many paid options out there.
Create a Facebook ad
These days, many would consider it a mistake not to use social media as part of your lead generation strategy. If you have a Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) account for your real estate business, for example, you can launch a Facebook ad that advertises your listing to potential buyers in your target market. You can also use analytics tools like a Facebook pixel to track and tweak the effectiveness of your advertising until you land on a formula that works well.
Try cold calling
If you're not very tech-savvy, cold calling is a lead-generation tactic that's been around for years. As you might be able to guess, this strategy involves creating a list of potential buyer or seller leads and calling these prospective leads to gauge their interest in your services. If you're going this route, be sure to practice your script before you start dialing.
Don't forget direct mail
Direct mail is another lead-generation strategy every successful real estate agent has tried at least once. This involves sending letters or postcards to prospective leads within your target market area. Of course, whichever type of mailing you choose, make sure it advertises your services and includes valuable information about the current state of the real estate market.
Hire a lead generation company
Lastly, if you're too busy to engage in lead generation efforts yourself, consider hiring a lead generation company to do the legwork for you. But if you're considering this strategy as your main method of lead generation, make sure the company you choose to go with is giving you exclusive leads. You don't want to be competing with other real estate agents for every qualified lead, especially if you're paying good money for them.
What to do after new leads come in from a lead source
It may sound simple, but you need to follow up with any new leads that come in from your lead source. Forming a connection is, after all, the first step in turning a potential client into an active homebuyer. Once you've followed up with them via phone or email, you have a better idea of whether they're quality leads and if it's worth putting more effort into building a relationship.
After following up, track the interaction in some type of lead management system. Make note of when you made contact with the lead, how the conversation went, and what the next step is in your relationship. This process is key, regardless of whether the lead is interested in learning more about your services. Over time, this data will help you refine your lead generation strategy.
The bottom line
Lead generation is a key part of building your real estate investing business and should be a consistent part of your schedule. Use these tips to help you create a lead generation strategy of your own. Armed with this knowledge, you should have a better idea of how to go about building your lead database and turning those prospective leads into active clients.