4 ways to optimize real estate lead generation methods to improve business
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9.82 million homes were sold in the U.S. in 2020. And in January 2021 alone, over 923,000 homes were purchased in the U.S. — 4% higher than December 2020 and 19.3% higher than January 2020.
With such record home buying rates, realtors should not only keep an eye out for people looking to buy a new home, but, more importantly, those looking to sell their properties as well.
To grow your sales alongside this industry growth, you'll need to improve your strategies for generating real estate leads. Track each lead that comes your way with these four methods.
1. Tailor your ads
Tailoring ads, or creating ads for the specific audience you want to reach, is the best way to generate new real estate leads. Whether based on location or interest, it is essential to target your ads to know where your leads are being generated.
Create location-based Google Ads
Customize your ads based on the locations in which you are licensed to sell and rent properties.
There’s a thin line between what is acceptable and what isn’t when factoring in location targeting due to the Fair Housing Act (FHA). This regulation fights against discrimination when selling and renting property, so to comply with the FHA, it’s best to create ads based on broad locations.
Broad locations could include neighborhoods, cities, counties, and states, but targeting zip codes is not okay. Targeting zip codes specifically is selective geographic advertising.
Take your location-based ads a step further by remarketing — connecting with people in your selected location who once interacted with your website (possibly from clicking on one of your ads). Remarketing allows you to recapture their attention and reintroduce them to your brand.
For example, say you are a realtor in Fulton County, Georgia, so you target your ads based on that area. Tim and his partner recently moved to Atlanta, and they plan to purchase a home soon, so they start doing research.
During the process, they come across your ad, “Breathtaking New Homes in West Midtown Atlanta. Sign Up for Our Open House This Sunday!” Tim is intrigued and clicks on the ad, but he gets side-tracked and closes out the Google Chrome tab that links to your website.
A few days go by, and another ad for your business pops up — remarketing. Tim gets excited and calls his partner right away. His partner wants to tour the listing, so Tim submits a registration for the open house. From there, you can learn how to understand your inbound leads better.
Create interest-based Facebook Ads
There are over a billion users on Facebook. Find people in the market to rent or purchase homes by targeting ads based on interest. Interest-based ads are linked to the attentiveness and internet behavior of Facebook users rather than on their demographics — ensuring that real estate marketers comply with the FHA.
Any ad that highlights factors like a specific religion, race, or familial status is a violation of the FHA, so avoid ads with phrasing like “Homes for Millennials” or “New Rentals in Friendly, Christian Community.”
Refrain from creating discriminatory ads by looking for clues based on life-related searches instead of demographics. From people looking for baby toys or wedding venues to those looking for home insurance or the best month to relocate — there’s a good chance that some of them will be looking to make a move soon.
Find leads that matter through Facebook’s Lead Ads feature. It helps you reach the right people by matching lead ads with your desired audience and optimization products.
Lead ads are helpful when potential homeowners and renters fill out contact forms because they auto-populate their information — making it more convenient for them to complete and easier for you to track.
2. Get active on social media
Real estate website The Close discovered that 44% of agents gained a new client in 2020 by posting on social media. In addition, 82% of agents aim “to improve their social media presence in 2021.”
Real estate marketers should prioritize sharing their businesses online to engage with potential home sellers and buyers. Through TikTok and Instagram, you’ll find real estate leads quickly because these platforms are designed to help businesses reach their target audiences by posting content and engaging with their followers. In general, real estate does a great job marketing through social media.
Also, real estate in general (especially residential) lends itself well to being marketed through these channels.
Post and engage on TikTok for real estate leads
According to CubiCasa, about “73% of homeowners say they are more likely to list with a real estate agent who uses video to sell property.” One of the most convenient and eye-catching places to share video is through social media, with TikTok being one of the best platforms to capture new real estate leads.
The short video concept captures just enough imagery to satisfy people’s desire to envision being in a particular space. And while COVID-19 continues to limit that freedom, people can turn to TikTok for virtual open house experiences.
Despite its reputation, there’s more to TikTok than young folks creating trendy dances. It’s becoming one of the best social media channels to integrate into your real estate marketing strategy. When sharing on TikTok, include videos with tips for first-time homeowners, new listings, and an inside scoop of what you do. Stefanie Kebede and Steevie Soucie are two real estate agents who market themselves well on TikTok to generate leads.
With 20,000 followers on TikTok, 21-year-old Stefanie shares real estate tips and tricks to grow her audience.
Her bio has a link that will redirect viewers to her YouTube and Instagram pages, plus a form from PropStream — a platform that helps agents find and market to highly motivated buyers and sellers.
If you are setting up your real estate TikTok account, be sure to include your business phone number and website to integrate with CallRail Form Tracking to see where your leads are coming from.
Real estate agent Steevie Soucie displays her real estate marketing business on TikTok as well. She has 84,000+ followers because of her authenticity, consistency, and high engagement.
Like Stefanie, Steevie also has a link in her bio that redirects people to receive mentoring, ask questions, and get real estate templates. To accurately track who is clicking on each option, she can integrate Form Tracking.
Get active on Instagram to generate leads
According to Hootsuite’s Digital 2021 Report, “25-34-year-olds represent the largest advertising audience on Instagram.” Therefore, real estate agents who cater to a younger market (without being discriminatory, of course) should turn to Instagram to market to these followers through high-quality photos and videos.
Incorporate top property-related hashtags such as #realestate, #realty, and #forsale to make yourself more searchable, highlight homes via Instagram Stories, and post client testimonial videos to gain real estate leads.
Because Facebook owns Instagram, you can share the same content on Facebook when you post on Instagram. Before you click “share” on Instagram, there is a toggle you can click to share on Facebook as well. If you already have your Facebook for Business listing set up, you can easily communicate with your audience there, too — attracting leads from two audiences on two different platforms at the same time.
Instagram has various features that encourage users to share content, especially marketers looking to grow their businesses and engage with followers. According to Social Media Today, 76% of businesses network through social channels to reach their marketing goals. Social media marketing is a great strategy to foster relationships with customers.
Here are three ways to utilize the platform to form those stronger connections:
- Create Instagram Stories: With Stories, you can ask questions through polls to get to know your followers better. Instagram allows you to geographically target your location to discover your audience. For example, say you are a real estate agent in Essex County, New Jersey. You can discover who is currently in the market to buy, rent, or sell in or around that area based on the responses and engagement on your Instagram story.
- Set up a poll with a question: You could ask the following: “If you're currently renting in Essex County, when do you plan on buying a home?” Focus on responders who plan on buying a home in the next few months, then invite them to sign up for your newsletter for updates on future listings. Because they engaged with you on Instagram, the likelihood of signing up for your newsletter is high, and it can generate substantial leads. Overall, approximately 71% of consumers respond to social users’ feedback and recommendations for specific brands, so the number of newsletter signups correlates to your level of engagement on the platform.
- Share content to promote: Post reels, stories, and photos to highlight new listings and neighborhood attractions, allowing potential homebuyers to virtually step into the world of their possible new home. Viewers will lean on the resources in your Instagram biography to connect with you.
Chad Carroll, a real-estate broker in Florida, has highlights, stories, and content representing his life as a realtor on Instagram. He could set up the phone number in his Instagram bio with CallRail Call Tracking to see when he gets leads from Instagram.
The link in his bio redirects visitors to his website, which displays home listings, recent sales, his story, and ways to get in touch with him. He also has a link to “Request a Market Analysis.” With Form Tracking, Chad could trace where potential homeowners who filled it out came from.
3. Encourage reviews on real estate websites
According to the National Association of REALTORS, 91% of buyers said they “would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.” They also reported that 69% of home sellers said “they would gladly write a review for their sales agent if requested.”
Existing reviews are crucial for your business because prospects will land on Google and see reviews about your business before they get to your actual website. Plus, recent and positive reviews show activity and help build credibility.
With previous buyers leaving honest, encouraging reviews, you’ll generate leads once potential homeowners read what is shared about working with you. The more reviews you have, the more leads you will attract.
To support your reviews, set up a Google My Business (GMB) listing — a tool that allows a business to verify itself and tell its story. The overall goal is to expand your Google search and Maps visibility to make it easier for people to find you.
For instance, if people search “real estate agents near me,” you’re more likely to appear if you have GMB set up. Everything about your business — your website, phone number, address, and hours of operation — is there for searchers to get in contact with you and, of course, leave reviews.
People appreciate reading honest, genuine reviews. You can request them without appearing forceful by offering incentives.
Three incentives to encourage people to leave reviews:
- Send follow-up emails: Leverage the successful deals you close by asking clients in a follow-up email to leave you a review. Because your interaction ended on a positive note, the new homeowners will be more likely to support you by leaving great comments.
- Send a thank you card: While you cannot exchange money for reviews, you can send genuine gestures instead. After clients close on a home, send them a gift basket or thank-you card as a token of appreciation. After a week, follow up with a thank-you email and kindly ask for a review.
- Celebrate milestones: Sending text messages and newsletters about your success will encourage people to leave reviews. “Today marks five years since I started running my real estate business. I’m so excited to share the big news with you and thank you for your support. To celebrate, I’d love to hear about your experience with me!”
In addition to using Google My Business to attract positive reviews and generate leads, use the CallRail GMB integration to trace incoming calls from your GMB listing. The integration creates a tracking number that automatically switches your primary phone number listed with your GMB location while maintaining your mainline number in the alternate phone number field for NAP consistency. This allows you to track calls that come from your Google business page.
4. Send a monthly newsletter
Email is a high-performing engagement channel. Utilize email marketing by sending monthly newsletters — providing real estate news and content that is relevant and interesting to readers.
Share stories on clients who closed on your listings, updates on your current listings, and dates for upcoming open houses. Include your contact information for subscribers to reach out since it can transform readers into leads.
Email marketing can be a data-rich marketing channel if you are attracting solid leads. It reveals information so you can analyze email content performance. With Form Tracking, you can capture data on the source of each lead as they sign up for your newsletter. As leads are generated from the newsletters, you'll be able to determine which marketing efforts and campaigns are performing well so you can replicate them in the future.
Make your email and lead list even stronger by integrating email marketing with inbound call tracking.
Secure real estate leads through CallRail Lead Center
No matter which way you choose to generate leads, Lead Center will enable you to shift your focus from all leads to the ones that are most relevant for your business. Through your single Lead Center inbox, CallRail reveals all lead details to see which ones are strong and more likely to result in new business.
Even if you are showing a listing or with a client signing a deal, CallRail Lead Center allows you to track missed calls, including where that caller came from and what website they found your number on.
Never worry about the possibility of missing a lead — try Lead Center today.