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Unlocking Real Estate Success: 20 Underrated Lead Generation Ideas

January 28, 2024 @armkeysuccess

While it might appear straightforward, real estate lead generation is anything but easy. The common notion of working hard leading to a continuous stream of inquiries often falls short in reality. The truth is, consistently generating enough leads to sustain a real estate business is among the most formidable challenges in any sales profession. The crux of success in this endeavor lies in identifying the optimal combination of strategies that align with your personality, budget, and skills. Let's dive into 20 often overlooked yet powerful lead generation ideas that can give your real estate business a competitive edge.

  1. Google Local Service Ads for Increased Visibility: Make your phone ring with Google Local Service Ads. For seasoned real estate agents, leveraging Google local services ads proves to be among the most effective methods for acquiring leads actively seeking Realtor services. The process is straightforward: when individuals search Google using phrases such as "real estate agent near me" or "real estate agent in Brooklyn," a list of "Google Screened" agents appears prominently in the search results. Interested users can tap on your profile to learn more about you or directly call you by tapping on your phone number.

  2. Targeted Postcard Campaigns: Launch a postcard campaign in targeted neighborhoods. A personalized and tangible approach can make a lasting impression on potential clients in specific areas. Despite their seemingly outdated nature, postcards remain a highly effective method for populating your CRM with potential buyer and seller leads in 2024. The simplicity of their design and distribution, coupled with cost-effectiveness, makes them a valuable tool. Surprisingly, response rates are higher than anticipated. What's even more noteworthy is the demographic that exhibits the most significant likelihood of responding to direct mail – Boomers. Remarkably, these individuals were responsible for selling 53% of homes in the year 2023*.

  3. Build or Buy an IDX Lead Generation Website: While some agents may believe that IDX websites have become obsolete in the era of brand-building and lead generation through social media, I strongly disagree. Maintaining a website remains a crucial method for showcasing your value to both buyers and sellers. The absence of a website can lead potential clients to question your credibility. In the words of the younger generation, "no cap" – websites are not negotiable for real estate agents in 2024. Fortunately, creating your own IDX website has become more accessible than ever. You can opt for a lead generation website provider like kvCore, Luxury Presence, Real Geeks, or Propertybase. Alternatively, you have the option to build your IDX website using templates and an IDX plugin.

  4. Pitch Absentee Landlords & Owners of Distressed Properties: In the competitive real estate realm, finding innovative sources for listings is pivotal. Targeting absentee landlords and distressed property owners offers a lucrative yet often overlooked avenue. By employing tools like Freedomsoft, examining county records, and crafting compelling value propositions, agents can identify these opportunities and position themselves as valuable resources. Through professional outreach and empathetic communication, real estate professionals can initiate meaningful connections and transform these prospects into listings, contributing to their overall success in a challenging market.

  5. Find a New Niche & Work It Relentlessly: If you're struggling to attract high-quality leads, it could be a sign that you're either in the wrong niche or, worse, not focusing on a niche at all. Many agents inadvertently fall into transaction types that seem easy during their initial years in real estate, without dedicating time to find a niche that aligns with their personality, skills, and income goals.

  6. Make Outbound Calls: Pick Up the Phone: Embrace the power of outbound calls. Personalized conversations can build rapport and trust, making it a valuable method for lead generation. Statistics reveal that approximately one-third of the population engages in real estate-related activities each year, whether it's renovations, updates, repairs, refinancing, buying, or selling. Astute Realtors position themselves as trusted advisers throughout these various real estate endeavors.

  7. Prospect FSBOs (For Sale By Owner): Numerous high-performing agents began their careers as listing agents by targeting FSBOs. Surprisingly, the current market presents an ideal opportunity to adopt the same approach.

  8. Prospect Old Expired Listings: Instead of chasing new leads, revisit old expired listings. These properties might be ready for a second chance, and your proactive approach could turn them into valuable opportunities. Even in a declining market, this approach can yield surprisingly favorable outcomes. The straightforward reason behind this is that many agents still overlook expired listings, and the homeowner's situation may have evolved since their listing expired. In the worst-case scenario, you might find yourself in a conversation with a homeowner who has been neglected by other agents. When the market takes a positive turn, who do you think they're more inclined to reach out to?

  9. Maximize Lead Generation with a Smart CRM: If you're still relying on a free customer relationship manager (CRM) or, even worse, spreadsheets, to handle your contacts, you're leaving money on the table—period. Trust me; dealing with subpar tools makes the job much more challenging.

  10. Learn the Art of Lead Generation on TikTok: I understand your initial reaction. Joining another social media platform might seem overwhelming. However, consider this: Realtors are achieving millions of views and actively gaining leads by sharing 30-second videos on TikTok. The most exciting aspect? You won't have to wait for months to see results, as TikTok's algorithm is uniquely designed to rapidly scale new accounts from day one. In 2024, it's the quickest route to building a substantial social media audience—no waiting period required. Period.

  11. Leverage Your Sphere of Influence: Surprisingly, even in the era of TikTok and ChatGPT, working your sphere of influence remains the most effective lead generation strategy for many agents.

  12. Niche Local Blogging: Achieving a high ranking on Google for general area real estate searches has become increasingly challenging. However, it is both possible and advisable to target niche local topics that larger websites may be overlooking. Crafting articles on subjects such as local zoning changes, new construction developments, or comprehensive guides to smaller subdivisions or neighborhoods can enhance your visibility and cater to the specific interests of potential buyers conducting in-depth research.

  13. Scale Up Facebook & Instagram Ads: While expanding your social media following through increased engagement can eventually generate leads, opting for paid ads on the platform accelerates the lead acquisition process. Given that paid advertising stands as the primary revenue source for Facebook and Instagram, investing in ads provides a quicker route to obtaining valuable leads. If you're looking to secure top-quality leads from these platforms without the prolonged effort, purchasing ads is the ideal approach.

  14. LinkedIn Prospecting Mastery: Unlock the potential of LinkedIn by honing your prospecting skills. If you're not a fan of prospecting for leads on platforms like Facebook or Instagram, where you contend with cute kitten videos, consider leveraging the platform designed explicitly for professional networking. Yes, I'm referring to LinkedIn—the social media platform that agents often overlook.

  15. Host Engaging Open Houses: Master the art of hosting open houses that genuinely attract leads. Create a memorable experience for visitors, and capture their contact information for future follow-ups. In contrast to the advice from some seasoned agents, open houses remain a valuable lead source in 2024. The key is to elevate your approach, providing memorable experiences for your open house guests while implementing a strategic plan to funnel them into your CRM. Once they become part of your database, ensure that your outreach offers genuine value to foster lasting connections.

  16. Door Knocking for a Personal Touch: Get some fresh air and start door knocking. Amidst the buzz around the latest social media trends in your office, why not break away from the digital noise and adopt a more traditional approach to fill your CRM with leads? Step into the fresh air and knock on some doors! Surprisingly, door-knocking is more accessible than you may anticipate, offering an excellent opportunity to refine your elevator pitch and strengthen your sales skills.

  17. Custom Friends List on Facebook: Engage Former Clients & Prospects: When it comes to maintaining a prominent presence on Facebook, engaging with your former clients' and prospects' posts by liking and commenting proves more effective than posting on your own profile. The key lies in the likelihood of your comments being seen, which is nearly 100%, compared to the slim chance of your posts appearing on their feeds. Establishing a custom friends list dedicated to past clients and potential prospects serves as a potent and cost-free lead generation tool.

  18. Craft Compelling Prospecting Letters: Invest time in crafting personalized prospecting letters. Tailor your messages to specific segments, providing valuable information and showcasing your expertise. While fellow agents may be busy chasing potential clients on TikTok, you can gain a competitive edge and secure the best leads through the use of prospecting letters. The effectiveness of prospecting letters lies in their ability to resonate with a specific demographic. According to the latest National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Buyers and Sellers, the average age of homesellers in 2023 was 60 years old**. If the majority of potential clients in your farm area fall within this age group, prospecting letters provide a more targeted and effective communication method compared to platforms like TikTok. Identify your desired target audience among buyers or sellers, and then customize one of the prospecting letter templates provided in the article below. Obtain addresses from reliable sources such as ListSource or REDX to enhance the precision of your outreach efforts.

  19. Work With Divorce, Bankruptcy & Probate Attorneys: Establishing connections with attorneys specializing in divorce, bankruptcy, or probate can open doors to a stream of clients who not only desire to buy or sell a home but actually need to do so. By cultivating a strong relationship with a busy attorney in these fields, you can potentially receive an overwhelming number of referrals. Success in this niche requires the ability to transact swiftly and possess resilience, but the rewards may lead you to a fruitful specialization within the real estate market.

  20. Drive Referrals by Promoting Local Businesses: Leveraging your network of contractors can be a mutually beneficial strategy for both you and your clients. By promoting the services of trusted professionals such as financial planners, landscapers, movers, and painters, you not only assist your clients but also create an avenue for receiving buyer and seller referrals in return. Compile a comprehensive list of these professionals and share it across your social media platforms, email list, website, and as part of a concierge package during deal closures. As these professionals receive business through your recommendations, they are likely to reciprocate by sending referrals your way.

Conclusion: Incorporating these underrated real estate lead generation ideas into your marketing strategy can set you apart from the competition. Experiment with different approaches, analyze their effectiveness, and tailor your lead generation efforts to align with your unique business goals. By diversifying your tactics, you'll open up new avenues for attracting clients and growing your real estate business.

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