Lead generation is arguably one of the biggest challenges that real estate agents face. According to a recent study by Inman, finding leads is one of the biggest challenges reported by real estate agents.
In this post, we will share 14 real estate marketing ideas that will help you generate more leads and book more appointments. We know these real estate marketing ideas work because we asked real estate agents across the country for their best real estate marketing tips and strategies, and collected their responses into this post below.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!
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1 Do an open house…even if you’re not the buying or selling agent (3 to 4 hours)
One real estate agent told us that, when he was just getting started, the biggest thing that helped him generate real estate marketing leads was doing open houses – even if he wasn’t the buying or selling agent on the house.
Here’s how it works:
- Set up an open house on a Saturday and/or Sunday. If you don’t have any listings to show, find a house for sale on the MLS and ask the selling agent if you can do an open house. Many selling agents will agree to this, since they ultimately want the house to sell.
- When people come in for the open house, ask if they have an agent they’re working with. If they do, then wish them luck and don’t try to steal away the customer from the other real estate agent.
- If the people that come to the open house do not have a real estate agent helping them, briefly explain the benefits of working with an agent and give them your card. Let them know that they can think about the decision, and that you’d love to represent them if they decide that they’d like a real estate agents help.
- If the conversation goes well and the people are welcoming of your offer, ask for their contact information so that you can follow up with them and show them houses that meet what they are looking for.
2 Follow up by video email (1 hour)
According to our internal video email research, those who use video email report getting more replies, converting more leads, and building their referral network. In fact, we’ve had customers generate $150,000 in real estate sales commissions and close $11,500,000 real estate deals by using video email.
Here’s how they did it and how you can get started with video email:
- Sign up for a free 14-day free trial of BombBomb video email.
- Start sending video email replies to prospects! (The best way to learn is to do.)
- Watch the videos and download the checklists in BombBomb Academy to learn video strategies and tips
- Watch real estate video email success stories.
- Download the BombBomb Inbox app and send video emails from your mobile phone!
Start with simple webcam and smartphone videos and a free trial of BombBomb. Reach out to a new lead, past client, or a business partner with a simple video instead of plain, typed out text. They’ll be glad to see you.
3 Build Your Online Reviews (30 – 45 minutes)
Online reviews are hugely important. According to one study, consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before they feel that they can trust a brand, and 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Your online reputation is necessary in helping you build trust and convert leads. Online reviews are one of the first things that a prospect will read online when they research your real estate business. (And according to Google, online reviews can improve your local ranking on Google.)
Here’s how you can build your online reviews and make sure your online reputation is one you are proud of:
- Go to business.google.com and setup a Google My Business account for your real estate business. Make sure your business is verified, and that you have all of the information filled out completely.
- From your email marketing platform, send an email asking people to leave a review for your real estate company on Google and share why it matters. (Pro tip: We recommend using video; read why below.)
- Optional: offer rewards to those who participate. You can make this a contest by entering those who leave reviews into a contest for first, second, and third place prizes.
- As the reviews come in, read and respond to reviews to show customers (and prospective customers) that you value their feedback.
So, why do we suggest using video to send our review requests?
Mortgage Video Influencer, and BombCast Guest, Chris Brown and his team are the most reviewed mortgage origination team on Zillow in the Orlando Metro Area. When we sat down with Chris, we asked him how he was able to collect so many reviews, his simple answer – video.
By using video to request such a major benefit for his business, a review, Chris is able to showcase how much the review would mean to him, and how much he appreciates the time each client takes to fill out the review. They are able to feel the sincerity in his delivery much easier through video than text, and because of that, they are always much more likely to leave a review.
4 Spike the real estate referrals with a gift, like a $50 Amazon Gift card… and make a game out of it! (2 hours)
For most real estate agents, referrals are the #1 source of leads and new business. Did you know that 60% of customer referrals occur in the first six months after the home is purchased? Because of this, it’s super important to remain in contact with your clients even after transaction has ended. Creating a simple referral program is an easy way to keep your business moving with minimal effort.
You can use both email and direct mail to help you through this process! Here’s how:
- Start off by reaching out to a client immediately after they submit a mortgage application with a handwritten thank you note. We also recommend sending a $5 gift card from a local coffee shop with this first send.
- Then, after the deal closes, send another care package and thank you note to show your sincere gratitude.
- Next, create a “new homeowners care packet.” With this, you should supply contact information for all your favorite local restaurants, shops, and even landscapers, electricians, handyman, etc.
- Finally, a week after sending the package, you should send an email with all of your contact information letting them know that you’re always accepting new clients and will send them a visa gift card for any referral that they send your way. This is a time when sending a video message would really help solidify your message and show your sincerity.
You can also turn this into a game, offering 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes to those who help you generate the most referrals in one month.
5 Strategic Partnerships: Partner with another real estate agent, mortgage broker, or other professional (2 hours)
Intentionally partnering with other real estate agents, and other non-competing entities that are talking to your same target market, can be a massive source of real estate lead generation.
One agent we know found success with strategic partnerships by partnering with a local mortgage company. The mortgage company would simply ask their clients, “Are you currently working with a real estate agent? Would you like a recommendation on one?” If the mortgage company’s client said yes, then the mortgage company would make an introduction to the real estate agent.
Here are some possible professionals that you could build a strategic partnerships with:
- Real estate agents in other markets.
- Mortgage brokers and lenders.
- Those in the Trades business, such as roofers, builders, architects, HVAC, flooring, etc.
- Property management companies.
Part of building a strategic partnership is also sending people their way. For example, if you develop a strategic partnership with a flooring company, you should send leads their way as you meet people who have flooring needs.
We’ll give a more specific example in the next step about how this would work, by sharing a specific story and example of how one real estate agent developed a strategic partnership with a property management company.
6 Partner with a property management company (5 to 7 hours)
One Chicago realtor we know found great success generating real estate leads by partnering with a local property management company. This property management company owned several rental properties (condos and homes). Often, the tenants would ask them for recommendations on real estate agents, when they were ready to start shopping for homes to buy. Since the owner of the property management company knew this Chicago realtor, she would refer anyone looking for a realtor’s help to this Chicago realtor.
The benefit of this type of relationship for the property management company is threefold: (1) they get to make their tenants happy by providing a real estate agent recommendation; (2) the real estate agent (you) will show prospective renters the property management company’s units when the opportunity arises; and (3) you can provide a referral commission to the property management company. (Make sure your agency doesn’t have any policies against this before trying this.) Even if your agency doesn’t approve of #3, the first two benefits are still strong reasons.
Here’s how you can replicate this in your real estate business:
- Brainstorm a list of possible property management companies in your area. Think through your network, research on Google, ask your family and friends for referrals and try to come up with a list of 10 possible property management companies you could talk to about this idea.
- Reach out to the property management company by email or phone, and share the three benefits above. See if there is any interest to discuss further.
- If there is interest, then schedule a meeting to meet with the property management company in person and make it official. Face-to-face time in business is always time well spent.
- Start the process with one property management, and repeat with another. Touch base with the property management company every 4 weeks to see how things are going and if there was anyone
7 Use Google Ads to generate leads (1 to 2 hours)
Google Ads allows you to bid on certain words and phrases (like, “real estate agents in El Paso, TX”) and show ads to those who are searching on Google. You only pay for those who actually click your ad and visit your website or call your business. Although using Google Ads can get expensive, it doesn’t have to be. We’ve seen businesses generate quality leads for only $500 per month.
Here’s how to get started with Google Ads:
- Go to ads.google.com and sign up.
- Brainstorm possible words and phrases (keywords) that potential customers might search on Google to find your business.
- Organize these keywords into lists around certain themes. These are your keyword lists.
- Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to make sure that there is search volume for your words, and that the bids are not too far above your budget.
- Setup your ad groups around these keyword lists, and create ads and ad extensions for each ad group.
Pro tip: Don’t use Google AdWords Express. It is an automated, less effective version of Google Ads. When signing up, choose a standard Google Ads account. If you’d like additional guidance and help, we suggest talking with a digital marketing agency that can offer professional advice on using Google Ads for lead generation.
8 Share a “closing photo” on your Instagram and Facebook feed every time you help someone sell or buy a house (30 minutes)
Another great way to increase your following is to continuously ask your clients to send you photos from their closing so that you can post it on Facebook and Instagram. Make sure you have their permission to share the photo. Once you receive the photo, and tag everyone involved in the process – meaning the mortgage officer, the home inspector, insurance agent, title representative, etc, add a caption with a call-to-action to it.
For example – “So excited for the Smith Family and their purchase of an amazing new home! Thinking of buying a new home yourself? Fill out an application at…” That way, your chances of someone sharing the photo are much higher, and you establish credibility!
Here’s an example from Taitt Homes, a real estate agent couple out in Kansas City, Missouri:
9 Build A List and Call People (30 minutes to however long you want!)
If you are just getting started in real estate, this might be the most effective marketing tactic to try. When anyone starts a business — and remember, being a real estate agent is a business – they need to get the word out and let others know how they can help. (And if you’ve been doing real estate for some time, this real estate marketing idea is still worth doing.)
In our technology-drenched world, it can be easy to forget some of the most basic communication methods, such as picking up the phone and calling someone. Building relationships through phone calls can yield big results down the road.
There are a few different groups of people you should call periodically:
- Family and Friends: Let them know that you are now a licensed real estate agent, ask if they know anyone who is looking to buy or sell a home (that they would be willing to connect you with), and also let them know that you are offering referral gifts to any clients that they send your way.
- Past Customers: Call them to check-in with them and see how things are going post purchase/sale. You can also ask past customers if they know anyone who is looking to buy or sell a home (that they would be willing to connect you with), and also let them know that you are offering referral gifts to any clients that they send your way.
- Warm Prospects: People who have reached out to you for more information. Ask if you can answer any of their questions and offer to help them in their real estate search.
- Cold Prospects and Potential Strategic Partners: Depending on your personality, starting a conversation with new people can feel intimidating or energizing. Calling new people and potential strategic partners is a key ingredient for any business, including real estate.
- Strategic Partners: Check-in periodically to see how they are doing, let them know of any new people you’ll be sending their way, and ask if they’ve come across anyone recently looking to buy or sell a home.
As you talk to people, build a list of leads and clients that you can slowly nurture over time. This will help you stay organized, focused, and productive. We highly suggest building your list in a web-based CRM, like HubSpot or Zoho CRM (both have free options), as this will help you scale easier and operate more efficiently as your real estate business grows.
10 Create a content strategy for your social media channels (2 hours)
According to AdWeek, Millennials now make up 66% of the market for first-time homebuyers, and 99% of those looking for homes use the internet to research properties. Utilizing social sites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn is a great way to build your sphere of influence.
However – that being said – simply posting new listings, and open house invites on your social media channels is not the way to appeal to your audience. Creating a content strategy your social media page may seem like a daunting task, but once you get in a rhythm, it becomes easy and your results are apparent.
Below are some content ideas to help you improve your social media presence.
- Choose your Recurring Topics:There are so many topics that agents can consistently share with clients. From home renovation tips, to housing reports, and even new businesses popping up in your area. Identify four or more topics that you think your clients would find value in and make a plan to post them regularly.
- Identify the Influencers in Each Topic Category: Twitter offers a feature where you can create private lists so you can group together influencers. This is something we utilize often at BombBomb, so that we can keep any on the people who are posting the most interesting content on the topics we’ve identified. For real estate news, we recommend following Realtor.com, MSN Real Estate, Inman News, and HGTV.
- Start Making Community Videos: Is there a cool new restaurant opening up in your City? Or even a local event that you think is worth sharing? Let your sphere of contacts know about all the fun and exciting events happening in your area! Make sure to follow all the local news channels, papers, and bloggers to keep your finger on the pulse, and know what’s worth sharing!
- Keep an Eye on Industry Stats: Find a reputable source that reports the monthly housing report for your city and share that information with your social fans. We recommend pulling a few of your favorite facts from the reports and utilizing each in a separate post to get more mileage out of the piece. You can even use a tool like Canva, that can help you create images with ease, that highlight these facts in a clean and sophisticated way. Don’t forget to tag your source when doing so!
- Be Creative with Messenger Applications: We’ve explained how you can build rapport with your LinkedIn connections by sharing videos from your BombBomb account through LinkedIn Messages. You can also do the same thing with Facebook Messenger! Send BombBomb videos through the Facebook Messenger app to invite your contacts to like your business page, meet for coffee, or anything else! They’ll be so surprised to see you in video that they’ll surely be more engaged!
11 Build a simple real estate website focused on lead generation (3 hours)
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) home buyer statistics, 51% of home buyers found their home on the Internet – the most of any other channel – followed by real estate agents at 30%.
Although technology can be intimidating, it is incredibly easy to build a real estate website nowadays, thanks to various tools that are available. Here’s how you can build a real estate website this weekend, even if you don’t have any special technical superpowers:
- First, buy a domain name that is “keyword rich”, such as “CITYNAMEREALESTATE.com” or “CITYNAMEREALESTATEAGENT” and purchase it at domains.google.com. Having a keyword-rich domain will help you reach higher rankings in Google, Bing, and Yahoo. (And remember, always buy a .COM domain.)
- Use a platform like SquareSpace or Wix to create your website. If you have a tech savvy family member or friend, ask them to help you. (If they suggest you build your website on WordPress, that is fine; you can use a tool like LeadPages to easily build a simple real estate website – see examples below.)
- Connect your domain name to the website platform’s nameservers.
- Make sure your homepage has a clear headline and call-to-action. When someone lands on your website, they should be able to know what you offer, how you can help, and what next step he/she can take to get started working with you.
- Build out the other pages on your website, like your ABOUT page, LISTINGS page, CONTACT page, and FAQ page.
- Make sure to add some testimonials to your website. If you don’t have any yet, ask some former clients for 2-3 sentence testimonial, and/or keep this in the back of your mind as you close new deals. (If you’ve done idea #3 above, then you can use some of the online reviews as testimonials on your website!)
While your website will initially be very basic, it is better than having no online presence. You can continue to improve your website and make it better. In the 21st century, you are practically invisible without a website. Websites are the modern day business cards.
12 Create gated content ready for homebuyers (2 hours)
Creating gated content in order to generate email addresses is a tried and true tactic that marketers have used for years.
And while you might think you’re not capable of creating something so high-tech it’s actually much easier than you think. All you need to do is create a piece of content that would be valuable to your audience. So let’s talk through some possible content – well for one, who’s your audience? Homebuyers of course. There are plenty of topics for new homebuyers are relatable to many different audiences. Some more broad topics include information on the possible recession, how to cleanup your credit before buying a home, or a new home buyers checklist. If you wanted to get hyper local with your content – you could even create a monthly housing report on your city. Or a downloadable piece of content about the ideal neighborhoods for families!
All you have to do is start writing! Once you write your content, you can convert the word document into a PDF and use the file for a downloadable guide. If you wanted to enhance the visual appeal of the PDF, you could always use a website like Canva, which provides amazing, easy to use templates, that will help you create beautiful graphics and PDFs.
- Determine the topic of your content that’s relevant to new homebuyers. (I.E. – How to cleanup your credit before buying a home, or a new home buyers checklist.)
- Outline your content. How long will it be? (1-2 pages is the sweet spot.) How many sections? Pull stats and references.
- Write your content in a Word or Pages document.
- Ask a friend to review your work. It’s so easy to miss typos or write content that’s missing content. Make sure to have an unbiased friend look through your work before submitting.
- Use a website like Canva, beacon.by, or attract.io to design your PDF.
- Create a landing page to promote your PDF and gate the content. You can do this through your website, or use a landing page tool such as Leadpages or Unbounce. (You can also use marketing tools such as OptinMonster, Mailchimp, Drip, or Hubspot to gate and deliver your PDF.)
- On your opt-in form, only ask for the essential contact information to get started, such as the prospect’s first name and email address. You can ask for a phone number too, but prospects may be less inclined to hand that over initially.
- Create a “Thank you Page” to direct users to after they opt-in for your content, where they can access the PDF that you created.
- Create nurture emails to connect with users and strengthen your relationship with them after they’ve downloaded your guide.
13 Host Webinars for new homebuyers (8 hours)
Buying a home for your first time is scary. There are so many questions and unknowns. And people are looking for resources, and experts, to help guide them through this process, even before they’ve fully committed to the idea of buying their first home. Creating online webinars are a great way to establish a pipeline of leads, and better identify what stage of the buying journey each person is in. They also allow you to get face-to-face with your future clients, increasing your ability to build trust with them, even when you can’t be there in person.
Here’s how to hold a webinar on your own:
- Establish your topic, title, and description. Create a short, 30-60 minute powerpoint presentation on your topic.
- Find a partner to work with on your webinar. In most cases, a mortgage officer would be your best bet. Working with a partner will help you expand your reach as you can both reach out to your databases. Mortgage officers can also offer expertise to your clients that they may need in their home buying process.
- Create your event online using a budget friendly webinar hosting site like – Zoom, Join.Me, EzTalks, and more.
- Pick your date and time. The sweet spot for webinar timing is usually between 11am-2pm during the middle of the week (Wednesdays or Thursday.) Give yourself about a month to promote the event.
- Create a promotion plan for the event. Make sure to utilize social media, email, and partners to help get the word out. Post fliers about the event at apartment facilities. Send digital messaging out every few days, and make sure you vary your promotional copy!
- Offer an incentive for attending. Purchase a couple gift cards to popular local businesses and randomly select three attendees to win the giftcard.
- Present your webinar.
- Follow up after your webinar. Offer to send the recording. Send out new buyer questionnaire forms to everyone who attended.
14 Use a professional photographer and videographer to enhance your listings (4 to 6 hours)
Photography is incredibly important for real estate listings. In fact, Buyers spend 60% of their time looking at listing photos, and only 20% each on the listing description and agent description (The Wall Street Journal). Not to mention, homes with professionally photographed pictures can sell for up to $19,000 more. (MarketLeader.com)
But even high-quality photography isn’t enough these days. In our ever changing digital world, buyers are hoping to find high-quality listings videos on all of the homes they search for. And slideshow videos won’t make the cut.
The good news is, you can usually hire a wedding videographer who also specializes in photography to help you enhance your listings. Why a wedding videographer? Because most videographers are hoping for jobs where they don’t have to work weekends. And almost always have much more availability during the week.
How to create a listing video:
- Prep the home for a photoshoot. This isn’t any new advice. Just like prepping a home to be shown, you’ll want to prep a home for a listing video.
- Find a local wedding videographer / photographer.
- Talk to the homeowners to get the story of the home. What appealed to them? When you can tell the story of the home, you’ll often be able to create a much more entertaining listing video.
- Create an outline for your listing video. Make sure you include yourself in the video! In your introduction, ask yes or no questions right from the get go to help you better qualify your viewers. For example – “Are you looking for a home in the RINO neighborhood?” That way, the viewers can better determine if the property is right for them.
- Add a clear call-to-action at the end of your video. After reviewing the home, make sure your provide prospective buyers with your contact information if they’d like to see the home.
- This last tip is simple. Just ask your clients to share the listing video! Maybe this isn’t the right home for one person, but it might be the perfect home for another. Ask your fans if they know someone who they think would be interested in this home and if they could share the video with them.
With these 14 proven and practical real estate marketing ideas, you’ll be able to start generating more leads and booking more appointments starting this week. Since you are likely busy with business, life, and other obligations (like most people), our suggestion is to pick one of these above items and focus on completing it that week. Then, move onto another item, and so on.
Remember the acronym F.O.C.U.S = Follow One Course Until Successful.
Which of the above real estate marketing ideas have you tried? What kind of results did you get? Let us know your questions, stories, and results in the comments below!