There is already a lot of information on this topic on the web. This blog post aims to cut through the noise and jump straight to relevant information for the local real estate agent looking to generate online leads. Generating leads online is not be taken as a one-off effort approach – there needs to be an over-arching strategy churned over a longer period of time. It is only with this mindset can you expect to generate consistent leads online.
A recommended approach is using content (drip) marketing where you provide useful information to your prospects in exchange for contact information to start a relationship. Once a lead has been captured, you continuously communicate value with them over a period of time, i.e. nurturing, until they are qualified and ready to work with you. The focal point behind this entire approach is providing content in order to establish yourself as the local expert who is trustworthy and skilled to get the house sold or bought. Once you establish this, leads will naturally flow your way.
Here are some lead generating channels and how to use them:
I see blogs misused everywhere – too many blog posts that don’t provide any useful information to readers. To avoid this, I recommend developing a blog every 2 weeks to address common questions leads have during the buying or selling process. Your blog topics should focus on your territory and your target niche – an example could include “Why 50% more senior Etobicoke homeowners are moving to downtown Toronto” or “Top 3 most spoken languages in Lesliville area”. Not everything in your blog has to be focused on real estate but can include complimentary topics such as picking the best school, next Municipal initiatives, etc. Lastly, it is important to have a subscribe call-to-action in your blogs so you can capture leads.
Whitepapers are similar to blogs but more detailed in nature covering specific topics, problems or how-to’s. Although more labour intensive, whitepapers can work in conjunction with blogs because they are longer bodies of work while blogs are shorter, quicker displays of content. Whitepapers can be very effective lead generators because their quality of information can demand a lead’s contact information in order to download or view it.
3. Social Media
Social Media is a controversial channel when it comes to lead generation because of the difficulty to track its direct contribution to a sale. Despite this, I think Social Media is not to be neglected as it is an integral component in a lead generation strategy. Social Media is a great channel to spread the net – share blog post links, videos or whitepapers, as well as post short and quick ideas for your followers to read. The main strength here is to draw your network into your site to read your content. Picking the appropriate social media channel is another topic of its own, but the general advice is to pick a channel in which your target audience is most engaged on.
When it comes to content based marketing, quality definitely trumps quantity. Focusing on fewer quality posts will garner you much stronger results than spamming your prospects with irrelevancy. Keep in mind this content-based lead generation strategy generates more momentum when you couple it with your offline lead generation tactics – home assessments, referrals, cold calling, hosting seminars, etc. Content marketing allows you to capture & move your leads down the sales funnel by demonstrating yourself as a real estate thought leader in your community.