The Ultimate Lead Generation Handbook
Updated: Oct 28, 2021
This is our official and updated lead generation handbook. We are not holding back. Our goal with SPEEK is to make agents excellent. So, let’s cut to the chase and do just that.
Choosing a Strategy
Lead generation is the most important job any real estate agent has. It is a constant effort that you have to be put in. The ultimate goal is to build a strong referral network, however, those with 5,10,20 years of experience still have to do lead generation work to constantly have a flow of leads. The worst thing that can happen to an agent is to close a deal and not know what to do next.
At SPEEK, we recommend to all of our agents choose a wide variety of lead generation tactics. Similar to investing in the stock market, we know to diversify our portfolio in lead generation because what works one month might not yield the same amount the next.
Let’s dive right into it.
There are two avenues within social media that we will discuss. Paid and unpaid. Social media has its strengths in being extremely diverse. There are more strategies to advertise on social media than all other forms of lead generation combined. In addition, social media is very strong in the sense that unpaid advertising, is one of the cheapest (being free) ways to stay top of mind with your sphere. You know how important that is.
Unpaid social media is primarily through social posts. These could be posts, stories, videos, and more. Similar to your sphere of influence, and building a referral network, unpaid social media is a long-term investment. However, it is going to be one of the best payoffs that you can invest time into.
We recommend investing in building your brand, representing who you are, and your interests on social media. We recommend LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Tik Tok as the big hitters. However, there is no right or wrong. If you have a strong following and Twitter resonates with you better, post on Twitter! Just make sure that you are posting. We recommend to our agents to prioritize LinkedIn & Instagram first as they are typically the easiest to produce content for. You can typically syndicate the posts onto Twitter and Facebook to start building a following there as well. YouTube and Tik Tok have much higher engagement rates, however, they take more time to generate content.
Consistency is key. Taking the time each week or month to plan your social posts is an excellent way to dedicate your time towards unpaid social media advertising. We recommend using a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Later to make the scheduling of posts later.
Most importantly, remember to pack your patience with investing time into social media. We’ll talk briefly about how you can mix unpaid and paid advertising to build your brand, but this is a timely investment. However, remember that similar to your referral network, this can pay off greatly in the end. There are plenty of agents who are selling millions of dollars in real estate yearly just from social posts. Remember, social media is one of the cheapest ways to stay top of mind with your sphere, so it is worth your time.
There are plenty of different avenues to pursue when talking about paid advertising on social media. There are digital marketing agencies around the world due to how important and successful paid advertising can be. Because of its complexity, we are going to talk generally about strategies you can employ to start advertising digitally. We’ll talk about the two major advertising platforms: Facebook and Google.
The first thing to know about Facebook advertising is that Facebook owns Instagram. So, if you are planning on advertising on Facebook, this is where you will go to advertise on Instagram.
Facebook and Instagram ads are what you see as a “Sponsored” post while you are scrolling.
The potential ads are quite limitless, here are some ideas that have worked well for us:
Free Home Value Estimates
In addition, Facebook ads have a strength in that you can retarget people that have visited your website and consents to cookies tracking their traffic. This is how you see those advertisements for those exact clothing items you were looking at earlier in your feed.
We will create a new blog on retargeting in the future. Here is an excellent explanation from Facebook.
Google advertisements are those that you see when you search for an item on Google.
Google ads are excellent at driving traffic to your website. Having your website is extremely important as you can collect leads, and retarget those that visited your website as we learned earlier.
While Google ads are not as “fun” to create or as visual, they are equally as important. Let’s put together a google ad.
As you saw above, we put together a quick ad for SPEEK’s website. However, there are plenty of other ways that you can generate leads via google. Put yourself in your potential client's shoes, what would they be googling? Here are some examples:
What is my home worth?
Real estate agents near me
Best real estate agents in Charlotte
Events are severely overlooked. Events are an excellent and easy way to get potential clients in one area and be able to meet them in person. That is one of the largest weaknesses social media has, they are not building rapport in person, which is one of the most efficient ways to do it.
The most basic kind of event real estate agents can host is an open house. If open houses are done correctly, you can generate some strong lead out of them.
You should prep for your open houses at least 1-2 weeks ahead. Most importantly, you want to start with entering your open house into the MLS. Since Zillow and Realtor are the most common real estate search engines, we need to enter our open houses in the MLS so that they can update and display them as well. Did you know when you enter an open house, those that have shown interest in the home will get a notification? This is another reason entering them into the MLS is so important.
In addition to entering them into the MLS, you can gain traction of your listing by targeting Facebook ads to the surrounding area.
Make sure that you have marketing materials created and ready for your open house. Flyers, floorplans, and business cards are a must. Other materials such as booklets can be created depending on your budget and time for the creation.
Once it is time to host the open house, depending on what you want to do, it is an excellent time to theme the open house with Wine & Cheese or cookies and coffee. There are plenty of different food and drink options you can do. However, food and drink is not a necessity, it does speak to the quality of yourself as an agent. Especially for one of those first open houses after listing, I would highly recommend it.
While the open house is going on, attempt to walk each group through the home. This allows you time to build rapport with them and further assess their needs. We are not trying to sell the home to those that it will not fit, however you can determine if another home on the market nearby might be a better fit.
When you are walking through the house with the groups, make sure to add value to get their contact information. Being able to follow up and screen their interests is extremely important in converting them. If they come to the open house and you have no way of getting back in contact they might as well be gone.
There are an unlimited amount of events you could host. Most importantly, events are not nearly as hard or as costly as you would expect. You can make them as small or elaborate as you want. You can also partner with others in your firm or others in the industry that might want to get their name out there and can split the cost. Here are some other event ideas:
Coffee and Conversations
Walking through the neighborhood
Drinks with a local charity
There are a variety of ways that you can cold call and get in touch with individuals in a “cold” manner. Cold means that they have shown no interest and that you have had no previous contact. The best form of “cold calling” that we have determined at SPEEK are individuals that have shown some level of interest in real estate. Whether those are Expireds, FSBOs, or leads that you have generated via social media. Here’s how you can get in touch:
The new age of cold calls is not nearly as invasive. Cold DM’s work best on Linkedin. You can search for those that live in your local area, and if you are connected with them, or if you connect with them you can send them a quick message. It is not as intimidating as a phone call and is an excellent way to build your network on Linkedin as well.
To search on LinkedIn, navigate to the search bar and type in your city. You will find plenty of results and you can even further filter with certain connections, locations, and more.
Remember to provide value and be friendly. A simple “Hello, I wanted to connect. If I can ever help you in any way, feel free to reach out” can go way further than a sales pitch.
In addition, since you are now connected with these individuals, you can comment and like their posts, building further rapport and creating lasting friendships along the way. Yay social media!
Cold Calls & Expireds
For those of you that want to get a list of phone numbers that have not shown any interest in selling or purchasing, these are about as cold as it gets. Utilize RedX to fetch these leads. There they have a variety of tools that you can use to make your cold calling easier. Please note to follow Do Not Call laws and other spam laws per state.
For Sale by Owner
You can pay RedX to get FSBO leads like you can with expireds, however, you can get more accurate numbers for free. We prefer the latter. Here’s how:
Go to Zillow.com
Search your preferred area
Click For Sale and check only “By Owner”
Make sure that you click “Other Listings” instead of Agent listings or else nothing will appear
Now, as you have noticed, that was not a secret process. This means there are plenty of other agents that can access them as well. So we need to make sure that we stand out.
When you are interacting with For Sale By Owners make sure that you are providing true value. This does not mean you are willing to help them sell for a commission. This means you are willing to send them materials on how they can sell their home themselves. 92% of FSBOs ultimately sell with an agent. If you were the most helpful and genuine agent during that time, who do you think that they will choose? This is not a pressure-y sales pitch game. If you provide true value, that 99% of agents are not willing to do, they will sell with you. In addition, even if you provide so much value they do sell, who do you think they will purchase with? Exactly.
Value. Value. Value.
Sphere of Influence
Your sphere of influence is those that you are connected with. As we covered earlier, the easiest way to grow your real estate business is to stay top of mind with your sphere of influence. There you can get referrals from them when their friends and families are thinking of moving. How do we do that?
Social media is the easiest way to do your constant updating that isn’t intimidating or in their face. Pictures of your work and days can go a long way. That is why we spent so much time covering unpaid social media lead generation. It is because you are staying in contact with your sphere of influence and they can become terrific referral partners. Top of mind is key!
Beyond social media, this is where you can make a large difference. The most important part is to make sure if you are doing anything with your sphere of influence are to do it respectfully. You do not want to be that person known for calling their cousins to see if they have anyone that needs to sell their house. Take the time to put together quality marketing materials and gifts for them.
Gifts are extremely overlooked. You can make people's days and have a good excuse to get in touch with them. Past clients, current clients, future clients, friends, family, and more. Taking the time to send gifts WITHOUT YOUR LOGO AND BRANDING, something they would enjoy is going to keep you on their good side and as a top-of-mind referral partner. Bonus points if you can send a gift they will use in their daily life or when others come over. They’ll have to talk about it and you. Here is a great article (hyperlink) on the power of gifts.
We have covered some of the best ways to lead generate. Remember, as real estate agents it is our job to be constantly producing leads. We can do this in a variety of ways, but most importantly, we need to choose a way that will work for us and that we can stick to.
Here’s to your future success and lead generation.
Excited to implement new lead gen strategies? Book a Free 30 minute consultation to talk about how you can put these steps immediately into action.