The real estate industry is often considered as volatile, such that trends can change immensely, influencing either positive or negative outcomes, and overall affecting the state of business for many companies. For this reason, many real estate companies have to constantly come up with the best strategies that will help them reach out to would-be property buyers. In marketing terms, such practices and methods would fall under real estate lead generation.
What is real estate lead generation? In a nutshell, generating leads means that a real estate agent or a broker is able to spark an active interest in their prospective market. This means that to consider a particular client as a lead, the agent has to encourage him or her to make an inquiry, find out additional info about the properties being sold, and more.
To be able to generate successful real estate leads is not a simple task because of the already competitive industry. There are nearly 600,000 Americans employed in the real estate business, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. And from those stats, more than 60 percent of them operate as self-employed real estate agents. Within a span of ten years, sources project these numbers to grow significantly, because there will always be someone somewhere who is looking for properties to buy.
There are also scenarios which can push an individual to delve into the real estate business as well. For instance, due to current economic situations in the US, some homeowners are forced to put up their properties for sale. In this regard, average Joes are forced to learn more about the real estate business, to find out ways to make their properties more interesting to clients, and to earn profits in the process. All the more is real estate lead generation a vital factor in determining success in the field.
If you have seen TV ads and infomercials about homes for sale, then you are no stranger to the methods under real estate lead generation. Broadcast advertising is only one of the many effective strategies used to generate leads from the home-buying market. Both small and large real estate companies would take the time to invest in TV commercials, radio ads, and print media to get their message across a larger group of people. Effective as broadcasting may be, not all real estate agents, especially the self-employed ones, can afford such a costly move.
So what are other ways to generate real estate leads? Thanks to the rapid developments in information technology, many independent real estate brokers are given the chance to market their businesses across more people, too. By now, you probably already realize how essential the World Wide Web can be for real estate lead generation, or for generating leads in any other industry for that matter, may it be cars, electronics, home products, and more. This is because nearly every one has access to the internet, and there are tons of ways to spark the interest of prospective real estate clients - without you having to spend a fortune!
Mentioned here are a few tried and tested techniques to help boost real estate lead generation:
Websites - You can put up your own business website for free or with a low start-up cost. Having your own parking space on the WWW makes you more accessible and easy to find for clients searching for properties in your area. Also, having a good website will be a way to present your credentials, to showcase properties that you have, and to be contacted by clients.
Online classifieds - Posting ads with your contact information on online classifieds can also be done for free. Targeted ads which are made more visible on these sites would often require a minimal payment on the part of the advertiser. Online classifieds sites and even auction sites like eBay can generate a high volume of traffic, because these are places often visited by web surfers in search of something they need.
Real estate forums - Signing up as a member of forums for real estate agents doesn't have to cost you a thing. An advantage to becoming a member is that you can also communicate with fellow businessmen, learn the tricks of the trade, expand your list of contacts, and also make your own real estate business more visible online.
Social networking sites - These days, MySpace, Facebook, and similar sites are not just for meeting friends or sharing photos. Both small and large real estate businesses take advantage of the massive popularity of these social networks. In this way, a real estate broker can establish a list of immediate contacts, notify them more efficiently about updates, as well as disseminate necessary information quickly. And using these sites are for free!
Blogs - Here is yet another cost-effective way to create an internet presence for you and your real estate business. Putting up a blog helps you post photos, descriptions, and other relevant info about properties you have on sale. Through a regularly updated blog, prospective clients can also read about your experiences in the field, as well as find out your reliability as a real estate broker.
Email marketing - Once you have generated a list of prospective contacts, another smart real estate lead generation method involves sending regular newsletters or updates via email. Informing potential buyers through email also helps disseminate info rapidly and makes it easier for feedback to return to you; thus, giving you an edge as you try to generate more leads.
Of course, in line with these great online marketing strategies for real estate lead generation, one should not disregard the value of having a strong network of contacts. Even without the use of emails, instant messaging, or social networking sites, you can generate real estate leads through referrals from family, friends, and business associates. Sometimes, even the simplest effort of getting to know other people in person can be one of your best assets as a real estate agent. In this manner, possible buyers or clients can readily assess your qualifications, thus helping you establish yourself as a reliable authority in this already competitive field.