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What's the best way to generate leads as a real estate agent?

The definitive guide (with stick figure drawings)




You know the question is on your mind 🧠. It's on every agent's mind, and for good reason: Leads drive sales 🏷., which drives revenue 💵. which sustains your business 📊.


But what happens if the leads stop coming in? Or they never came in the first place?


Things get bad fast without them - and it can be tough to survive. The worst part is that for 87% of real estate agents, it means that they're toast 🍞 in the first 5 years and are off to a new career and feel like they just wasted an opportunity.


Should we ask other agents on Facebook?


With the advent of social media, more and more people are using Facebook groups to ask questions about real estate. But, if you've ever tried to ask a question, you know how this goes... you ask a Facebook group full of real estate agents and get 450 comments that include 3 decent suggestions, an overwhelming majority tell you to " work your sphere," a whole section bemoaning Zillow, and a TON of snarky comments about you being the problem, not the leads.


OK, I get it. But, where do leads come from?


Leads don't just magically appear one day. They are the results of conversations that you have with others and your marketing efforts (people you know and people you don't know). And the simple truth is that the more marketing and conversations you engage in, the more leads you get.


People you know (Your sphere):


Pros: Easiest people to get in touch with - you already have their info and have likely built rapport.

Cons: You're going to run out of them quickly and the more you drip on them the closer you get to a restraining order or an awkward Thanksgiving dinner.


People you don't know (Everyone else):


Pros: There is an endless supply of buyers and sellers (1 in 5 owners will look to sell in the next year and 1 in 20 households will be looking to purchase)

Cons: You don't know them and they don't know you. You don't have their contact information and you have no rapport built.

How do we get in touch with the people we don't know?


Well, most people fall back on PPC leads (paid leads from portals and other vendors). PPC leads come from web traffic (Facebook and Google) and go to portals and services that contain "Lead Forms" to capture information. The services that you pay for leads have to pay for the web forms and the traffic, so that's what you end up spending.

If you don't want to spend money on PPC ads, then you need to do it the old-fashioned way and grow your sphere, find clients at an open house, or hit the phones. But your sphere probably isn't that large to begin with, open houses are hit or miss, and everyone DREADS hitting the phones (plus this isn't very scalable).


So, if you rely on your sphere or on paid leads, YOU ARE STUCK:

1) relying on your sphere for your next deal (which is small)

2) relying on an ad spend to fuel your growth (cashflow issues)


I still want to buy PPC leads... what should I consider?


There are tons of things that affect the quality of the lead, we like to think that the quality of the leads is actually along a spectrum (based on the buyer or seller's intent and how close they are to making the purchase or sale).


Traffic source:


Think about it this way... people go to Google with something on their mind and have to search for it - the buying and selling intent is already there. Any leads that come from Google are going to be consistently the highest quality. Traffic that comes from Facebook (or Instagram or Tik Tok or any kind of re-marketing) is "stumble-upon" marketing... it looks interesting, so we click on it - these leads are going to be lower in quality.


So, from high intent to low intent:

  1. Google

  2. YouTube

  3. Facebook / Instagram / Tik Tok

Lead magnet:


Referencing back to the second stick figure drawing above, the lead magnet used is also going to affect the quality of the lead by targeting the buyer or seller at a specific moment during their purchasing or selling journey ( IE dreaming, researching, deciding, or purchasing).


So, what are the best lead magnets?


A definition to start: a Lead Magnet is a marketing term for a free item or service that is given away for the purpose of gathering contact details. It's what the lead thinks they're getting.


So now, let's think about what front of buyers or sellers look for in exchange for giving their information during their journey. From low intent to high intent:


Dreaming - Here, a buyer or seller are generally looking at homes they can't afford, hence the "Dreaming" label.

  1. Pictures of homes

  2. Lists of homes (priced under / over $$$)

Researching - In this stage a buyer or seller has probably made their mind up about taking the next step and wants more info...

  1. Neighborhood guides & Market reports

  2. Buyer and seller guides, checklists, and "How to" articles

  3. Lists of "off-market" and "exclusive" properties

Deciding - The buyer or seller is now on their way to a listing appointment or to see open houses. They've almost made up their mind, but need to weigh the options.

  1. Home valuations (Boldleads, Zurple)

  2. Attending Open Houses

  3. How to find the best agent

  4. How to save money when buying / selling

Purchasing - They're ready to go. The highest intent, highest quality, closest to the finish line! But if you get there too late, they're already working with someone else!

  1. Filling out requests for more property information (Zillow, Realtor, Trulia, Ylopo)

  2. How to avoid closing costs

  3. How to choose an attorney / lender / title company

  4. Researching moving options


Is there a better or cheaper way to generate leads?


YES! That's why we wrote this article and built a hyper-targeted system that allows you to get in front of the "People you don't know" at scale to increase the number of people you do know and decrease the people you don't know that are looking to buy and sell real estate (at a fraction of the cost).


So, if you're the kind of person that wants to do things the smart way, find out how you can put your prospecting and engagement on autopilot and generate more conversations with AGENT 1.



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