Real estate lead generation: How to build a pipeline using social media
Countless markets have been affected by the digital revolution, and real estate is no exception. Similar to the way search engines transformed the way we find and access information, the internet is causing that same shift in the way we buy and sell property. In fact, 44% of home buyers start their property search online, and 90% use the web at some point throughout their buying journey—meaning there’s a direct access point to potential customers through real estate lead generation.
A digital mindset is critical for staying ahead given the competitive nature of the market, and real estate agents need a steady flow of leads to build a strong pipeline for future business.
Yet, the question remains, how are agents supposed to connect with an audience who may not be ready to buy or sell, and then hold that attention until the sale becomes viable?
The Science Behind Real Estate Lead Generation
Before looking into real estate lead generation tactics, let’s review the conversion metrics needed to track progress and gauge success. Here are some ways to calculate ROI for paid/organic lead gen efforts:
- Impression Rate: The number of times any given post or advertisement is seen
- CPM (Cost per-thousand impressions): Primarily used for awareness campaigns, CPM is calculated by dividing Campaign Cost by Total Impressions/1000
- CPC (Cost per click): Primarily used for lead-based campaigns driving to a landing page, CPC is calculated by dividing Campaign Cost by Clicks Received
- CTR (Click-through rate): This percentage is calculated by dividing Clicks Received by Total Impressions
- CPL (Cost per lead): The average cost to acquire a lead is calculated by dividing Marketing Spend by Total Leads
- CAC (Customer acquisition cost): The average cost to acquire a customer is calculated by dividing Marketing Spend by Customers Acquired
The metrics tracked throughout real estate lead generation campaigns will help identify your “close ratio.” You may even end up with two different close ratios—one indicating how many leads converted into interested customers, and one indicating the frequency at which you close a sale.
Remember: even if your close rate appears low, real estate is a long-game. Stick with the leads that show interest in your company and nurture them over time.
6 Tactics for Real Estate Lead Generation
91% of realtors are already using social, but very few know how to transform their posts into a vehicle for social selling. The issue isn’t in the inability for social platforms to cultivate interest and build pipeline, but in that most real estate professionals aren’t optimizing their social efforts to align with the changing landscape.
In fact, the real estate industry currently ranks lowest for social media engagements, averaging at around .45 interactions every week.
To combat these low engagement levels, we’ve provided 6 tips to reconstruct the way agents find and build pipeline, unleashing the true power of real estate lead generation.
1. Tap Into the Right Niche
Cold calling was historically the most popular method for generating opportunities—that is, until people began recognizing the ineffectiveness of this outbound strategy. However, as organizations moved towards social and the use of brand channels to get in front of prospects, they still struggled to yield results that were correlative of advertising costs.
Today, lead generation across all industries is rooted in the idea of social selling. There are many reasons why this approach is superior to those preceding it, but primarily because social selling encourages a more authentic and personable sale.
As Facebook’s algorithm continues to skew in favor of authentic interactions between people over brands, it’s likely that other platforms will subsequently follow—requiring real estate professionals to be more strategic with how they get in front of their audiences.
Instead of leaning on functionality available through paid efforts to build audiences and target those within your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), try to pivot towards tactics that more naturally reach ideal prospects. That said, understanding who exactly you’re targeting and establishing a purposeful approach for how you’ll reach them should be at the center your strategy.
Start by identifying the demographics you’ve seen the most success with, and then curate content tailored to engage that specific group. Consider elements like:
- Marital status
- Geographic location
- Income or job title
- Hobbies and interests
- Age range
While more than 90% of real estate agents have their own website, convincing people to visit those sites (let alone convert into customers) can be challenging. This is why real estate lead generation is about diligently capturing the attention of prospects, ultimately leading them to you, instead of the other way around.
2. Make the Most of Your Team
Your team members will always be one of the most powerful tools when it comes to increasing real estate leads. As the ultimate micro-influencers, employees can boost a company’s reputation through authoritative content production and exceptional customer service.
Real estate professionals are customer-facing by nature, and thus perfectly positioned to build strong relationships with prospects and nurture them into future loyal customers.
Through employee advocacy, real estate organizations and agents together can compound the strength of those existing relationships, solidifying the message being conveyed. With this also comes a stronger sense of brand identity felt by the public, and consequently, greater brand reach.
3. Share Valuable Content
Content curation is a crucial ingredient in real estate lead generation success. Your future customers want to know that they can rely on you to deliver an exceptional experience throughout the house buying or selling process, and the easiest way to build that level of trust is through your depth of knowledge in real estate.
Today, 70% of customers say they’d prefer to get to know companies through online content instead of paid advertisements. An employee advocacy strategy helps to do just that by generating fresh and engaging information for team members to share externally, while simultaneously improving engagement internally by growing the team’s collective knowledge base.
Ask employees to keep track of the conversations they’re having with prospects who fit their ICP, using that as a guide for future blog posts, videos and even infographics that help to answer pressing questions. Remember to track interactions and content engagement to determine which articles deliver the most value and duplicate success wherever possible.
4. Demonstrate Transparency with Video
Video is perhaps the easiest way to give customers an insight into the heart of your business. While visual content can be effective for any industry, it’s particularly important in the real estate market, where 83% of home buyers want to see properties online before making a purchase.
Although having plenty of pictures on your property listings and posting infographics to social media can have a fantastic impact on your brand engagement levels, many experts believe that video is the next step in generating incredible results for brokers and real estate agents today. In fact, three-quarters of all businesses see a higher ROI with video marketing than any other tactic.
There are plenty of great ways to use video marketing in your real estate lead generation. However, if you want to convince your customers that they can trust you, a good place to start could be with video testimonials and reviews. Showing off your happy customers instantly boosts your levels of social proof, increasing the confidence prospects feel in working with you.
5. Make Sure Your Conversion Path is Clear
Half a century ago, homebuyers began their search for a property with a newspaper or local listings. Now, more than half of buyers begin their search online, demonstrating the overall shift into the digital world. While social media is a great way to connect with your audience and enhance the potential of your real estate leads, you need to make sure that you’re still “leading” your prospects somewhere valuable.
Once you’ve attracted social followers to interact with your content, it’s important to make sure there’s a clear path for conversion to push prospects further down the buying funnel. There are plenty of ways to do this—from offering a guide that walks people through the steps of selling a home, to a gated checklist of moving tips to a webinar offering free home buying advice.
Mosts importantly, you’ll need to frequently update and optimize your landing page to get the best results. A/B testing can help determine which words, phrases and even colors are more likely to convert your prospects into leads.
6. Follow Up with a Nurture Campaign
Perhaps one of the main reasons brokers struggle with real estate lead generation is that they’re convinced they should be able to convert a customer with a single advertisement or conversation. However, the truth is that it can take between 5 and 12 “exposure points” before someone feels comfortable doing business with you.
Learning how to get real estate leads through social media gives you access to a platform where you can constantly follow up with potential customers, and work on developing your brand relationships. Every time your employee advocates post a blog that someone likes, or comments on, you’re making another important connection on the path to conversion.
As you continue to learn more about your audience on social media, you might even consider linking your social strategy to a drip email system that persistently reminds your audience what you can offer and how you can help them.
Unlocking the Potential of Real Estate Lead Generation
There’s no pre-set path to generating the best real estate leads for your company. However, the more you know about the potential of the digital world, the more you can discover new ways to connect with prospects.
Social media has become one of the most powerful solutions for companies that rely on the presence of a high amount of trust when attempting to convert their customers. With your employees at the helm of your social campaign, you can begin to convince your clients that you’re the real estate company they want to work with when selling or buying a new home.
How to effectively use social media for real estatePublished on August 22, 2019 Reading time 10 minutes