For many professionals in the real estate industry, cold calling is considered a necessary but dreaded activity to keep a healthy pipeline of potential prospects. While cold calling as a realtor to get new real estate listings often work, there are other marketing methods you can implement to get leads.
Tips for realtors to get listings without cold calling include requiring marketing to targeted audiences, implementing an online lead generation strategy, using referral marketing, and networking.
There are a lot strategies that you can use as a realtor that can generate higher quality leads than cold calling. Rather than knocking door to door and cold calling strangers over the phone, take the time to attract highly qualified leads to you and your business. Read on for eight tips to get more listings and expand your real estate business without cold calling.
Search Zillow FSBO Listings
FSBO stands for “For Sale By Owner,” as some people want to sell their homes themselves instead of retaining a real estate agent’s services. Many of these FSBO listings can sit on the market for months. According to Zillow, approximately 36% of sellers attempt to sell their homes without using an agent, but only 11% of these sellers become actually successful.
Tackling these “For Sale By Owner” listings on the real estate market is a fantastic way to find leads without cold calling. Considering that close to 90% of all FSBO listed homes on Zillow do not manage to sell their homes, you can target these sellers—especially the FSBO listings that have been on the market for a while. You do not need to call them but rather send them targeted direct mailers until the home is sold.
Consider the marketing “Rule of 7“, where it can take a prospect approximately an average of seven times before they take action to convert to the service or buy a product. With a postcard direct mailing campaign, you can target these FSBO listings and highlight the pros of working with you as an agent.
According to the National Real Estate Association of REALTORS®, the most difficult tasks for FSBO home sellers were getting the right price, selling within a planned period of time, having enough time to focus on making a sale, and understanding all the paperwork. Highlighting your expertise and experience in real estate can encourage FSBO sellers to make the switch to retain you as an agent.
You can highlight that FSBO homes sold for about $200,000 compared to $280,000 for homes with agents assisting with the sale, according to the report.
These FSBO listings are leaving money on the table, as working with an experienced agent can garner more money for these homes. Leverage these pieces of information and real estate statistics to make your case when pitching to an FSBO listing.
Execute Direct Mailing Campaigns
Mail is looked at for a few seconds and tossed to the trash without being read if it is an unsolicited sales pitch. Catch the recipient’s eye by sending an oversized postcard with bright visuals and imagery.
Customize the mailers to the property by merging addresses and names rather than sending a generic and not personalized mailer for the intended recipient. Try both a postcard and a letter as people tend to prefer images or professional letters. Your goal is to quickly capture their attention by providing a brief description of you, your business, and your contact details.
Seasonal trends tend to dictate the real estate market as people sell more houses during the months of spring to fall rather than winter.
Send the mailers at the best time to your advantage, as your targeted audience will be more receptive to your mailers. This means sending offers directly during the spring through fall and tying in the later seasonal holidays by reminding your audience that you are a friendly real estate agent in the area.
Choosing the best amount of frequency depends on experimentation and exploring the impact of your direct mail campaigns, but usually send once a month because you do not want to annoy your targeted demographic.
Implement a Lead Generation Strategy
It is essential to implement a lead generation strategy. Approximately more than 75% of consumers say that they prefer knowing a company by their articles rather than advertisements. Small businesses with a blog get more than 125% growth in leads compared to other small businesses that do not have a blog. These stats make it clear that blogging sets businesses apart from the rest of the competition.
Creating a real estate blog and posting articles consistently is a fantastic tool for conversion. Use your blog to provide valuable information to your web visitors and prospects, rather than promoting your business. Your skills and credibility as a realtor will be established as your audience begins to trust your advice and recommendations on your real estate blog.
Search Engine Optimization
Almost everyone in real estate is competing over ranking on common keywords on internet search engines such as “houses for sale” or “homes for sale.” Rather than including yourself in the competition, choose niche keyword phrases for your area instead.
For instance, consider targeting keyword phrases such as “buy budget houses in Pennsylvania” or “homes for sale in Wisconsin.” These niche keywords will make it easier for your content to rank higher, which will eventually lead to conversions from qualified leads.
Social media plays an important factor in promoting the success of your blog. Post about the latest articles or blog posts you write to your social media accounts. Social media is a great tool as you can expand your reach by tapping into relevant hashtags available. You can also join LinkedIn Groups, and post your articles if relevant to the discussion topic, broadening your digital exposure.
Social media allows you to connect directly with anyone that comments on your social media posts, nurturing relationships online. Plus, the more engagement you get on social media, the higher your social media posts will rank over time.
Think back to the “Marketing Rule of 7”, where you need to engage a potential prospect about seven times before they convert. Social media offers the opportunity to engage your audiences more than seven times every day, which can be accomplished by sharing relevant content, engaging with people on the content they share, and launching paid social media ad campaigns.
Tapping into social media networks allows you to engage with everyone from old clients and customers that are not a part of the buying or selling process yet.
You can also post images or video walkthroughs on social media to solicit interest. These pieces of content will not only attract but ultimately engage and convert the leads on social media into customers.
Go After Niche Audiences
There are opportunities in niche audiences, such as targeting divorced couples or homeowners of newly targeted property. While it can feel sleazy to capitalize on these emotionally draining and challenging situations, these demographics still need realtors. However, it is not about capitalizing on these unfortunate situations, but rather offering valuable services that they need during these difficult times.
Working with these audiences is not easy and requires a high level of patience, empathy, diplomacy, and tact. These are for realtors who truly want to help and do not want to make a quick buck.
Divorcing couples may decide to sell their homes, may need to buy a new house, or rent an apartment that provides an opportunity for you to step in with your real estate expertise. These divorcing couples are often motivated sellers, and sometimes the court mandates that these couples sell their property.
You can target these people by setting up a Facebook social media paid advertising campaign and creating landing pages to collect their contact details. Facebook Ads let you define your target audience and location and target people who list their relationship statuses as divorced or separated.
You can also take a step further and exclude the demographic listed on Facebook as just married or engaged. This will ensure your ad will be shown to people who are divorced.
The “great wealth transfer” is the anticipated shift of assets and wealth from the generation of baby boomers to their children. Especially in the United States, approximately more than $6 trillion will be shifting over the next few decades. Beyond liquid cash, there will be people inheriting homes but will not be interested in moving into the property. It might need too many repairs or not in a desirable location.
These new homeowners who inherit this type of property usually end up selling the house, preferring to have the cash instead. These new owners can easily make rookie mistakes, such as accepting the very first offer they receive or pricing the property too high.
These inherited homes can easily become a hassle, especially if the new owners are not familiar with the local area and have no defined relationship with a local agent.
This creates an opportunity for you to step in to win the listing. First of all, you must be respectful at all times as these inherited homes are often due to the passing of a family member and can be a very emotional situation for the people involved. You should most likely wait at least three months before making the steps to contact regarding the inherited property.
Let them know that you are here to help and offer a valuable service to this often overlooked niche of homeowners. This could include getting a full home valuation appraisal, which is especially important to heirs that are not from the neighborhood. You could also offer a complete “inherited house package,” which can include arranging items to be donated to charity or hosting a community yard sale.
To approach this audience, you need to take some time to do some background research on the local cases in your desired geographic area.
Typically, local cases are listed on the county clerk’s website or courthouse records, as they are usually listed publicly. In this scenario, you are looking for inheritance cases and will be able to find the details of the former property owner. Afterward, you can find the home address using the person’s name and zip code.
Homes Behind on Property Taxes
You can research the homes of people that are behind in paying taxes on their property. These are often public records depending on the region and are usually listed on the county clerk’s website or in public courthouse records. These homes often have motivated sellers and can be targeted via direct mailers, but this tactic requires taking the time to research each specific address.
You can also target this niche real estate market by launching a search engine campaign for keywords related to selling homes and property taxes. While these paid campaigns on Google Ads can be very expensive if you target keywords such as “Selling House Fast,” you will get less competition if you target keyword phrases such as “Sell House In Seattle Fast Due To Taxes.”
Set Up at Events
Get listings by making you and your business a visible presence at trade shows and events. You can reserve a small booth and use giveaways to attract the attention of the attendees. Your goal is to collect the contact details or business cards to create a list of potential prospects to contact after the event. While many people may not be ready to sell immediately, you can nurture these leads and be available when they are ready.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trade shows and other large scale events are on indefinite hold. However, you can still participate in virtual trade shows in real estate. There are interactive virtual networking events online that are available locally and nationwide that you can meet through video calls.
In-Person Networking & Re-Engaging Old Clients
In-person networking goes further than attending events. You can get involved with local organizations and be active within the community. Forming relationships in the community will help you get you and your business to gain more visibility.
Beyond in-person networking, you should also network and re-engage old prospects that did not work out. It could be that plans stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic or simply because they were not ready to take the first step in the buying or selling process. It can be easy to forget about these people, but you should set a reminder to follow up every three months to half a year to check in with them.
Take a step further and check in with old clients to see how they are doing since the last time you worked with them or spoke. While they might not be in the market, you can always ask them to refer you to anyone they might know.
Ask for Referrals
Considering that the National Association of REALTORS reports that about 39% of sellers who used an agent found their real estate agent through a referral from a family member or friend, and about 27% used an agent they previously worked with before buying or selling a property. With these statistics in mind, referrals are a great way for realtors to get business.
You can ask for referrals in your sphere of influence or even old clients. You should also ask clients if they would be willing to leave reviews or be quoted as a testimonial on your agent website.
About 72% of consumers say that positive testimonials help them trust in the business more, and 88% of consumers say that they trust reviews online equally as much as recommendations from personal sources.
Listing these testimonials on your agent website to endorse your expertise and your real estate business makes a big difference for many prospects. Rather than cold calling for listings, people will be reaching out to you for your service.
Partner With Local Businesses
You can work out co-marketing deals with local businesses such as lawyers, moving companies, or accountants. Ask to leave marketing material in their offices, and offer to list their contact details and services on your agent website.
Nurture the relationship and provide exceptional service to them, so these businesses trust that you will take care of their clients as well. You can also offer the businesses a fee for any referrals.
Cold calling might be considered a necessary activity for many real estate agents. Most realtors would rather avoid this aspect of the job as getting rejected over the phone numerous times is an exhausting experience, but there are many other methods you can use other than cold calling to get listings.
Some of these methods include using content marketing, asking for referrals, or targeting specific audiences with direct mailers. You can also use these methods to supplement and diversify your current marketing strategies, as you should always give new techniques a try! You never know where your next lead will come through.