Want to attract more real estate leads but don't want to spend a fortune? Check out these 5 effective (and free) ways to generate real estate leads.
While paying for advertising, (both physical and digital) is an effective way of getting more traffic and leads your way, it can also be expensive.
But making your business known in your community doesn’t always need to be pricey. If you’re willing to adjust your schedule a bit, you might get more leads organically, while also improving your image as the local expert.
Let's take a look at 5 unconventional (and free) ways to get real estate leads in your community.
Set up office hours at your local coffee shop (coffee house consultant)
As a real estate agent, one of your main responsibilities includes spending countless hours doing menial paperwork tasks in the confines of your office or home.
In order to get through all that tedium, you probably also guzzle countless amounts of coffee, tea or other caffeinated beverages.
In fact, I’m willing to bet that as you’re reading this, you’re either drinking your morning coffee or wish you were at your favorite coffee shop right now.
Now, let me ask you something. Whenever you visit your favorite coffee house, how many people go in and out each hour? 30? 50? 100?
If you know you’re going to spend hours and hours doing menial paperwork on your laptop, why not spend an hour or two each week working from your favorite coffee shop?
By doing so, you’ll have the opportunity to not only get that work done but also generate awareness for your real estate business and generate more real estate leads.
To make that happen, you can follow the next few steps.
- Pick a day and time - Take a look at your schedule, and pick a day and time on which you can spend a couple of hours on a coffee house of your choice. Pick a time that not only fits your busy schedule but that is also convenient for your demographic and/or area that you’re serving. And if it’s a time in which the coffee house has a good amount of traffic, even better.
- Let everyone know - Once you’ve decided what your “coffee shop office hours” will be, let everyone in your sphere of influence know. Advertise on your social media and community pages that you’ll be offering free real estate advice in your favorite coffee shop at that time. Finally, update your social media status to indicate that you’re now in your coffee house office, ready to offer free real estate advice to anyone that comes to you.
- Boost your post - Facebook gives you the ability to boost any one of your posts so that it reaches hundreds (or even thousands) of people in any targeted area and demographics that you pick for just a few bucks.
- Make yourself stand out - When you arrive at your coffee house, sit in a place where you’d be easy to spot. Place a small stack of your business cards on the table, and if you have clothing branded with your real estate logo, make sure you wear it as well. You can also go to your local print shop and have them print you a laptop sleeve/sticker that advertises your real estate services. It could say something like “ask me anything about real estate.” That way you'll invite anyone around you in the coffee shop to approach you for real estate advice.
Of course, you may not see a huge number of people approaching you right away for real estate advice. But even if it takes you weeks to start getting your first real estate leads, it costs you next to nothing, and it doesn’t interfere with your everyday activities.
And when you do meet someone, there’s a good chance that they’re ready to be converted into a client.
Interview local businesses you frequent
Although real estate technology continues to improve, the old cliche remains true: “real estate is local.” That’s why it’s essential to become the well-known hyperlocal real estate expert people in your area can trust.
A great way to do so is by establishing and nurturing relationships with local businesses.
Make a list of local businesses you frequent or would like to support, and speak with their owners. Tell them that you would be interested in writing an article or creating a video about the business, and you plan on publishing it on your blog and social media pages.
You can turn that article into a review of the business, or make it an interview. If the owner(s) are interested in an interview, ask them questions such as how long they’ve been in the community, what it’s like to serve the community, why they decided to open the business, etc.
If the owners don’t have a lot of time, you could record the interview and transcribe it later into a text post.
Then, share your article with your sphere of influence. Take lots of pictures, and include a link to the business’ website as well.
Make sure you follow the business and owner on your social media accounts. That way they will know when your article is published, and they’ll get a chance to see your new articles and real estate blog posts as well.
By providing value to these local business owners, and continuing to support these businesses, you’ll prove yourself a pillar of your community, and you’ll encourage them to use your services or refer your services to their sphere of influence.
Join community groups around your hobbies
Do you have a hobby you like to do outside of your busy real estate life? Why not find a community group in your area, both online (ex. Facebook) and offline, around that hobby and join it? Not only will these communities help you further develop that interest, but you’ll have the opportunity to gain new friendships and new real estate leads.
These groups will let you build real relationships with people in your community over shared hobbies and interests, and grow your sphere of influence. When you join these groups, make sure you set aside the real estate “salesmanship” and just connect with people in a real way.
The primary reason why you should join these groups should be because you’re truly interested in the hobby. Any benefit towards your real estate business should come naturally as you make new acquaintances, and share more information about your day job as a real estate agent.
Give back by supporting local charities
Unless you deal exclusively with international clients, you rely on the support of your community to keep your real estate business going. That realization alone has motivated lots of real estate agents to give back to their community as a way to show their appreciation.
A great way of doing so is by supporting local charities. When you support a local charity, you gain the satisfaction of strengthening your community and helping someone less fortunate than yourself.
And when the community comes to know your charitable side, they come to see you as an individual, rather than just some robotic real estate agent that only cares about profits.
To find the right charity(-ies) to support:
- Find what you’re passionate about - Look for charities that support causes that you ACTUALLY care about, not those that you think people want you to care about. Start building relationships with the members of the charity, and find unique ways to support them.
- Find ways to give back in your day-to-day life - Whether it’s volunteering your time, helping with donations, participating and supporting their events, or using your contacts to find great deals for their activities, think of creative ways in which you can support your charity of choice.
- Share your experiences - Whether it is by blogging about it, posting updates on social media, or recording videos of the events, by spreading the word, you’ll help the charity to gain visibility in your community.
Of course, just because you’re supporting a local charity, it doesn’t mean that you need to dedicate the majority of your time to it. Keep it simple and don’t take in more responsibilities on it than you can handle. Even small contributions every couple of months is still great.
Your involvement with charitable work will help grow your sphere of influence, and it may lead to more real estate leads too.
Provide free real estate advice to your community
Most real estate agents love talking about how they are unique and different from other real estate agents in their area. Either because they have more experience, local expertise, or a high volume of sales.
Of course, anyone can make these claims, but not everyone is willing to prove it.
So if you’re willing to prove your expertise, you can take some time to provide free real estate advice.
And there are countless ways in which you could do so. It could be from your YouTube Channel, a live conference, a Facebook broadcast, a radio show, a podcast, etc.
If you don’t know what topic to cover, pay attention to the kind of questions you get from your clients. If one of them has a question, there’s a good chance that lots of people have the same question in your community.
You can also try connecting with local experts (such as mortgage brokers), and team up to produce valuable content that can help expand both of your spheres of influence.
And if you already have a strong social media presence, you could try answering questions in real-time.
Finally, your blog could be an excellent way of proving your real estate expertise. Write valuable real estate articles and local guides that would benefit your community, and boost them on your social media pages.
One of the main goals of a real estate agent it to become an integral part of the community. By putting an extra amount of effort to become a well recognized as a charitable and giving member of the community, you’ll make it much easier for the community to recognize you as the go-to real estate expert.
And if you schedule your time correctly, you’ll be able to accomplish all of these things without going out of your way too much, or dedicating an excessive amount of time.
However, if these 5 suggestions aren't enough, we have a massive list of 150 real estate marketing ideas you can try out as well.
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