Need More Leads? Try These Online Approaches
Since we first wrote about online lead generation in SHIFT, the internet has changed. So long Vine, hello TikTok. Goodbye Blogspot and welcome Substack. But, even if the platforms we use on the internet constantly change, the ways we generate leads online follow some best practices.
When creating online lead generation plans, you’ll need to know your audience and your specialties, and you’ll need to deliver your content consistently. When you follow this process, turning online leads into clients can be easy and effective.
Know Your Audience
Every agent has a target market, whether it’s based on area and geography, specific types of homes, or particular types of buyers. Once you identify who your audience is, you can take this knowledge and use it to generate connections with your leads online.
These are just a few things to consider:
Meet your audience where they already hang out online.
This means that if you cater to an established, family-centric area, chances are the people you want to connect with spend most of their social media time on Facebook. If you’re in an area that is bolstered by the tech industry with new companies and flagships emerging often, Twitter, Linkedin, and YouTube will likely be great options for online lead gen. If you work with mostly young, first-time homebuyers, Instagram and even TikTok could become your base for content creation.
Connect with your audience in their preferred platform.
Depending on your audience, you may find that some of your potential future leads are more willing to engage in a conversation with you on these platforms instead of through phone calls or texts. Whether you’re reaching out one-on-one through Facebook messenger or sending a direct message on Instagram, make sure that you’re directly connecting with your audience every day.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself!
Remember, even if you’re a person with specialized knowledge and you provide essential service, you’re not just a robot behind a keyboard. Coming off as a person online, rather than simply a business or tool, helps people feel more comfortable with you. Social media is social, so don’t be afraid to interact with your audience based on the information they’ve shared online. Are they posting pictures of a fluffy new puppy? Let them know you think their fur baby is adorable. These kinds of authentic interactions will help you grow beyond the biggest sphere you could imagine.
Keep in mind, you can leverage a lot of these touches through your team, so that you can keep up with contacts even as they come in droves.
Know Your Specialty
Who are you? What do people look to you for? What do you know about your market that no one else does? Answering these questions will reveal your unique value proposition — the special skills and value you bring that set you apart. When you know these things, you can create specialized content like a weekly blog, a YouTube channel, or a podcast. This content, which showcases your talent and the services you offer, helps keep you top-of-mind.
This specialty content, if it provides enough value to your audience, may organically be shared widely and publicly online, reaching parts of your market that you weren’t able to before. Like Gary Vaynerchuk writes in his book Crushing It!, “the more content you put out, the more opportunities you can create.”
Here are some online tools and what they are best used for:
Blogging is a perfect way to tell your target audience about who you are and what you know. Sharing your experience, advice, and interesting facts with a weekly, monthly, or quarterly column goes beyond simple ad campaigns. A blog on your business’s website has great staying power. Unlike social media posts, a blog post is visible for extended periods of time. Not only does this boost your search-ability in browsers like Google, but it also provides you with a unique ability to showcase your expertise to a curious audience.
Browsing blog posts (even a simple “about us” page) allows leads to get an idea of the kind of services and value you offer. Blog posts are best for the kind of audience that wants to go a bit deeper. If that sounds like the kind of people you’re trying to target, these may be right up your alley.
If you like being on camera (most agents aren’t exactly shy), consider a YouTube channel where you can educate people about yourself, as well as take on more creative direction by showcasing your favorite neighborhood spots (think restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and boutiques). You could also interview special guests that are important in your market (think local politicians, school board members, and business owners). A YouTube channel also creates opportunity for business collaboration and future ad campaigns. As Vaynerchuk says, you can become “the virtual-content mayor of the city.”
An excellent example of a real estate player that leverages YouTube is Ken Pozek. His channel provides content that showcases his expertise on the Orlando market. Whether it’s discussions about new theme parks or video tours of neighborhoods, Ken’s channel reaches far leads far beyond his Florida base (which is brilliant considering Florida consistently ranks as one of the top states for relocations).
According to statistics from 2021, 78% of Americans are familiar with podcasts. While not everyone takes time to watch videos on YouTube daily, many people pop their headphones in and listen to podcasts at some point throughout the day. While the market here is saturated, a podcast gives you the chance to provide the content that only you know about your area and audience. The format also allows you to make savvy business connection by asking colleagues or people from your network to do interviews and special segments.
Many podcasters in the real estate space have focused on providing value by giving their audience an insider’s look at investing. While others have found their audience by providing a look at how business and life are entwined. Your unique value proposition will help you figure out what angle your podcast could take if you decide to enter this arena.
Be and Stay Consistent
Like any other model you put into place in your real estate business, you’ll need to be consistent with your online lead generation for at least a year before making any major decisions about its value. After a year, you can analyze where you are at and how what ROI you have gained. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be keeping track of your momentum constantly, you should. But don’t ditch something that isn’t getting you big numbers right away. And don’t be afraid to leap into the newest platform from the jump (remember when people thought TikTok wouldn’t be a thing?).
And while social media can be more fluid than traditional marketing, you can still create plans of attack for each platform you promote yourself on. You can use the materials in MREA like the allied resource referral generating program and build them into your touch programs for contacts and leads. Download it here!
Remember, the world is quite literally at your fingertips. Once you’re ready to connect with your audience, you’ll be able to make smart social moves with these tips in mind.
Do you have a favorite platform to use or podcast that you love? Let us know on our KellerInk Facebook page! And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more of our new research and latest stories.