Real Estate Lead Generation in the Age of Social Media
Lead generation is critical when it comes to a real estate agent’s marketing efforts. If leads aren’t coming in then you will eventually go out of business.
In the past a real estate agent could depend upon tools like direct marketing mailers and response hotlines. Now social media and all it’s promises of great lead generation have come along and seduced a lot of agents without delivering any verifiable goods.
Don’t get me wrong…I like social media and think that it can be a great networking tool. But there are some key things you need to think about.
First off you need to stop saying things like “I need a Twitter account” or “Oh man, Pinterest is blowing up…I need to jump on their and get started using it for homes and stuff.”
That’s jumping the gun and putting the horse before the cart.
Instead you need to think more strategically.
Understand your prospects
Good lead generation always starts with knowing your target prospect inside and out. This means good research about this audience. Go door to door, call them on the phone, talk to them at the local groceries or park. Get to know them. A good social media lead-generation strategy is always established on good customer research.
Understand the local economy
How has the recession impacted your market? Is unemployment high? Foreclosures high? When it comes to social media you need to be sure you are talking to your audience with a sensitivity that respects the local economy. If you sound like you are out of touch then you’ll ruin your reputation.
Capture and maintain leads
Once you’ve understood your market and the economy, your social media lead generation strategy needs to look at how you intend to capture and maintain data on your leads. CRM programs like Batchbook can help you manage social media leads.
Give good customer service
You need to think about how you treat customers is going to impact your social media efforts. Reviews on your services could show up in places like Yelp. People are always looking online for opinions. What they read will definitely impact what they think of you. You have to make sure you are giving great customer service. Bad feedback can easily hurt your efforts.
The worse possible thing you could do is jump onto every new, shiny social media platform that comes online. Instead you need to think about what you are trying to accomplish, who your ideal customer is and where he or she will likely spend time online. Facebook has proven to be very effective lead gen social media for real estate agents, with Twitter a distant second. Blogging has also proven to be effective in generating leads. Pinterest has potential in that you could build boards of house or interior designs ideas people could follow. YouTube might be helpful, too.
The goal with your social media lead generation campaign is not to waste your time. And that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t approach social media thoughtfully.
So tell me: have you had any success using social media to generate leads?
Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.
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Great blog post! Social media is a huge opportunity for real estate professionals but you’re exactly right that they shouldn’t jump on the trend just because everyone else seems to.
Social media is one marketing tool of many marketing tools. It’s not going to eliminate the hard work of promotion. The key is to build relationships and listen to what your network is telling you. (That’s true for social media AND for offline networking as well!)