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5 Cost-Effective Ways to Generate Real Estate Leads Online

Learn how to use Google, Facebook and other online services to get more leads for less
By Justin Kerby Nov 21, 2019

Bringing in new leads is of the utmost importance to any real estate professional. It drives new business and brings new clients into your network. No matter how sound your retention program is, it’s likely that you’ll lose clients from time to time. That’s why it’s so important to find the most cost-effective ways to generate real estate leads for your business.

Leads that come from within your sphere are extremely valuable, but they’re unpredictable. Online leads are measurable, in both terms of cost and quantity. That’s what makes these 5 cost-effective ways to generate real estate leads online worth testing out. Once you find the channel that’s right for your business, you’ll be on your way to growing a predictable lead funnel.


1. Run a Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising Campaign

Pay-per-click advertising is more than just Google Ads. It encompasses any digital advertising campaign that charges you on a per-click basis. This includes branding campaigns on websites to promote your services, LinkedIn advertising, boosting open houses on social media, and lead generation campaigns on Facebook.

It’s important to test out and determine which of these PPC campaigns will work best for your business, and how much it costs to acquire a lead through each channel. Facebook Ads (especially with lead forms) are one of the most cost-effective ways to generate buyer leads right now, so be sure to test out a campaign.

2. Build a Digital Newsletter

If you haven’t brought your monthly newsletter online yet, now is the time. A digital newsletter will help you stay top of mind and make sure that when your potential customers are ready to start seeing homes, you’re the agent they call.

Most agents show off listings in their newsletters, but you can go a few steps further than that if you really want to turbo-charge your lead generation efforts. It’s much easier to get sign-ups for your newsletter if you use the space to offer your thoughts on the local real estate market, job market, and businesses in your community. You can even support a local business and run a monthly giveaway to entice subscribers to join (have the local business share the giveaway on social media to really grow your list).

Keep your contact information and click to email buttons plastered everywhere throughout your newsletter and encourage readers to reach out with even the smallest questions. You’ll also want to add a button to allow subscribers to forward the email to their friends (give them extra entries in your monthly giveaway for doing so). Commit to growing your list and make yourself available to your subscribers and the leads and referrals will follow.


3. Solicit and Share Online Reviews

A recent study found that over 90% of 18 to 34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and those numbers are going up for other age demographics as well. Most real estate searches begin online, and your potential customers will be looking to learn about you before they pick up the phone. You need to have a system in place by which you can solicit reviews from past clients, and share them with your potential clients.

When asking for reviews, always make it as easy as possible on your clients. Ask them to leave you a review on one website, and provide them with the direct link and instructions on how to do it. You want to make this process quick and painless. Once you start accumulating some reviews, share them with your newsletter, on your blog, and on social media. It’s important to highlight your successes and give some social proof to potential clients. It’s also free, making this one of the most cost-effective ways to bring in leads online.

You may not look at this as a lead generation strategy, but ten five-star reviews on Google and Facebook can really increase your overall call volume - it gives the person doing research on you the confidence to reach out. It is often the difference between a buyer or seller picking up the phone and moving on to another search.


4. Develop and Execute a Social Media Strategy

Strategies for social media success in the real estate industry have varied greatly over the years, but specific to lead generation there are a few platforms you should focus on. Start with developing a presence on Facebook and make your way over to Instagram once you’ve established yourself. The reason Facebook should be your starting point is because of the powerful advertising capabilities it offers. Targeting potential buyers and sellers in your community takes no time at all on the platform.

To make social media work as a cost-effective lead generation strategy for your business, start by creating content that interests your audience. Cover the happenings and events in your community, recommend local businesses, share photos of you out and about at local hot-spots, and yes - post your listings and open houses. Boost this content strategically and give your followers the opportunity to connect with you by adding a Messenger button to your page and boosted posts.

5. Start a Blog and Show Off Your Expertise

Your blog should be used to present yourself as the local expert to your community, but over time it does much more than that. It can become your most cost-effective source of leads if you commit to writing in-depth blogs about your community and focus on what we call a long-tail keyword strategy.

Search for questions that potential buyers may have in your community and look for topics that aren’t yet well covered by any articles on the first page of Google. Write about those topics on your blog and share them on social media and in your newsletter. Over time, you’ll start to rank higher on search engines and start to receive more traffic to your website. For this reason, always include a contact button at the beginning, end, or in the sidebar of your blog posts to make sure it’s easy for new visitors to get in touch with you.

These five cost-effective ways to generate real estate leads online should make up the main portion of your digital marketing strategy. Get in the habit of laying out your social media, blog, and newsletter strategy at the beginning of the month, solicit reviews from clients at the end of every quarter, and try your hand at PPC advertising to get a feel for the associated costs. If you can schedule in some time for your online marketing, you’ll be on your way to generating more cost-effective buyer and seller leads for your business.

Justin Kerby
Justin Kerby is the founder of Something Great, a digital marketing agency that specializes in real estate branding and content creation. They help companies create social media strategies, newsletters, blog content plans, and advertising campaigns.
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