As a real estate investor, agent, or broker, your business lives and breathes on lead flow.
Without enough leads, you’re constantly in survival mode, wondering where your next deal is coming from, feeling like you may just need to throw in the towel and get another job.
(Nobody wants to see you do that.)
When you’re able to generate real estate leads on your own, though… the real estate business feels like home and becomes one of the best (and most profitable) decisions you may have ever made.
And if you’re just starting to build momentum in your business and can’t quite afford to hire lead generation services, this guide will help.
We’ll break down 7 different ways you can start generating your own real estate leads so you’re never left wondering where your next deal will come from.
To get things started…
Strategy #1 – Direct Mail Marketing
When you’re trying to generate your own real estate leads, it’s impossible to ignore how effective a good direct mail marketing campaign can be.
To get direct mail right, though, there’s a few things that need to be in place.
First, you have to start with a good list of leads.
In order to make direct mail effective, you want to narrow your list down to one specific group.
That could be vacant properties, preforeclosures, bankruptcies, expired listings, you name it.
If you’ve never built your own list before, check out our guide on the best mailing lists to use.
But you want the list of leads to be as focused as possible so you can tailor your message to their biggest pain points and desires.
Which brings us to the second element that needs to be in place — your messaging.
The message you send to leads needs to be focused on the issues they’re facing. Whether that’s a pending foreclosure, long-term vacancy, whatever the case may be.
In order to convert that person into a lead or a phone call, you need to specifically let them know why they should be reaching out to you and how you can help them.
If you need help putting together your messaging, check out these proven-to-work templates.
Finally, the third element that needs to be in place is a letter or postcard that grabs attention.
One of the worst things that can happen when you’re sending a piece of direct mail is having your prospects toss your mail in the trash because it didn’t grab their attention.
To prevent that from happening, you can use templates like these to guarantee your message stands out.
Then, once you have those three elements dialed in, maintain consistency in your approach so you’ll have a consistent flow of new leads coming into your business.
Strategy #2 – Social Media Marketing
Savvy investors have realized how powerful social media marketing can be, when used the right way.
By using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others, you can grow your brand, bring in new leads, and secure profitable deals.
These platforms help you reach a wider audience, build trust with the people you’re connecting with, and give you a (mostly) free marketing channel you can use to grow your business.
The key to making social media work for you, though, is understanding how it’s different from other types of marketing channels, like direct mail.
Social media tends to be less focused on generating immediate responses and results.
Instead, it operates more like a social gathering where your engagement and relationship building take center stage.
That means social media takes significantly more effort than other channels but that effort tends to pay off in the form of referrals and word-of-mouth.
Since it tends to be more non-direct, unless you’re paying for advertising, you’ll want to focus more on content creation, consistency, and the long game.
When you’re planning out your approach to social media, there’s a few things you want to make sure you put in place.
The first is maintaining a balance between your personal content and your business content. You also want to make sure you’re spending time engaging with other people — remember, it’s “social” media.
You’ll want to get involved in groups focused on the local areas that you want to invest in, making sure that you’re maintaining a consistent daily schedule and using different content formats.
If you want to dive deeper into your strategy, check out our guide on social media for real estate investors.
Strategy #3 – Driving For Dollars
Another great way to generate your own real estate leads is what’s known as “driving for dollars”.
It’s one of THE best ways for investors, flippers, wholesalers, you name it, to get out into the community and track down new deals that aren’t already being hammered by other investors.
The keys to making this strategy work, though, are knowing what you’re looking for.
You don’t want to just start driving around, hoping for the best.
That’s a quick way to waste your time.
Instead, you want to look for specific signs that point to a property being distressed and an owner who may be open to hearing from you about potentially buying the property.
- Lawns that haven’t been taken care of in weeks, or even months.
- Paint failing or chipping off of the home.
- Shrubs that haven’t been tended to.
- Failing roofing systems or missing shingles.
- Cracked driveways or broken windows.
When you see signs like those, chances are the owner of the property may be more motivated than others and willing to hear your message.
Write down the address and then skip trace the numbers using a tool like Propstream.
Once you’ve located the owner, reach out via phone or through direct mail to start the conversation.
You can also use door hangers to let anyone who lives at the property know that you’re potentially interested in purchasing the property from them.
The key here, though, is focusing your efforts on one neighborhood at a time so you can uncover hotspots and then double down your efforts in that area.
If you want to learn more about this strategy, check out our guide on driving for dollars.
Strategy #4 – Video Marketing
In the past, many investors and real estate professionals though video marketing was a trend.
But those days are long gone.
Video has proven to stand the test of time and — if you’re serious about growing your business — should be a key staple in your lead generation strategy.
These videos don’t have to be overly professional or studio quality, either.
Just by picking up your cell phone, hitting record, and going impromptu, you can connect with a large audience and start cultivating relationships with the people watching your videos.
You can post those videos as part of your social media marketing strategy, too, by submitting them to platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and others.
Then, as you begin building your email list, these videos can be included as part of your “drip” campaign, helping your audience get to know, like, and trust you.
When they’re ready to move forward, you’ll be the first person they think about because you’ve given them an opportunity to connect with you on a deeper level.
To start taking advantage of this strategy, don’t overthink it.
When a thought comes to mind for a potential video, pick up the phone and hit record.
Then, as soon as you’re done recording, upload it to your favorite platforms.
Over time, your videos will get better and better but the key here is to just get started.
To make the process even easier, keep a notepad with you as you’re on the go.
Since ideas will start pouring in when you’re not actively thinking about them, write down potential video ideas then, when you have time to record, start knocking out the list you’ve created.
Strategy #5 – Cold Calling
Now, this is one of those strategies that people either love or hate.
When I ask people if they’re picking up the phone, smiling, dialing, and making cold calls, most of the time people will push back and tell me how they don’t like that strategy.
But for the people who will happily pick up the phone and call their leads?
More deals are waiting for them on the other end of the line.
They know how effective a good cold calling strategy can be and, for many of them, cold calling is one of the few strategies they’ll consistently use — just because it’s been proven to generate leads.
So if you’re one of those people? The ones who will actually pick up the phone and call people?
To make this strategy work, though, you don’t just want to start randomly calling people asking if they’re interested in selling their home.
That’s a recipe for generating zero results and souring you on the cold calling strategy, as a whole.
Instead, what you want to do is use a script that has already been proven to get results and turn those calls into solid conversations.
You also want to set realistic goals for your cold calling campaigns.
Expecting each person you call to immediately sign a contract is another way to set yourself up for long-term failure.
To help you set those goals and to understand what a good script looks like, check out our guide on real estate cold calling.
Strategy #6 – Forming Partnerships
Strategic partnerships can be the long-term lifeblood of your business and can keep you from having to hustle and grind to generate your own loads.
This is far from a short-term approach but, when done properly, can make sure your business sticks around for decades — instead of just years.
When you’re looking to form partnerships, you want to look for businesses that aren’t in direct competition with you (or you with them) that you share audiences with.
For instance, forming partnerships with realtors is a great way to get the first line on a new prospect who may be thinking about selling but wants out of their property without renovating it.
Or they can send you homeowners who want to sell their properties as-is.
Likewise, if you’re fixing and flipping, you can list your properties with the realtor so they’re able to help get them sold for top dollar.
Strategy #7 – Nurturing Relationships & Networking
Just like the strategic partnerships you develop, another way to generate leads is by building and nurturing relationships in your local community — and consistently networking.
Many investors like to stay in their office and attempt to grow their business.
Savvy investors, though, know that the money is made outside of those 4 walls.
They’re in the community talking to people, shaking hands, letting people know what they do, who they can help, and how they can help.
To give you an example, just talking to your postman (or woman) is a great way to get a fresh line on distressed properties that you may be able to buy.
Instead of driving for dollars, you can nurture the relationship you have with the postal worker to let you know where those properties may be.
If you can make these relationships mutually beneficial, all the better.
But get creative with your time, talk to more people, let them know what you do, and you’ll start seeing referrals come into your business.
How To Convert More Real Estate Leads
Now, it’s worth noting that learning how to generate your own real estate leads isn’t enough.
You also need those leads to convert — while not wasting a ton of your time with tire kickers.
This is one of the biggest problems many new investors run into as they’re starting to learn how to generate leads and learning that not all leads are created equally.
Which is where a combination of direct mail marketing and a call answering service come in.
Direct mail marketing has been proven over, and over again to be one of the highest-converting forms of marketing you can do for your real estate business.
It generates a lot of responses — which takes up a ton of time on your part.
When those leads come in, you have to sift through them to figure out who is worth pursuing, who should be put into a followup campaign, and who was only there to waste your time.
Call answering services, like Call Porter, help save you from dealing with that frustration.
As the leads and calls start coming in, Call Porter can answer your incoming calls, pre-vet and pre-qualify those calls, and then stack the appointments directly onto your calendar.
Then, you can plug the rest into a followup nurture campaign so they’re reaching back out to you when they’re ready to actually move forward.
The end result from this combination is you get to spend more time moving your business forward, living your life, and spend less time dealing with tire kickers and time wasters.
These two services together will give you more time to get deals to the finish line so your business thrives, instead of spending your days figuring out where your next real estate lead is coming from.