Working in multiple capacities in real estate and now for a company that specializes in generating home seller leads (over 1 million in the past 13+ years). I’ve learned one very important lesson; If you want long-term success, you have to have your lead generation systems down to a science. Sounds daunting, but it can be done!
The first thing to consider is what you have more of - time or money. You can use both very effectively to generate leads. Most people start out with more time, and as they become successful begin trading time for money.
1. Networking - This is the best way to generate leads and where newbie Investors/REALTORS should start. Why? Because you aren't competing with dozens of other wholesalers/agents/etc.. Meet with every CPA, title company, loan officer, insurance company, moving companies, etc., in your town. Help them understand why you will offer solutions and service their clients better than any other real estate professional out there.
2. Craigslist Posting - This is a fairly low value activity because it's so cluttered now, but if you have an angle that makes you different, it can be useful. Title your posts with what a home buyer might be looking for "(city name) homes for sale." Craigslist posts can show up high in Google search results with targeted keywords.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Don't spend a ton of time on this, but make sure all of your online profiles (Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Activerain, Yellow Pages, Yelp, etc.) link back to your web site and that it's properly structured.
4. Start a Blog - Consistently write (every few days) about real estate in your local market area, what's going on, trends, etc. Most of this data is free from NAR and your state real estate association. Over time you'll become the local market real estate "Expert", and gain a lot of credibility with your target market (and all those professionals you are networking with).
5. Social Media - Post your blog entries to Twitter/Facebook/Etc. Post listings or sold property pictures on Pinterest & Instagram. Be sure you have a company social media profile on all the networks. Provide valuable content that home buyers/sellers are interested in.
6. Local Involvement - Get involved with community groups, Chamber of Commerce's, church, school, etc. Most of us know hundreds of people, they should ALL know you are a real estate professional. Wear logoed shirts all the time, have a sign on your car, tell a story about a crazy seller, etc. WARNING; Do NOT call people you don't talk to often and pitch them - this turns people off and will put you in the "multi-level marketing friend" category.
1. Pay Per Click Advertising (Google, Yahoo, Bing) - This is the fastest way to generate leads, but requires expertise, a very well designed landing page, and the ability to respond immediately.
2. Direct Mail - VERY effective for generating leads, but requires consistency and commitment. Being highly targeted is critical to getting a good response.
3. Zillow/Trulia Advertising - If you're looking for sellers, you can get a list from Zillow of who has posted their house FSBO on the site, then call and tell them why working with you is a better option.
4. Buy Leads - A LOT of companies sell leads to real estate pros. This is only a good option if you have your processes dialed in, and follow up with people within seconds. I don’t recommend this option for new agents/investors.
Congratulations on taking the next step in your real estate career - to your success!
You might add the "shoe leather" avenues:
- going to the county superior court and collecting:
- evictions, get the landlord contact (plaintif)
- delinquent real estate taxes
Door knocking FSBO signs, calling FSBOs in craigslist, using peoplesmart.com searches on owners of tall grass houses...