With the recent news of Redfin's IPO and the never ending push from Zillow to dominate the real estate online, you might think, "If you can't beat them, join them." Not so fast. There's several "low hanging fruit" options for tech savvy agent to generate leads without having to compete with the big guys.
Used to be this post was going to say, "Craigslist" and while I still believe you could use CL to generate leads, here's 3 Free Online Lead Gen Tactics Real Estate Agents Need To Get On.
1. Get Local SEO
Outside an agent's own personal website (I'm talking about just a website that gives you credibility, even the awful company provided or our Realtor provided ones will work for this) getting on the Local SEO scene is the most important thing you can do (you can read my Local SEO Guide). Going in-depth on local seo is outside of this post but go to google and set your business here.
2. Get on Nextdoor
Nextdoor started off as a sort of like the old school "forums" for HOAs and have morphed into a full blown social network. If you've ever seen those yard sale groups on Facebook then you have an idea of what nextdoor is.
What you need to do is not simply go on, but set up your realtor profile. There are advertising options as well, but in my mind it's a mandatory social network that every real estate agent should be on and one where being the community expert is going to be rewarded.
3. Get on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is becoming less spammy and more useful. Don't use it like facebook. You're not hunting for leads here. You're looking for other connections that can expand your network to receive leads. Most don't use it this way, they think it's facebook for business. Here's your quick guide to linkedin:
- Connect to Clients - get recommended from clients and connect with them. 100% of clients you wish Happy Birthday to will receive it on Linkedin.
- Connect to Vendors - this can get spammy but overall you want to connect to your mortgage person, your insurance agent, etc. You can get recommendations from them as well.
- Join LION and Open Networker - You'll get even more spam here but watch your invites go up. LION stands for Linked-IN Open Networker. Meaning you'll accept most connections and you won't mark them spam.
- Connect to Referral Generators - if you did the above you'll have a decent network, now look for a referral generator out of your sphere. A referral generator would be a "go-getter" or "schmoozer." If you're in residential, find a networking minded commercial agent. If you see LION in their name you should reach out. Remember it's not about your connections buying homes from you, it's about the people they know buying homes for you. The difference is 1 vs 150 (popular real estate coach Michael Maher refers to this "Dunbar Number" in his book the 7 Levels of Communication.)
If you do these 3 things you'll be lead generating where other agents aren't and you won't have to compete with zillow, trulia, redfin or any other company.