Generating Buyer Leads
Generating buyer leads as a real estate agent can be one of the most critical aspects to the overall success of your real estate business. Real estate agents need to understand and acknowledge, that you are in fact, in the lead generation business. A successful real estate agent is one who is continually building and managing their contact database and always trying to implement new strategies to maximize their success, while minimizing time and effort. Many agents who are successful lead generators suggest at least 3 hours a day dedicated to purposeful lead generation. However, what many successful real estate agents understand, that it is not necessarily how much time you devote to generating leads, but how efficient and effective you are at generating those leads in the least amount of time possible.
While going around your neighborhood and shaking hands and passing out your business card is still an important aspect of generating leads as a real estate agent, even the most ardent of traditional real estate agents can’t deny the power social media is having on this industry. Many would even argue that it’s transforming the very nature of how real estate agents create dialogue with potential clients. Because social media networks allow real estate agents the opportunity to connect with a nearly unlimited amount of potential clients, the real key is to understand how to use these valuable social platforms to routinely generate real estate leads for your business. And one of the best social media platforms for this type of lead generation is the often maligned, and very misunderstood social networking site known as Twitter.
The Rise of Twitter
While Twitter has often gotten a bad rap from business marketers, it actually has serious potential that very few businesses are currently utilizing. Contrary to popular belief, Twitter can actually be a very valuable marketing platform for real estate agents, and a great way for agents to generate solid leads. If you don’t currently have a Twitter account, or it’s not really paying off for you the way you might have hoped, here are several proven Twitter marketing strategies that real estate agents all over the country are using to jumpstart their Twitter campaigns and generate successful real estate leads for their business.
Twitter, in its most basic sense, is a social networking and microblogging platform that allows users to send and receive short messages containing no more than 140 characters. What started off as a simple platform to answer the question, “What are you doing?”, has transformed into a vibrant community of over 600 million users all engaging in constant conversation with one another. With an average of 60 million tweets per day, Twitter can be a great way for real estate agents to market themselves, promote their business, interact with potential clients, and learn from their peers.
Why you Should be on Twitter
As a real estate agent, Twitter can be an excellent platform for you to generate leads for your business, as well as create a dialogue with hundreds of potential clients down the road. Twitter can be a great marketing tool because it’s simple, easy to use and set up, and best of all, it’s free. Twitter offers you a unique opportunity to promote your business, build up your clientele, and communicate with tons of prospective clients.
Twitter also works to help direct traffic back to your website, or to properties that you may be listing. The more often you tweet, the more you will get your name out there and let people see what you’re all about. Twitter’s dynamic search features can prove invaluable for a real estate agent giving them the ability to target large numbers of people based on their location and interests. This type of niche/geo targeting can help real agents reach out to thousands of potential clients and hundreds of peers in the industry. Sometimes, befriending the right fellow real estate agent on Twitter can be an important part of generating leads as many agents will refer clients to other agents who they have good relationships with on social networks, like Twitter.
Another reason why you should be on Twitter is to help promote your real estate blog because Twitter has become the premier place to promote content on the internet. If you have a real estate blog or a weekly newsletter and want more subscriptions, Twitter is one of the best sites on the web for promoting content. Here you can tweet an article that may be relevant to potential homebuyers in your area, and with people favoriting and retweeting your content, it can be seen by a wide range of people. Lastly, because major search engines act so favorably towards Twitter and have recently begun indexing every public tweet into its search engine database, sending out a high volume of quality tweets can ultimately help boost your search engine ranking.
After you have set up your Twitter account, make sure you have a good quality picture as your main profile image on your page. Generally, realtors want to use a nice quality headshot photo to show that they are professional and not afraid to be seen by the public. You want to make sure that your Twitter description is good for both you and the company you work for, and is clear, concise, and to the point. Next, design a Twitter background that is compelling and colorful, and really makes a great first impression.
Once your page is up and running, you will want to set up all your Google alerts, RSS feeds, and subscribe to other popular real estate websites for great content that you can share with your followers. Send an email blast to all the contacts in your database and let them know that you are now on Twitter and ask them to follow you. Get in the habit of including your Twitter ID on email signatures, business cards, and all your marketing and promotional material. Let people you know you have a Twitter page and you want to connect with people on there.
Lastly, a great way to get established as a top real estate agent on Twitter is to regularly set up lists of some of your fellow real estate agents in the area, or some of your favorite real estate related subjects. For instance, make a list of all the best real estate writers in the country. Here not only will you have an avenue to communicate with them, but it’s a great chance for you to show mutual respect as a peer in your field that is worth recognition. This will almost certainly get you more follows and create a dialogue with other important professionals in the real estate industry.
After your Twitter is up and running and you have established yourself as a real estate agent who is interesting, informative, and genuinely worth following, it’s time to start generating leads. Obviously, one of the best ways for a real estate agent to generate leads is for you to get more followers, retweets, mentions and favorites as you can. Be active, the top 15% of Twitter users account for 85% of all tweets, but don’t be overbearing and constantly making sales pitches. Try the 60-20-20 rule. This simple formula stands for:
- 60% Educate
- 20% Motivate
- 20% Sell
The more you educate and get people excited about the real estate industry, the more they will want to work with you to help them obtain their real estate dreams. Maybe they want to live in a nicer house but can’t find a great deal, or maybe they want to start investing in real estate but don’t know how to get started. The more you educate your followers, the more you will be seen as an expert and authority on the subject of real estate, which will make more people want to work with you.
Every day you should be tweeting about relevant and news worthy topics about the real estate industry. This will keep you locked in to everything that is currently going on in the real estate market and will help stimulate discussions with your followers. Make sure to follow all the major real estate professionals in your area, as well as all the major real estate investment companies and firms. This will help you find opportunities and create a dialogue with the right people.
Always get involved and participate in as many conversations as you can and try to offer valuable insight and advice. Getting involved in general discussions or sponsored chats will help get your name out there and people will start recognizing you as an authoritative voice on the subject. This will make you look like you have all the answers and will generate valuable leads for you for years to come. Lastly, make sure that your tweets are retweetable. This means, that you want your content to be good enough where people want to share it with their friends, family, followers, and so on. The more retweets you get, the more followers you will get, and the more traffic you will get to your website and real estate listings.
Once you have developed a solid Twitter presence with a few hundred, to a few thousand followers, and you are getting tons of favorite and retweets from your postings, you may want to consider taking your page to the next level and start advertising on Twitter. Advertising on Twitter can be a great way to generate real estate leads because it will generate tons of favorites, retweets, and followers, which will only grow your page and your business. There are three main ways to advertise on Twitter, each of them based on a different medium. These are:
- Promoted Tweets
- Promoted Trends
- Promoted Accounts
A promoted tweet is useful for real estate agents who may have a really great property they want to show the masses or have an incredibly informative article they’ve written on real estate investing that they want a lot of people to see.
By creating a promoted tweet, your content will appear at the top of search results when a user searches for the keyword you have a bid on. However, unlike paid search ads, you only have to pay when a user performs an action on your tweet, such as when you get a retweet, favorite, or replies to. And the best part is, that retweeted impressions from your engaged user community is free of charge, which is a smart and cost effective ways to amplify your campaign many times over.
The second way Twitter lets you advertise is by allowing you to purchase advertising space around a popular hashtag or theme, also known as promoted trends. Conversions from trends are rampant on Twitter these days, and by purchasing promoted trends, businesses, such as real estate agents, can align themselves with these conversions.
As soon as a business advertises on a promoted trend, they automatically get placed at the top of the search list. This not only gets you massive exposure as a real estate agent, but can be a great way to market that new house you just listed with that great pool in the backyard.
The third type of promoted ad, and probably the most straight forward, is the Twitter promoted account feature. Using this ad feature will help you to gain exposure to huge Twitter audiences by placing you in the “Who to Follow” section on the left-hand side of the users screen. Promoted accounts are intended to highlight your account to users who will most likely find it interesting. This will help you to build a larger twitter following, which will result in more leads for your real estate business down the line.
Twitter Best Practices
While Twitter can be a great marketing platform for you to promote your real estate business, it’s important to understand that you can actually hurt your business if you don’t follow these simple rules.
- Don’t Over post
- Use proper spelling and grammar
- Keep it Professional
- Never be demeaning or abusive
- Don’t be too confrontational or argumentative
Instead post things like:
- Updated house listings
- Announcing new listings
- Advertising open houses
- Informative or newsworthy article about your local market
- Your own real estate blog
By following these simple steps, you will have taken something that is ultimately a free marketing tool, and turned it into a powerful lead generator for your business for years to come.