Just like with buyer leads, generating and converting seller leads is all about relationship building. The internet and digital media have drastically altered the way we interact with prospects, but the need to build relationships is as important to real estate as it ever was—it’s only the way we build relationships that’s changed.
The best way to build relationships with seller leads is to increase your visibility, provide a strong value prop, and stay in consistent communication. We compiled a step-by-step process of proven strategies our top clients use to attract and build relationships with seller leads.
Generating Strong Seller Leads
Network with other local businesses to form mutually beneficial partnerships. Co-host happy hours, send gifts to clients or leads, and form local alliances that will help you go far. Here are a few industries with which it can be helpful for real estate agents to form partnerships:
- Insurance companies – Homeowners insurance is a must, but some homebuyers are also looking to turn their new property into rentals, flip homes, or businesses. Having the right insurance is key.
- Personal bankers – A home is the largest financial investment many of us will ever make. Having a personal banker to run numbers by can be a huge help for buyers.
- Commercial lenders – Loan officers are an integral part of the home buying process, but most buyers don’t have one in their back pocket.
- Bakeries – Whether you’re sending pies to former clients to keep your real estate firm top of mind or ordering treats to make your open house extra sweet, connecting with a bakery is never a bad idea for a real estate agent — or anyone, for that matter.
- Landscapers – Landscaping is often the first impression potential buyers have of a home. Encourage your sellers to have their homes professionally landscaped to set them apart from the crowd.
- Cleaning services – No buyer wants to enter a home that looks a little grimy around the edges. Partner with cleaning services to offer discounted house cleanings to your clients.
- Staging experts – Very few of us have HGTV-worthy show homes, but an aspirational home is a home that sells. Build partnerships with local stagers to get your clients’ houses under contract faster.
- Title companies – A less glamorous but no less important partnership is the one you’ll have with local title companies. Have a few go-to companies to recommend to your clients.
Throw a housewarming party
Did a well-connected client just move into their new home? Offer to cater their housewarming party — and make sure to stop by to mingle. It’s the perfect place to meet prospects in similar life stages who are awestruck by the home you’ve helped their friends buy.
Did they invite the new neighbors? Now’s the time to ask if they’ve considered selling. Neighborhood sales usually generate fresh homeowner interest, and a housewarming party can turn cold leads to hot.
To make this more attractive to your new homeowner, offer to cater an open bar, pay for the appetizers, or deck the place out with gorgeous flowers.
Become a restaurant regular
Meeting clients at a restaurant or local coffee shop to discuss terms? Always schedule these meetings at the same restaurant.
You’ll build clout with the wait staff, gain access to the best tables, and appear popular and plugged into your community. You might even get to know the other regulars — making you the perfect person for them to contact when they’re ready to buy.
Send a handwritten note
Pick up a pen, paper, and an actual stamp, and send a note to past or present clients. Thank them for choosing you as their realtor, and remind them you’re available to answer questions, suggest a reliable moving company, or send important documents for tax season.
A handwritten note goes a long way to express your appreciation. And it keeps you from becoming yet another unread subject line in your clients’ inbox. Feeling confident? Pick up the phone a few days later and ask for a referral.
Invest in paid advertising. As much as we hate websites like Zillow, they offer advertising options for realtors — a smart move since 44% of buyers look for houses online before reaching out to a realtor. If you can’t beat them, you’ve got to join them.
Here are a few effective ways to market yourself as a real estate agent:
- Post billboards
- Run Facebook ads
- Run LinkedIn ads
- Answer real estate questions on Quora
- Canvas neighborhood mailboxes with your card
- Run Google ads
- Advertise in the local newspaper
- Blog for local or national real estate websites
Brand Yourself Effectively for Seller Leads
Your goal is to build a solid and meaningful presence in your target neighborhood. Your strategy is based on building relationships and positioning yourself as a source of knowledge, which takes time, investment, and most importantly, consistency.
Keep your marketing consistent with your value proposition. Building a strong reputation takes repeated positive interaction through your geographic marketing.
Position yourself as the neighborhood market expert. Make sure you have a solid grasp on hyper-local pricing trends, buyer demand, and can communicate these statistics effectively to your prospects. Your prospects want compelling stats on the market in their area and hyper-local “Sold stories” with happy endings.
Invest your time in relationship building. Attend neighborhood events, volunteer, and put yourself out there. The community will return the favor.
Develop a niche
Specialize in a certain neighborhood, historic homes, or helping clients find their perfect apartment? Lean into it! Find your niche and become an expert. This allows you to focus your marketing efforts on a specific group and develop a reputation as the go-to realtor for these buyers and sellers.
Here are a few common real estate niches:
- Historic homes
- Mid-century modern homes
- Luxury homes
- Student rentals
- School district
- City or town
- First-time homebuyers
- Condominiums or apartments
- Distressed properties
- Senior homes
- Vacation homes
- Commercial real estate
- Industrial real estate
- Property rights
- For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties
You don’t have to be an expert immediately. Decide which niche interests you and immerse yourself in it. If you want to develop a niche in helping seniors find their perfect retirement homes, learn what their needs are, research local senior centers, senior-friendly neighborhoods, and work with financial planners who understand the unique homebuying requirements of the seniors in your area.
Use “Coming Soon” signs
“Coming Soon” and “Sold” signs are a tried-and-true way to generate interest in your properties and expertise. “Coming Soon” signs build anticipation before a home even hits the market.
And “Sold” signs are effective at gathering leads from buyers who missed out in this property — and want you to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
Head to an open house
Not hitting up open houses to harvest new leads? You’re missing out. Many buyers, or soon-to-be buyers, drop in without having an agent. It’s the perfect time to introduce yourself and offer to help them navigate the market.
Establish a Strong Website
Your brokerage will likely give you a page on their website, but it’s important to create a stronger website with an IDX platform. This allows you to build a personal brand, showcase your specialties, and share reviews from satisfied clients. It also ensures you have a cohesive presence in the local market — even if you switch brokerages.
Don’t forget to optimize your site. Write blog posts tackling common questions or challenges clients confront during the buying process. Create and share helpful how-to videos. And capture email addresses by having a newsletter signup.
Generate leads on LinkedIn
Join LinkedIn groups you know your target audience frequents. Maybe it’s a group for local real estate investors or one for first-time homebuyers. Find the groups your buyers are spending time in and contribute to the conversation before making a professional pitch.
If you’re posting in a real-estate investment group, consider sharing a blog article about up-and-coming neighborhoods in your city. If someone in your first-time homebuyers group asks a question about interest rates, provide a knowledgeable answer in the comments.
Once you’ve built rapport, follow up with interested prospects, and offer to discuss their questions further on a call.
Organize educational events
Host educational events in your community. By teaching local consumers about buying their first home, what the market’s like now, or what to look for in a rental property, you’ll build your personal brand and drum up new business at the same time.
Not sure how to get started? Partner with local businesses to host home buying seminars over lunch. Or co-host an event with a mortgage lender to broaden your audience base and increase lead potential.
Don’t neglect leads
Did you show a prospect three properties before she realized she wasn’t ready to buy? Don’t throw her number away. Send her postcards sharing developments in the market, keep her on your email list, and leave the occasional voicemail reminder you’d love to help her find that perfect home when she’s ready.
Sales pro Jeff Hoffman offers great tips for salespeople trying to bring stalled deals back from the dead. His biggest piece of advice? Don’t repeat your close. “If the prospect gave you a soft yes — and then nothing — or a firm no, never follow up with the same close. Your next request should be different.”
So, instead of following up with your stalled buyer a few months down the line with a, “Ready to buy yet?” try asking, “Would you be interested in joining our seminar for first-time homebuyers?”
This is an easier close and will keep your prospect from feeling cornered or pressured.
Target “For Sale by Owner” listings
Only 3% of FSBO listings sell within the desired time, and a mere 18% reported receiving the right price. Find these listings on Craigslist or other real estate sites, and offer to help them get the most from their property listing.
Share a blog post, or a few bulleted stats, about why working with an agent is beneficial to the seller, and ask if they’d be interested in learning more.
Reach out to expired listings
Pull lists of expired listings from the MLS. Be sensitive to the fact these sellers are likely frustrated with their current realtor, discouraged they haven’t sold their home, and under a lot of stress.
Open the conversation by explaining you understand their frustrations, and share a few ways you’d do things differently to sell their home fast.
Leads are the lifeblood of the real-estate industry. Give these tactics a try and see how they benefit your business.
Looking for more ways to market your real estate business? Check out these stellar real estate videos or this roundup of top real estate agent websites.
Create Compelling, Seller-focused Marketing Materials
Mailings and postcards like “just listed” and “sold” cards are still an effective way to supplement your digital marketing efforts. Consistency is key in your branding and your outreach.
Mailing to too many homes, or too frequently will keep your costs high, but if you’re careful to target your outreach appropriately and create a plan around frequency (ex. one piece every 3 weeks), you should see a good ROI.
Stay in Front of Seller Leads with Marketing Automation
You’ve targeted the right type of leads with ads. You’ve sent them to register their information on your home valuation page, now it’s crucial to keep up with your contacts and nurture the relationships.
Having a system to keep your clients organized and leverages technology to follow up with seller leads makes this process simple.
Bringing Your Seller Lead Strategy All Together
A seller lead campaign that blends your online and offline marketing efforts is always the most effective. Prospects have a physical introduction to your brand (maybe even in person!) along with a tailored and convenient digital experience. Your offline efforts can be a nice complement to your online marketing. For example, include links to your home valuation page on your postcards and consistently drive traffic there.
It’s all about looking at your chosen geographic area, building your subscriber base, and continuing to create opportunities.
If you have absolutely any questions at all, or are interested in joining our network of countless realtors and brokers, then do not hesitate to contact us at (866) 808-7711 or send us an email at [email protected].
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