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Are Online Leads Really Crap? How Online Real Estate Marketing Works

Are Online Leads Really Crap? How Online Real Estate Marketing Works

“Online leads are sh*t” 

You’ve heard it before, I hear it all the time. It’s one of the most common objections we hear at Just Sell Homes with prospective clients. Is it fair?

Yes and No. Those who say it are getting MQLs and expecting SQLs. I know what you’re thinking. “The what and the what? What are you talking about with your fancy acronyms? Just because you’re ruggedly handsome it doesn’t mean you can just make up terms.” 

You said that verbatim in your head, right? 

Relax, I’m married.

The terms are popular in Business to Business (B2B – Another fancy acronym) marketing but we don’t really talk about them in real estate.

MQL = Marketing Qualified Lead

SQL = Sales Qualified Lead

These are very important to distinguish between in a successful strategy and where we see the biggest disconnect in most agents’ marketing. Establishing differences between a marketing qualified lead and a sales qualified lead.

At Just Sell Homes we generally use the term Lead and Prospect instead of MQL and SQL.

MQL = Lead

SQL = Prospect

When we talk about leads and prospects in real estate, it’s all about understanding who’s just browsing and who’s really ready to take the next step towards buying or selling a property. 

Let’s imagine this scenario; you’re in a room with 100 people. You go and grab a chair, stand up on top of it and yell “Hey everybody, I’m a Realtor, who wants to know what their home is worth?” 

Totally plausible scenario, right? We’ve all done it, right?!?

Now of those 100 people, 10 put up their hands. You’re thinking “This is great, I got 10 potential clients right here, at least half will need to buy a home around here, too. I got at least 15 deals in the pipeline potentially.” 

Except of those 10, 5 just asked out of general curiosity and have no intention of moving, 2 want to refinance for a renovation, 1 wants to challenge the new tax assessment on their home, and 2 are thinking of selling their home. You don’t know this yet of course.

So what do you do? You start trying to talk to those ten. Some thought they could get the answer without talking to you, and have already walked away. Others tell you to just give them the information and leave them alone. A few start actually engaging with you in conversation.

As you’re talking to them you realize 2 are serious about moving. 1 has said they’re hiring their neighbours sister-in-law’s best friend and another doesn’t have an agent. 

Now you’re down to 1-2 potential clients and 1-4 deals max.

When people are saying online leads are crap, they were expecting all 10 leads to be those 1-2 people, sometimes even just that one person who’s moving and doesn’t have an agent yet.

But that’s not how online marketing works.  

Let’s take a spectrum, on one end is the coldest lead imaginable, the other end are the ones who call you, tell you to send the contract and then get out of your way so you can get to work because they trust you.

Where you set your marketing up to get their contact information on that spectrum determines the quality of your leads. The further to the side of those golden high quality leads, the more content, education, time, and money you have to invest before they get to you. On the other side, the cold lead side, you push ads out, get their information, and then you let your systems filter through to find the good ones.

There’s a great deal of nurturing there.

There’s not a right or wrong way to approach this in your business. Knowing where you collect their information in the process from lead to prospect to client and setting up your systems accordingly is the difference between saying online leads are crap and building a real pipeline of business online.

An MQL/lead is just a lead on a potential SQL/prospect. You don’t yet know if they have intention of moving in the next 25 years even. Your job, in your follow up, is to identify the leads that could become prospects. Then the prospects you can turn into clients.

That’s how online marketing works.

The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Lead Magnets

The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Lead Magnets

Real Estate Lead Magnets are an incredibly useful tool. When you’re building out a marketing strategy for real estate, in the Join section of the Wheel House Marketing Framework. As in, how do you get people to join your database, you need some lead magnets.

All a real estate lead magnet is, is something of value you can give to a consumer in exchange for their contact details. It just has to overcome the pain barrier between “I want this information” and “this information seems to be valuable enough that I’m willing to have a sales person reach out to me.” 

For some that barrier is higher than others. Your lead magnet should be as much value as you can pack into something short. Most people getting a lead magnet don’t know you yet so they’re less likely to engage in something long.

That’s not a hard and fast rule, if you can pack great value into content that could be 40-50 pages or even 45-60 minutes as a video, people will consume. This only works if you sell the value of it really well and then jam pack it with value.

The great part about a lead magnet for your business is always having something to invite people to. Wherever you are meeting people, whether it’s a paid ad, an open house, or at the grocery store, you have assets you can offer anyone at any time so you can easily follow up with them.

The most common you see in real estate are the list of homes and home evaluations. Those aren’t the only ones. There’s a lot of ways you can create lead magnets of value. Here’s some of most popular options with examples:

Types of Real Estate Lead Magnets for REALTORS

Checklists

A simple printable checklist that will help them accomplish a goal. Does not need to be more than 1-3 pages. Here are some examples of checklists you could create:

  1. Moving Checklist: A detailed checklist for people who are planning to move.
  2. Home Inspection Checklist: A list of things to check in a home before buying.
  3. Home Staging Checklist: A checklist for sellers to help stage their homes for showings

Ebook

Ebooks are what most people think of when they think of lead magnets for REALTORS. A simple PDF with great information. You could go in a million directions with this one but here’s some simple ideas for you:

  1. Home Buying 101: An ebook guiding first-time homebuyers through the process.
  2. The Art of Selling Your Home: An ebook with tips and tricks on how to sell homes faster.
  3. Investing in Real Estate: An ebook about the basics of real estate investment.

Webinar

Webinars aren’t always easy to pull off well but they’re a great tool on the conversion side. Some do live webinars and others do pre-recorded that play continuously. We recommend doing them live at least until you have the process nailed and conversions from it. Then once you have it dialed in, you can start promoting recorded webinars.

Here are some webinar topics you could try:

  1. First Time Home Buyer Mistakes: A webinar discussing common mistakes and how to avoid them.
  2. How to Price Your Home: A webinar for sellers on how to price their homes competitively.
  3. Real Estate Investment Strategies: A webinar exploring different real estate investment strategies.

Mini-Course

A mini-course is often very similar to a webinar but usually multiple videos broken up into segments. 

  1. Home Buying for Beginners: A mini-course guiding potential buyers through the home buying process.
  2. Selling Your Home: A mini-course providing practical tips for home sellers.
  3. Real Estate Investment: A mini-course on the basics of investing in real estate.

Template

Give people templates to help them with either understanding something better OR to help them accomplish a specific goal.

  1. Home Evaluation Template: A template to help sellers evaluate their homes before listing.
  2. Home Offer Template: A template to help buyers understand how offers are put together.
  3. Home Inspection Template: A template to help buyers conduct a home inspection.

Toolkit

These toolkits are made up of multiple pieces of content, much of which can be templates that we just spoke about above. Real estate lead magnets are easier when you’re leveraging pieces you already have to create more.

  1. Home Seller’s Toolkit: A collection of resources for sellers including staging tips, pricing guides, and marketing materials.
  2. Home Buyer’s Toolkit: A toolkit for buyers including a list of common terms, negotiation strategies, and mortgage planning resources.
  3. Property Investor’s Toolkit: A collection of resources for property investors including market trend analyses, property evaluation tools, and investment strategy guides.

Quiz

Quizzes can take longer to build out but they’re a great way to get people to engage. You have them answering questions, they’re more engaged, and looking for a specific outcome that can help them. 

  1. Home Buying Readiness Quiz: A quiz to assess a potential buyer’s readiness and knowledge about the home buying process.
  2. Home Selling Savvy Quiz: A quiz for sellers to test their knowledge about the home selling process.
  3. Real Estate Investment IQ Quiz: A quiz to test knowledge and readiness for real estate investment.

Cheat Sheet

Think of cheat sheets on something they could print out on their wall or leave on their desktop to reference. Something that helps them as a useful reminder from time to time.

  1. Home Buying Cheat Sheet: A quick reference guide on the key steps in the home buying process.
  2. Home Selling Cheat Sheet: A compact guide on essential tips for selling a home.
  3. Real Estate Investment Cheat Sheet: A handy reference on important considerations and strategies for real estate investment.

Case Study

Case studies are great for people looking for a specific outcome but aren’t confident in how to achieve it. They can look at how someone else in the same position was able to go from where they are now to where they want to be. Every Realtor should have a few of these made for the common client types they work with.

  1. Successful Home Buying Case Study: A detailed analysis of a successful home buying process, highlighting key decisions made along the way.
  2. Home Selling Success Story: A case study of a successful home selling process, with insights into effective marketing and negotiation strategies.
  3. Property Investment Case Study: A detailed review of a successful real estate investment, exploring strategy, execution, and returns.

Exclusive Video Content

Simple videos they can’t get anywhere else that are packed with value. No marketing fluff. Just straight value for as much of the video as possible.

  1. Home Buying Guide Video: A series of exclusive video content guiding first-time homebuyers through the process.
  2. Home Selling Tips Video: Exclusive videos with tips and tricks on how to sell homes faster.
  3. Real Estate Investment Strategies Video: A series of exclusive videos exploring different real estate investment strategies.

Resource List

Super simple to create, a list of things that can help them. Resource lists are valuable to people in specific situations. There’s a lot of ways to approach it so we listed a few examples below.

  1. Essential Real Estate Websites: A list of useful websites for both buyers and sellers for market trends, property listings, and home improvement tips.
  2. Real Estate Book Recommendations: A list of must-read books for understanding the real estate market, investment strategies, and property laws.
  3. Local Home Services Providers: A list of trustworthy service providers in the area, such as home inspectors, movers, and renovation contractors.

Calculator or Tool

The Zestimate was one of the best real estate lead magnet examples you can see. It drove a ton of success for Zillow early on. 

  1. Mortgage Calculator: A tool for potential buyers to calculate their mortgage payments, considering the principal, interest rate, and loan term.
  2. Home Affordability Calculator: A tool for buyers to determine how much they can afford to spend on a property.
  3. Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator: A tool for property investors to calculate the ROI on their real estate investments.

Swipe File

Put a small collection of pieces that are valuable for the consumer for a specific situation. This isn’t advice. This is something specific they can take and use today.

  1. Negotiation Emails: A collection of emails that have successfully led to a decrease in the property asking price.
  2. Want to Buy Your House: A collection of effective real estate emails and letters for inspiration on reaching out to homeowners not on the market to consider selling..

Behind-the-scenes look

In depth behind the scenes look at specific processes and situations. How you do something. You’re basically promising a backstage pass to your “secret sauce.” 

  1. Home Staging Process: A behind-the-scenes look at how professional home stagers transform a property for viewings.
  2. Real Estate Investment Analysis: A behind-the-scenes look at how an investor analyses a property for investment.

Event Tickets

Got tickets for something? Home shows are really popular. Local events. You offer tickets in exchange for their contact information to speak with them further.

  1. Local Real Estate Networking Event Tickets: Offering tickets to a local real estate networking event where potential buyers or sellers can meet professionals and learn more about the market.
  2. Home Staging Workshop Tickets: Offering tickets to a home staging workshop where sellers can learn how to present their home in the best way possible.
  3. Real Estate Investment Seminar Tickets: Offering tickets to a seminar where potential investors can learn about different investment strategies.

Expert Interview

Reach out to an expert that your core audience would want to hear from and have them register to attend. These can be in-person or online. 

  1. Interview with a Successful Home Seller: An interview with a seller who successfully sold their home sharing their experiences and tips.
  2. Interview with a Real Estate Investment Expert: An interview with an expert in real estate investment, discussing strategies and common mistakes to avoid.
  3. Interview with a Home Staging Professional: An interview with a professional home stager, sharing their tips and tricks.

Real estate lead magnets come in many different shapes and sizes. As you can see above you can take a ton of different approaches. You can leverage tools like ChatGPT to help you create them faster but don’t rely on AI for the final content. You want your lead magnet to be unique to you. Something they can get anywhere else.

The Simple 30-Day Real Estate Agent Social Media Success Blueprint

The Simple 30-Day Real Estate Agent Social Media Success Blueprint

Coming up with the idea for what to post on a real estate agent social media campaign is often the hardest part. I recently saw a post by Richard Van Der Blom about posting on Linkedin to establish authority in your field. I adapted his 20 Content Ideas came up with a sample 30 day plan for real estate.

Below you’ll find a simple 30 Day strategy. Some require a bit of research, planning, and preparation and others you could do off the cuff.

Don’t forget, if you’re not also engaging with others and their content, the odds of these pieces of content being successful are a lot smaller. The biggest mistake people make when it comes to social is spending time creating content, posting it, but then not engaging with others.

At the end, I’ll share a short plan for engagement so your next 30 days are successful. If you commit to doing this for 30 days, I’d love to hear the results after.

30-Day Sample Real Estate Agent Social Media Plan

Day 1: Share a recent accomplishment, such as selling a home in a tough market.

Day 2: Discuss a mistake made during a negotiation and the lesson learned. 

Day 3: Challenge a real estate myth and share your perspective.

Day 4: Share a unique marketing strategy you use for listings.

Day 5: Express gratitude to a mentor. Tag them if they’re on social.

Day 6: Share a testimonial from a satisfied client.

Day 7: List the top three tools you use for CMAs or another aspect of your business.

Day 8: Offer advice to new agents starting out in real estate.

Day 9: Interview a local market analyst and share insights.

Day 10: Reflect on a real estate book that influenced your approach.

Day 11: Highlight a recent real estate conference, training, workshop, etc… you attended.

Day 12: Take followers behind the scenes of a home staging. Don’t have a house to use? Use a room in your own home.

Day 13: Discuss a recent study on market trends.

Day 14: Create a tutorial on home buying tips.

Day 15: Share an inspiring story about helping a first-time homebuyer. If you have a difference niche, you can do it for specific demographic.

Day 16: Post an infographic on current real estate trends. Canva is great for making these.

Day 17: Do a live video “Q&A” on home valuation methods. Come with questions to answer in case you don’t get questions submitted.

Day 18: Share how you overcame a common industry challenge.

Day 19: Team up with a mortgage broker for a joint webinar.

Day 20: Debunk a common myth about buying vs. renting.

Day 21: Post before-and-after photos of staging or a renovation. Explain why they were done how they were.

Day 22: Share insights on how local events impact property values.

Day 23: Offer tips on how to prepare a home for sale.

Day 24: Share a client success story focusing on the community aspect.

Day 25: Discuss the importance of home inspections and what to look for.

Day 26: Highlight a local neighbourhood feature, like parks or schools.

Day 27: Offer a mini-guide on understanding mortgage options.

Day 28: Share a day in the life of a Realtor to show your work ethic and dedication.

Day 29: Create a post about the benefits of working with a Realtor versus selling/buying independently.

Day 30: End the month with a personal reflection on what real estate means to you and your vision for the future.

30 Day Engagement Plan 

At the beginning of the month, if you don’t know them already, look up the local business accounts that got a lot of engagement.  That means every post they put up gets likes and comments. 

You can also look at non-business accounts that post regularly but the key is for them to be local accounts that your ideal clients would likely be following.

Then each day do the following as part of the 30 Day Real Estate Agent Social Media Plan:

  • Comment on posts from these businesses. Not to promote your business, leave a genuine comment supporting them or asking a question. Focus on positivity with these comments and questions.
  • Look at comments from others and see if any you can reply to insightfully or with a value add of some kind. (Remember, simply making someone smile counts as value add)
  • Comment on posts from those you follow in your feed with a focus on local people. Commenting on other Realtors content only helps your business if your business is focused on Realtor to Realtor referrals. 
  • Reply to at least 5 stories a day of people you follow. These replies should follow the SPEAR model. Short, personal, and expecting a reply. The easiest way to do this is ask a question as a reply. For example, if they post they went out to a local restaurant, just reply asking what they thought of the place.

Engagement right now shouldn’t be focused on getting them to talk about real estate. It’s about establishing a relationship. This will also encourage them to engage and read your real estate content when it comes up in your feed.

People prefer to comment and engage with people they feel a connection to. You can do the legwork up front to build that connection.

Pro Tip: If anyone local follows you, send them a DM and say “Thanks for the follow! You live here in [AREA], too?” and then have a conversation getting to know them.

Remember, as complicated as the algorithm can be, the last 50 people who engaged with you are likely to be the next 50 people who see your content. Focus on engaging with the right people.

If you follow everything in this for 30 days, you will see success on social. Leveraging social media to grow your business is a lot of work, but its worth it if you commit. Set your real estate marketing strategy and start taking action!

Now a RE/MAX Approved Supplier for Canada

Now a RE/MAX Approved Supplier for Canada

We’re excited to announce that we are now a RE/MAX Approved Supplier for Canada. When I first started in real estate I joined RE/MAX York Group in Aurora, Ontario. Later I’d go on to work at corporate RE/MAX training agents across the world. So it’s a cool moment to be able to make this deal come together and once again be working more closely with the RE/MAX community here in Canada.

As a RE/MAX Approved Supplier, Just Sell Homes will be providing its services to RE/MAX agents across Canada, helping them grow their business through effective digital marketing strategies. Our focus on custom marketing strategies will allow RE/MAX agents to stand out in a crowded marketplace and attract more clients.

Just Sell Homes’ services will include building custom marketing strategies, advertising listings, managing Facebook & Google ads, email marketing, and more. The company’s team of experts will work closely with RE/MAX agents to develop a marketing strategy that is tailored to their specific needs.

Upcoming Webinar: Building & Implementing Your 2023 Marketing Strategy

Upcoming Webinar: Building & Implementing Your 2023 Marketing Strategy

Are you marketing in the dark? 

If your strategy for marketing is just throwing ideas at the wall that you heard about and hoping something sticks, you don’t have a strategy. You have hope and a prayer. 

Some people can skate by for years doing this and actually have a decent business from a revenue standpoint. The problem is that it’s not replicable or predictable. Some can keep it going indefinitely, others get stuck and eventually start declining. 

Having a strategy that you can execute on consistently can give you the confidence and predictability to grow.

That’s why on February 2nd at 1:00pm EST we’re hosting a webinar on Building and Executing a Marketing Strategy for Real Estate Agents. It’s based on our Wheelhouse Marketing Framework. 

Here’s what we’re going to cover to help you get predictable results:

  • How to get people to discover you exist
  • Creating conversations 
  • Getting people to join your database
  • Converting them into clients
  • Earning their trust
  • Building long term loyalty

If you have specific tactics in place for each one that you perform consistently you can create a predictable growth engine for your business. The more predictable your business, the more you can plan ultimately set your life and business up in a way that helps you get you to your goals.

Whether that’s more freedom, more money in your pocket, expanding to a bigger team, launching new ventures. It doesn’t matter. Once you can consistently get clients with a repeatable process, it’s up to you what you do next!

You can claim your spot in the webinar by clicking here. We’ll send out the recording if you can’t make it live!