Tips for Generating and Nurturing New Real Estate Clients
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Real estate is a contact sport. But, in the age of quarantine and social distancing, you can’t conduct business as usual. Open houses are out. Networking is a no-no. In-person client meetings are severely limited. So, how does a real estate agent generate and then nurture new leads during a pandemic?
In this post, we provide tips on how to navigate uncharted territory and build an even stronger real estate business.
Let’s start by taking an honest look at the real estate industry.
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has taken a toll. Families have lost loved ones, people have lost jobs, and the global economy has been broadly impacted. But how does that translate to the real estate sector?
In response to the pandemic, many Americans are moving away from large cities and to suburban or even rural areas. And some are simply jumping on historically low mortgage interest rates and buying now, even though home prices are on the rise.
The second quarter of 2020 saw a sharp, double-digit decline in home sales, but the real estate market has bounced back and is setting records, especially here in Massachusetts. In August, the median sales price for a single-family home in Massachusetts jumped by 14.3%. In September, it increased by 19.5%. That price increase did not discourage buyers in our state. There have been more sales this past August and September (the most recent figures available) compared to last year at the same time.
These numbers indicate that it's a seller's market in many areas. Buyers are motivated, encouraged by the Fed's September 2020 decision to keep short term interest rates at near zero for at least three years. The Fed's decision means record-low mortgage rates, making it the perfect time to borrow.
All of this is great news for real estate agents. Your services are in-demand—by both buyers and sellers. While you’ll need to tweak the way you do business, you should be able to successfully generate and then nurture prospective clients during the pandemic.
Let’s talk about how to do that.
In lieu of face to face meetings and tours, you'll need to embrace technology. Almost everything in real estate has gone virtual. Even notary services can now be livestreamed.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to get serious about technology. Here are 5 tasks to focus on:
Whether you decide to use Zoom, Skype, Whereby, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, or one of the other trusted video conferencing tools out there, here’s some simple advice: Choose one tool and stick with it. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to download and learn every tool out there. If you don’t have a preference, I recommend starting with Zoom, because it’s free (with certain limitations) and has the greatest name recognition. Ideally, you should choose a software that your prospective client may already have or won’t have an issue with downloading.
You can then use video conferencing to replace in-person meetings and consultations. You can even conduct virtual showings over Zoom. Here’s the beginner’s guide to conducting a virtual house tour.
Facebook is hugely popular, with over two billion users worldwide. Use this tool to build a relationship with your new leads. Here’s how:
Use Facebook ads. If your goal is to nurture leads, don’t design an ad campaign that only promotes your listings. That’s not nurturing, that’s selling. Instead, create ads that encourage engagement with your community on Facebook. For example, you can ask a simple question, like, “What’s the best takeout restaurant in Quincy?” or “What’s your favorite park in Boston?”
These questions are designed to increase engagement in your Facebook community, which will positively impact your overall visibility in Facebook. This is important because your Facebook followers may not see your post otherwise – Facebook prefers to show popular posts in the newsfeed. And if they don’t see your posts on their newsfeed, how can you nurture them?
Not only will you build your community on Facebook, you’ll also position yourself as a local real estate expert. Your audience will see you as a trusted source for all things local. Take the time to educate your audience about the local housing market, too.
Get strategic with your Facebook ads, and don’t just focus on promoting your properties/ services, but also on building your community.
LinkedIn is all about making business connections.
Not only should you nurture relationships with prospective clients, you should also build relationships with fellow agents locally and even across the country. Used LinkedIn to connect with other real estate professionals and thereby strengthen your referral network.
You can also use LinkedIn to speak directly to your target audience. Publish or link to real estate articles on LinkedIn that are relevant to your prospective clients.
Ever thought of starting a podcast? It may sound complicated and far-fetched, but it’s never been easier to create your own series of on-demand audio discussions. Plus, it’s free to do when you use a beginner-friendly tool like Anchor.
Here’s why you should consider podcasting for real estate lead nurturing:
In your podcast show, you can offer expert tips, share industry news and trends, and also interview other agents. Podcasting allows you to nurture your leads through on-going education about the real estate market.
You need a website. Here’s why:
Your website is more valuable than your social media presence because you own it (you only “rent” your social media account). And also because you own your website, you get to control every aspect of it, including your branding and your message.
There are several things you can do on your website to nurture your real estate leads:
Don't use this pandemic as an excuse to slow down. Instead, embrace technology, get innovative, and work even harder at building your real estate business.
Here are additional resources to help you find and nurture more leads virtually: