YES – Getting free real estate leads online is not only possible, but you can do it too. Here’s the down-and-dirty truth of how it really works.
We talk all day long to real estate agents about generating leads online. So… can we do some real talk about getting free real estate leads online?
Good, let’s do it.
Step #1 For Generating Free Real Estate Leads Online – Murder The Magical “Free Leads” Fairy In Your Mind
Here comes some real talk:
In marketing, time and money are interchangeable.
You can spend one to save the other.
So if you want to get results faster (save time and effort), you have to spend money. In the case of generating leads online, you have to be willing to invest money in online advertising, pay people to create content for you, or flat-out just pay for leads.
If you want to save money, you must invest time and effort.
This is one of those laws of the universe that NEVER goes away.
I know. This article is getting less sexy with every word.
But frankly: If you’re looking for free real estate leads, it’s good to have your bubble burst sooner rather than later.
Having said all of that:
YES – You can generate leads online for free (or at least very close to free).
But you should go into it with eyes wide open that…
Whatever you don’t spend in money, you will have to offset with an investment of time and effort.
That magical “free lead” fairy that some people think exists “out there”…
So clearly: This approach is NOT for everyone.
You may be better off buying fewer beers or fast food meals each month and spending that money on Facebook Ads. If you really want to get a result, you’ll find the money to get it done.
So here it is: Last chance to exit before the “hard work for free leads” train leaves the station.
If you’d rather spend money to get leads. Check out these other excellent articles about getting leads using Facebook Ads (via Easy Agent Pro):
You’re still here?
Good. Because there are some amazing long-term benefits to this approach that money can’t buy (more on that below).
And since it’s clear that you’re willing to do the work… Let’s dig in:
Step #2 For Generating Free Real Estate Leads Online – Create Content Every Day
Look: MLS data and generic broker sites don’t set you apart. If that’s all your website’s got, you will not get leads online.
You have to do more, be more, give more.
Because the only thing that sets you apart in real estate is…
No one else can offer your local expertise from your unique perspective.
And it’s really hard work to take your personality and knowledge and put it all on the internet.
But the agents who have the courage to put themselves out there on video, in blog posts, and on social media consistently generate more leads than those who don’t.
Those who create rich, interesting neighborhood pages get more web traffic than those who don’t.
The agents who become a hub for promoting all things local are those who cement themselves as an authority that people trust.
These are things that take time and effort instead of ad dollars.
And being a valuable connector within your community is something ad dollars can’t buy.
So here’s the secret to making this work:
Don’t wait until you have a “perfect” video produced or the “perfect” blog post written. Don’t wait until you “know everything” before you engage with people on social media or forge relationships with local businesses.
Does. Not. Exist.
You have to take action now and go for volume.
This past week alone at Easy Agent Pro, we ran dozens of ads that failed so that we could find one that worked. We created a podcast, two videos, an ebook, and two blog posts.
We do that every week – knowing that we’re planting seeds for later, and creating helpful resources that will attract new clients. You can do the same thing.
Because marketing comes down to who is willing to do the most work, fail the most, and just keep going.
The trick is to fail cheaply (or free) so you can stop doing what doesn’t work and double down on what does work.
To be one of the agents who attracts abnormal levels of free real estate leads online, you can’t sit around hoping a prospect will find a house on your IDX, and then pick up the phone and send you some money.
To generate free, high-quality leads online, you have to give more than you get (more on this in the next point).
And there’s actually a huge advantage to getting leads this way (vs. paying for leads or generating opt-ins from cold traffic).
Example: Ever bought leads from Zillow?
These leads are people who found some houses they liked online. They want an agent to show them around…
And they have ZERO interest or investment in working with you long-term (i.e. from start to finish through the home buying process).
Because there’s no bond or relationship.
These are low-quality, frustrating online leads.
But whether it comes from Zillow, or anywhere else, that’s the kind of lead you get if all you’re giving is generic IDX info that can be found anywhere. Or you’re getting “free referrals” from Facebook groups.
They don’t know you or trust you.
You must forge a deeper bond.
And the best way to do that is by creating rich, engaging content about your local market.
Dig into your community and start showcasing your neighborhoods and telling the stories about what makes them special.
Now, putting out a piece of content every day might sound intense or impossible…
But even if it’s just a single photo on Instagram, or a single post on Facebook…
Put out something every single day and you’ll start to make yourself famous as a local authority.
Step #3 For Generating Free Real Estate Leads Online – Shower Them With Helpful Content
The agents who generate a strong flow of free real estate leads online are those who GIVE a never-ending flow helpful content to their marketplace.
A lot of agents ask:
“How much do I have to give before they give me something back?”
It’s a fair question.
To get leads, you have to use lead capture tools on your site.
But here’s what some agents miss:
Even when you’re “getting something” from a prospect (contact info, etc.), you should always give your prospect more than they’re giving you.
Your goal should be to overwhelm them with helpfulness.
This builds trust, and people buy from people they trust.
Let’s say you offer a free weekly email about available foreclosure listings in your area and you get some people to sign up.
Don’t stop there. Also send them a free report about how to buy foreclosures smarter.
Send them a video about the ten mistakes most foreclosure buyers make.
If someone asks you to show them a house, make sure you send them a link to your helpful neighborhood page and give them a copy of your home buyer’s guide.
When you give way more than is expected of you (online and off)… Word spreads fast.
Going back to the example of Zillow, that’s a big part of why and how they get so much traffic and generate so many leads.
They generate a never-ending flow of blogs and free guides.
They make MLS data freely available and easy to navigate.
You can do the exact same thing on your site.
It’s why marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuck’s advice to real estate agents is to create a piece of content every day about their local marketplace.
If people know your name and face, and they trust you because you’ve offered so many helpful resources…
Who do you think they’re going to trust when they’re ready to buy or sell?
Step #4 For Generating Free Real Estate Leads Online – DO IT (and don’t stress)
The agents who are effectively generating lead-getting content are not rocket scientists.
If you want to do video, you don’t have to buy a DSLR camera…
and extra lenses…
a green screen…
Listen: Your smart phone — for most agent videos — works just fine.
If you want to get fancy, maybe pick up a lapel mic to bump up your audio quality.
If you’re creating a blog post, you don’t have to be Hemingway. When all else fails, use a numbered list:
- The 10 things to know when choosing an agent in [your area]
- The 5 neighborhoods you absolutely must visit when seeing Christmas lights
- The 10 new restaurants you have to try in [your area]
- The 7 reasons [your area] is a great place place to start a new business
- The 3 things no one ever tells you when you buy a house in [your area]
- The 10 things everyone overlooks during home inspections
See how that works? It’s easy.
Think you’ll run out of blog ideas eventually? Think again.
As of this writing: The Elite Group blog has over 100 blog posts.
All about real estate marketing and online lead generation.
And I guarantee that your community has more angles and points of interest to work with.
If you get into a rhythm and a schedule, the blog posts will begin to flow.
And as you create content, you’ll get questions and comments from people in your community that inspire more content until you have a self-sustaining system:
Publish, get feedback from your market, publish… And on and on.
Always — ALWAYS — keep your focus on putting out as much content as possible and offering HELPFUL answers to your marketplace.
If you can help it, don’t put out crap.
In online content creation: Quantity always beats Quality, and the quality will evolve over time.
Free real estate leads online is not a pipe dream.
It can be done.
You can do it.
But don’t fool yourself about what FREE means. What you save in money, you will pay for in time and effort.
Pick one thing you can commit to… And do it EVERY DAY.
If you’re more of a word nerd and don’t mind writing, write blogs.
If you’d rather talk out loud, make videos instead.
Focused content creation will get massive long-term lead generation value, but will take some time to gain momentum.
For one of the best explanations of how to hustle and create massive amounts of content, check out this video from Gary Vaynerchuck (jump to 6:40 for the nuts and bolts):
Owner & Operator,
The Elite Group
Largest Home Inspection Company in North America
Best Selling Author “Secrets Of Top Producing Real Estate Agents: And How To Duplicate Their Success.”