29 ideas for real estate agents to build a database and win more listings

Ask most real estate agents what their most common pain point is and they’ll likely give you the same answer: Lead generation and building a database that will generate listings and sales long into the future.

Most want to spend more time prospecting and interacting with clients and closing deals, and less time doing all the tedious administration that comes with real estate.

While the legal complexities of real estate demand that some time be spent on admin (or delegating admin!), that doesn’t mean agents can’t make more effective use of their time and resources to sell homes faster. 

In today’s digital age, real estate agents have a plethora of tools that can help build a database of highly-motivated consumers.

Having the right tools – ie a great CRM – also makes storage and retrieval of lead details (buyers, sellers, tenants and investors) quicker and easier, and allows agents to sell homes faster.

Here, we’ll look at some ideas that can help real estate agents build databases of high-quality leads to ensure a freely flowing pipeline and (hopefully) prevent homes from staying on the market for too long. Buyers find the perfect homes for them, sellers get their homes sold quickly, and real estate agents can close more deals faster.

With the right tools, everyone can be a winner!

When it comes to proactive contact… make like an octopus!

Success in real estate means reaching out in a number of different directions at the same time – like an octopus. Think of all the means of communication at your disposable as your tentacles.

Email, text messaging and even snail mail can all be highly effective – it’s just a case of deploying them effectively and proactively. 

Make sure you use the right method of contact for every lead based on their previous interactions with you and typical generational  tendencies. For example:

  • Snail mail brochures and postcards are great for older buyers who are wary of computers and like their interactions to be grounded and physical.
  • Email might be preferred for young or middle-aged professionals who have busy working and family lives and are easily stressed out by missed calls. 
  • Text messages are great for reaching out to millennial buyers and tend to have high engagement rates. 
  • Picking up the phone is a timeless way to reach out to buyers of all ages and backgrounds. Smile and dial to let prospective buyers know about the latest properties on the market and what’s happening in their street.

All of these forms of contact can be useful and building a database of buyers and sellers means consistently doing the basics well. 

Sharing is caring: Sharing and generating buzz on on social platforms

In the (almost) 2020s, real estate professionals understand that more and more of their clients are spending a great deal of their time on social media. However, they also know that they need to do more than sharing a listing on Facebook to generate meaningful buzz about a property.

They understand true engagement comes when listings are interactive and employ some sort of creative license in order to not only draw the user’s attention, but also get them sharing and talking about listings. 

Here are some ways you can ensure your social media listing posts stand apart from the crowd and result in quality lead capture:

  • Use an eye-catching image to draw user attention, even on a busy feed.
  • Try to keep text minimal and to the point. Let the pictures do most of the talking. 
  • Use Facebook’s live feature to record live video tours of a property. Share this live and comment on the selling points of the property and watch as leads join you in real-time. It’s a great way to give the tour a feeling of exclusivity and help viewers to feel part of the experience. 
  • Remember that when it comes to Twitter, less is more. Twitter generally has an older user base – professional people with many demands on their time. So, make Twitter posts as succinct and witty, yet as informative as possible.
  • SnapChat is a fun and effective way to engage with millennial buyers. And because it’s a visual platform, you can let the property’s beauty speak for itself so viewers don’t feel like they’re getting the hard sell. 
  • Don’t overlook LinkedIn! It’s a great platform for engaging with high-earning professionals such as bankers, mortgage representatives, attorneys, and other real estate agents. If they don’t become active leads, they may nevertheless become useful contacts. 
  • Keep it visual! Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are great places to showcase the best photos of properties in your portfolio. Keep descriptions brief and encourage prospective buyers to find out more for themselves by getting in touch (thereby converting). 
Need social media inspo? Try this!

Know the local market

Buyers look to agents for knowledge of the neighborhoods in which they are considering buying. The more of their questions you can answer, the more they’ll trust you and value your brand. Thus, the warmer they’ll be as a lead.

So, take the time to get involved with what’s going on in the areas you serve. Get to know local businesses, and hot spots, and (where possible) engage with local activities and hobbies. 

Reinvent yourself as a community-minded agent by:

  • Engaging with local charities, displaying collection boxes and participating in charitable events.
  • Sponsor a local sports team, emblazoning your logo on their shirts or hats.
  • Invite neighbours into open houses and use this as a chance to connect with local buyers and get to know their needs.
  • Organise or sponsor a local clean-up project to keep the neighborhood beautiful.
  • Collaborate with other local businesses on seasonal events. 

Leverage tech to create listings with a wow factor

As we move into the 2020s, buyers expect to be able to get more of a feel for a property from the comfort of their own homes – and ordinary photos just might not cut it any more. The better you can simulate the experience of being in the property, the more likely it is that leads will make themselves known to you. Try:

  • Using 3D photos to make property images look more immersive.
  • Invest in the cameras and software to create virtual tours which will appeal to tech-savvy but time-poor buyers.
  • Use drone photography to showcase larger properties, including luxury homes and farms. A professional drone photographer can make your highest-value properties truly shine in photos and videos.

Get blogging

Businesses of all shapes and sizes use blogging as a way to engage with their consumer base and keep themselves visible online. And blogging can have some significant advantages for realtors. A blog is a great platform on which to showcase your expertise, knowledge and passion while demonstrating to leads that yours is a brand that cares about their needs. 

  • Blog about local venues, businesses and events which will help to give out-of-town buyers a sense of the community (and establish yourself as an authority within it).
  • Publish useful and practical guides on things that might mystify new buyers, like shopping for their first home or applying for a mortgage.
  • Create engaging advertorial posts about your latest listings, showcasing them in all their beauty and compelling readers to learn more about them.
  • Perform keyword research to ensure that your blog posts resonate with the right readers and help you get noticed on web searches.
  • Add sharing buttons to make it easy for readers to share your posts on social platforms and drive traffic to your website.
  • Write guest posts for other high-profile sites like LinkedIn or Medium. These build value and awareness for your brand.

Mastery of marketing for real estate agents

Finally, technology has wrought widespread changes in the world of marketing, making it more direct and interactive through digital channels. Success in real estate means keeping a steady stream of channel-agnostic marketing approaches. Invest in the right digital tools to make your brand and your properties more visible and appealing through digital channels. This might include:

  • Using experiential marketing like virtual tours and 3D maps to create a sense of interactivity while making the property seem more tangible and desirable to prospective buyers. 
  • Set up open house events that pop! Hire a professional staging company to transform the property into a stunning house that buyers can see themselves living in.
  • Remember the competition snapping at your heels and the importance of SEO in maintaining your competitive edge. Keep SEO, keywords and hashtags in mind when composing everything from property descriptions, to blog posts and social media posts. 
  • Build positive relationships with local media outlets like newspapers and radio stations as well as bloggers and social media influencers nearby. 

This is not an exhaustive list of how to get out, meet people, and add names to your database. Nor do you have to do all of them. But maybe print this out, keep it handy at your next team meeting and try something new in your marketing!

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.