Samantha McLean: 33 ideas for real estate agents to grow your database and win more listings

Ask most real estate agents what their most common goal 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 to a degree, that means talking to the right people at the right time.

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 agents grow a database.

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

Success in marketing 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 disposal 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 making sure that the right messages go to the right people.  

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

  • I recently had my uncle come and stay with me, and he still likes to read the newspaper as ‘a newspaper’. So traditional snail mail brochures and postcards are great for people that like to be able to read and touch something tangible.
  • Email might be preferred for people who use their phones mostly for work purposes. 
  • SMS is great for people who like quick information and like to give quick responses. 
  • Picking up the phone is a timeless way to reach out to buyers of all ages and backgrounds. 

Obviously, in each communication, you can check the details you have on file, but no matter how you are communicating with people, you could ask them a simple question: Do you mind if I connect with you on LinkedIn so we can stay in touch / I share regular updates on property that might be useful to you. 

I’ll tell you why in a sec.

Sharing and generating buzz on social platforms

Lead generation on social media has gotten a bit trickier in the last few years and nurturing clients takes some strategic thinking. 

Sharing your latest listing on Facebook is just not going to cut it, especially when you are linking straight out – Facebook doesn’t necessarily reward those that send users away from the platform!

Good agents understand the social media engagement factors that 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.
  • Use short-form video
  • Keep text minimal and to the point. Facebook and Instagram are visual platforms, so try to let the visuals (images and video) do most of the talking. 
  • Use Facebook’s live feature to record live videos, including market updates, sneak peeks, live property tours and more. If you do this ‘live’ on your Facebook Business Page, you can share it with your personal profiles and repurpose it for other platforms such as YouTube and LinkedIn.  
  • Create a lead magnet and run Facebook Lead Gen ads to it (this is actually one of the quickest ways to grow your database. 
  • Again, try to add everyone you connect with on social platforms to your LinkedIn. (Curious as to why yet? Trust me, I’m getting there…)

Did you know: There are six social posts you should use for every listing? Watch what they are here.

Know the local market

Buyers and sellers look to agents for knowledge of the neighbourhoods in which they are considering buying. 

The more of their questions you can answer, the more they’ll trust you and value your brand. 

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 that you resonate with, for example, sponsoring a local sports team. 
  • Inviting neighbours into open houses and use this as a chance to connect with the locals and get to know their needs.
  • Organising or sponsor a local clean-up project to keep the neighborhood beautiful.
  • Collaborating with other local businesses on seasonal events
  • Creating a local directory app or destination guide.

Leverage tech to create listings with a wow factor

Today, buyers expect to be able to get more of a feel for a property from the comfort of their own homes – post-pandemic ordinary photos just might not cut it anymore.

 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 simple tools like Canva to create cool posts, including carousel posts (search real estate in templates)
  • Creating virtual tours which will appeal to tech-savvy but time-poor buyers.
  • Using 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.
  • Don’t forget to include a floor plan!

Get blogging

Businesses of all shapes and sizes use blogging or creating articles 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 in the area, where to find dog walkers, child care, great coffee and more.
  • Create engaging posts about your latest listings, showcasing them in all their character.
  • Download and transcribe your live social videos to create blog posts.
  • Again, make the most of your content by repurposing  (with the video uploaded to YouTube) to other high-profile sites like LinkedIn or Medium. 

Mastery of marketing for real estate agents

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 nonetheless, here are some things we have not even touched on:

  • SEO/Video SEO
  • Local SEO
  • Your email newsletter
  • Paid Ads
  • Open homes
  • Owned, Earned and Paid Media (ie Radio, TV, Magazines, Blogs, Influencers)
  • Direct response campaigns
  • Setting up sales funnels
  • Creating online communities

But I want to come back to one thing, and that is connecting with everyone you meet on LinkedIn.

Here are five reasons why:

  1. LinkedIn is a place where it’s expected you talk shop – which takes the pressure off the need to be ‘at a barbecue’ the same way that you would on Facebook or Instagram, and you don’t need to learn any crazy dances, like on TikTok
  2. If you have a paid plan, you can download your connections anytime
  3. Once you’ve downloaded this list you can add your connections to your CRM
  4. You can also use this list to create a custom audience on Facebook (depending on your connections’ privacy settings) to boost your posts
  5. If you have a relatively big list of connections on LinkedIn, you can switch your profile to creator and create your own newsletter, with a ready built email list that you don’t have to grow – LinkedIn does the hard work for you. 

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Samantha McLean

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