Being able to generate real estate leads online is arguably the most important part of being a successful real estate agent. Whether you’re just starting out as a new agent or have been in the business for years, dedicating time each and every day to prospecting and gaining new clients is a must.
However, as real estate technology continues to evolve, there is more and more emphasis being placed on how to generate real estate leads online. This focus is not unwarranted. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 42 percent of recent buyers started their home search by looking online at properties. Are you capturing these potential clients?
An excellent way to ensure you’re reaching this demographic is to use the major search portals such as Zillow, realtor.com®, and others. Here’s how a real estate agent can generate leads via these online platforms.
Maximize your profile to generate real estate leads online
Nothing will stop a potential buyer from calling you more than an empty profile. To ensure your profile is inviting, optimize the fields you’re given. Most public search portals allow you to edit your name, contact information, “about” section, and more; take advantage of this.
All of your profiles online should be up-to-date, as they are most often the first thing potential clients will view, so check them regularly. Search yourself on Google. What shows up? It’s good practice to do this and update your profiles regularly.
Add reviews and testimonials
Zillow and other sites allow real estate professionals to add reviews and testimonials from past clients, which let potential prospects learn more about you and your services. Don’t miss this opportunity to generate real estate leads online.
Zillow’s system allows you to “request a review” from past clients, which will send them an email asking for their feedback on the service you provided. Here’s a complete explanation of how this works.
This is also important because when potential buyers and sellers are searching for an agent on Zillow, the profiles show up with green stars under the name—indicating their rating—and the total number of reviews they’ve received. Be sure to post your review on social media sites.
Audit past sales and new listings
As you get further into your career, you will have more and more past sales to add to Zillow. It’s good practice always to double check your profile to ensure that past sales and new listings are showing up correctly.
In most cases, your past and current listings will automatically feed to Zillow via your MLS; however, they don’t always show up exactly as you envisioned. You’re able to edit some of these fields via your Zillow profile, so keep tabs on how things are publishing.
Zillow also offers agents the option to promote their listings to a higher spot in search results. Although there is a fee associated with this promotion, new agents (who may not have a lot of listings to promote) can often benefit from this added exposure.
Share Zillow’s content
Social media and content marketing are two of the biggest ways that agents can reach a wider pool of potential buyers. But for many real estate agents, finding the time to create their own original content can be hard to do.
Zillow has a blog called Porchlight, where they regularly post content covering everything from celebrity homes to DIY and real estate advice. You can use this content by sharing it on social media or by emailing it to your database. You’ll look like the real estate expert you are, and you’ll be engaging with your sphere. It’s a win-win.
Zillow has an “Advice” section of its website where buyers and sellers can ask questions and real estate agents can answer them. This is an excellent way to stay active on Zillow and to help potential buyers and sellers who could become clients—thanks to your advice.
A note of caution: Always speak to your broker before giving public advice on an online forum. Your brokerage and/or state association could have specific guidelines you need to follow.
What steps will you take?
Generating online leads, whether through Zillow or your own website, takes time and dedication. Remember, follow-up is the key to converting these new leads, so have a strategy in place on how you’re going to keep the conversation going.