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Get Better Real Estate Leads - Blog via Searchbug.com
Oct
15

How to Get Better Real Estate Leads

There’s a common theme in advice for getting real estate leads: use your network.

However, when you’re just starting out, your network may not include anyone who’s looking to buy or sell their house. Or maybe you don’t want to go around hitting up all your friends for business.

In this case, you may have to use some salesmanship to generate leads and get your first clients. This will form the basis of a larger, more productive network.

During this early stage, it’s likely that you’ll need to do some outbound marketing. A more common term for outbound marketing is “cold outreach.”

Cold outreach is the toughest type of salesmanship, no matter what communication channel you use. Cold calling, cold emailing, cold sales visits. All of them are hard.

Talking to complete strangers is nerve wracking.  

So the first step is working up the courage to do cold outreach at all.

Once the butterflies calm down, the next step is to increase your chances of success.

To do that, you’ll need to get warmer leads.

Corporate sales teams rarely get leads that are completely cold. Research teams gather tons of data about every lead before it gets passed to the sales team for outreach.

As a real estate agent, you’re usually in charge of both sales and research. One huge mistake people make is neglecting the research phase of the outbound sales process.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to get good information for cold outreach. Especially for real estate agents.

Here’s how to get the information that will warm up your leads and give your cold outreach the greatest chance of success.

Tools for Researching Your Real Estate Leads

Real estate agents need personal, address, and geoeconomic data to create quality leads.

Having a complete portfolio of information—including name, address, email address, phone number, employment, and so on—makes it much easier to evaluate a lead’s potential.

It also takes some of the dread out of starting that first conversation.

There’s a large suite of real estate tools designed to help real estate agents get economic information about neighborhoods and cities.

However, there are fewer tools for getting personal information so that you have an idea of who you’re contacting when you do cold outreach.

There are even fewer good information finding tools.

So what information can you get, and how do you use it to get better real estate leads?

Home Sales Stats

The best leads are the ones who stand to benefit the most from selling their house. So targeting the right areas is key.

The MLS database offers a lot of information about average and projected home values.

However, it also helps to know how often people in a certain area sell their homes. That can indicate a neighborhood with good equity to capitalize on.

The MLS database is rather inefficient for getting this sort of data. A good home sales statistics tool will gather the information you need much more efficiently, and save you a lot of time.

A good tool like this gathers information from the county recorder’s office. So the results are usually accurate.

You can also look at the sales trends for the last year to identify areas with potential that haven’t started selling yet.

Reverse Address Lookup

Getting addresses from the various real estate databases is fairly straightforward.

But it helps to know who’s living at the residence before you make a call or visit. That way you’ll at least have a name to start with.

Fortunately, there are tools designed specifically to get all the information associated with an address.

Doing a reverse address lookup for each address you want to target will give you the name, phone number, and email address connected to the physical address.

Use a free reverse address lookup tool if you haven't found anything on the web.

This opens up a lot of communication channels for cold outreach.

If you’re a trooper and have pulled a large list of addresses from your real estate software, you can use batch processing to speed things up.

Be aware that a reverse address lookup isn’t bulletproof. False positives are possible.

This is especially true for apartments or houses that have been divided into multiple units.

However, for single family residences, the success rate is much higher.

Reverse Phone Lookup

Reverse phone lookup tools are good to use in conjunction with in-person networking events.

Check free reverse phone lookup tools.

It can be uncomfortable to ask people for their address when you meet them, especially for realtors. People feel the sales pitch coming and run away.

It’s much easier to just gather phone numbers, then use a reverse phone lookup tool to complete the information so you can follow up with a mailed information package or email.

Here’s a tip: if you plan to send physical materials or marketing emails, be sure to give a follow up phone call before sending anything more substantial.

A package or email out of the blue can be a bit jarring. It’s less surprising if the prospect has had more than one conversation with you.

Phone Validator

These days, a lot of people will give you their cell phone number when you exchange information in person.

However, some people still give their landline. Maybe they don’t want to be bothered on their cell phone. Or maybe they don’t have a cell phone.

Additionally, if you get phone numbers using a reverse address lookup, you may not know whether it’s a cell phone or landline, depending on the reverse address lookup tool you use.

Either way, you can’t send text messages to a landline.

Why does this matter?

Text messaging is quickly becoming an acceptable mode of communication, even for business.

Some industries find that cold outreach texts actually get much higher response rates than cold phone calls. A text message is also an excellent follow-up to a face-to-face conversation.

This is especially true with young people.

Using a phone validator saves you a lot of time and spares you the inconvenience of sending text messages to landlines.

Phone Validator

Reverse Email Lookup

Email marketing is incredibly effective across all industries.

But gathering emails is its own beast.

Typically, people tend to be hesitant to give out their email on the internet. However, they tend to be looser with their email in person.

Whichever method you use to get email addresses, validating email addresses is the first step.

People often give fake email addresses or make mistakes when entering their email address online. Validating the email addresses on your list spares you the annoyance of bounced emails. It also preserves your domain and IP reputation.

Then, for realtors, there’s an additional step.

At minimum, you’ll want the address associated with the email. But more information is better.

The good news is that a reverse email lookup tool will give you most of the associated information.

Reverse Email Lookup

This information makes your life much easier if you use email for cold outreach or follow-up.

Just like the other tools, you can use batch processing to check large databases of emails.

For most leads, you most likely won’t need to use all of these tools. One, maybe two, will usually do the trick.

Having a complete profile for each person makes cold outreach a bit less nerve wracking and helps you craft a proposition that’s right for each person.

Tips for Contacting Warm Leads

Now that you’ve got a collection of leads with complete profiles, it’s time to start making connections.

But before you get after it, take a moment to realize that you have a lot more information about each person than they gave you.

It’s very easy to come off a little bit creepy if you sound like you know too much from the start.

Take these things into consideration before you start your cold outreach:

 

  • Use your complete profiles to evaluate how likely it is that the person is interested in selling their home or buying.

 

You can check for other homes in the area that are owned by the same person or if they’ve completed any sales recently.

Your outreach will be more relevant if you’re contacting someone who’s actually interested in doing real estate business.

 

  • Use the information you’ve gathered to personalize your messaging, but only let on that you know basic information like their first and last name.

 

People are used to marketing that’s personalized with their first name. Some mailings even mention their phone number.

But it’s best to avoid mentioning their employment or how long they’ve lived in their house unless they’ve told you.

Remember that some information is best used behind the scenes.

 

  • If you can, meet people in person first.

 

Even if they didn’t give you their email or phone number, they’ll be far less suspicious about a phone call or email if they’ve seen your face.

Chances are they’ll just assume they gave you their contact information when they talked to you.

Mention that you’re following up with the conversation you had before when you follow-up.

This helps them make the assumption that they gave you their contact information then. It’s also an easy ice breaker.

In the end, real estate has one thing in common with most other industries: it’s about building relationships.

Getting better leads helps you build relationships faster. It’ll also help you tame the cold outreach dragon and start building a network that will do work for you in the long run.

How do you prepare for cold outreach?

Check out these information gathering tools.

Then leave a comment and let us know how you get quality real estate leads!

 

Jan
07

Finding Homes for Sale

Searching for Homes for SaleSearching for a new home is an exciting experience, but with the vastness of the internet, doing your home shopping online can become overwhelming. Each real estate site offers something different.

The same home with listings on multiple sites can even cause confusion. Maybe information doesn’t match up or you’re seeing different asking prices for the same property. When searching for homes online the best way to keep from being overwhelmed is to find a site that meets your needs and stick with it. When you have questions that need answers you can contact agents who make their information available on the site. They’ll be familiar with the site and be able to help you find your new home.

Trulia

Trulia was founded in 2005. When home searching online you’re looking for all the information you need to make an informed decision. There are many things homebuyers need in a new home. They need to stay within a budget and get the most house they can for their money, yes, but they also need to be in specific school zones. They need an easy commute to work and to know crime rates for neighborhoods. When buyers search through listings on Trulia they get all of this and more. With Trulia, when you’re ready to look at a home you can contact helpful agents that list their information on the site for convenience.

Zillow

Zillow has a database of over 100 million homes in the US. The site displays homes for sale and homes for rent. Zillow even has homes listed that are not currently for sale. This added feature gives users a look at what has sold, or what homes values are in a neighborhood. Like Trulia, Zillow was also founded in 2005. It has since become one of the biggest real estate sites on the web. The term Zestimate is what Zillow calls their “Zillow estimate.” It is the Zillow estimate market value for a property for sale or rent. This added feature lets home buyers know home values in a given area to help point them in the right direction for their home buying.

RealEstate.com

RealEstate.com has a database full of homes for sale, new construction, foreclosures, and rentals. The accumulation of RealEstate.com’s listings come from listing services nationwide. This accumulation helps RealEstate.com provide accurate and up-to-date information on properties for sale. If you also need to sell your current home you can take advantage of RealEstate.com’s home value estimator. A local Real Estate agent can also get you a Comparable Market Assessment if you need one. Like Trulia, RealEstate.com also shows information on schools and local communities. With the added helpful resources on RealEstate.com you’ll be able to narrow down your search to help find the property that’s perfect for you and meets all of your needs. When you need a helping hand local real estate agents are just a click away and are ready to help.

Realtor.com

Realtor.com covers the United States and Canada. Their database is an accumulation of over 800 MLS databases. Not only can you access Realtor.com on your computer, but it is also available on your iPad, iPhone, and you Android. You can take Realtor.com with you as you drive around looking at properties. Realtor.com has listings for houses not currently on the market, houses for sale, apartments and houses for rent, and additional properties. You have detailed information about properties at the click of a button. For an even better experience on Realtor.com they provide you with a calculator, guides, buying tips, moving quotes, homes insurance quotes, and storage quotes.

SearchBug

While searchbug.com doesn’t offer specific homes for sale, they do offer various cool tools for looking up addresses, current and previous owner information as well as tools that let you find specific house numbers or street names. Say you’re looking for a specific street name within a zip code, we have tools for that.

Diedinhouse

Want to know if someone died in the house you’re considering purchasing, well cruise on over to diedinhouse.com and see what they say about the homes for sale.

Jun
14

Sell Your Home and Profit…or Lose

In today’s current economy, home sales fluctuate from profits to losses, and both buyers and sellers are looking for the ideal situation that will best fit their needs. If you are considering to sell your home; sellers need to conduct research if they are going to sell the home themselves or hire a broker.  For buyers, that means the need to do as extensive research as possible on their home purchase is going to be very important.

Buyers are going to be looking for:

  • The best deals on any new and/or existing homes.
  • Finding the most house they can get for their money.
  • Homes which are easy to get into (down payment, less remodeling, etc.)

Sell Your Home and ProfitThere are some great tools that buyers can use to get home pricing information. Buyers can simply type an address into any search engine to discover a wealth of knowledge. But what if you want to find public records for a particular address or zip code, or research a house number in a zip code?

By the same token, sellers want to get as much as they can out of the sale of their homes as well. This ease-of-selling is true for the homeowner as well, especially if they’ve been in the home for a number of years and have quite a bit of equity built up in the home.

Since some situations can either be a buyer’s market or a seller’s dream, it’s best to have as much resourceful information that you can before you embark on any buying/selling scenario. One such type of resource to have at your disposal, no matter which side of the fence you find yourself on, is to have a current list of home sales and prices of the sale in your area. This is information that’s provided by the local County Recorder’s office in your local area, and the information provided is generally updated weekly, if not more often than that.

Realtors and real estate professionals use this information religiously when they’re searching for home sales and information. Access to this information gives them a solid idea of what kinds of property are selling in an area, the listing prices, the sales prices and other information. When realtors work with buyers and sellers, they can better represent them and give them accurate information on home sales and what the buyer or seller can reasonably expect to experience as they embark on their journey.

Sell Your Home and ProfitFrom a customer’s perspective (buyer or seller), information about home and property sales gives them an idea of what they can expect, even if they’re not ready to start the process. Veteran homeowners are usually always interested in the equity that’s in their homes, more than anything else. They want to know what they can reasonably expect to profit if their homes sold today. This information of course is not solid since other variables can affect that information (listing price, selling price, negotiations, etc.), but it gives them more of a reasonable idea of what they’re working with. As a result of finding out this information, they may choose to wait a while longer before selling, or if the price is right, they may sell right away and make a big profit!

Now, while those homeowners are looking for sales information, they will also want to know other statistics about the home, and not just the asking or selling price.

Crime

So moving to and living in a burgeoning city certainly has its perks, but there are a few consequences that can accompany that, like the crime rate for that particular area. What is the crime rate like in the area that interests them? Has it grown or decreased in recent years? Is it going to be a safe place for me to raise a family? Usually, when an area experiences a growth spurt, it also experiences somewhat of an increase in crime as well. This is not always the norm, but in general instances.

Weather

What is the average temperature like in the area? Are there cold, cold winters or blazing hot summers, or both? Believe it or not, there are many people who make major home buying and selling decisions based on this type of information. This is why it’s important for them to research the topic thoroughly before making a decision, since it’s likely going to be one that will affect them for quite some time.

Home and population statistics are available from local, state and federal sources that both professionals and homeowners use in making decisions. These resources are invaluable, and having access to the right kind of resources with helpful and usable information can make a significant difference in helping users to make the right choices.