9 Unique and Creative Real Estate Lead Generation Ideas for 2021

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Who else is flippin’ tired of being told to just go door knock, call expired listings, and pester FSBOs to build up your real estate lead generation pipeline? C’mon folks! It’s 2021, not 1999. The same old tactics have been slung around and passed from agent to agent for generations. 

Isn’t it time that someone looked around and brought some new, unique, and creative real estate lead generation ideas to the party?

Ok, yes, there have been some great articles written about how to use social media to find leads (Check out this great one by Sprout Social), but anymore that’s just par for the course. 

It’s certainly nothing revolutionary.

So I decided to search around the internet and come up with a fresh, new list of real estate lead generation ideas for the modern real estate agent to work with. Many of these are ideas that I found to be working in other industries and have just adapted for real estate lead generation.

That means that for many of these, you will be able to really stand out in your area by being the first agent to use them. So run, don’t walk, and implement any that stand out to get a leg up on your competition.

Handwritten Direct Mail

Ok, I’ll give it to you that direct mail isn’t the newest kid on the block. But I’ll bet that the image you have in your mind is that of a real estate agent hunched over their desk all night, hoping to scratch out just a few more letters that may or may not work to generate leads.

Times have changed. Most marketing has moved online which means that an authentic handwritten letter in the recipient’s mailbox will stand out more than just about anything else. 

Today, you can hire a handwritten letter writing company like True Ink Marketing to handle your letter writing while you go about your business. Their army of letter-writing robots writes in real ink, using real pens, so that every single letter is unique. No fake handwritten fonts here. For just a few dollars per letter, you can afford to cover your local neighborhood on a regular basis. Check them out here: TrueInkMarketing.com

Lumpy Mail

Usually I don’t think of the word ‘lumpy’ when considering new marketing campaigns to run. But in this case, it might just be the secret weapon that catapults you to local fame. Lumpy mail can be considered the next level of your direct mail campaigns in that you’re still going to send a piece of mail to your potential real estate leads, but this time instead of just sending a letter you will be sending a small parcel with a relevant three dimensional item along with the note. 

For example, you might send a small stress ball shaped like a house with a note that says something quippy about taking the stress out of their house hunt. The idea is that a large envelope or parcel will stand out from the regular mail and likely sit on top of the pile of mail rather than getting lost in the shuffle. You can get really creative with this real estate lead generation tactic and are really only limited by your imagination.

Virtual Receptionist

If you don’t have a virtual receptionist helping you handle phone calls, you’re probably throwing away tens of thousands of dollars in commissions each year. A virtual receptionist is someone who will handle all of your inbound and outbound phone calls to make sure that every call is answered professionally and that every lead gets captured. 

More than 80% of callers report that they will hang up rather than getting a voicemail. And most folks today have very little loyalty to specific companies, so like most people, they go on to the next business on the list and the company that picks up the phone will be the one that wins their business. This is especially true of real estate leads.

A good virtual receptionist will help you capture more leads, enhance your brand, and will cover the hours that you aren’t working so that you can have a life outside of work. Learn more about how a virtual receptionist can help you generate more real estate leads

Viral Quizzes

Have you ever seen one of those “Which Disney princess are you?” quizzes? Of course you have. You might have even completed one (Where are my Jasmine’s at?!). What you probably didn’t know is that every time you submit your email to one of those, there is a company that adds you to a marketing list for some kind of related product. You can harness this exact tactic for local real estate leads. 

Head over to Outgrow.co and design a custom quiz that is targeted at your local community. Something like, “Which Miami neighborhood is right for you?” or “Which neighborhood in Austin are you most like?”, would do really well.

Then share that baby around all your local Facebook groups! Just make sure that to get the results they are required to submit their email. Let it run for a few weeks (maybe even put in a little money to run an ad for it) and watch as your email list grows like a rocketship.

Local Newsletter

Ryan Sneddon (NaptownScoop) has been quietly building a local newsletter empire around his hometown. According to him, he’s got more followers than 95% of the other small businesses in his community across his various marketing channels.

What exactly, might you ask, has he been doing to build up this list? He runs local community newsletters. According to Ryan, the secret has been to keep things brief, useful, and very local.

Can you do something similar in your local community? Of course! Set up a basic webpage (don’t make it associated with your real estate website) with a simple email capture box on it.

TLDRNewsletter.com is a brilliant example. Simple and says what a reader can expect. Then go around and tell everyone about it. Make it easy to share and watch it grow.

How do you use this for real estate lead generation if you aren’t associating it with your real estate website? Make yourself the ‘sponsor’! Include a plug for yourself at the beginning and end of each email (but don’t overdo it!). Limit it to just a quick statement about your business otherwise, you can turn people off. 

Community.com Local Alerts

This is another variation of the local newsletter from above. Community.com is a great platform that lets you build a SMS (aka text) list of your community of followers. You can send out short broadcasts in real time and have a bit more personal connection to your community.

Due to the nature of texting, this method of building a following is best for very short messages such as emergency alerts or community announcements. 

The Nudge has effectively built a large community of followers who tune in for weekly suggestions of things to do in their local area. You could easily start a similar service that gives your neighbors tips on what to do this weekend or community events that are coming up. This positions you as the hub of your community and you will be top of mind when they think about who to list their homes with.

Call Me Back Button (Or Calendly)

You’ve probably heard that millennials are not the most keen generation on using the phone. And yet, they are the single largest demographic of homebuyers, making up more than 38% of all home buyers according to the National Association of Realtors.

So why do so many agents insist on only publishing their phone numbers on their website? Adding email and contact forms are a great starting point, but what if your potential real estate leads want to get in touch quickly and you don’t see their message until later in the evening? 

Enter the Call Me Back Button

What is a Call Me Back Button? Just what it sounds like: a button that you add to your website where a potential real estate lead can enter their information and when they would like to hear from you. Then you would receive their info and can call them back at the requested time. According to one entrepreneur that we spoke with, adding this button to their website increased their total business revenue by 20%.

An alternative option would be to sign up for a free Calendly account and add this to your website so that visitors can schedule calls with you on their own time.

Online Course

Have you ever taken an online course and ended up following everything else the course creator does? I know that I have! It’s a great way to build your authority (as well as a nice side income stream!). Since you are a professional real estate agent, you obviously know a thing or two about the home buying and selling process.

So why not create a short course about it and share that around your local network?

Right now, you can even capitalize on modern social media trends by hosting the course on an emerging platform rather than a traditional learning management system.

Some of the biggest personalities online got that way because they shared their information with the world. Teach your community about real estate and finance and watch as your real estate lead generation really heats up.

“Not Your Papa’s Cold Email”

Yes, I am advocating for using cold emails. But I promise you that it’s not the same tired old tactics that every other real estate business is teaching. I’m talking about hyper-customized cold emails that hit the recipient like a cold shower.

When they read your customized email, they will know that you wrote it just for them. No generic templates here.

The secret is to write a custom first line for each and every recipient on your email list. Yes, it takes a lot of time.

But it works.

Like gangbusters.

When the recipient sees the email preview on their phones, they will know that this email was made just for them and they will open it. After the custom first line, you will follow up with a quick value proposition and simple call to action. 

In practice, this looks like:

Hi {{First Name}}, {{custom first line}}.

My name is {{your name}}, and I help {{your ideal client}} do {{result}}.

Are you available for a quick chat sometime this week?

Nothing fancy, but wicked effective. If you want to learn how to set up a system to do this in earnest, check out @BlackHatWizardd and @TheTyFrankel on Twitter to learn more or find their courses.

So that’s it! My original list of 9 unique and creative ways to generate real estate leads in 2021. Take these ideas and run as fast as you can, because they won’t stay hidden for long!

If you’d like to see how big of a difference having a rockstar virtual receptionist on your team can make, click the button below to start a free trial 👇👇👇

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