It can be difficult to generate real estate leads consistently even in a strong real estate market. So what are you supposed to do when your market slows? How do you consistently generate real estate leads then?
Economists are predicting that the next recession will strike by the end of 2021. And while this recession isn’t expected to be as severe as the Great Recession of 2009, it will require you to make some strategic changes in the way you generate real estate leads.
Many American real estate markets are already experiencing a slow-down. So if you’re noticing a shift coming, and you want to stay ahead of it, here are seven ways to generate real estate leads in a slow market.
1. Shift to a More Responsive Target Audience
In a hot market, you have an excess of buyers, driving up prices, and making homeowners more willing to sell. But in a slow market, this changes. To generate real estate leads in a slow market, focus your marketing efforts on the six main groups who are most likely to buy or sell while the market is still down:
Expired Listings: In slower markets, more listings expire. This provides an opportunity for you to take over these expired listings. You already know these homeowners are serious about selling!
Short Sales: When homeowners owe more than the current value of their home (as you often see in declining markets), and struggle with their payments, you could help them avoid foreclosure through a short sale.
REO (Real Estate Owned): In a recessed market, banks are forced to foreclose on more homes. And these banks don’t want to hold these properties, so they’ll need a reliable listing agent to handle multiple sales.
Investors: Smart investors love to buy during a slow market when prices are low.
Renters: With lower prices and interest rates, a slow market is a perfect time for renters to get on the property ladder.
Upgraders: If homeowners are looking to upgrade to a bigger/better home, getting that new home at the lower, slow-market values might more-than-offset the potential loss on their current home.
This article will give you multiple ways to reach these recession-friendly groups.
2. Take Advantage of Digital Catalogs
Today’s savvy brokers are using digital catalogs to stay top of mind with past, present, and future clients. This is particularly important in a slow market when you have so many brokers competing for the relatively limited number of interested buyers and sellers.
Every month, a digital catalog will be emailed automatically to your entire client base. These professional publications are full of featured listings, articles of local interest, and promotions for your brokerage. They’re even customized with your branding so it looks like your brokerage is so overwhelmingly successful that it has its own professional publishing company!
Digital catalogs general real estate leads in multiple ways:
Keeping you top of mind with your entire client base
Providing instant credibility in the eyes of new prospects
Giving you a competitive advantage during the listing presentation (sellers love to imagine their homes being featured in this type of publication)
Giving you a platform for promoting your free seminars and expanded services (more on this coming up!)
Your digital catalogs can also create a sense of urgency for sellers in a slow market. Just let your sellers know that they would need to list by a certain date to be featured in the next issue of your catalog!
3. Launch a Renter-to-Homeowner Program
Sending mailers to renters will only take you so far. To maximize your renter leads, you need a structured program. With a Renter-to-Homeowner Program, you work with area property managers to become the agent of choice for high-end apartment communities.
See, many renters are worried about breaking their lease to buy a home. The lease-break fee can be 2-3 times the monthly rent, which is a lot of money on top of a security deposit, closing costs, and moving expenses. But what if you offered a special No Lease-Break Fee Deal for any renters who work with you to buy their home?
You may be wondering why their property manager would be willing to waive the lease-break fee for them just because the renters work with you. Well, they won’t. Instead, you’ll pay the lease-break fee on your client’s behalf. It’s really no different from paying a referral fee. The apartment community gets their fee, the renters can buy more easily, and you get the business. Win, win, win!
4. Host Free Seminars and Workshops
Offering free seminars and workshops is a great way to help buyers and sellers make smart decisions about their real estate investments while generating new leads.
You don’t need to rent a fancy conference room; you can simply use a conference room in your office or reserve a private room in a restaurant or winery.
Here are a few topics for your seminars/workshops:
Renter-to-Homeowner (this is the seminar you host in your local apartment communities as part of your Renter-to-Homeowner Program).
Real Estate Investing Made Easy
The First Time Buyers Seminar: Everything You Need to Know About Buying Your First Home
You’ll establish yourself as a real estate expert, grow your client list as people sign in (make sure to subscribe them to your digital catalog!), and start building relationships with people who are interested in buying and selling!
5. Offer a New Service to Your Old Clients
When the market slows and there are fewer clients to be had, standing out becomes more important than ever. So try something no one else is doing; offer new services to your old clients!
Not only will this generate real estate leads via repeat and referral business, but it can also provide a separate, recession-proof income stream!
The following real estate services actually perform better in a recessed market:
Credit Repair Services: Lender requirements are more stringent during a slow market, so your buyers may need help qualifying for a loan.
Property Tax Appeals: When home values decline in a recession, you can help them save money on their property taxes.
Tool and Equipment Rental: In a slow market, homeowners may be less inclined to purchase tools and equipment. Why not offer affordable tool and equipment rentals?
Property Management: When your clients need to move, but don't want to sell in a buyer's market, offer your property management services.
6. Educate Your Prospective Clients via Social Media and Content Marketing
When the market slows, buyers and sellers both get nervous. Their lack of confidence in the market prevents them from entering the market and slows the market further.
Social media and content marketing (ie. blogging) are excellent ways to educate your local buyers and sellers about the realities of the market while keeping your brand top of mind.
Here are a few ideas for social media and blog posts to generate real estate leads in a slow market:
Remind people that markets naturally cycle between hot and cold. A cold market is no reason to panic.
Share the best investment deals on the market for potential investors.
Promote your free seminars/workshops and your new services.
Post about the benefits of buying in a down market.
Explain that buyers don’t actually need a full 20% down.
With these seven lead-generators, you’ll be able to generate real estate leads even in the slowest of markets.