Updated: May 18
When it comes to real estate lead generation, many real estate agents spend countless hours actively marketing their services to buyers and sellers. Cold calling, door knocking, delivering door hangers, dropping by local businesses to introduce yourself...the list goes on and on.
And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s smart to get out there in the community and meet your buyers and sellers where they are.
But how nice would it be to have buyers and sellers coming to you? When you create systems for passive real estate lead generation, you can stop chasing clients and watch as the leads keep rolling in.
Now, this isn’t to say that there won’t be time and effort involved in generating passive leads. You may even need to work extra hard on the front end to reap all the passive lead rewards that follow. But when you’re earning new leads in your sleep, while on vacation, or while you’re closing deals for other clients, the work will be worth it!
Here are a few smart ideas for passive real estate lead generation.
Digital catalogs bring print advertising into the digital age.
Imagine this: every month everyone on your email list automatically receives a professional digital catalog delivered to their inbox. The catalog is full of stunning listing photos, articles of local interest, and promotions for your real estate business. And the catalog is presented with your unique branding, as though it’s your own personal publication.
With this valuable monthly subscription, your clients and prospects will be regularly reminded of your professionalism. And that regular contact results in passive leads.
According to the National Association of Realtors®, only 13% of the typical agent’s business comes from repeat clients, and just 17% comes from referrals. These low percentages are largely attributed to a lack of contact after a deal closes. But with digital catalogs, you automatically connect with your past clients every month to generate these business-changing passive leads.
Consider some of the key benefits of having your own digital catalog:
You’ll stay top of mind with clients and prospects, which leads to more repeat business and more referrals
The high production value gives instant credibility to your real estate business, which will impress new prospects who don’t personally know you yet
You’ll gain a competitive advantage in your listing presentation when you show the sellers how their home will be featured in your catalog
But what if you don’t have enough listings to warrant your own digital catalog? No problem; just partner up with the other agents in your brokerage! Talk to your broker about starting a brokerage-wide digital catalog to benefit the entire firm. And make sure your broker knows he or she can sell ad space in the catalog to other industry professionals to offset the cost of the service.
Old-school advertising (newspaper ads, billboards, bus benches, etc) may have generated leads back in the day. But in today’s oversaturated real estate advertising market, these impersonal ads don’t seem to resonate with buyers and sellers the way they used to.
New-school advertising is just as passive, but it’s more personal and more cost-effective. It’s about branding yourself so everyone can instantly identify you as a real estate professional, open for business.
Take the humble name tag, for example. You wear that name tag into Starbucks® as you go about your business, and you’ll naturally have people ask you, “so, how’s the market?” as you wait for your coffee. You respond with, “well, that depends; are you looking to buy, sell, or rent?”, and just like that, you have a new lead! Sign that lead up for your digital catalog to automatically stay top of mind.
Shirts that say things like will give real estate advice for tacos or simply ask me about real estate are a fun option for casual events, like a kid’s soccer game or a day of volunteering in the community. You could also slap a decal on your laptop (Real estate agent at work - open for questions!) for those moments when you’re working from a coffee shop between appointments.
It’s simple, inexpensive, and effective.
Blogging is notably underutilized by real estate professionals. Only around 9% of Realtors® report having a blog. Yet marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive marketing ROI.
So why are so few agents blogging?
It’s mostly because real estate agents don’t know enough about blogging to understand how it works as a passive real estate lead generation tool.
Here’s how blogging generates passive leads:
With every blog post, you’re giving search engines more content to index.
Regular blog posts prove to the search engines that your site is updated regularly, relevant, and informative.
This leads to search engines recommending your website in the search results when people search for terms like “buying a home in San Diego” or “Austin real estate market”.
Search engines will send more and more traffic to your website, where buyers and sellers will find useful blog posts about moving to your city, the buying process, and the selling process. Through your blog posts, you’ll be building trust with your prospective clients before you ever meet them!
As your prospects learn to trust your expertise through your helpful blog posts, they’ll be more likely to contact you when they’re ready to make a move!
Yes, blogging takes time. But a blog post you write today can result in passive real estate lead generation for years. And if you prefer to make your blogging leads 100% passive, you can always outsource your blogging to a professional real estate writer.
Strategic Social Media
Social media can be as active or as passive as you want to make it. For some agents, social media is a marketing pillar, and these agents will invest an hour or more every day in curating their social media posts. And if you enjoy social media, why not? It’s certainly more fun than cold calling!
But many of us consider social media more of a chore. So how can you make social media a tool for more passive real estate lead generation?
First, take advantage of ads. Platforms like Facebook allow you to target your local buyers and sellers with automated ad campaigns. It just takes a few minutes to create your ad and trigger the automation. You can even add individual users to your target audience to make sure you stay in front of clients and prospects.
Then, take advantage of your existing content. Sharing your latest blog post across all your social platforms takes only a few seconds. And you can share the listings from your digital catalog to your social networks with one click!
And as with blogging, you can make your social media lead generation entirely passive by outsourcing to a professional.
With these ideas for passive real estate lead generation, you might never make a cold call again!