Lead generation

Recently a member asked us about lead generation. Is any one program better than the other? How do I get started? And what was our advice in general? Well, as we didn’t have any first-hand experience, we researched the field a bit. Please note that our review is not a thorough vetting of the market nor a decisive answer for all, but anecdotally it gives some ideas. While various players tout different software programs or software-as-a-service (think online CRM tools), several experts seem to concur that a great website and managing one’s online presence is just as good if not better.

For a more traditional software approach, Chicago Agent Magazine is a great resource for tips, tools, and tricks from active practitioners. This article suggests a few lead generation tools, “The Best in Tech for Real Estate” dated July 2013 (scroll down to section “Best Lead Generation Software”). Other options to consider can be found at Texas A & M’s Real Estate Center’s Real Estate Software Directory. While the online tools mentioned in the above article don’t appear, you can find some software options under the section called “Contact Management“. Play around with some of the other categories to find software and tools for advertising, farming management, etc.

However, not everyone is on the software bandwagon:

Be your own AdWords manager. Learning the in and outs of paid search is a tough road, but a very rewarding one. Very similar to renting a home versus owning a home. One requires payment with not equity in the end, whereas the other requires payment, hard work, but equity in the end.

If you decide software isn’t the solution, here are some ideas on alternative methods for lead generation. It seems almost as if there is a consensus amongst the experts on using alternative methods (other than traditional software or pay-per-click tools). As per NAR’s 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 90% of home buyers use the Internet in their home search process, and 96% of buyers under the age of 44 use the Internet in the home search process, so buyers are definitely online. The articles below give a good lay-of-the-land and offer some good ideas as to how to connect with these buyers when they are online.

Move: Leads to Real Estate Pros Up 50%, Inman, Aug. 2013

Use the Internet to Your Advantage, Chicago Agent Magazine, July 2013

3 Keys to Personalizing Your Marketing, REALTOR® Magazine, April 2013

4 Tips for Online Lead Generation, REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 2013

Real Geeks vs Tiger Leads by Sarasota Real Estate Broker, Real Geeks, Feb. 2012

[Agent Profile] Blogging is KEY to Generating More Leads, Inman, Aug. 2011

Keep the leads flowing, REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2010

Rethinking lead generation, REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2009

Capture the leads, REALTOR® Magazine, July 2009

Kate Stockert

Information & Web Content Specialist at the National Association of REALTORS®

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