Real Estate Online Leads – How back-to-the-basics will work best
Real estate online leads seem to be all the talk in the real estate investing community. Let me honestly say that it is also the biggest misconception. There is no “magic button” (or key on the keyboard,) that can magically give you access to the best untapped sources of leads. Unfortunately it is mostly a ploy to sell a software tool or a database/lead generation platform.
So what should you do as an investor?
Real estate investing is a combination of “old fashion” strategies and modern technology and resources. First of all, you have to remember that it is a people’s relationship building business. 90% of the business can be delegated and automatized, but the 10% that YOU do will push you over the edge as far as competition and hence profitability.
Zillow shows that 52 percent of buyers and 67 percent of sellers are coming from referrals and reputation based business (building relationship with the prospects.)
Instead of Real Estate Online Leads try these ideas:
- Public Databases – they are free and much more accurate. When a property owner starts having some trouble in his or her life (behind on mortgage payments, property taxes, bankruptcy, death, and so on,) the properties owned by such individual end up in a public database for the purpose of making it public (by law) before the next step can be taken by the appropriate government office.
- Demographic Targeting – purchasing a database based on demographics (elderly property owners and millennials who rent, for example,) and marketing to these demographic targets can yield responsive results.
- Networking – especially when you are looking for buyers or investors, this is the best strategy yet. In person networking and meetings (like the local real estate association meetings) are no substitute for online (social media) networking. Social media networking should be valued as complimentary to the ongoing relationship building and reputation.
Once you have the leads from any of the above sources, you can hire a virtual assistant to help you organize all these leads, skip trace them and even do the preliminary contact/marketing. We use a 5 step marketing process, where we contact batches of qualified lists via different methods. The goal is not to leave “any stone unturned” and we are able to get 1 to 3 properties under contract for every batch of 300 leads.
Technology (Apps and Software) should be used as a support of the automation and organization process of the leads, not as a substitute for finding leads. You can still exponentially grow the business and build an automated system, but quality of leads and tight marketing practices (which include quality control of the process) are fundamental to your success as a real estate investor.