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The sad truth about real estate community lead generation is that there is simply no quick way to do it. There’s no magic formula that will help you find clients in the next hour, day or even month.
Whether it’s online lead generation, farming, direct mail or any other form, the very first step involves the creation of a relationship, followed by maintaining the relationship.
Community involvement offers not only an exercise in relationship-building, but it’s a lead-generation technique as well. And, while you may think you don’t have the time for it, you simply can’t afford to ignore the many benefits it offers.
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We’re talking hands-on volunteerism here and, yes, it requires the gift of your time
And, it is time well spent. Not only will you be helping to make your community a better place to live, but you’ll be face-to-face with potential clients who will get to know you on a personal level. Something your newsletter, postcards or cold calls can’t accomplish.
So, where will you find the time in your schedule for community lead generation? You block time to make and return calls, work on your CRM, website and social media, right? So, schedule time to get out into the community by considering it a form of community lead generation.
Yes, it sounds a bit mercenary, but think of volunteering as networking with benefits. You get good business exposure and the community benefits from your time.
Kim Salveson-Pauly, owner of several Windermere offices in Oregon told RealtorMag’s Robert Freedman that volunteerism is especially effective for the new agent who is trying to build her sphere of influence.
Salveson-Pauly’s offices are particularly fond of Helping Hands Against Violence and “70 percent of business for our new associates is through the sphere of influence they’ve developed by working on the auction and other volunteer activities.”
If you don’t already volunteer, follow your passions when choosing where to spend your time.
I once read a blog post on Active Rain from a Nebraska agent whose passion is soccer, so naturally he decided to coach a youth team. It’s that activity that fueled his real estate business with most of the leads he generated every year.
If sports are your thing, consider doing as he did and find a local youth team that needs a coach.
Non-profits always need help. Check out VolunteerMatch.org where you can search your local area for opportunities that fit your interests.
If you’re 55 years of age or older, and especially if you specialize in the baby boomer niche, navigate to NationalService.gov and learn more about the RSVP program. They’ll hook you up with service opportunities that match the skills you’ve built up over the years or, if you prefer, a chance to learn new skills.
Some of the opportunities you may be interested in as an agent include helping set up a neighborhood watch program, renovating homes, teaching English to immigrants or assisting victims of natural disasters. All of these are great examples of community lead generation.
If you just aren’t sure what you’d like to do in the community, check the list of community service opportunities in your area at AllForGood.org.
If you like the camaraderie that being a part of a civic organization brings, consider joining one of the following:
Kim Murray, an Arizona agent, relates the story of the annual golf event in her target community. She volunteers to work at it every year and finds that the community lead generation she gets is invaluable.
“In one day’s work, I mixed and mingled with my target community and demographic. This would have been difficult to do if I were going door to door as the Dove Mountain community is segmented between an active adult community and single-family residences,” she explains.
You can get that same kind of exposure volunteering to help at schools, churches and even community theatre groups.
“Once you start getting involved in the community, I mean, your name is everywhere, you know everyone, you know what’s going on, you become the neighborhood expert—everyone gets to know you,” Wisconsin agent Beth Jaworski tells Patrick Lilly at RealEstateSuccess.Rocks.
And, isn’t that the key to success in business?
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