Real Estate Investor Lead Generation
When it comes to real estate investor lead generation, whether you’re a full-time or part-time investor, at the heart of your success or failure is always going to be:
Generating a steady flow of real estate investor leads…
- Motivated Seller Leads, and
- Cash Buyer Leads.
For a stable, growing real estate investment business, you need to generate these motivated seller leads and real estate investor / cash buyer leads, consistently, all the time.
Unfortunately, real estate investor lead generation can be a full-time job in itself…
… And that’s before you ever get a chance to:
- nurture leads,
- view properties,
- conduct due diligence,
- make offers, and
- manage your investments.
That’s why we’ve gathered together 23 of the smartest real estate investor lead generation ideas from the industry’s top experts to answer this one simple question:
“What are the best ways to generate real estate investor leads?”
Some of the advice we received might not be what you expect, but you’ll definitely learn a ton of actionable ways to generate Real Estate Cash Buyer and Motivated Seller Leads in our article here today.
23 Real Estate Investor Lead Generation Ideas from the Experts
Table of Contents
Partner With the Right Local Agents for a Steady Flow of Motivated Seller Leads [via REINation]
Real Estate Agents can be a valuable asset to Real Estate Investors, especially when it comes to generating Motivated Seller Leads.
Not all real estate Agents understand the needs of an Investor, so you want to partner with local Agents that understand the fundamentals of your business.
Top 5 Traits to Look For When Partnering with Real Estate Agents
These are the 5 Traits to Look For When Partnering With Real Estate Agents, as described by real estate expert & investor, Chris Clothier (a partner at Memphis Invest, 6x Inc 5000 honoree).
You should aim to partner only with:
- Real Estate Agents who have a proven track record with Real Estate Investors.
- Real Estate Agents that can handle with multiple deals at the same time.
- Real Estate Agents that are knowledgeable and experienced in multiple markets in your target areas.
- Real Estate Agents with exceptional character, integrity, and honesty. You don’t want a real estate agent that will take shortcuts which could cost you in the end.
- (When possible) Turnkey property sellers are always on the lookout for real estate investor partners. If your Agent has turnkey inventory or knows other investors who do, they can be a great help to growing your portfolio.
In addition to compatibility on the above 5 Traits, it will be crucial to help your partner-Agents understand exactly what type of “Motivated Seller Signals” indicate your ideal target properties.
This will help them avoid sending un-targeted junk your way, saving both of you time & wasted effort.
Finally, it will be important to maintain regular follow up & nurturing communications with your partner-Agents: make sure to make their job as easy as possible, pay them accordingly, and you’ll be building a referral relationship to last a lifetime.
[warning]Learn how you can use Virtual Assistants to help build referral partnerships with your target local Agents! Request more info here.[/warning]
Beat Your Competition at the 'We Buy Houses Bandit Sign' Game [via Dan Schwartz]
InvestorFuse CEO Dan Schwartz (@dschwartz06) takes a unique & innovative approach to generating real estate investor leads using ‘We Buy Houses Bandit Signs.‘
He’s not just randomly blanketing the town with litter, but rather has a very sophisticated and targeted approach to posting these signs.
Check out his idea.
Step 1: Buy 100-200 of 18×24 blank signs with equal amount of H-Stakes and a Sharpie Pen
Step 2: Write “Sell Your House As-Is. Cash. [Your Tracking Number]” and “Buying Houses Now. Cash. Fast. [Your Tracking Number]” on these signs. Put the H-Stakes into the flutes, and put them in your car.
Step 3: Every Friday at 2PM, go around and put these signs up at busy intersections in your target areas. Make sure to put them up around Walmarts…it works. You can use the app SimpleCrew to track where these signs are.
Step 4: Take them down on Monday morning so you can re-use them and not violate your city ordinances! You paid good money for these little assets, so you might as well keep them in play.
Not only does Dan not recommend wasting your signs nailed up to telephone polls (potentially leaving you vulnerable to fines & prosecution for littering in some municipalities)…
He also takes a systematized approach as to when and where you should be getting your signs posted. He even recommends a helpful technology, SimpleCrew, to go above & beyond your competitors in really tracking your We Buy Houses Bandit Sign Lead Generation campaign.
[warning]Looking for help implementing this type of campaign?
Get started with a free Opportunity Analysis Consultation call.
We’ll go over the logistics & pricing of what it will take.[/warning]
Target Probate Lists to Generate Motivated Seller Leads [via The Marketing Commando]
Probates and other types of inherited properties are an excellent source for motivated seller leads.
David Corbaley (@DavidCorbaley), the ex-Green Beret, Real Estate Investor, and CEO of MarketingCommando, goes into great detail about why you should Add Probate Real Estate to Your List of Leads.
The simple answer?
Inheriting a property can be one of the most inconvenient forms of real estate ownership…
Probate Sellers are Motivated Sellers!
Before you start digging into Probate Leads, you need to understand a few things.
First of all, these are people & families who are going through the loss of a loved one. If you are not sensitive to their situation, you will be ignored!
Luckily, this also means that many of these Probate Sellers are very eager to meet a trustworthy, reasonable person who can help them quickly & conveniently sell their property (in as-is condition).
If you’re a savvy investor, that person will be you.
Before you jump head-first into contacting Probate property owners, it’s worth investing some time to understand the rough legal outline of the Probate process, and some of the key terminology.
Understanding The Probate Terminology & Process
Probate: The first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a will.
Intestate: If someone dies without leaving a will, then they are ‘intestate.’
Administrator: A person who is appointed by the courts to deal with the estate of someone who died intestate.
Executor: A person, or entity, that was appointed in a will, to take care of the estate of the deceased.
Will: A document in which a person specifies the method to be applied in the management and distribution of his estate after his death. Even if someone had a Will, many of their assets will still be held in Probate.
Trusts: A trust is created by the owner (the “settlor”, “trustor” or “grantor”) to transfer property to be managed by a “trustee” for benefit of the trust’s “beneficiaries.” Depending on how it is set up, real estate held in a Trust will most likely avoid Probate.
When a person passes away, whether they are Intestate or they have a Will, in most states a Probate file will be opened to give creditors and family members a chance to contest the Will (if there is one), and for any other assets owned by the decedent to be distributed equitably.
It will be important for you, as an Investor, to understand whether the property is going through Probate, or whether it is being directly transferred to beneficiaries / in a trust. This will significantly affect your timeline as to when the property will be available for purchase.
If the property is going through Probate, especially if the decedent passed away Intestate, chances are you’re looking at a 6 – 12+ months process before the beneficiaries will even be able to sell!
The Good News About Investing In Probate Properties … Even If You Have A Long Turnaround Time
Regardless of how long you’ll have to wait before the Probate Property is ready for sale, the good news is:
Probate properties are great investments because the owners are motivated sellers!
If you’ve ever inherited a property that needed work, or was in an inconvenient location, or otherwise was not a value to your immediate lifestyle, you know how it feels… You want to sell fast & easy, even if it means not getting as much money!
Now, the last important detail for you to start adding Probate Leads into your own Real Estate Investing funnel…
What Are the Best Ways to Find Probate Property Leads?
No matter where you’re located, Probates are a matter of public record.
That is one of the main functions of the entire Probate process:
To publicly announce the passing of the decedent, and to provide beneficiaries & creditors notice of the Will, and any assets owned by the person at the time of their passing.
Therefore, regardless of where you live, or where you’re investing, there is definitely some way to access the local Probate records!
Here are some of the most common places to look for your own Probate real estate investment leads:
- Your local county auditor / assesor / or family courts website. In a best case scenario, you’ll be able to find all your probate leads online for free!
- Your local newspaper(s), especially those accessible online. While newspapers don’t always have a section for Probate announcements, they do always have Obituaries. In a worst case scenario, you can check if the people mentioned in Obits had any property in their name at the time of passing via your county records site(s).
- Subscription services such as USProbateLeads. While expensive, the data is good quality & convenient. Remember: these lists are most likely being sold to other investors competing in your same market.
- Build a working relationship with local probate attorneys. Chances are, at least one local Family Law or Estate Planning Attorney in your target market(s) will already have access to this data. Work out a deal with them to share the data in exchange for sharing the costs or other marketing burdens, and you’ll get access straight from the experts.
- Get the data from the courthouse directly. In a worst case scenario, some counties only have the full list of Probate data available by visiting the court house in-person. If you don’t have the time to visit yourself, consider hiring a local Administrative Assistant to handle the task on your behalf (we’ve had to do this ourselves in Marion County, Indiana when investing in Indianapolis properties).
Once you’ve built your list (and Skip Traced the Names + Addresses, if you didn’t already have their Phone Numbers)…
… It’s time to actually contact the Probate Property Owners / Executors.
How to Generate Motivated Seller Leads From Your Probate List(s)
When it’s time to finally get in touch with your Probate List, you only have a few realistic options:
- Direct Mail, and
The best solution is a combination of both!
However, if you have to select just one or the other, the choice will come down to your priorities:
Direct Mail to generate your Motivated Seller Leads from the Probate List will be mostly automated, generates a flurry of inbound calls & leads when the letters first land, and requires no extra staff.
Telemarketing to your Probate List requires trained cold callers to dial day-by-day, which has the advantage of generating a more steady flow of leads than the peaks & valleys of Direct Mail delivery cycles.
Depending on the Probate List, the Cost Per Lead between Direct Mail and Telemarketing hovers remarkably close together, often with Telemarketing coming in at just slightly cheaper on a Per Lead basis.
[warning]We’re experts at Probate Lead Generation to find Motivated Sellers.
Learn More by Scheduling an OAC.[/warning]
Use Yellow Letter Mailers & 'We Buy Houses' Postcards for Direct Mail Lead Generation [via PostCardMania]
When it comes to Real Estate Investment Lead Generation, in many ways, direct mail is still king.
That’s because if you have a targeted list, and you need to reach out to them directly, you basically only have 2 scalable options:
- Direct Mail, and
Yes, there are add-on options like SMS Text Marketing, Email Marketing, and Voicemail Broadcasts… but at the heart of your Real Estate Direct Marketing campaigns will always be the Mail and the Phone.
That’s because everybody receives mail!
Perhaps unfortunately for us as consumers, there’s no “Do Not Call” list for your mailbox, as any homeowner is well aware by the amount of junk mail we all receive. That means everyone can potentially be reached via their mailing address.
Now, the key for your Real Estate Investor Direct Mail campaign is simple:
Sending Real Estate Direct Mail That Stands Out From the Clutter
One of the most distinctive, high-open-rate, effective types of direct mail that we’ve seen many investors around the country succeeding with is:
Real Estate Investor Yellow Letter Mailers
Yellow letters are powerful because they appear genuinely to come from an individual writing it. It’s not just some manufactured junk mail printed off en masse and mailed to millions.
It really feels like “Somebody took the time to write this letter for me, personally.“
Luckily, handwriting fonts & printing technology have come a long way, especially in the last 15 – 20 years, so that unless someone is very media savvy, most will be barely able to tell whether you really wrote the letter by hand, or whether it was just a nice print job.
Here is a real estate investor yellow letter template to give you some ideas.
According to PostCardMania.com:
- 70% of U.S. consumers say snail mail is more personal than the internet (Data & Marketing Association)
- 42% of recipients read or scan direct mail pieces (DMA)
- 54% of consumers say direct mail is their preferred form of marketing (MarketingSherpa)
- 60% of direct mail recipients were influenced to visit a promoted website (USPS)
Depending on your investment strategy & location, you should be sending at least 500 – 1,000 of these yellow letters every single month.
Keep in mind as well, that it’s critically important to send more than one piece of mail to the same person!!!
Don’t just think one-and-done will work. People need to see your name, brand, and Call To Action anywhere from 5 – 7+ times (minimum) before they are likely to remember your info or take action.
That’s why it’s important to create a multi-step Direct Mail Campaign, and ideally to include other types of direct mail pieces, like:
Real Estate Investor Postcard Marketing
Want to know the biggest potential downside to Yellow Letters?
While using a live stamp, a local return address, and a handwriting font on the outside of the envelope can all help boost your open rates, there’s no way around it:
A percentage of people will not open your envelope at all, and therefore will never see your Yellow Letter in the first place.
A great solution to this, to mix in with your multi-step Direct Mail Campaign, is to also use Real Estate Postcard Mailers with strong messages & simple Calls To Action (CTAs).
Real Estate Postcard Direct Mail Examples
By creating & sending a multi-step sequential Direct Mail campaign that includes both Yellow Letters and Postcards, you have built one of the strongest Real Estate Investor Lead Generation engines available.
While Direct Mail is not cheap, it is dependable, scalable, and universal — definitely worth including in your Lead Generation mix.
Create a Keyword-Optimized Real Estate Investor Website to Generate Organic SEO Leads [via Brian Dean]
Brian Deal of Backlinko is one of the foremost experts on SEO…
Not just in Real Estate, in any industry. Period.
And he’s compiled the definitive SEO Checklist that you can follow to make sure your Real Estate Investor Website is generating a steady flow of organic SEO traffic & leads.
To help you hit the ground running & get started as fast as possible, we’ve boiled his 4,000+ word SEO Checklist article down to a few key points, crucial for your Real Estate Investor Lead Generation Website.
And this is not just idle chatter:
At REVAS we’re big Brian Dean fans & students, and have put all these action items into practice on our own websites we use to provide our unique InvestorRabbit™ Done-For-Your Real Estate Investor Lead Generation service.
First & foremost, you can think of the Checklist in 5 main sections:
- Keyword Research.
- On-Page SEO.
- Technical SEO.
- High-Quality Content.
- Link Building.
To give you a quick mental checklist and see how your website stacks up, here are a few of the most important points:
- Make sure you’re tracking traffic with tools like Google Analytics & Search Console (at the bare minimum)!
- Invest in high-quality Keyword Research and build a definitive list of your target Keywords. This will power every other SEO action item, so it’s crucial to get right.
- Make sure you’re creating Geo-Targeted Pages for your local neighborhoods & target markets. Keyword + Location Name is a proven page creation strategy in the real estate industry.
- Find out how Google crawls your site via the Search Console, and make sure you’re not returning errors or too many 404s. Fix missing pages & crawl errors ASAP.
- Make sure your site is mobile friendly (we go into more detail on this below). Google is going mobile-first, and if you don’t address the mobile version of your site, you will lose rank fast!
- Make your site as fast as possible! There are many optimization tricks, but there’s no substitute for dedicated, fast hosting.
- Build Content for big names in your niche would to share. Write content not just for the Home Seller or Home Buyer … but also for the local news & other real estate media.
- Write long-form Content. Google prefers to rank pages 1,500 – 2,000+ words in length.
- Actually promote your Content once you publish it!!! Don’t just Post & Pray… invest into high quality Content, then share it, promote it, and drive traffic to it. It’s not free, but it’s a critical investment to make.
While this is an incredibly abridged SEO Checklist overview, considering how many of the above items you’re already hitting will give you an idea of how much work you still have to do.
Boost Your SEO Traffic & Conversions With Effortless, High Quality Link Building [via IdealREI]
07/08/18 Update: See below, Eric Bowlin responds to this very article!
Once you’ve built your Real Estate Investor Lead Generation Website…
… you need to actually drive traffic to it & generate leads!
In the Brian Dean formula listed above, you can see step 5 out of 5 is Link Building.
This is the core of what’s called your “Off-Page SEO” which involves Google’s interpretation of how important your site is (in the grander scheme of your niche, and among the internet at large).
Google decides on your site’s importance … by the importance of the sites that are linking to you:
- How authoritative are they?
- How relevant are they to your topic?
- How many authoritative sites are linking to them?
To put it simply:
Your Off-Page SEO — the sites that are linking to you — are the #1 factor that will determine your Organic Search Engine Ranked Placements (SERPs).
In other words:
No matter how good your On-Page SEO & Keyword Optimization…
… you will get worse traffic & fewer leads by neglecting proper Off-Page SEO.
If nobody is linking to your site or sharing your content, Google will assume you’re not that relevant, burying your site down on page 5 of search results.
How to Get Other High-Authority Sites to Share & Link to Your Content
At REVAS, we’re not the only ones studying SEO genius Brian Dean…
… Eric from IdealREI has a great article on Building a Real Estate Website That Converts, where he also cites Brian Dean, and focuses in on one particular detail we rarely see mentioned:
High Quality Content Is OF COURSE the First Step…
…but Actually Promoting That Content Is Key!
Sure, it seems obvious that high-quality content should naturally rank above low-quality content.
When someone does a search, they’re looking for an answer. A solution.
The search result that provides what someone’s looking for will naturally rank higher (over time) in the Organic Search Results.
However, just because you create great content…
… Doesn’t mean anybody will be able to find it, much less link to it!
Getting in Front of Other Creators: a Simple Comment Is All It Takes
While they might not generate a direct backlink, simply due to usually having a “nofollow” tag by default…
Blog comments are an excellent way to get in front of Content Creators from whom you want links!
Indeed, the humble blog comment is often overlooked, or considered only in an impersonal, spammy way… but often the Author also reads & replies to the Comments.
Case-in-point from Eric @ IdealREI:
I continued to create good content and some links did start to show up randomly, but it was very few and far between.
So, I started doing something else, I started commenting on other blogs. After a few weeks of leaving comments, I’d reach out to the site owners and just say hi. Sometimes, these emails led to conversations and the foundation of some working relationships.
Then, people started to read my stuff and started to link to it!
As I built more relationships, I was able to start promoting my content. As I promoted more content, I got more links and my content began to shoot up in the search engine results!
It’s amazing that something as simple as a comment on relevant blog post, can turn into better organic search traffic, new business relationships, and most of all: LEADS!!!
07/08/18 Update: Eric Bowlin followed his own advice & commented on this very blog post! A real-world version of the concept in action.
An excellent real estate investor lead generation strategy, when paired with a website that converts, involves this exact type of “networking” with other Content Creators.
And it really is as easy as starting out by leaving blog comments and reaching out to the site owners with just a “hi” or “hello.”
Show interest, build relationships, and you will get more links, and ultimately:
High quality content is key.
Promoting that content is the missing ingredient for many real estate investors.