- Advertise on alternative (but popular) online channels, like Waze
- Get featured in a Google Local Pack
- Prioritize getting positive reviews on Google
- Emphasize video in your marketing
4 Unconventional (But Very Effective) Real Estate Lead Generation Ideas
Interestingly, it wasn’t all that long ago when real estate agents questioned why they should advertise on Facebook. We should know! Homesnap Pro Ads on Facebook launched in 2015, and it took years before many in the industry acknowledged Facebook as an essential advertising platform.
So, how do you know if what’s deemed an “unconventional advertising channel” is now worth your time and budget? If it works, of course! We have four real estate lead generation ideas for your advertising playbook that we’ve seen work firsthand. When used correctly, they’ll set you apart from your competitors and help grow your business.
1. Advertise on alternative (but popular) online channels, like Waze
Waze, a navigation app, is an excellent advertising platform for promoting open houses. These ads appear in the app for nearby drivers (in a safe, non-distracting way!) and encourage real-time behavior, like checking out an open house that’s just off your usual route.
There are three different ad units offered on Waze:
- Pin ads: Your open house pops up as a distinctive pin on the navigation map.
- Search ads: Your listing appears at the top of results when a nearby destination is searched.
- Zero-speed ads: This banner appears on the Waze screen when drivers stop for at least three seconds.
Each of these ad units offers Waze users the option to be redirected to your open house in a single tap. In addition to encouraging foot traffic, Waze ads also help increase overall awareness of your listing. Many people likely drive near the property daily, but not right past it if their route has them driving a street or two over. Through Waze, your ad acts as a digital yard sign for all in the vicinity to see, alerting them to your listing without needing to drive right in front of it.
2. Get featured in a Google Local Pack
Google’s data reveals that searches for “near me” were more than 2X as popular in September 2020 as the same period two years prior. As a result of this trend, which Google recognized years ago, the company has been working hard to beef up its search engine results page for queries with hyperlocal intent.
As a result, Google introduced the local pack. This eye-catching top-of-the-page unit displays a large map with pins and highlights three local businesses under the map. It’s prime placement because it appears even before organic recommendations at the very top of the results page.
It takes some elbow grease to make it into the local pack, but as long as you’re consistent, Google will look upon you favorably. Here’s how to increase your chances:
- Create a Google business profile and fill out all the fields of the profile, including adding posts and photos.
- Ask past clients for five-star reviews to complete your profile.
- The real key is regular maintenance. What this entails is gathering reviews and updating photos and content posts weekly. Doing this signals to Google that you’re an active real estate agent and that you have a profile with fresh content that users will care about. The more up to date you keep your profile, the more likely Google is to include it in the local pack and on the map.
We love this particular real estate lead generation idea because focusing on your Google business profile does much more than just helping you appear in the local pack.
3. Prioritize getting positive reviews on Google
We already mentioned that regularly generating new reviews on your Google business profile is necessary to be featured in the local pack. It’s also a key component in your profile’s SEO, helping it appear in indirect searches that have local intent (like “[city] real estate agents near me” instead of someone searching for your name). That’s because Google wants to show its users content that is relevant and recent. If Google had to choose between a profile that has few reviews (or older reviews) and one that has many reviews, including recent ones, our research shows that it would definitely choose the latter.
Besides boosting your online ranking, prioritizing reviews also helps you generate leads. Whether someone discovers you organically or Googles your name directly, you can guarantee that they’ll read what others have to say about you—82% of consumers read online reviews, and they need to click through at least 10 before feeling like they can trust you. If you play your cards right—generate at least 10 five-star reviews to start and then gather new ones at least once a month—you’ll easily convert those who read your Google business profile into leads.
4. Emphasize video in your marketing
This might not seem like an unconventional real estate lead generation idea, but hear us out. You probably read often that you should be using video in your advertising—videos that introduce you as an agent, showcase your listings and feature happy past clients. But how often are you actually doing that? As much as the stats back up using video (such as that it outperforms text-only ads and static images by an incredible 1,200%), very few real estate agents are using it regularly.
One easy way to share videos—that’s also free—is to create a Homesnap Story for any or all of your listings. These work just like the popular Instagram Stories and will appear as media on your listing in Homesnap. When clients view the property page, they can watch your Story and click through photos of the home and any other media you added to the MLS listing. If you want to put budget behind your Homesnap Story, you can easily boost it to Facebook and Instagram in just a few taps.
How Homesnap Can Help
Waze ads can be time-consuming to create and publish on your own. Why create an account on yet another platform when you can run campaigns on Waze, Facebook, Google and Instagram all from your Homesnap Pro account?
We do all the heavy lifting for you, from ad creation and audience targeting to placement and optimization. You can even automate your ads so that every time you have a new listing or open house, for example, we’ll immediately launch a campaign on your behalf—on whichever ad networks you choose.
We can also help you set up and regularly maintain your Google business profile through a Homesnap Pro+ Membership. When you become a Pro+ Member, we’ll instantly verify you on Google, create your business profile and keep it updated. Our One-Click Review tool will also help you generate positive reviews at the click of a button so you can keep your profile fresh and optimized for Google search results.
Learn more about how Homesnap Pro Ads on Waze.
Or see how Homesnap Pro+ help you generate more real estate leads quicker.