You're going to need a pen and pad of paper to take notes on this episode! In it, Jennifer shares a step-by-step strategy for how to attract more high-quality buyer and seller leads in 2022, using content marketing.
Hello hello and welcome to the women rocking real estate podcast. If you’re new here, my name is Jen Percival and I help women start, grow and scale a relational real estate business without using outdated tactics that make you feel icky. I’m also on a mission to help women get out of their own way and stop repeating the same patterns that are keeping them stuck and preventing them from getting the results they desire. If that’s something you could benefit from, I’m happy to have you here.
As usual, I like to start the show off by recognizing and giving some love to anyone that has left me a review on iTunes. I see you and I appreciate you so much. So thank you to music lover and whoever wrote the review titled Bingeworthy as well as Chrystal and not sundee.
There are probably not a lot of you listening who don’t want or need more leads. It’s kind of a universal problem for most realtors. Obviously those of you just getting started are probably like um I got my license but how am I supposed to get business? They didn’t really teach us much about that in school. And then there’s those of you that have been doing this for awhile and you’re making a living, but still feel that panic creep in every few months when you realize your pipeline has dried up and you don’t know where your next deals are going to come from.
Even those of you that are doing well and started to scale your business, now often feel like they’ve got mouths to feed on their team and they need to generate more business to keep everyone afloat.
So kinda like when you get pregnant and start worrying about your baby and naively think that the worrying is going to go away when the baby is finally born. No you can just set yourself up in that worry corner and get comfortable worrying about them for the next 40-60 years because it ain’t going anywhere. I used to think I just needed to get through to the end of the toddler years and I’d finally chill out and not worry so much. Oh my god, wait until you have teenagers. Their brains are still like toddlers, but they can drive cars. It’s terrifying.
So needing to generate leads in real estate is kinda the same. For the vast majority of agents, it’s not going to go away, so you have to get used to living with it.
Given lead gen is here to stay and it’s something you’ll need to do consistently every day to stay in the business, it also goes without saying that you’re probably going to want to find a lead gen strategy that works and that you’ll actually do consistently. And this is where the biggest road block in real estate comes up for people. There’s only so many ways that you can generate leads in this business and most of them suck.
Let’s start with the usual suspects first:
So those would all be considered the older school, more traditional strategies for generating leads. So what is the modern method of lead generation? Well it’s content marketing, but because we don’t associate content marketing with traditional lead generation, we don’t think of it as lead gen and that’s one of our biggest mistakes.
So what exactly even is content marketing? Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online content (such as videos, blogs, podcasts and social media posts) that educates an ideal audience, provides value to them, establishes authority, builds connection and grows know like and trust feelings and therefore attracts those ideal clients to you, rather than you having to aggressively pursue them.
This very podcast is a perfect example of how content marketing works. I created valuable, educational content for my ideal audience - women in real estate. You found this content, either organically by searching for it or because you saw an ad for it or a promotional post on social - which by the way if you weren’t already following me, would have been an ad. Or maybe someone you know recommended it to you. Either way, you started listening and building a connection with me. I give away a lot of valuable free content to help you solve a problem (which is building a business) and in doing so, I establish myself as a knowledgeable, authority figure who knows her stuff. Over time you get to know me, hopefully like me at least some of the time, but most importantly you’ve learned to trust me.
That’s how content marketing works. It’s not lead generation in the traditional sense, but don’t think for a second that it’s not just as effective, if not more.
So the bottom line is that there are really only so many ways to generate leads in real estate…..the old school ways or the modern way. Pick your poison - which way do you want to generate leads? Old School way or modern way? They both require work, they both require effort, they both require time, so you need to decide on a strategy and commit to doing it consistently.
I’m going to assume that you are listening this because you want to use option number 2 - the modern way. Why is it the smart choice anyway? Because Fact. People only work with people that they connect with and that they know, like and trust. The Old school ways don’t build the connection needed, in the way that content marketing inherently does.
So now that we know this, how can we use content marketing to generate leads in real estate? Well first we need to better understand where leads are going to come from in the first place….
When building your real estate business, you will generate leads from one of three places, Bucket number one is the people you know. This is your sphere of influence: your family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, etc. Bucket number 2 is the the people they know that they could refer to you. And lastly bucket number 3 which are people that don’t know you, but that are already in the market and actively looking to buy, sell or rent real estate.
If you want to build a thriving, consistent and predictable real estate business, you’re going to need to generate business from all 3 of these buckets. When you try to rely on any one bucket on its own, you’re putting all your eggs in one basket and it will be very difficult to find consistency.
So let’s look what is required in order to attract leads from all of these buckets:
People need to know you’re a realtor, they need to think of you as always providing value, they need to think of you as a trusted resource of knowledge and they need to remember you frequently.
So as you can see, when it comes to attracting consistent business from both your sphere and from people that don’t know you, there are a lot of similarities in what you’ll need to do to attract them, nurture them and convert them into a client….….and the fastest & easiest way to do all of this at once for a realtor, is with a content marketing strategy. Specifically using blog content, social media content and most importantly video content.
Now I know for some of you, your heart just sunk and your brain went into fight, flight or freeze mode. If you are already feeling resistance around the idea of creating videos, that is the first example of how you’re going to get in your own way. Don’t let it be the filter that you now listen to the rest of this episode about. Don’t decide already that this strategy isn’t going to work for you if video is involved. Because that’s just stupid. No offence, but If you’re ok showing up in person to listing presentations or buyer showings to answer people’s questions or educate them about the community, then you can show up on video. The only difference between the two is that on video, you’re judging yourself. You’re making it all about you instead of just helping the person you’re trying to help. You’re self sabotaging. Your videos aren’t about you, they’re to help potential clients and instead of doing it in person, you’re doing it on video. No difference.
So if you do feel resistance about creating videos, I want you to just see that resistance as something separate from yourself. Observe it with curiousity, maybe laugh at how automatically it happened and just set it aside and let’s move forward.
Ok so if you’ve been hiding under a rock and aren’t convinced about the value of video these days, let me quickly review a few really important stats that will likely change your mind.
People are drawn to other people for really subjective reasons. What might draw me to someone, might be off-putting for you and the things that draw us to people are often really subtle, hard to articulate and often unconscious. It’s usually just a vibe or the energy someone gives off. Which is why no one can ever compete with you, because no one is you. But you can only build this type of connection quickly, through video. The end result is that when you create value-added video content, the leads that you attract do not need to be converted. When they contact you, they’ve already decided they want to work with you. There’s no chasing or pursuing, there’s no selling, there’s no convincing, there’s no competing. They’re already sold when they come to you.
So when done properly, a content marketing strategy will generate consistent leads from your sphere, it will earn you more referrals AND will help you get found by people looking for your services online. No other lead generation approach accomplishes all of this in one strategy. Think about it? Door knocking? nope. Cold calling? Nope. Buying online leads? Nope.
They keyword here however is done properly. And this is where I see the biggest mistakes being made with a content marketing strategy. As with anything, if you don’t do this right, it’s not going to work and you’re not going to see results.
So what are the mistakes you need to avoid?
There are 4 big mistakes I see being made when agents are thinking they’ve got a content marketing strategy that’s going to generate leads.
Now I did have someone mention to me that that was how they found me. But they didn’t actually go searching for a real estate coach on instagram and find me. No I randomly showed up in their feed, but there was actually nothing actually random about it. I either showed up because of hashtags or because it was an ad and I had specifically targeted realtors.
Alright so just to recap mistake number one is that social media content on it’s own is not a viable content marketing strategy and only in rare circumstances will it generate sufficient leads for you. A proper content marketing strategy needs all three - social content, blog content and video content. Now I did mention earlier that podcasts also fall under content marketing, however when it comes to real estate, I don’t think podcasts are worth it for realtors, unless you’re just repurposing your blog/video content into a podcast. But creating original content for a podcast in my opinion would not give you the leads necessary to make it worthwhile.
So to avoid the first mistake you need to make social content, blog content and video content. Now I’m not saying you make original content on all three…..no no no no no. But we’ll get to that later.
Mistake number two: The second big content marketing mistake I see when agents are making video content, is that they only focusing primarily on creating short form content, specifically reels and stories. If you remember that in order to attract leads you have to provide lots of value, you have to demonstrate your knowledge and authority and you have to build connection and those know, like and trust feelings. That’s almost impossible to do in a 15-30 second video.
On the contrary longer form video content is searchable on both Google and YouTube, it helps you stay top of mind when you share it, it nurtures and provides value, it builds connection, it allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and authority and it’s evergreen. It lasts forever and continues to attract leads to you forever. See for yourself, go onto YouTube and search pretty much any type of content. You will find videos with thousands and thousands of views, that were created years ago and still end up on page 1 of the search results.
Now I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t ever be using short form videos on social media. Not at all, but it shouldn’t be the bulk of your strategy and should only be used to supplement it.
So the bottom line is that longer-form, educational video content on search-based platforms, is more effective at generating high-quality leads on autopilot for the long term. That content should then be repurposed and shared on social media platforms.
Because remember, when people are scrolling on social media, they are predominantly there for entertainment. Just watch how fast people scroll through their feed - it’s like lightening speed. They are not on the platform looking for a realtor or real estate related content. In order for you to get their attention, you have to interrupt them.
Whereas on Google they are actively searching for real estate related content or a realtor. They’re actually looking for you and you just have to be the one they find and give them what they’re looking for. They have intent.
YouTube is even better, not only do they have intent for the information, but they have intent for the medium too. They’re specifically on there looking at videos already about real estate and you can hijack their search and get them to find you instead. It’s brilliant and only a fraction of realtors are taking advantage of it. Why? Because they are too focused and obsessed with social media.
The other thing I’m seeing a lot of is agents trying to use a reels strategy for lead generation and getting their reels to go viral only to discover it causes a host of other problems.. I have spoken with a number of realtors that are getting millions of organic views on their reels and here’s what most had to say:
the followers they generated were mostly other realtors who wanted to see what they were doing for inspiration
The crazy exposure did not translate into a relative number of leads for their business. On the contrary, if you had millions of views on your YouTube videos, you’d have more business than you’d ever be able to handle and the reason for that, is intent. But more on that in a minute.
The third theme I heard was that the views actually screwed up their ability to run affordable retargeting ads. Because the views are from people all over the world, they are not your ideal audience, but when you use your followers and video views to build warm audiences inside Ads manager, you’re targeting people who actually have zero interest in your services, but you’re paying for them to see your ads.
And before you think this doesn’t apply to you because you’re not running ads on Facebook and Instagram, well that is mistake number 3.
Mistake number three: Which is relying entirely on organic traffic for exposure and views of your content and in doing so, make you entirely dependant on and putting your business in the hands of, an algorithm. We know that only between 2-9% of our followers even see our content, so do the math. How many followers do you have? Times that by 9% and that’s at best who is seeing your posts. Given how competitive real estate is, that’s simply not enough exposure. To use content marketing as a lead generation strategy, you gotta get more eyeballs on your content and in the beginning for sure, that means paying for the exposure. But take comfort in knowing that paying for online ads is a fraction of the cost of delivering postcards to the same number of properties every month.
Ok so if we don’t want to make those mistakes, how do we create a content marketing strategy that accomplishes everything we need it do, which as a reminder is 5 things:
Get found by people looking to buy or sell
Provide value to them
Build connection so that they get to know, like and trust you.
Demonstrate your knowledge and authority
Stay top of mind.
To do all of that, here’s what you can do. Create a monthly video series with just 3, 3-min videos targeting the same audience. Seriously it’s just 3, 3 minute videos a month - that’s totally doable right? If you do this consistently every single month, you will start generating leads on autopilot and those leads will continue to come in for years to come.
So let’s break this down.
The reason the videos are 3 minutes (approx obviously) is because they need to be long enough to accomplish the 5 things we need, but not too long to make or consume. If you are creating videos that don’t accomplish these 5 goals, you’re creating videos for the sake of creating videos and they will not work.
The reason the series needs to target the same audience is because we want the viewer to be interested in watching all three videos. So you wouldn’t create one video about first time home buyers and the next one about downsizing and the next one about buying an investment property. The goal is to encourage watch time so that you can build know, like & trust, provide value and demonstrate your authority. When you build watch time, you also please the algorithms and they’re more likely to promote your content organically.
Once you’ve created your monthly video series, you’re going to take that content and squeeze every little last thing you can out of it.
You are first going to upload the video to your YouTube channel. Youtube is the second biggest search engine in the world and it is owned by the biggest search engine in the world which is google. Youtube is also a free hosting platform for your videos which take up a lot of space. So your videos need to be stored on Youtube first and then …you can embed them on your website so that you can also get found on google. Having your video on it’s own on your website is good, but to make the search ability great, I recommend you turn that video content into a blog, so that google can index the words themselves in addition to the video.
Remember that 99% of people begin their search for a realtor and real estate related content on Google and Youtube. If you want to begin to get found by those people, you need to have your video content on both YouTube and your website. Now if you don’t have a website, you can still use this strategy, but you will be missing a big piece of it and won’t get the full results. The only way to get your website to work for you, is for it to get found and the only way it can get found, is if it has content on it. The more content you have on it, the more google can index your site and show it to people searching. The longer that content is on there, the more chance it has of showing up at the top of the search results. For more about this topic and search engine optimization, make sure you listen to episode number xx.
So first stop YouTube, second stop is to post the video on your website and turn the content into a blog. Next you’re going to post that video on your Google my business page, this is such a missed marketing opportunity and will also help you get found by Google.
Only after you’ve done those three things, are you going to share your video content on Instagram. Doing so will help you nurture your sphere of influence and build know like and trust, it will help you demonstrate your authority & it will help you stay top of mind but remember that only about 2-9% of your followers even see your content, so on its own creating videos on Instagram is by no means going to get you the same results.
Next you’re going to share your video content through any other social platforms that you already have a following on - places like linkedin. Again this will help you nurture, demonstrate authority and stay top of mind.
You’re also going to repurpose that one piece of content by sending an email once a month to everyone in your database. Emails that have videos in them can increase your open rates by 300% and reduce your unsubscribe rates by 26%. So your monthly newsletter content should include your 3-part video series which will help you nurture your leads, demonstrate your authority & stay top of mind.
Ok so this is where that third big mistake happens. This is where a lot of realtors end their content marketing strategy all together. They rely on organic traffic on both google and YouTube, as well as social media for views and exposure. Depending on how good your content is and how big your following is, you may get some business organically…..but the real magic happens when you start paying to get in front of more eyeballs. You cannot rely on organic reach on social media to build a real estate business. They are a pay to play platform. So to grow your business and reach new people, you will be running ads to increase your reach from less than a hundred people a month seeing your videos to 5 to 10,000 people seeing your videos a month.
You need to do this through both Facebook ads and Youtube ads which no one is doing and unlike Facebook, there is a HUGE opportunity to get extremely targeted with who you are trying to attract. That allows you to reach more people, with LESS content.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have your video content seen by thousands of people who are actually planning to buy or sell real estate. Your ad costs over the course of a year, would be paid off with just one lead in most markets. But you could be generating a high quality lead every week.
And remember, the content itself builds the know, like and trust feelings people need to want to work with you. And it happens all behind the scenes while you’re doing other things, like sleeping and spending time with your loved ones. It also happens for years to come, because you’re building up your organic search results at the same time.
The beauty about running paid ads to your video content, is that you’re not selling anything in your content. You’re not even trying to sell yourself. You’re just giving value, providing helpful information, demonstrating that you’re a knowledgeable, professional and allowing people a chance to build a connection with you. There’s absolutely nothing salesy about this type of content and so it doesn’t read like a typical ad. In fact people often don’t even realize it is an ad.
The other benefit of paid ads is the targeting opportunities. Now we all know that running Facebook ads can be a challenge with the special ads category, but you can absolutely still target buyers and certain types of sellers on Facebook.
Regardless, running YouTube ads has much more lenient restrictions. There are still some things you can’t target, like age, parental status, gender and zip codes (although in Canada you can target the first three characters in the postal code which is still pretty targeted). But you can still directly target people who have been identified by Google as an In-Market Segment. These are people that google has segmented that have an intent to purchase a home soon. You can also place your video ads to show up when people are watching other real estate related channels. It’s like ethically hijacking someone else’s audience and it’s brilliant.
Here’s the last thing I’ll say about paid ads. Practically every agent is on social media trying to get visibility organically and generate leads. Some agents use paid Facebook ads, but they are all doing it by either boosting listings or using custom property search ads. Although these ads can generate a lot of leads, they are notoriously very poor quality leads and you are competing with thousands of other agents all doing the same thing. The result is leads that are being hounded by you and 25 other agents, so it is very difficult to stand out and get anywhere with them.
Practically no one is doing ads to value-added video content on Facebook and even less are using YouTube ads at all, let alone to video content.
If you’re doing it the way everyone else is doing it, you’re fighting an uphill battle. You’ve got to find opportunities that aren’t so saturated and implement them quickly before everyone else catches on and comes and joins the party.
Now I want to make a clear distinction. This is not a YouTube strategy, nor is it a social media strategy. It is a content marketing strategy and the tool that you’ll be using is video and those videos will be repurposed into blogs, social media posts, emails and online ads. Make sense?
Alright so in order for this strategy to work, there are some rules you need to follow.
Rule #1 - You have to create content that people are actually searching for and this is another big mistakes realtors make. They make videos that they may have knowledge about or that they feel comfortable making….but if no one is actually searching for the content, no one is going to find your videos. The real secret to a super successful content strategy, is to have google tell you what content to create. You have to find topics that people are searching for, that someone else hasn’t made a video about or that the videos made are crappy. That’s how you get high in the search results. You’ve got to find a gap or a void in the search results and fill that gap with your content.
Keep in mind, you really only need a few good videos that have high search volumes where you’re able to get your video in the top 5 results, to generate all the leads you’ll ever need for a thriving real estate business.
Rule #2 - in order for this to work, people have to actually watch the videos. Now in fairness you’ll still get some top of mind benefit with your sphere by them just seeing your posts but not necessarily watching the videos and you will also get some brand awareness with people that don’t know you, but see your posts, however in order to build know like and trust and form a connection, they’ll have to actually watch your videos and there is a formula for how to structure them, that everyone uses, because it works.
Rule #3 - If you think you can do all of this and skip the paid ads part, you’re wrong, unless you have a HUGE social following that is really engaged in your content. Otherwise it will take you years, to get the same results.
Rule #4 - Lastly, in order for this strategy to work, rule number 4 is that you need a system that you use to organize your content creation that is easy to follow so you know exactly what to do and when. Nothing will stop you from implementing this strategy consistently, faster than overwhelm and if you don’t do it consistently, it’s not going to work.
So I don’t want one of you listeners to message me complaining that you tried this strategy and it didn’t work and then I ask what you did and find out you made three videos and posted them on your social media and hardly got any response.
That is not at all what I recommended in this episode. But if you do what I said and you do it consistently for the next year, you’ll start generating leads on autopilot for years to come AND you’ll be able to cut back on the amount of content you have to create, because you’ll have built a large library and your content will have become search indexed.
Now I know how all of your brains work. I’m onto you, so I want to tackle some of the things I already know you’re thinking and feeling:
You’re getting all up in your head about creating videos and thinking nope, I can’t do that. If the idea of being on camera fills you with dread, trust me I get it. Even though my coaching clients think I’m a hard ass about this topic, I actually do genuinely get the resistance. I was terrified of making videos too and couldn’t stand how I looked on camera. Why do you think I started a podcast instead? It was so much easier and safer, but ultimately I had to get over my fear and the thing that did it for me was this…..I decided that I needed to care more about what building my business would do for my family. If I let my irrational fears hold me back, my family would suffer as a result and that just wasn’t acceptable for me. It actually felt selfish. Does that make sense? So I got over it and now I honestly couldn’t care less what anyone thinks. Now in fairness I did a lot of brain priming work to get there and that’s what agents in my program do as well. But it is so worth the effort to get to the other side.
You also might be feeling overwhelmed and thinking this all just seems like way too much work and you aren’t techie and you don’t know how to do it or where to start and all the things. Breathe. That is just your brain trying to keep you exactly where you are right now, but that won’t serve you will it? If you can follow a recipe in a cookbook, you can do this strategy. But the best thing about this strategy, is that all you have to do is create the video. You can easily and very affordably outsource everything after that part to a virtual assistant. The same can’t be said for any other lead generation strategy can it?
The next thing you might be thinking is, It’s too time-consuming. And my answer to that, is Compared to what? Door knocking? Most of my coaching clients are getting close to 1000 thruplays a month on each of their videos. That’s 1000 people who watched enough of their video to know who they are now. Do you have time to knock on 1000 doors a month and have enough of a conversation for the home owner to know who you are now? It would be impossible. Now granted, In the beginning this strategy is definitely time consuming because it’s new and whenever you’re doing something new, it takes time to learn it. But it’s only 3, 3 minute videos a month. At most it will take you 9 hours a month to execute the entire strategy start to finish. That’s one day a month to complete your entire lead gen strategy. That’s the total opposite of time consuming when you reframe it like that right?
You also might be thinking, is it’s too expensive and you can’t afford to do it. This is such a mindset habit for so many of us. If I told you the ads were going to cost $3000 a year, would you think that’s expensive or not expensive? If you said yes or no, you’re wrong. The only correct answer is it depends. When you’re investing anything in your business, you always have to look at the return on investment right? If you spent $3000 and got 10 leads over the course of a year and made $10,000 from each lead, you’d have made a profit of $97,000. I’d say that’s a pretty incredible return and makes the ads super cheap. Whenever I bought anything or spent money on anything, I was always calculating how many deals I’d have to do, to get a return on the money. If I only had to do 1 or 2 more deals a year to get my money back, then it was usually a hell yes.
So where do you go from here? Well you’ve got 4 choices and I empower you to pick one of them, commit to it and do it. Now that you know the overall strategy, if you’ve got the knowledge, the skills, the systems and the self-discipline to implement it on your own, you’ve got everything you need and I encourage you to get started right now. Every day you’re waiting to implement this lead generation strategy is a day that someone else is getting found instead of you.
If you’ve don’t have the knowledge, the skills or the systems but you do have lots of time and the self-discipline to implement it on your own, then there are loads of free resources online. You can learn how to research video content to make sure you’re creating content that people are searching for, you can learn the proper video formula, you can learn how to script your content for conversions, you can lean learn how to film and edit and properly publish your videos on Youtube on your website and on social media. You can even learn how to run paid ads, however I have yet to find anyone who teaches it the way I recommend.
Although there isn’t anyone else teaching the exact same strategy out there or the methodology I use, there are others teaching video marketing courses and you may connect with them better. In all honesty, I don’t care who or how you learn, I just want you to implement it, because it works.
Lastly, If you don’t have the knowledge, the skills, the systems, the time or the self-discipline to implement this on your own, then you can join me in my coaching program called the ATTRACT Accelerator not only will I teach you everything step by step, I’ll make sure you’ll actually implement it.
This is a 90-day cohort based bootcamp for women in real estate who just want a proven system to attract high-quality leads and generate more consistent revenue. It is not another online course that you will not finish or implement. It was designed using the latest research oh how people best learn….and it’s NOT through self-paced online courses with lifetime access. When you’re left on your own and given a lifetime to learn and implement something, it has been proven that about 90% of people will take a lifetime to actually do it. Instead you will join a community of other like-minded women in real estate and together you will learn and implement the strategy together inside my community.
Not only are you going to get the exact blueprint of what you need to do and step by steps of how to do it all, but you’re going to get 90 days of the coaching, feedback, support & accountability you need to make sure you actually do it, so that you can finally start getting the results you desire. You’re going to get in, get it done and get out. None of this hanging around for a year, dilly dallying about, accomplishing nothing fast.
The investment is $199 a month for just 3 months or if you decide to pay in full, it’s a one time payment of $597 and there is a limited time bonus that is included, which is free access to my foundations of success program.
If you implement this strategy correctly and consistently, there’s no way you won’t earn back the $597 investment in new business,. If you want to learn more or would like to apply, we are kicking off on January 4th and you can find the link with more information in the notes or you can visit my website at womenrockingrealestate.com/90-Day-attract -accelerator.
Alright that’s it for this month, I hope you all have a happy, healthy holiday and I will see you in the New Year!
Remember the more you learn the more you’ll earn, but only if you actually implement what you learn.
Until next time.
Apply now to the ATTRACT Accelerator program! In this exclusive coaching program, you'll learn a proven system to generate more consistent business from people you know, earn more referrals & get discovered by new clients searching for a Realtor online…all without using any out-dated tactics.