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The Complete Guide To Real Estate Leads

How To Scale Your Brokerage’s Lead Generation For The AI Driven World

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Real estate is a highly competitive industry, and generating quality leads is essential for the success of any brokerage. In today's digital age, there are several ways to generate real estate leads, including social media, advertising, search engine optimization, and lead buying.

But not all leads are created equal—and many are either poor quality or poorly managed, considering that the industry lead conversion average is less than 1%. Yet, leads are the lifeblood of any real estate business. And in order to grow your business, you need to not only generate them, but make sure the leads you generate are ones that will eventually turn into transactions.

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything a real estate brokerage owner needs to know about generating real estate leads in an AI driven world—from the exact lead profile you need to be shooting for, to quality sources of real estate leads, and the cutting edge sales tech top producing firms are using to scale their revenue and market share.

Spoiler alert—we’re diving into real estate AI and how it’s reshaping the lead buying space, in addition to how you can quickly implement it into your current sales process. But before we get into any of that, it’s important to establish exactly what kinds of leads brokerages need to be looking for in the first place.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Types of Real Estate Leads

Contrary to popular opinion, we don’t like to limit our categorization of lead types by where they were sourced alone. While it’s important to know what channels your leads come from so that you can track and scale high performing platforms and lead sources, it’s not the only way to think about lead types.

We like to look at real estate leads as being either verified or qualified—or ideally, both. While these terms get thrown around and are sometimes used interchangeably, they’re actually distinct and critically important for your lead generation efforts.

Read also: 9 Stats About Generating Real Estate Leads With AI Every Broker Needs To Know

Verified Real Estate Leads

Verified real estate leads—different from qualified real estate leads—are leads that have provided contact information that has been proven to be accurate. Typically, this proof is demonstrated through successfully contacting the lead. Getting verified leads is extremely important, because the best lead in the world is completely worthless if you can’t actually make contact with them.

Strategies For Generating Verified Real Estate Leads

There are plenty of ways to generate verified real estate leads, and the most common is through lead generation services. Many of these services claim to offer verified leads, and they often use advanced algorithms and data analysis to predict with a reasonable degree of accuracy whether the information provided is legitimate and up to date. Some lead generation services go the extra mile to offer a verification process that involves making contact with the prospect to ensure that the contact information provided is 100% accurate. Naturally, this is the best option, because it’s the only way to guarantee that you have a real prospect to contact.

The most frustrating part of lead generation is not knowing whether your outreach is ineffective, or whether your lead data is just inaccurate. Successful brokerages eliminate this ambiguity in their marketing efforts by ensuring their lead verification process is strong and seamless. That being said, here are some of the strategies that top real estate brokerages are using to verify their leads.

Deploying Double Opt Ins

If you’re running ads or utilizing content marketing to generate real estate leads, at some point, you’re collecting some kind of contact information—most likely an email address or a phone number. Unfortunately, form viewers can enter contact information that is inaccurate in order to pass through the form and get to the other side, and there’s no way for you to know whether that contact information is accurate. Unless, that is, you verify it with a double opt in.

There are plenty of reasons why leads give false data. Most often they may want access to a guide or training or mortgage quote estimator you’re offering on the next page, but they’re not sure if they want to be contacted about moving forward with the home buying or selling process just yet. Which is completely okay! As you’re aware, home buying (or selling) is a big deal, and it usually takes months—if not years—of planning to be ready to move forward.

Yet acquiring verified contact information for a lead who may not be “ready to go” just yet is still valuable, as long as you know where they stand in terms of “readiness,” so that you can flag them in your system and treat them accordingly. There are many automated, yet still personalized options for long term lead nurturing which can turn these “not yet ready” leads into transactions when the time comes—thanks to real estate AI.

So how does the double opt in work? When you get a lead coming in through a form, make sure you send them an email or text with a link to confirm their address or phone number. Making it a part of the process to confirm their information before giving them access to the promised information/resources is important—otherwise they will have little incentive to verify their data. It’s also a good idea to make this process clear upfront, as well as making it known that the resource will be delivered via the contact information provided—not on the next web page.

Verifying Leads With Real Estate AI

Another option that’s a bit more effective is setting up real estate AI to verify your leads. It works by instantly reaching out to new leads using the contact information they’ve provided and attempting to engage them in a conversation. While this is effective to verify that the leads you generate are legitimate, it also doubles as an effective strategy for follow up and nurture, allowing you to convert more leads into appointments and transactions.

Buying Verified Real Estate Leads

If you aren’t generating your own leads and don’t intend on setting up your own campaigns, there are still options for buying verified leads. As we mentioned earlier, you want to be careful about the promises companies make regarding lead verification. If they’re using algorithms to predict lead data, you’re not getting a fully verified lead every time. You want to make sure that when you buy verified leads from a provider that they’ve made contact with the lead before handing it off to you. The best lead providers will even offer for you to buy appointments as opposed to just contact data—more on that below.

Qualified Real Estate Leads

As we mentioned before, lead verification is just one aspect of a quality real estate lead. Distinct from verified leads are qualified real estate leads. Qualified real estate leads are those that have shown genuine interest in buying or selling a property and meet the qualifications to be considered a good prospect. Qualifications can include factors such as creditworthiness, budget, and location. Generating qualified leads is crucial for real estate brokers because it saves both time and resources by only focusing on potential clients who are likely to convert.

Example of a Qualified Lead

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A fully qualified lead can look slightly different depending on the brokerage and the local real estate market. For instance, the budget range is going to vary depending on the average home price in your area. Regardless of where you set your qualification standards, it’s important to have them and strictly follow them during your lead campaigns and lead buying processes.

Increase Your Return on Investment

Without a process for qualifying leads, you’re left spending money and wasting your agents’ energy for a low ROI—or in some cases, no ROI at all. Spending time on dialing in your lead qualification process can have a significant impact on increasing your ROI.

Yet, while having a qualification process is critical for the success of any lead generation campaign, having a poor process for lead qualification can be just as damaging to your business as not having one at all. For example, a popular lead qualification process for real estate leads is using a call center or hiring ISAs. While these processes may produce some results, the upfront cost of manual human labor is extremely high compared to the ROI.

In the next section, we’re going to discuss some high ROI lead qualification processes brokerages are using to scale up their lead generation efforts, including using the correct lead forms, format, and messaging in your own campaigns, using AI as a qualifying tool, and purchasing qualified leads from top vendors.

Strategies For Generating Qualified Real Estate Leads

Fortunately, there are several affordable, modern options to choose from when it comes to ensuring your leads are qualified, depending on which lead generation strategies your brokerage employs. These are a few simple processes that can make a world of difference to your marketing efforts when implemented. Replacing your human driven lead qualification processes is crucial to ensuring your advantage in the local real estate market.

Using Long Lead Forms

Lead forms can make or break a marketing campaign, and while there’s different schools of philosophy on how to approach them, when it comes to the real estate industry, here’s what we’ve seen—it’s pretty easy to generate real estate leads. What’s much less easy is sifting through the junk leads to find the valuable ones. Therefore, our strategy has always been to use long forms on advertising campaigns. We’d much rather spend time going on appointments with 5 new qualified prospects, as opposed to calling 200 cold leads—and we’re pretty sure your agents feel the same.

The psychology is simple—if you make it too easy to fill out a form, a lot of people will do it, and not all of them will be very serious about working with you. But if you create a long and comprehensive form, several things happen:

You instantly deter tire kickers from becoming a lead in your system, ensuring that the leads you generate are high intent only.

You can collect robust qualifying information upfront, letting you know who to bother contacting before your agents spend time making calls. If you’re savvy with your campaigns, you can automatically segment lists and flag certain leads as high priority as they come in.

You position your company and agents as genuine real estate experts. When you start digging into the meat of your prospects' needs right off the bat, they can sense you’re there to help as opposed to just collecting their email to spam them eternally.

Examples of what to include on a long lead form are:

  • First and last name, along with both email and phone number. You can provide additional contact information fields as optional, such as the ability to connect over Facebook messenger. The more opportunities to connect, the better—and AI can respond across all channels.

  • Verifying the lead is in the correct, specific markets you want to serve.

  • Credit score—it can help if you enable a trigger to automatically send out helpful information if the buyer’s credit score is below the number necessary to qualify them for a mortgage. This is where having a credit repair partner to redirect leads to is extremely valuable. The automatic redirect is very possible with a simple AI set up.

  • Whether or not they are prequalified, and if so, for how much. If they are not pre-qualified, an AI mortgage pre-qualification flow can be set up.

  • Home budget (if a buyer) or expected sales price (if a seller)—this allows you to be clear about their expectations regarding your ability to provide services in the current local market climate up front.

  • Links to any listings they may be currently interested in looking at, or the typed addresses.

  • What features are must-haves in their new home/neighborhood? How many beds, baths, sqft, etc.?

  • Be sure to ask them if they are working with another agent already—have they made a commitment (signed any paperwork) or are they actively looking for a brokerage/agent to commit to?

  • Questions about whether they are a current homeowner or renter, and whether they’ve ever bought/sold a home before.This can help you gauge their experience level and provide more specific follow up information that can help them out.

  • It’s also a good idea to ask them what their most pressing questions/concerns are—let them know that by answering this question, you’ll be sending along comprehensive information and following up with expert advice on the topics they indicate interest in learning about.

These are just the basics that should always be included on any lead gen form. Don’t be afraid to add additional questions—as long as they serve a purpose for your brokerage. It’s not a great idea to add more questions if they seem irrelevant and the only point is to make the form longer. You want each question to leave the lead feeling like they are about to receive top quality service from a firm that deeply cares about their experience.

Likewise, don’t be nervous to make your forms this long. While you will likely not get as many real estate leads through it, you will get much higher quality leads coming through. And for all of the form viewers who never completed the form, there are always retargeting ads.

Something that works well is a multi-page form. Looking at a long page full of questions can immediately intimate people and deter them from completing it. But if you opt for a click through form that presents only one question at a time, you will eliminate user overwhelm, and you can more easily determine lead interest. Here’s how it works:

Start with the most important questions first—name and contact information. Some leads will only submit this, then drop off. In this case, you’ll have their data and be able to conduct gentle, long term follow up with AI—but you’ll know that they likely aren’t your hottest lead. Some leads will submit more questions and move further down the form, and some will complete the entire form. This way, with long forms that are broken up into multiple pages, you won’t actually lose out on collecting leads, but you will be able to easily gauge the level of interest of each lead, depending on how far they get in the application to work with you.

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As you can imagine, conversational real estate AI has the potential to qualify real estate leads more efficiently and accurately than humans. With the use of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms, real estate AI can engage with potential clients in a personalized and interactive manner. This technology can provide an engaging experience that can lead to more qualified leads, faster.

By analyzing previous interactions, the AI can understand a user's preferences, interests, and behaviors, allowing it to customize its responses and provide tailored recommendations. This can help determine a client's level of interest and identify the best properties that match their needs, as well as collect all of the information your brokerage needs upfront, before a human agent gets involved.

And if you’re wondering whether this is what brokerages are switching to, the answer is yes. In order to remain competitive and profitable, adopting this growing technology is inevitable.

Buying Qualified Real Estate Leads

But what if you don’t generate your own leads? If you’re purchasing leads from a provider, they’ve likely promised you they’re “qualified” and “high quality.” Yet we have a feeling that might not be the case, especially if you’re working with some of the big players in the space, who have an older model for lead generation.

If you don’t have the time, interest, or capability to generate your own real estate leads, but you need to qualify the leads you’re purchasing through providers, you have two options:

  • You can license real estate AI software to qualify the leads you purchase. If your lead provider can work with you to seamlessly integrate their lead distribution process with your AI software, you can have real estate AI instantly connecting with new leads that come through.

  • You can purchase leads directly from a provider that uses real estate AI in its lead generation process. This is especially ideal, because often these lead providers can offer leads at a much lower cost, due to the digital nature of their product. This is a very new and highly advantageous lead generation model where AI is reaching out and conversing with potential home buyers and sellers, developing relationships, providing value, and collecting vital qualifying information. When a contact is ready and asks for an appointment, the lead is sold to you as a qualified, high quality appointment. Because no humans were paid to facilitate that appointment, real estate AI lead providers can sell these leads at a much lower price point. The result is more than just a qualified lead—it’s an already set appointment.

Part 2: Using Real Estate AI To Generate Quality Real Estate Leads

We’ve been alluding to it throughout this guide, and here’s the truth plain and simple—real estate artificial intelligence (real estate AI) is the future of generating real estate leads.

But what exactly can real estate AI do—and is it really any better than a regular chatbot? After all, chatbots have been around for a number of years, and most of them aren’t very good.

How Real Estate AI Works

If you’re wondering what sets modern AI apart from older technology, the comparison points are endless. For starters, it can help streamline real estate appointment setting and provide concierge services that significantly improve the quality and loyalty of leads. It can also facilitate building relationships, which is critical to any real estate brokerage’s business model.

Through machine learning and analyzing millions of conversations, AI can autonomously hold a conversation with a human. That means choosing unique responses to questions and prompts. In the past, we’ve seen an era of “AI” that was merely more than a simple automation. The automation would show whatever message came next in the pre-scripted dialogue. There was no sense of choice or uniqueness that we expect from human interactions.

But now, AI has evolved to be able to generate its own unique words and make choices about how it responds to users, giving users a wildly different experience—one that feels more personalized, helpful, and human. As long as the AI program has some guardrails in place to ensure it stays on task and remains appropriate (and the best software out there certainly does), it’s simply the best solution for real estate lead generation available to brokerages today.

For more information on how it works, check out our guide on how to use real estate AI.

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Types of Tasks Real Estate AI Can Take On

Imagine giving your agents ultimate productivity, because they’re no longer spending their time chasing down real estate leads? Imagine how profitable and how many more transactions your brokerage could make if agents had a steady flow of quality real estate leads that kept them busy on appointments, at showings, and sitting at the closing table? Also imagine how much easier it would be to retain your agents if you could provide them with this type of luxury?

Luckily, your days of imagining are over, because technology has delivered.

But on the flip side—imagine what your business would start to look like if your competitors were to adopt this type of tech and you didn’t? While it’s exciting to imagine what real estate AI can do, it’s even more important to make moves to adopt it quickly.

Below are just some of the many capabilities AI has when it comes to scaling your brokerage and making you more profitable.

More reading: Why the First Half of the Real Estate Journey Doesn’t Require Human Intervention

Real Estate Appointment Setting

Real estate agents spend a significant amount of time setting appointments with potential clients. However, this process can be time-consuming and inefficient. AI can help streamline real estate appointment setting by automating the process. Through its unique conversations with buyers and sellers, it can quickly identify when someone is ready to meet with an agent, and it can facilitate that initial meeting, including sending out calendar invites.

Relationship Building

Not only can real estate AI set up initial meetings with your agents, but it can continue to follow up and nurture leads that have already been met with, ensuring additional meetings are held if necessary, or—if the client needs more time before they’re ready to begin the process—ensuring they stay engaged and remain loyal to your brand.

Staying in touch with clients while they go through the stresses of a real estate transaction is critical, and brokerages lose many clients to agents who can’t handle the demand of maintaining so many relationships at once. It’s a difficult but crucial job, and now the earliest and most difficult stages of it can be outsourced effectively, without losing value for the clients.

Real Estate Concierge Services

Real estate concierge services powered by AI can significantly improve the quality and loyalty of leads. These services provide a personalized experience for potential clients by offering them support throughout all stages of the home buying or selling process.

An AI Real estate concierge can help potential clients find the right property, schedule appointments, and provide them with information about the local area. These services can also provide clients with updates about the status of their property search or sale, keeping them engaged and interested in the process. It also significantly reduces the wait time for clients, as real estate AI can respond instantly with the required information.

Real Estate Lead Buying From AI Companies

So now that you know what AI can do for your real estate brokerage, what does buying real estate leads from AI driven lead providers look like, and which providers should you consider working with?

If you’re currently spending money to generate and convert leads, real estate AI generated leads will completely change your game.

While we can’t speak for other providers, here’s what working with Landslo looks like:

You’ll get an opportunity to use our AI software and interact with Landslo’s conversational AI before joining us as a brokerage partner. Not only are we always available to run full demos of our backend dashboard, but you can start chatting with Landslo here to get a feel for the depth of conversations Landslo’s AI can facilitate before moving on to the next step.

After you’ve used our real estate AI and completed a demo (if desired), you can choose a lead package, depending on how many leads your brokerage needs each month. We’ll get you set up with a dashboard where you can view all incoming leads and conversations. This dashboard should be able to sync with whatever CRM you’re using through a simple API.

Next, the lead flow begins. We’ll generate leads through our AI, verifying their data through making contact, and qualifying them through asking specific qualification questions:

  • First and last name, email, and phone number.
  • Specific location.
  • Mortgage pre-qualification status.
  • Home budget/expected sale price.
  • Desired beds/baths/sq ft/etc.
  • Whether they’re currently working with an agent.
  • Whether they are currently renting or a homeowner (and if they also need help selling their home if they’re buying and vice versa).
  • If there are any questions we can help them answer.

Next, we nurture leads and provide valuable information until they are ready to speak to an agent and go on a showing or listing appointment. Then we set your agents up on appointments with our real estate leads, saving you time and money.

We also offer our brokerage partners the ability to license our AI software to continuously nurture the leads we generate, as well as any leads you independently generate. In addition, we can run our AI through your database to contact old leads that may have gone cold. In many cases, we find that our broker partners can get appointments on their agents’ calendars with leads they thought would never convert by letting AI chat with their aged data. You can check out our client’s story—Tommy Lower, owner of MI Real Team—in our interview with him below.

How AI Driven Lead Providers Can Slash Your Lead Costs

There are two main costs brokers have when it comes to generating real estate leads—advertising spend (or lead buying) and lead conversion. Typically, this is going to look like spending ad dollars on Google, Facebook, etc. to generate your own leads, or you might be purchasing leads from companies like Realtor and Zillow. Neither of these options are cheap. And the costs aren’t over once you have the lead—you’re also likely spending money on an outsourced call center or a few in-house ISAs to make contact with them.

It’s hard to put a dollar sign on just how much it all amounts to, as it really depends on the size of your brokerage and lead buying operations, but we’re going to guess, at a minimum, we’re talking about thousands of dollars per month. Ouch.

Now let’s talk about the alternative. Instead of trying to generate and convert your own leads, or buying pricey ones from major sites that are hardly any better, you can work with real estate AI lead providers to pull more revenue out of your lead generation spend, with a lower investment.

AI lead providers can offer real estate leads at much lower price points than traditional lead providers, simply because there’s much lower overhead to run their business operations and source quality leads, which means we get to pass those savings on to you. It’s pretty much a win-win scenario, which is why this model is completely disrupting the real estate industry.

Part 3: Strategies For Real Estate Lead Generation In a Post AI World

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The Modern Consumer Landscape—What Buyer & Seller Leads Expect From Real Estate Brokerages

We’ve all come to face it—the world is changing, fast. And it’s all for the better. As long as your brokerage can adapt with the shifts that are rippling across the tech world and permeating the real estate industry, you’ll do just fine. It’s those who don’t change that will get left behind in this new post-AI era.

Read more: 5 Ways Technology Can Help Grow Your Real Estate Brokerage in 2023

Here we’re breaking down the top technology trends for modern brokerages to consider adopting in this ever changing digital landscape. Generating quality real estate leads and scaling your transaction volume will require a comprehensive approach to your marketing strategy, which includes understanding and meeting consumer expectations and using real estate AI to do it.

Personalized Experiences Will Win

Perhaps surprisingly, in our AI obsessed world, the trend of relationship based sales is still growing across all industries. And it will make the real estate industry’s already relational business model even more important than ever. Digital marketing is not going anywhere—yet neither are relationships—and consumers are tired of compromising one or the other. Real estate brokerages will be challenged to up their game in terms of personalized and genuine interactions, yet in a digital-first way.

An example of a personalized experience is an interaction with a chatbot that knows what property listings a lead has been looking at on the website and helpfully offers more information about them and shares similar properties. AI should also be able to remember a lead’s name, information, and preferences across interactions with them, and it can check in occasionally with some information that’s relevant to past conversations, the way a human salesperson would. The only difference is that AI can do this type of personalized interaction in a more timely fashion. If a consumer makes an inquiry, AI can find the needed information instantly. And if a consumer is browsing for particular properties or information on your website, AI can jump in with relevant additional information, or ask if they need help.

In short, a personalized experience is one that makes the consumer feel seen and heard as an individual with very specific and unique needs. The only way to accomplish this is to collect and retain personal information—including, most importantly, the consumer’s goals—and interact exactly when the consumer wants to, based on their actions—not when you want to.

Instantaneous Communication & Service Is Expected

Over the past few years, another increasingly predominant trend has been automation and instant gratification. Consumers do not want to have to wait even a few minutes for a response. You might be wondering how these two trends—personalization and instant service—can intersect gracefully, and that’s where AI has become a savior to the consumer experience. Real estate AI is now sophisticated enough to offer a personalized experience that’s simultaneously instant.

Standard chatbots are not cutting it for most consumers. Studies are finding that while consumers want to talk to digital assistants due to the convenience factor, their experiences with most (unsophisticated) software is unsatisfactory. This is because most chatbots are not driven by AI, and they cannot handle complex problems or inquiries—therefore, the depth and customization of experience is lost.

This leaves a space wide open for companies to solve this problem and meet consumer demands for personalized yet instant and convenient digital experiences through real estate AI.

Digital Presence & Reputation Are Key To Converting More Leads

In addition to providing a stellar customer experience equipped with personalized instant engagement, real estate leads will do their research. It likely comes as no surprise that consumers will check out your website, social media accounts, and even Trust Pilot reviews, Google reviews, and your BBB rating—especially if your brand is less well known.

Trust is a crucial factor in consumer behavior, and making the investment in an aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-navigate website will make all the difference in a real estate lead’s decision to work with your brokerage. While it may seem like a trivial aspect, it’s your branding, and branding matters because it can generate trust.

Your social media accounts should reflect your brand as well, and real estate brands that focus on helpful, valuable content as opposed to purely self promotional content will see higher conversion rates for their real estate leads. The idea is to be a guiding light in a world of noise.

You can read more about our favorite strategies in our article on the top 4 ways to grow your real estate business in 2023.

Getting Started—Generating Real Estate Leads With Real Estate AI

As mentioned above, you can test drive real estate AI 100% free with Landslo and decide whether AI is something you want to implement into your brokerage’s sales strategy.

Test drive Landslo’s Real Estate AI >>

The playing field was just leveled for real estate brokerages everywhere to advance their sales and customer service and rise as industry leaders. It’s time to scale your revenue faster than ever before—are you answering the call?

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