How to find prospective home buyers in the Calgary real estate market? A guide for Calgary real estate agents.

Published March 15, 2017, Calgary, AB
By Mike McAra, Home Investment Advisors
™, www.hia.ca

 

Finding real estate buyers is essential for real estate agents if you want to grow your real estate business. As a REALTOR® in today's digital culture, it's easy to become overwhelmed by all the online marketing options to find prospective home buyer leads. Then combine this with traditional forms of real estate marketing and print advertising - it's hard to know where to start.

 

Where do you find prospective real estate buyers?

For most real estate agents in Calgary, we're told finding clients is a numbers game and that you need to be constantly prospecting for new buyer leads on as many different lead generation channels as possible. Which means trying to become a marketing "expert" in things like website SEO, drip email campaigns, search engine marketing, lead capture pages, blogging and podcasts, video and social media marketing - just to name just a few.

As a REALTOR®, you pride yourself on being an expert in real estate but probably not a digital marketing expert - so there's got to be an easier way for real estate experts to find prospective home buyers.

 

I prefer spending my time helping my real estate clients find a new home, rather than spending time trying to find new home buyer leads.
— Chloe McAra, Calgary REALTOR® and Home Investment Advisor™
 

Target qualified home buyers, not just leads.

Yes, a qualified buyer lead who is motivated, loyal to a "t", and trusts everything you say is the holy grail of real estate leads. But as any experienced real estate agents knows - not all leads are good leads.

According to marketing experts the conversion rate for most real estate lead generation techniques is typically only 1-2% at best to find a prospective client. Which means your marketing will have to continually target hundreds or even thousands of potential home buyers on an ongoing basis if you want to grow your real estate business. But finding a home buyer lead is still only half the battle.

Cultivating a "cold lead" can take lots of time and commitment as you have no trust or relationship built yet, and there's no guarantee they'll actually buy a home. In fact, some agents shy away from cold leads altogether due to potential personal safety issues meeting up with people you don't really know anything about except their email address. In contrast, a "warm lead" such as a referral customer, past client, or someone from your circle of influence (ie. social network) is much preferred by most successful real estate agents especially if their is a past relationship with them or a connection with someone you already know.

So how can you get more referral clients and warm home buyer leads?

 

There are only two sources of real estate buyers: current homeowners looking to buy a new home, and first-time home buyers getting into the market.
 

A strategic approach to finding new home buyer prospects.

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There's a better way to find more home buyers. In order to avoid the time and cost commitments of prospecting and low conversion rates of lead generation, you can grow your business through warm leads - by focusing on people you already know and referrals.

First off let's look at all your friends, extended family, past clients and your circle of influence (ie. social network) strategically. Do a really rough estimate of how many people you know in Calgary and note their approximate age groups (remember your hairdresser, sports teams, social groups, etc.). Next, take a look at the table below which shows how many people for each age group (on average) are considering purchasing a home within the next year*:


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Aged 18-34

1 in 5 will be looking to buy this year

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Aged 35-44

1 in 8 will be looking to buy this year

Aged 45-54

1 in 11 will be looking to buy this year

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Aged 55-64

1 in 14 will be looking to buy this year


*Source: National Association of Realtors® 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers
 

Using the strategic approach, let’s assume that you have 8 friends aged 35-44.

This means that on average, one of those friends will be a buyer this year! They are already your friend, so now you just need to figure out which friend is the 1 in 8 and make sure that they use your services!

 
Taking the strategic approach allows you to lead the process with your new buyers.
— Guy Mitchell, CEO at HIA®
 

The 3-step method to find home buyers now.

Do you have a phone? Okay great, you're all set.

In fact, you don't have to spend any money to get started strategically finding real estate buyers. Nope, you won't need to buy a complicated online lead generation tool, new CRM software or the latest social media marketing gizmo.

All you need is your phone to get started finding home buyers by following these 3 simple steps:

  1. Make a list of your close friends and family. Sort this list by age. Excel is great for this!
  2. Starting with those aged 18-34, connect with the entire list through a phone call (not a text, a phone call)!
  3. On the phone call, don’t sell anything, just catch up and most importantly make sure that you reiterate that you work in real estate and are always looking to work with new great clients! For those that talk about real estate, it’s time to convert them into clients!

In most cases, using the above approach will reinforce your existing relationships which is great however, for those that are the 1 in 5, they will show themselves during theses phone calls, allowing you to capture them as a new buyer today!

 
Two Warnings: 1 - Buyers are deadly, 2 - You gotta be strategic.
— Brian Buffini, Real Estate Coach
 

You can avoid your new buyer frustrations today as you have all the tools and skills to start generating clients; who (you guessed it) are new Sellers too!