As a real estate agent, you know that seller leads are particularly hard to find. Sellers just don’t aggressively search for real estate agents or flock to home search sites as buyers do. They might be:
- Still be on the fence about selling the house
- Dealing with a stressful situation requiring them to sell, putting “find a real estate agent” low on the priority list
- Unaware that they’re in a prime position to sell
Whatever a seller’s circumstance, it’s challenging to find sellers who haven’t already started working with an agent. But there’s a trick to doing it if you know where to start.
Platforms built specifically for real estate agents and brokers are great. I’ve used and reviewed hundreds of them – but real estate investor platforms are an untapped goldmine of seller leads.
While you should also have a solid IDX website with landing pages, a REI platform can help you diversify your overall lead generation strategy.
Read on to learn how.
Real estate investors have a lot in common with agents who are searching for seller leads. The only difference is they’re looking to snag the property from the seller while you’re looking to help them sell it.
While agents often split their time between searching for buyer and seller clients, investors spend a lot of time just looking for sellers so they can find their next investment.
That’s why the platforms and software built for investors often focus on helping them connect with motivated seller leads. And that’s where you come in.
By using real estate investor (REI) software as an agent, you open up your access to seller leads in a way most agents can’t.
There are so many clever things about using real estate investor platforms to find your seller leads, including:
- Less competition from other agents, as few use these platforms
- Access to uncommon search methods that point you toward motivated sellers
- Potential sellers who have received low offers from investors on the platform may want an agent’s help to get more money for their home
- The ability to find homeowners who will be the most likely to want to sell
You can start generating more seller leads today if you use this method, but there are a few important things to know about REI platforms first.
I’ll walk you through the most effective ways to prospect for seller leads using platforms designed for real estate investors.
If you want to find motivated sellers almost effortlessly, you need to use a quality REI platform. Real estate investors want to spend as little as possible on a property, so they tend to look for extremely motivated sellers who are willing to sell for less than the home is worth.
Platforms geared toward investors usually exist to make this search easier for investors. And here’s where the magic happens.
Investors find these highly motivated sellers by using platforms like PropStream or Realeflow to perform deep, specific searches. They look for people in situations that make them more likely to say “yes” to an offer on their home. This includes:
- Absentee owners who don’t live on the property
- Cash buyers who paid for the property in cash
- Homeowners who are “free and clear” with no mortgage debt
- Homeowners with high equity properties (loan-to-value less than 60%)
- Homeowners with low equity properties (loan-to-value more than 80%)
- Homeowners within a certain zip code, county, city, or street
- Homeowners with recent life changes, like divorce or job changes
- FSBO sellers who haven’t had luck selling their home
- Pre-foreclosure properties
- Expired listings
REI platforms tap into the data from multiple sources, including public tax information, deeds, mortgages, and legal proceedings. They quickly compile and sort this information to make it easily accessible to investors – and now, you.
On top of enabling you to search specifically for the types of motivated sellers you want to work with, these platforms make it possible to narrow these searches even further.
Maybe you’re just looking for leads within a 50-mile radius. Maybe you want to target absentee owners who have owned the house for more than ten years.
Or you might have experience handling expired listings and FSBO sellers who are resistant to agent help at first.
Whatever your search criteria are, the right REI platform is going to make it simple to set it up in your search. This makes finding seller leads a lot easier for you.
As we mentioned above, traditional lead generation falls into two categories: agent and investor leads. However, the big difference is that, as an agent, your goal is to sell the house for the highest price possible. After all, your client is the agent.
The investor, on the other hand, is seeking to buy the property for the least amount possible. If a home is worth $200,000, an investor may offer the owner $125,000. Yes, they make the sale easy and buy in any condition.
But put yourself in the owner’s shoes. If you know the home is worth $200,000, and investors are constantly lowballing you on price, you’d welcome the opportunity to sell it for a fair price.
As an agent, you can market to these same sellers. But instead of taking the “easy sale” route, you can promise to work hard to put more money in their pocket. That type of angle builds instant credibility, and is an extremely powerful incentive to try out your services.
Consistent seller lead generation usually happens when you’re using more than one method. I always say that it’s wise to cast a wide marketing net to get more fish.
Finding motivated sellers through highly targeted searches on REI platforms is a hugely successful technique, but why not expand your playbook?
Bring those seller leads directly to you by taking advantage of two features many REI platforms offer: Integration with lead magnet websites and automated marketing campaigns.
It can be difficult to entice buyers into entering their contact information in exchange for something online. Agent platforms might enable you to send a generated list of homes for sale in a buyer’s price range or a general market analysis for their area.
If you’ve tried these methods, you know they’re not always effective. Buyers can easily find that information online.
The advantage you have creating lead magnets for sellers is simple: You’re going to offer them accurate, compelling info that’s difficult to get anywhere else. You’ll do this by using REI software to integrate with your website and home valuation tools.
Here’s how it works: A seller prospect wonders how much they could realistically get for their home. They search online or see a post on your social media page marketing your free, instant home valuation tool.
After entering their address and contact information, they’re given a detailed report of their home’s current estimated value and an invitation to get in touch with you when they’re ready to sell.
With any luck, they’re happy with the estimate and contact you to talk about selling. This brings the lead straight to you.
Real estate investors use their platforms to find and contact motivated seller leads and make those sellers aware of their interest in buying. There are two incredibly effective ways they do this:
- Social media network ads, like Facebook Ads
- Email marketing campaigns
Facebook ads can be a little intimidating because you’ve got to create an image (or several), write compelling copy for each ad, and figure out how to embed the Facebook pixel on your website so you can actually track the visitors.
REI platforms know that investors aren’t spending their time mastering Facebook ads. Just like you’re busy working for your clients, they’re spending time making deals and managing properties.
These platforms have made it easier than ever to create ads targeted toward the exact types of sellers you’re looking for. If you combine this with a lead magnet like a home valuation website, you can see awesome results.
One platform guides you through creating a Facebook ad in 5 minutes from start to finish. Some will show you which seller audience groups to target, the best days and times to run your ads, words to include, and more.
REI platforms will also allow you to easily view the results your ads get so you can adjust or optimize them as needed.
Email marketing campaigns are another indispensable tool that both real estate investors and agents rely on. Once you’ve got the contact information for a seller lead, the last thing you want to do is let them slip through the cracks!
Using REI software to set up automated email marketing drip campaigns, you can make sure timely emails are sent to keep you top of mind with your seller prospects.
These investor-geared platforms will let you create a schedule to send emails on. You can usually base the schedule by day and time or by an action “trigger.”
For example, you can set your drip campaign first to send an email to a prospect after receiving their free home valuation. Then, you can have the system send them a follow-up message over the next day or so.
By carefully nurturing your seller leads over time, you’re going to have more success, encouraging them to sell.
The technology may have been designed to help real estate investors generate seller leads, but it can be just as successful for you with what you now know.
Use the enhanced data search on REI platforms to find motivated sellers in various ways, set up instant seller lead magnet websites, and create “set it and forget it” automated marketing campaigns that bring seller leads straight to you.
These platforms are where savvy investors go to find motivated sellers they can potentially buy from. These platforms can also be where you go to find uniquely motivated seller clients – and show them how you can help them net a lot more for their property than investors are offering.
Bio: Andrew Helling is the founder and editor of REthority.com, an online resource for real estate professionals and their clients. His experience as a real estate investor and property manager bring a unique (and sometimes humorous) insight to his writing.