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Home Builders: 15 Proven Tips for Online Real Estate Lead Generation

By: Eric Preston

May 17, 2024

Home builders are busy. In most major U.S. cities, developments are being constructed at an unprecedented rate. To fill hundreds or thousands of units within a development, a new home builder must have a real estate lead generation strategy and execute it precisely. 

A new home builder wanting to generate real estate leads for preconstruction homes needs an omnipresent, multi-prong approach. It should include Google Ads, Facebook Ads, real estate landing pages, a social media presence and more. When your lead pipeline is full, you can close at the rate needed to hit your sales target. 

The good news is that agents' online real estate lead generation methods can also work for home builders. Review our tips to generate real estate leads, so your sales team can do what they do best. Close.  

1. Partner With a Realtor

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Working with an established agent who is successful in your market might be the quickest way to generate real estate leads effectively for pre-construction homes using market-specific tactics. A realtor's expertise in creating a successful home builder marketing strategy, blending traditional and digital marketing efforts, is invaluable for home builders.

The process is simple. An agent leverages their reputation and employs digital marketing strategies, including partnerships and paid search advertising, to find and generate leads specifically looking for pre-construction homes. These leads are then delivered to a builder’s sales team, who work diligently to close the deal.

How to Partner With the Right Real Estate Agent

Home builders should search for an agent who has closed deals for pre-construction homes. The leads are typically first-time homebuyers, downsizers or investors. Understanding and implementing effective home builder marketing strategies is crucial for these agents to successfully partner with home builders, as it encompasses a range of techniques from digital marketing to compelling content creation.

A closeup of two people, one black and one white, shaking hands.Work with an experienced agent with a successful online real estate lead generation system. You want to leverage existing relationships and systems, not start from scratch. This means they have optimized Google Ad campaigns driving real estate leads, a social media presence, a strong website and landing pages.

2. Online Branding to Generate Real Estate Leads

It’s tough for most buyers to tell home builders apart. If you’re working in pre-construction, you need a strong brand to separate yourself from competitors.

Brands are built via word of mouth and high-quality work. Your brand should tell the story of your business and communicate your specialties and unique market position. Once established, your brand must reach the maximum number of potential leads and that’s where online branding and a real estate lead generation system comes in.

Potential online leads need to find you, quickly learn to trust you and then be wowed by your new construction projects and promotions (if applicable). Incorporating digital marketing into your strategy is crucial for establishing a strong online brand to reach potential leads. Leverage tools like search engine optimization (SEO), social media, email newsletters and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to enhance visibility and showcase your quality builds effectively.

A pensive woman stares at paper on an easel. On the paper are the word "BRAND" and word bubbles with "innovation", "strategy", "marketing" and more.

 

Branding Tips for Online Real Estate Lead Generation

  • Start by doing a competitive analysis to see how your competitors are branding themselves online.

Next, take these steps to start solidifying your home builder brand:

  • Create your Google My Business Profile and optimize it to generate real estate leads.
  • Develop your brand's voice. Decide if it’s better to be lighthearted while still being professional, or an information source for potential real estate leads looking to buy pre-construction.
  • Create a visual identity for your pre-construction company. Choose fonts, images, headshots of key personnel and a design style that will be consistent across marketing material.
  • Implement SEO strategies to enhance your online visibility and ranking in search engine results. This involves using relevant keywords in your website and marketing copy and content marketing (don't worry, we'll get to this soon) and focusing on both on-page and off-page optimization.
  • Create personalized content for your website, home builders landing page, newsletter and social media.

    Building a brand that can contribute to real estate lead generation is an involving process but it cements your name in your industry and market(s) and helps build trust that can result in a consistent lead flow.

3. Influencer Marketing for Home Builders

Home builders need to generate a lot of real estate leads to close enough sales to be successful. You can do this with digital marketing tactics like Google Ads but partnerships can help you get there faster.

In addition to real estate agents, seek partnership opportunities with real estate influencers, specifically on Instagram and TikTok. These are popular online personalities with large, engaged audiences who use their influence to sponsor or endorse products.  

A TikTok with a man in front of a whiteboard pointing to a picture-in-picture screen with a woman with brown hair.

It would help if you had something to offer influencers for their sponsorship. You can offer products and services or reciprocal promotion if you have a developed online audience. Most home builders can’t pursue this last method but if you can, it’s worth considering. 

4. Build a High-Performing Website

You need to quickly pre-sale a lot of units for your developments. Every potential real estate lead could be lost after clicking through a Google Ad and arriving at a confusing, ugly and unintuitive website.

A website for Alterra. A skyline at dawn with a building in the foreground.We’ve all seen these websites and bounced to a competitor to give them our business. Your website is a digital storefront designed and engineered to lure people inside and compel them to become clients, showcasing your home-building business effectively.

How Does a Website Help Real Estate Lead Generation? 

Consider your real estate lead generation as a system, not a one-off Google Ad campaign. You must optimize your website to target qualified real estate leads looking to buy units, focusing on converting visitors into marketing-qualified leads through well-crafted ads and landing pages.

An ad for your pre-construction listing appears for a relevant user. The user clicks it and is brought to a website or real estate landing page with concise info that reflects the user’s initial search intent. For instance, if the search that displayed your ad was for “new condo in Coconut Grove Florida” but when they arrive at your website there is nothing about Coconut Grove or a new development there, you will lose this potential lead.

Your website must intuitively guide users to the information they want and compel them to take action (submit a form, subscribe to a newsletter, etc.), thereby converting them into marketing-qualified leads.

3 Tips for Effective SEO in Real Estate

Follow these tips to make your real estate website high-performing to attract Google's attention.

1. Craft a relevant, engaging and keyword-rich content strategy

Google loves fresh content that’s regularly published as part of broader online marketing strategies. Write a strategy, outlining the content (text, video or audio) you will produce and publish as a key component of your online marketing efforts. Keep a content calendar to stay diligent. Most importantly, produce content based on the keywords you want to appear for in search engine results pages.

Do your keyword research on a platform like Semrush or Google AdWords. If you want to rank for “preconstruction investment properties in Albany”, here are some article topics that can help you rank for this search term on Google:

  • First-Time Property Investor in Albany Checklist
  • 10 Red Flags of a Bad Pre-construction Property in Albany
  • 5 things to know about Buying Pre-Construction in Albany

Stick to your content calendar, giving visitors and potential real estate leads more chances to find you. Plus, search engines value fresh content.

2. Put Your Users First

A user-centric website, which every new home builder must adopt, emphasizes an intuitive user experience. 

User experience isn’t complicated. It’s the overall experience a user has when visiting your website. It’s the design and navigation that should inspire and compel a real estate lead to perform the intended action usually filling out a form or registering for something like a phone call or viewing. 

Help your users find the information they want, so you can turn them into real estate leads. Most builder websites won't convert a lead, that’s your sales team's job, but they can help fill your pipeline by capturing a lead's information (name, location, what they’re looking for, contact information).

3. Feature a Simple and Prominent Form

Your website needs a form for real estate lead generation. This can be on a homepage, contact us page, pop-up or landing page. 

A form with fields for name, email, property address, phone number, message and a blue submit button

The more you ask of a user, the less likely they will comply and submit a form. Only ask for the information you need: 

  • Name
  • Location (you want to make sure they are looking to buy in your market)
  • Email 
  • Phone number (in case they don’t check their email often or are unresponsive)

If you feel it’s important, you can provide a field or drop-down where they can provide insight into what they’re looking for (investment property, first-time home buyers, condo for a child going to college, etc.)

5. Landing Pages 

You need a landing page for each development to convert users into leads.

A landing page is a standalone page whose sole purpose is to convert. It is simple in its design and function. Each landing page should have minimal copy that informs users about your new home build and only one call to action, which can appear multiple times.

There must be a form that users can fill out, allowing your sales team to follow up to set up a call, viewing or meeting at your presentation center. No top navigation, no links to pages on your primary website and no copy dedicated to other developments. 

A landing page. A photo of a house and lawn and a form with fields for name, email and phone number and a "register now" button.Keep it simple and focused and remember that less is more with real estate landing pages

6. Targeted Online Ads on Google and Facebook

In the realm of Internet marketing, targeted advertising plays a pivotal role, especially for home builders looking to connect with potential buyers affordably and effectively. The best way for new home builders to generate high-quality real estate leads is with Google Ads.

Why Should Home Builders Use Google Ads?

With the right budget, set-up and optimization, Google will display ads at the top of relevant search results based on keywords. This platform provides maximum online reach to buyers. 

Google Ads is a more expensive online real estate lead generation platform, but is still cost-effective. You choose your budget and it’s a pay-per-click model. 

Google Ads fills your pipeline with potential real estate leads looking for your services in your markets. After clicking on your Google Ad, users will be brought to your real estate landing page, which should be set up to convert them into a lead. The bigger your budget, the more real estate leads you will generate.

Here are 5 Google Ads Mistakes that many home builders make and hurt their real estate lead generation efforts. 

7. Virtual Tours

Home builders might not have a physical property to show but they can still excite and engage prospective clients with a virtual tour. 

What is a Virtual Tour for New Home Builders?

Virtual tours reveal the aesthetic of a new home build, its features and finishes, and what makes it unique and appealing to homebuyers. They let real estate leads imagine themselves in their dream home before construction is complete. 

Most virtual tours for pre-construction allow the user to navigate through the home, interact with it in specific ways like viewing dimensions, visualize how it might look once occupied, compare floor plans and finishes and they can do it on their own time from their phone.  

Can Virtual Tours Generate Real Estate Leads

Virtual tours can drum up viewings and interest in pre-construction homes. It’s more effective than brochures and is a proven way to turn a warm real estate lead into a hot one. It should be part of your lead funnel that pushes a real estate lead from first contact, say a Google Ad, and closer to a sale.   

Virtual tours are strong pieces of content for Instagram and TikTok in addition to your website and real estate landing page.

8. Facebook Ads for Home Builders

Within the broader scope of social media marketing strategies, Facebook Ads stand out as a powerful tool for home builders. This form of social media marketing allows you to target your ads for niche demographics like first-time homebuyers or downsizers, making it a cost-effective and highly targeted way to connect with clients, engage with them, and showcase home-building projects. Ultimately, this precision targeting lets you connect with real estate leads more likely to buy a pre-construction than random audiences.

Facebook Ads lets you find potential real estate leads by age, income, homeownership status, or specific behaviors, including likely moving soon, enhancing your ability to attract prospects to your website through effective inbound strategies.

One caveat for home builders is that Facebook Ads are not solely text-based like Google Ads. For Facebook Ads, you will need visual content, like an image or video, in addition to text.

9. A Lead Magnet Can Attract Real Estate Leads

A lead magnet is a popular tactic within the broader scope of effective marketing strategies for new home builders. It’s a free item or service you give potential leads in exchange for their contact information. You then use this contact information to reach out and turn them into a real estate lead or convert them into a client.

Real Estate Lead Magnet Topics

A lead magnet can be a guide, cheat sheet or webinar. Review these home builder lead magnet topics to get inspiration about what can work for you. 

  • The pros and cons of a pre-construction home
  • Checklist for buying a pre-construction home
  • What to avoid when working with a developer
  • Steps to get pre-approved for a mortgage

Lead magnets can be sent to a lead only after they’ve submitted their name, location and contact information. You can ask for more information, such as the reason for submitting a form, but be careful of asking for too much. A long form with many mandatory fields can be a turn-off. 

10. Create a Google My Business Profile

Google My Business is the search engine’s free local business listing that connects users to the local businesses they’re looking for.

Home builders might not see a Google My Business Profile as a must. Still, it increases visibility, builds trust, develops your reputation with reviews, and can drive real estate leads to your pipeline for your sales team to nurture and close.

Contact info for Google My Business. Select country, add phone number website URL. Box for "I don't have a website" and "Skip" and "Next" buttons.

Create your Google My Business Profile right away. Fill out all the required and applicable fields as the more information you provide the more you can appear in relevant searches. Then, optimize, maintain and update your profile regularly. Including customer testimonials in your profile can further build trust with potential clients by providing social proof of your expertise and reliability.

Optimize your Google My Business Profile

Optimization refers to improving the performance of your Google My Business Profile to drive more traffic. 

Tips to Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

To optimize your Google My Business Profile, upload professional-looking photos of your business, encourage clients to leave reviews, share news and information as you would on social media and update your business information when needed. 

Get into a monthly routine of optimizing your Google My Business Profile to keep it up-to-date and more appealing for Google to return in a search engine results page. 

Read this step-by-step guide about Google My Business for Real Estate Agents. 

11. Create a Podcast or YouTube Channel

Not every new home builder should have a podcast or YouTube channel. It can be time-consuming, requires production and not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera. For some, it might make more sense to be a guest on someone else’s podcast.

Eric Preston holding a blue sign with an arrow pointing from "dead leads" to "hot leads".

If either of these ideas excites you, you can rest assured that they can greatly contribute to your real estate lead generation if properly executed. While tv and radio advertising can reach a large audience and offer potential returns on investment, creating a YouTube channel represents a modern approach to marketing that can effectively complement traditional advertising methods.

How to Start a YouTube Channel

Choose a name for your channel, usually your business name, and then get set up. Select an appropriate background to record and buy the equipment (mainly a microphone and ring light) set up a recording area that will be visually interesting. Also, if your computer’s internal webcam isn’t the best, invest in a top-of-the-line model. The high quality will make a big difference.

Before recording your first video, choose a specific target audience. As a new home builder, it makes sense to target first-time homebuyers or retirees looking to downsize. Always focus on local audiences. 

Podcast to Generate Real Estate Leads

This tip isn’t for every real estate agent but for those who want to stand out and create memorable content for real estate lead generation, a podcast can work. 

You can record weekly, bi-weekly or monthly podcast episodes on a range of real estate topics. You can invite guests and brand yourself as a real estate authority. 

How to Create a Podcast Strategy

The first step to creating your podcast is to draft a strategy. Start by defining your brand. Are you an honest real estate agent with insider knowledge? Are you a market expert? Are you all about buyers or sellers? 

Once you know your podcast brand identity, choose a name, design a logo and some graphics and formulate a show structure that outlines your intro, different segments and discussion or story topics. 

You want to then create a tone for your podcast. Will it be humorous and light? Maybe you want to take a hard-hitting look at the industry. Whatever you choose, lean into it. 

Now is the most important part, your audience. Answer these questions to define your target audience: 

  • Who are your ideal listeners?
  • What do they want to know and listen to?
  • Where are they located?
  • What income bracket are they in?
  • Why would they want to listen to you?
  • How will you connect with them?

It will take some time to develop an audience but if you create a professional and compelling podcast that’s not too broad, you could find some attentive listeners. 

Benefits of a Podcast or YouTube Channel

The public tends to see all homebuilders as alike and let’s be honest the perception isn’t favorable. A podcast or YouTube channel can change that over time.

These can brand you as the go-to home builder in your market and establish you as a marketing professional. You can communicate your personality, showing that you’re a real human with opinions and allowing you to convey your experience, expertise, and the benefits to buying one of your properties.

Tag every episode and video with real estate or homebuilder-related keywords. Use a mix of high and low search volume so that users can find you when searching with terms and keywords for content.

Consider using Semrush to find keywords.

12. Content Marketing to Increase Your Google Presence

Content marketing is a popular method used by marketers to appear more often in Google searches and rank higher. 

Content marketing can involve creating rich media elements like audio and video, but since we’ve covered those, let’s focus on blog articles. 

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing isn’t just writing articles and publishing them to your company’s blog. It’s a strategic part of an overall online marketing plan to create a library of content based on common questions and keywords inputted into Google. This approach is essential in the realm of online marketing for home builders, as it helps in reaching and connecting with potential customers who increasingly rely on online research before making purchasing decisions. Traditional marketing methods are becoming less effective, and digital marketing, through content creation, plays a crucial role in developing customer relationships, showcasing build quality, increasing website traffic, and improving SEO.

You want to rank for informational keywords that have considerable monthly traffic.

Let’s say, your real estate lead generation strategy is targeting first-time homebuyers in Bangor, Maine, your content needs to have these keywords and be interesting and relevant to your local audience.

Here are some ideas based on that example:

  • Exciting New Development in Bangor
  • Moving to Bangor? Where to start looking for a new home
  • Things to do in Bangor, Maine
  • Property Tax Tip Sheet for Bangor, Maine

Content marketing articles shouldn’t have a lot of fat like long-winded intros and sections that don’t relate to the subject of the article.

Be direct and informative and give your readers what they want. Remember, when they enter a search on Google and then click on the link to your article, they expect to get the information they need. Google has the same expectations, so write your home builder articles with this in mind.

13. Start an Email Marketing Newsletter for Real Estate Lead Generation for Home Builders

A weekly, bi-weekly or monthly real estate newsletter can turn subscribers sniffing around your developments into hot real estate leads.

Choose a template using one of the many email marketing services available like Mailchimp, Hubspot and Bloomreach, to name a few. Then, decide on topics and which sections you want to include. You want to keep your newsletter consistent for its look and sections. 

Topic and theme options include educating readers on the pre-construction industry in a market, advice for buying pre-construction, buyer testimonials and listings. 

Newsletter Tips

Use these tips to make an effective newsletter.  

  • Don’t use one large contact list. Segment your main list into smaller lists based on lead source, location and engaged leads and markets.
  • Engaged leads are those who frequently open your emails and you should communicate with them more often. 
  • Write conversationally while maintaining your professionalism. Avoid industry terms and write in a way that’s accessible and engaging. 
  • Personalize each email with the subscriber’s first name. Most platforms offer this feature. 

14. Retargeting Ads for Real Estate Lead Generation

Retargeting ads make sure you create more than one impression with a potential real estate lead. This tactic displays your ads with users after they leave your website or landing page without submitting a form, booking a call or whatever you’re considering a conversion.

Your ads follow someone who visited your website or landing page, appearing on other websites they are visiting. The goal is to entice them to come back and complete the proposed transaction of your website or landing page, such as booking a call. 

15. Home Builders Marketing Agency

Marketing companies focused on home builders and pre-construction with a specialty in real estate lead generation can keep your sales team busy and your presentation center packed with prospective buyers.

Most agencies will do all the legwork and manage and optimize your Google Ads and Facebook Ads to maximize performance. 

Agent Launch, a Leading Home Builders Marketing Agency 

Agent Launch manages over $11 million in ad dollars for hundreds of clients. 

Our program creates an omnipresent lead generation system that will fill your pipeline with targeted leads who are itching to buy.  

Apply today and learn how Agent Launch can build your pre-construction business, help you drive more traffic and make stronger connections that sell more units faster.