Lead generation is something that people love to talk about in the real estate industry. Today, the term “lead generation” is one that is instantly associated with working online. People think of social media, infographics, guest blogging, mailing lists and PPC marketing. They don’t think about offline marketing so much, but really, for things like buying property, having a personal connection is incredibly important.

Local knowledge is important in the real estate market. Getting involved with the goings-on in your local community will benefit you in a number of ways. Firstly, it helps you to establish yourself as an authority in the local area. Secondly, it will give you a little bit more insider knowledge. Is the local neighborhood watch really having some success cleaning up the reputation of that cul de sac? If so, maybe property prices there are due to increase!

Getting involved with the community can help build good PR, and you don’t even have to spend a lot of money to do good work. You can give talks at the local community college, sponsor small events for the neighborhood elementary school, volunteer some of your time for charity events, or put down a small amount of money for a “pay it forward” campaign or for the local food bank.

You can’t expect a massive return on each of those individual acts. The leads come, not from the acts themselves, but from the long term PR, and the press coverage that those things will get. Having your logo associated with those events, and having mentions in the press, will get your brand name established in the minds of local residents. Then, when they’re looking for a property, they will be more likely to buy from you.

Trust Matters

Buying a house isn’t like buying a Blu-Ray disk or even a mobile phone. Property is the single most expensive purchase that the average person will make in their lifetime. This means that it’s not a purchase that will be made lightly. If you want to be able to compete with the national (and multi-national) companies, you need a good reputation.

Building brand recognition takes repeated exposure. What better way to build recognition than to start early, and have people incidentally exposed to the brand outside of the context of sales. That creates the image of your company as a socially responsible, caring one. So they will be more receptive to your marketing messages.

You can use those initial contacts to start building up a mailing list, and you can use that to send out informative content to start preparing people to buy a property from you. You can use a good mailing list management tool to segment your audiences, marketing to families, single people, financially mobile couples, and other groups based on where they are in their personal journeys, and whether they are looking to get on the property ladder for the first time, or to trade up. It takes patience, but outreach will pay off.