Are the ‘conventional’ real estate lead magnets dead?
How well do the typical market reports or lists of homes under $200k and other real estate lead magnet ideas really convert?
I asked myself these question for this article and you might ask yourself this too.
Because when you look around you almost always get to read about the same ‘standard’ types of real estate lead magnets.
There hasn’t been much progress over the years to create new ideas that stand out and cut through the noise.
At present time unfortunately, you just can’t generate leads just by having a nice and good looking real estate website with a nice picture or video of yourself on it.
This is true, even if you don’t have a face for radio or are easy to look at.
Well, if it’s working out for your despite not having a lead magnet, the leads you convert because of your looks are probably not of the highest quality needing your real estate products or services.
But I am not saying that above average looking people couldn’t increase the persuasive effects a bit. Psychological studies unfortunately confirm that.
What I am saying is that looks shouldn’t be used as your main real estate lead magnet.
What the Heck Is a Lead Magnet in the First Place
A lead magnet is a bit like a live animal trap which aims to trap a rabbit. It’s just without the part where the rabbit is killed/ eaten afterwards.
Well, that’s not the best analogy, so it’s rather an attractive looking trap with some beautiful wooden interior design with fresh hay where the rabbit likes to come back to and stay there, because he receives fresh fruits, vegetables, and freshwater.
The magnetic field created comes from are all the amenities the rabbit needs and wants so he likes to get inside the trap, stays there and needs to come back to.
Now, the lead magnet does basically the same.
We just don’t use the term ‘trap’, which has a negative connotation.
And in the case of the lead magnet we don’t deal with rabbits but with leads, which eventually turn into customer by bringing them through a real estate marketing funnel.
The word ‘magnet’ implicates that we need to create a magnetic field, so that the metal with the opposite charge can’t do anything but being attracted to it.
This metal with the opposite charge is the website visitor who realizes that the (lead) magnet has something that he is lacking (this is basically the opposite charge).
The emphasis here is on “lacking”, which implies a need, pain or greed.
I will come back to this later.
Why To Use Real Estate Lead Magnets?
If you have plenty of advertising dollars laying around and don’t care about how much you pay per lead, you won’t need a real estate lead magnet at all.
But most of the time even with a very high marketing budget that wouldn’t make much economical sense at all.
Because a lead magnet usually can bring your conversion rate of visitors turning into email subscribers down, meaning that your cost per lead is also reduced.
And it has shown time and time again that ethical ‘bribes’ can help motivate a website visitor to take the action you want them to take.
The action is usually filling out a contact form.
Without this ethical ‘bribe’ less website visitors would have been interested in your being added to your email list.
These Are the Standard Types of Real Estate Lead Magnets You Usually Find
I am quite sure that most of the below examples of standard types of real estate lead magnets you have already heard of.
Most of them are addressed to real estate agents, but some of them can also be adapted to other types of real estate professionals.
So, let’s directly jump in:
1) Exclusive Property Lists of Different Categories
This is usually a PDF document or an exclusive area of a real estate website where once subscribed the visitor gets access to a selection of pre-filtered properties in certain categories, such as just listed, bank-owned, short sales, luxury, over or under a certain price, foreclosed and more.
This type of real estate lead magnet is especially popular with real estate agents and brokers.
For a house flipper looking for partner investor leads this could be a list of deals with an estimated return on investment of above X%.
2) Ebooks: Buyers Guide, Sellers Guide, and How-Tos
Lead magnets like buyers guides, sellers guides or How-Tos are short eBooks or PDF documents where the typical questions of property sellers and buyers are answered.
This can be also subdivided in a certain type of buyers (e.g. first-time home buyers) and sellers (e.g. distressed property owners).
For a creative real estate investor flipping lease options a variation of this may be a guide for tenant buyers.
3) Market Reports & Analysis of Neighborhoods
This type of real estate lead magnet is also commonly used by real estate agents and brokers giving an overview of different types of market data from a certain neighborhood (e.g. average sales prices, new developments, tax law changes, etc.)
But it could also be used by developers, or even real estate money lenders as long as they are operating in a local area.
4) Local Favorites
A real estate lead magnet consisting of local favorites promotes the specific area you are operating in.
This is rather used to increase the product or service awareness of potential home buyers and causing the wish of owning property in a certain neighborhood (find out about the different stages of awareness here), so it’s more suitable to real estate agents or brokers.
But it a variation it could also be used by other types of real estate professionals.
5) Cheat Sheets & Checklists
The term cheat sheet comes from the context of education. In order to cheat on a test a student may use one during an exam without the instructor’s knowledge.
They are not longer than one page.
So the main point is not the content, but the format of the content used in them.
Especially Ebooks and Market Reports & Analysis could be turned in the format of a cheat sheet or checklists.
Infographics are also very often a type of cheat sheet.
6) Sweepstakes & Coupons
Sweepstakes especially work fine on Facebook advertising.
A real estate developer for example could offer a sweepstake where the winner could win a weekend in a SPA hotel.
For the same real estate developer a coupon offered could be a discount for landscaping work.
These two types of real estate lead magnets should always be somehow related to the core offer of the respective business, so an interest in the main offer provided is more likely.
But do these types of real estate lead magnets from above really still cut it?
Do you think they still get the same conversion rates than when they were first introduced and used on real estate websites?
I don’t think so.
So, let’s try something a bit different. It might be a way that helps you cut through the noise of the usually used real estate lead magnets and increase your chances of success and thus increase your conversion rates.
How Lead Magnets Can Cut Through the Noise and Can Have a Higher Chance of Success
In this section I will give you five tips to create real estate lead magnets that cut through the noise, and have a higher chance of increasing your conversion rates.
1) The Visitor Should See an Immediate Value in Them
Very often the commonly used real estate lead magnets don’t provide an actionable takeaway or no new information.
An example for immediate value would be a collection of high converting Facebook real estate ad examples or in the case of a real estate agent a collection of remote real estate escrow services where the whole closing process including different documents is tracked online in a client dashboard.
An important factor to create immediate value is to know your audience’s needs, greeds, and pains well enough.
The better you know these, the better you know how to create value and be on point in your copywriting of your real estate lead magnet.
2) Makes The Visitor Come Back Over and Over
To increase the frequency of interaction with your real estate business the lead magnet should be also created in such a way that it makes the visitor come back over and over.
This can be done with an exclusive access to some sort of resource page of subscribers area, where you provide a tool, or a library of some sort.
An example could be a closing cost calculator for your local area.
3) Make It Timeless
This means that when creating it you keep in mind that it should be timeless.
To achieve that you might need to come back to it on a regular basis to update it.
Of course, the more you create it with timelessness in mind the less you will have to come back to it later on.
This also means that you may want to schedule a regular review of your lead magnet.
The closing cost calculator from above probably doesn’t need much updating unless major legislative changes happen.
But for example a list of exclusive properties under $200k will need to be updated more frequently.
4) Tracking and Testing
Sorry to repeat myself again in this post, but in marketing success depends so much from tracking and testing.
The same is true if you want a successful high converting real estate lead magnets
So you want to set up goals in Google Analytics for blog conversions and adding referral codes to the call to action (e.g. your subscribe buttons of your forms).
And testing means to do different A/B tests with different lead magnet offers, and copywriting versions of your opt-in forms (this alone fills several further articles).
5) More Upfront Work Likely Correlates With Higher Value
If you basically create a free digital product that serves a specific need or greed solves a specific problem or pain, this often means also a higher amount of upfront work.
But this likely leads also to higher conversion rates.
Examples of lead magnet that still stand out a bit more than the common ones from above are:
- Toolkits and Resource Lists
- A Mini Video Courses
- Different Types of Quizzes and Tests
- Online Tools/Software
Real estate lead magnets shouldn’t be ignored, when you want to convert website visitors into email subscribers and later on into customers.
However you want to be strategic about the creation of one and not just use some lose lead magnet ideas that most likely lead to mediocre conversion results.
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