Are the ‘conventional’ real estate lead magnets dead?

How well do the typical market reports and other real estate lead magnet ideas convert?

I asked myself these questions 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. 

But first, you may wonder what a lead magnet in real estate is in the first place.

A lead magnet in real estate is usually a free giveaway with a particular value to your potential target customers. It needs to have this value to them, so they better convert on your website.

Over the years, there hasn’t been much progress in creating new ideas that stand out and cut through the noise.

At present, 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. 

Suppose it’s working out for you despite not having a lead magnet. In that case, you likely convert leads because of your looks, which are probably not of the highest quality

But I am not saying that above-average-looking people couldn’t increase the persuasive effects a bit. Psychological studies, unfortunately, confirm that.

I am saying that looks shouldn’t be used as your primary 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 that aims to trap a rabbit, and it’s just without the part where the rabbit is killed/ eaten afterward.

Well, that’s not the best analogy.

A better one would be that it’s an attractive-looking trap with a beautiful wooden interior design.

It also has fresh hay that the rabbit likes returning to and staying there because it receives fresh fruits, vegetables, and water.

The magnetic field created comes from all the amenities the rabbit needs and wants, so he likes to get inside the trap, stays there, and needs to come back. 

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 customers by bringing them through a real estate marketing funnel.

The word ‘magnet’ implies that we need to create a magnetic field so that the metal with the opposite charge can’t do anything but be attracted to it.

This metal with the opposite charge is the website visitor who realizes that the (lead) magnet has something he lacks (this is basically the opposite charge).

The emphasis here is “lacking,” which implies a need, pain, or greed. 

I will come back to this later.


Why Use Real Estate Lead Magnets?

You won’t need a real estate lead magnet if you have plenty of advertising dollars and don’t care about how much you pay per lead.

But most of the time, even with a very high marketing budget, that wouldn’t make much economic sense.

Because a lead magnet usually can bring your conversion rate of visitors turning into email subscribers up, 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,’ fewer 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 pretty 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. Still, 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.

Once subscribed, the visitor can access a selection of pre-filtered properties in particular categories.

It can be properties such as just listed, bank-owned, short sales, luxury, over or under a specific price, foreclosed, and more.

This real estate lead magnet type is especially popular with 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 also be subdivided into 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

Agents and brokers also commonly use this type of real estate lead magnet.

It gives an overview of market data from a specific 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 operate locally.


4) Local Favorites

A real estate lead magnet consisting of local favorites promotes the specific area you are operating in.

This is used to increase potential home buyers’ product or service awareness.

It should cause the wish to own property in a certain neighborhood (find out about the different stages of awareness here), so it’s more suitable for real estate agents or brokers.

But other real estate professionals could also use it as a variation.

5) Cheat Sheets & Checklists

The term cheat sheet comes from the context of education. 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 used.

Especially Ebooks Market Reports & Analysis could be turned into the format of a cheat sheet or checklists.

Infographics are also very often a type of cheat sheet.

6) Sweepstakes & Coupons

Sweepstakes primarily 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.

It could also be a discount for landscaping work.

These two types of real estate lead magnets should always be related to the core offer of the respective business, so an interest in the main offer 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 as 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

What Is a Lead Magnet in Real Estate

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

The commonly used real estate lead magnets often don’t provide an actionable takeaway or no new information.

An example of immediate value would be a collection of high-converting Facebook real estate ad examples.

It could also be a collection of remote real estate escrow services where the closing process is tracked online in a client dashboard.

An important factor in creating immediate value is to know your audience’s needs, greed, and pains well enough

The better you know these, the better you understand 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 also be created to make the visitor come back repeatedly.

This can be done with exclusive access to a resource page (the subscribers’ area), where you provide a tool or a library.

An example could be a closing cost calculator for your local area.

3) Make It Timeless

When creating it, you want to make it timeless. 

To achieve that, you might need to come back to it regularly to update it.

Of course, the more you create it with timelessness in mind, the less you will have to return to it later. 

This also means 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 me again in this post, but success depends so much on tracking and testing in marketing. 

The same is true if you want successful high-converting real estate lead magnets.

So you want to set up goals in Google Analytics for blog conversions and add referral codes to the call to action (e.g., your form subscribe buttons).

And testing means doing different A/B tests with various 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

Suppose you create a free digital product that serves a specific need or greed and solves a particular problem or pain. In that case, this also means a higher amount of upfront work.

But this likely also leads to higher conversion rates.

real estate lead magnets

Examples of lead magnets that still stand out a bit more than the common ones from above are:


  • Toolkits and Resource Lists
  • A Mini Video Course
  • Different Types of Quizzes and Tests
  • Online Tools/Software


Final Thoughts

Real estate lead magnets shouldn’t be ignored when you want to convert website visitors into email subscribers and, later on, customers.

However, you want to be strategic about the creation.

You don’t want to use some loose lead magnet ideas that most likely lead to mediocre conversion results.

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher