Inbound vs outbound marketing – A guide to real estate lead generation By , May 12 2021

In real estate there are many ways to promote your business and listings. While there is no right or wrong way to market yourself, it is important that you understand your marketing options and what will work best for you. In many cases, you can divide marketing options into two categories. 

Firstly, outbound marketing or interruption marketing whereby the company will make first contact with the customer. Secondly, inbound marketing where your audience initiates the conversation with you or your brand. 

Your business growth is dependent on your ability to generate and nurture leads. Whether that be generating new interest or fostering the relationships you have with existing clients, lead generation and conversion would be impossible with marketing. 

For real estate the key is to know your audience and how they like to receive information and communicate with real estate marketing. Commonly, there is a need to adopt both inbound and outbound marketing strategies in real estate, however inbound marketing methods are becoming more prevalent and powerful for conversion. 

Nonetheless it is imperative that real estate agents understand the benefits of inbound and outbound marketing and how to optimise each to generate leads. 

Inbound marketing: 

Let’s start with inbound marketing. Most forms of contemporary real estate marketing are considered inbound. Whether it’s opt-in emails, paid social media or search engine advertising. The customer is initiating the conversation with the agent. Inbound marketing methods would typically take the form of a campaign with a strategy, timeframe and budget thus, making it easier to quantify return on investment. 

Real estate inbound marketing methods include: 
  • Opt-in emails and SMS – Where the person has provided their contact information for marketing purposes. 
  • Social media (Targeted advertising and content marketing) – Where the audience has followed you or shown interest in the service or listing (or a similar listing) you are advertising. 
  • Websites (Blogs, landing pages and forms). 
Outbound marketing: 

Outbound marketing refers to the types of marketing that ‘interrupt’ the audience to make them aware of your brand, products or service offering. The customer is not outwardly looking for your services and you are making contact first. In real estate these tactics usually encompass traditional marketing methods like signage, print media and calls. Outbound marketing is a little harder to quantify ROI as most tactics don’t facilitate reporting or insight. For example, letterbox drops where you may print 1000 pamphlets, you could get enquiries about appraisals or buyers but your quantification relies on you asking where they heard from you and the lead telling you it was from the pamphlet itself. 

Outbound marketing methods for real estate professionals: 
  • Letter box drops – recent sales results / new listings and appraisal offer. 
  • Cold calling. 
  • Print media – Commonly newspaper ads.
  • Signage and sponsorship – Listing for sale/ sold signs and sponsorship banners at events or local community.

While outbound marketing methods were traditionally favoured in real estate, they are now less commonly adopted with inbound methods becoming more effective and easier to evaluate. 

Generating leads with inbound marketing: 

As mentioned above, inbound marketing allows real estate agents to target an audience already interested in their services. Not only do these methods help to generate and nurture leads they make it easier to set and report on marketing budgets. But how do you ensure your inbound marketing is working for you and generating leads? 

Email marketing:

Email marketing is one of the strongest lead generation inbound marketing tactics. Not only will it help to identify new leads but when done effectively is perfect for nurturing existing leads. In fact, email marketing delivers 3800% ROI on average

In order for your email marketing to generate usable leads you need to ensure a few things. Your email marketing should be well thought out and combine both curated newsletters and automation to nurture your contacts. Your contacts should be able to engage in your emails through forms, surveys and landing pages. Then your email marketing provider should track the interactions and send you insights and lead information. 

Social media: 

Inbound marketing in terms of social media includes both paid advertising and content marketing. Firstly, your content schedule should be aimed to keep your current following engaged at the same time as building new awareness for your brand. Your social media profiles should be set up to make it easy for your audience to reach out to you.  Paid advertising on social media is still considered an inbound marketing method as the audience will typically only see the ad if they are engaged in the same or similar listings.  Social media ads can have many functions including reach, engagement and lead generation. If your aim is lead generation from buyers and sellers be sure to have a lead form set up. 

Website/ landing pages/ blogs:

A good real estate website should have a few features to ensure you are maximising your lead generation potential. Firstly,  lead capture forms and pages to convert visitors into leads. Secondly, inbuilt SEO functionality and considerations. Blogging can be a great way to boost your organic search traffic, especially when early market research is considered.

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