In the world of property technology, real estate investors rely on one type of software more than any other: lead generation. Without it, finding and investing in opportunities would be significantly harder, and investors would be required to return to the old days of real estate.
So what makes generating leads in real estate today different, and how does quality data make real estate investing easier? Find out as we explore why the quality of your data matters more than ever before!
Understanding real estate lead generation
Real estate lead generation is the process of finding homeowners who want to sell their homes. In the past, it was a challenging, time-consuming process. Real estate professionals relied on several tactics like bandit signs, driving for dollars, and real estate websites to generate leads.
While all of these methods are still viable and popular with investors, they were passive tactics and limited real estate to people with big enough budgets and enough time to spend gathering leads.
Now, anyone can take active steps to find leads as long as they have a device and an internet connection. The process is as simple as picking the right real estate lead generation software and searching for leads in the target area.
Finding leads can be as simple or as complex as you make it. Real estate lead generation software has given investors complete control over how they work!
How does real estate lead generation software change investing?
Lead generation platforms don’t just make investing easier, they have opened the industry up to more professionals. In the past, real estate was limited to full-time professionals with a real estate license and a sizable marketing budget. Now, with real estate data more readily available, there are more opportunities for individuals to pursue a career in real estate.
From investors who are just getting started to teams that are looking to diversify, finding distressed homes is as easy as completing a quick search. In short, lead generation platforms open the world of off-market properties to anyone who wants to invest in them!
Even more importantly, real estate lead generation software gives investors and real estate professionals access to an almost endless supply of leads because they have instant access to property data. They can also work outside of their immediate area because many of these tools provide information on properties across the US. If an investor runs out of leads in their city, they don’t have to stop working. They can simply change their target area!
What kind of data does real estate lead generation software provide?
Not all lead generation platforms are created equal. While they all provide some degree of property information, they vary widely in their features and the level of data they provide. You should do your research when choosing a lead generation platform because not all systems provide the information you need to make informed investing decisions. However, you can expect to find the following information in most real estate lead gen platforms:
- Basic property details
- Basic owner details (not including contact information)
The downside to having so many leads
The ability to generate so many leads at once has changed the real estate industry. While investors and agents were once limited to their surrounding area, now they can invest practically anywhere without worrying about running out of leads. Investors can easily pull lists with tens of thousands of distressed properties at the click of a button.
But a large volume of data doesn’t always equal quality leads. Even an investor with unlimited capital and unlimited time could never work through the number of leads that you can generate with real estate lead generation software.
Finding quality leads
Unfortunately, the birth of modern lead generation has created a needle in a haystack situation. While finding leads was difficult and time-consuming in the past, investors were usually rewarded for their hard work with qualified lead lists.
When they drove for dollars, planted bandit signs and billboards, or went to property auctions, they came away knowing something about the properties they were going to make offers on. Now, many investors simply launch calling and mailing campaigns before qualifying their leads.
This was an effective strategy several years ago, but with a changing economy and more stringent cold calling laws, many investors lose more money on mass marketing than they make.
Unfortunately, unparalleled access to leads hasn’t necessarily made investing easier. Investors need more than long lists of motivated sellers and distressed houses; they need accurate data and quality leads.
Finding top-tier property data
Instead of simply generating a long list of leads, investors need to dive far deeper than most lead generation platforms allow. They need detailed property insights, including distress factors, property condition, property features, owner demographics, and much more.
The right real estate lead generation tools give investors a lot of leads and a lot of detailed data they can use to make good investments.
This data includes:
- Equity and mortgage information
- Full distress factor reporting
- Owner portfolio information
- Owner life events
- Owner demographics
- Property features and characteristics
With detailed insights, investors can focus on the right properties at the right time, saving them time and money.
Of course, investors shouldn’t have to stop working with large lists. Lead generation platforms that give them detailed property information still allow investors to generate long lead lists, but they enable investors to focus on the right leads instead of a random list.
The best real estate lead gen platforms allow investors to combine traditional methods with data-informed methods to find better leads. Investors can generate leads in bulk and run mass cold calling or direct mail campaigns while focusing their efforts on the most promising opportunities.
What makes quality data different?
As you can see, quality data makes investing easier and more effective. But what makes quality data different from simple lead generation?
The difference is the depth and where the data comes from. Many lead generation platforms simply aggregate data from publicly available sources, meaning their data is surface-level. You could find the same data by surfing the web, it would just take you longer. But the in-depth insights that help investors choose the right properties come from aggregating millions of data points from both online and offline repositories.
Platforms like BatchLeads don’t limit their data to what you could find on Zillow and Redfin. Instead, they collect data from countless sources to give investors an inside look into every single property on their lists.
BatchLeads has data on more than 150 million US properties and compiles more than 300 data points for each property. Additionally, BatchLeads has a proprietary verification process that increases accuracy by confirming, cleaning, and adding data. This means that the data isn’t just detailed, it’s also reliable.
What difference does top-tier data quality make in practice?
When an investor generates a list in BatchLeads, the process starts much like it would on any lead generation platform. The investor starts with a basic city search. However, they can then filter their search with several quick filters that instantly show properties with specific distress factors or owners who have experienced a recent life event, such as recently divorced or inherited. Investors can then narrow their search even further by filtering across more than 300 property data points.
To understand the difference this makes, imagine an investor who wants to find a list of pre-foreclosure leads. She can quickly pull a large lead list with a quick filter and then start calling them.
But if she wants to get even more specific, she could narrow her list down to recent divorcees who are in pre-foreclosure and own a home that was built before 1995. With this new, hyper-specific list, she could send a personalized text campaign or direct mail campaign while launching a cold calling campaign to the original list.
Of course, she can work either list, but the advanced search functionality helps her prioritize outreach and focus on the most probable leads first. Now she can make more informed decisions, take her budget further, and invest more effectively.
Qualifying real estate leads
As you can see, having access to accurate and in-depth data is more important than simply having a long list of leads. You can do more with it, including qualifying your opportunities.
Investors who don’t qualify their leads before starting marketing campaigns spend hours and thousands of dollars without really knowing who they’re marketing to. This is one of the biggest problems that investors face when pulling large lead lists.
Even worse, lead scoring is difficult if you haven’t qualified leads, because someone may sound interested after a call, but they may not be a good fit for your investing strategy.
Imagine setting an appointment with a hot lead only to discover that they’re not a distressed homeowner. Instead, they’re looking to sell for market value. Qualifying leads before marketing ensures that you spend your time and marketing dollars in the right places.
Quality data makes this simple because it gives you the option to filter out opportunities that don’t match your investing criteria. BatchLeads also includes several additional tools to help investors easily qualify leads and identify the most promising opportunities:
- Quick filters narrow down lists to leads with specific pre-set criteria
- Advanced search narrows lists based on multiple custom criteria
- List stacking reveals leads with multiple distress and motivating factors
- Property and owner portfolios show investors what’s happening at a property
Skip tracing property owners
The quality of your data is arguably most important when it comes to real estate marketing. You can generate millions of leads, but if you don’t have phone numbers and email addresses to contact the owners, you can’t convert leads.
While many lead generation platforms provide basic property details, their skip tracing data is truly subpar. A recent exploration of skip tracing data showed that most platforms only provide accurate data between 2-18% of the time.
That means that if you’re working with unreliable contact information, you and your team are losing time and money. When you combine this lost time with the distraction caused by unqualified leads, your operation might be facing a serious data problem that you weren’t aware of.
Thankfully, there’s an easy solution. With right-party contact information, you can maximize the time you and your team spend reaching out to leads. Just make sure to choose a skip tracing provider with high match rates so you don’t spend money on data you can’t trust.
Property evaluation tools
While many lead generation platforms can help you identify motivated sellers and distressed properties, you might be stuck calculating a deal’s value on your own if you don’t have detailed property information.
To calculate property value accurately, you need more than just the square footage and the number of rooms. You also need recently sold data for similar properties in the same zip code, and to get the most accurate information, you need MLS data. BatchLeads is one of the only platforms in the industry that provides this information.
Without access to property details and MLS data, comping and calculating ARV isn’t just difficult; it’s also dangerous. If you get your numbers wrong, you run the risk of losing money on your deals.
Winning with cash buyers
Finally, going beyond simple lead generation gives investors an added benefit with cash buyers, because they can easily find the exact properties that cash buyers are looking for.
In the past, investors and agents had to find deals and hope that their contacts wanted to buy them. But now cash buyers can request a certain kind of property and within minutes wholesalers, brokers, and agents can find a matching property that is highly likely to sell. Detailed property insight means the days of guessing and overinvesting in marketing to find the perfect property are over.
The cost of sub-par data
At this point, you might believe that quality lead generation data is a luxury that only certain real estate businesses can afford. However, sub-par data costs small real estate businesses more than you might imagine.
According to LeadJen, one-third of a sales team’s time is spent chasing bad data. Even if you simply pull insufficient data instead of incorrect data, you’re still wasting time that you could have spent closing deals.
Additionally, RingLead reports that each piece of bad data is costing you at least $100 as it distracts and confuses you, keeping you from pursuing the right leads at the right time. If you aren’t getting with in-depth property data, other real estate professionals are contacting motivated sellers before you and landing deals or listings that should have been yours.
Lead generation is a game changer for real estate professionals because it frees them from the old, time-consuming methods of finding motivated sellers and potential clients. But not all real estate lead generation software is created equal.
While generating massive lists and hoping for a deal has been effective in the past, it’s quickly becoming an ineffective strategy. With in-depth data, you can increase your ROI, find the perfect deals for your potential customers, and reduce the time it takes you to find deals.
The best part is that working with this level of data doesn’t require a large shift in your strategies. You can still generate healthy lead lists, drive for dollars, network, and find leads in traditional ways. Quality data will only make those strategies more effective as you unlock property insights you never dreamed of. The most successful investors are using a combination of lead generation tactics to identify and nurture leads. All you have to do to join them is pick the right real estate lead generation software for your business.