Many professionals want to make the most out of marketing platforms like LinkedIn, including real estate investors. There are a number of reasons why LinkedIn is a good place to look for leads, and we’ll give you the inside scoop on why and how in this article.
If you are already aware of the perks of using LinkedIn to find leads, you can skip the first section and go straight to our advice on how to create an appealing REI company profile on LinkedIn. Then we will get into LinkedIn lead generation tips for real estate investors to examine the tools and methods that are at your disposal.
There is less traffic on LinkedIn than on other social media networks. This means that your message on LinkedIn has better chances of standing out from the rest of the traffic. At the same time, this raises the stakes for each piece of content you publish.
LinkedIn has a low signal-to-noise ratio. In plain terms, there may be less messages (and content in general), but those messages that do make the rounds are of high value. That’s because LinkedIn audiences are used to getting the content they want in their inbox. If you are doing it right, your LinkedIn posts will get more engagement than those on other platforms.
Building connections on LinkedIn is hard. It really is. There are three grades of connections: 1st is a direct contact; 2nd is a contact of your contacts; and 3rd is a contact of your contact’s contact (or practically a stranger). It takes extra effort to reach someone via LinkedIn, and, in a way, this subconsciously obliges people to respond to an inbound message. If a stranger went through all that effort to get in touch with you, then their interest in your REI business is probably high.
LinkedIn users are in business mode. When people want to be entertained, they go on Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok. When they want to get things done, they go on LinkedIn. Having an audience that is already in business mode is great when it comes to real estate. Buying or selling a house is a big (and almost business-like) decision, so, as an REI, you can benefit from the general attitude of users on the network. Also, if someone wants to do their due diligence and check you out on LinkedIn, you probably have a hot lead.
The connection on LinkedIn is professional. What brings you in a Facebook group along with thousands of other people? It’s simple – you share an interest. You root for the same sports team, you use the same beauty products, you prefer wine over beer, you have the same hobby, etc. As important as all these interests are, they may have nothing in common with real estate markets. On LinkedIn, you relate to others on a professional level, so the connection is deeper and more serious than on other networks.
Given all those benefits of using LinkedIn for getting REI leads, you probably want a piece of the action. But to reach that goal, you’ll need to make an effort because LinkedIn users are used to professional communication and high-value content.
So, how can you go about doing that?
Fill out as many of the fields a LinkedIn profile provides in order to present your business. Obviously, to leave a good first digital impression you don’t have to populate all of the boxes. Rather, you need to think strategically about the message you put out in front of people. Do you use the profile exclusively for attracting new leads? Then, go for testimonials. But what if you also use LinkedIn to connect with colleague REIs, with private lenders, other businesses, or real estate groups? Then, your profile should appeal to more general groups of viewers.
Whatever your strategy, the visuals and the short descriptive text will be the focus of your profile’s viewers. So, let’s take a look at each element of the profile to provide more detail.
The picture and the headline are the first thing people notice about your profile. So, go for a professional headshot and a background photo that fits into your branding strategy. If this sounds like an expensive option, don’t sweat it, because you can sort this out without spending too much money. You just need several decent photos. You can get the opinion of others (on a crowd-sourcing app) about which one of these photos gives off a professional appeal. Something along the lines of “Would you sell your house to me?”
If you go for the standard look, your face should be approximately 60% of the picture, and avoid using a bar, a restaurant, or a dimly lit room as a headshot background. Since you are a real estate investor, you can go for an outdoor background that features a property.
The background photo of your LinkedIn profile is also very important. Here, you have a lot of options as well, but don’t go for something that’s over the top (like a graphics featuring flashy patterns in vivid colors). You can go with a stock photo (eg. family preparing breakfast in the kitchen?) or simply use a mono-color background that will make your headline stand out.
Although the headline tag is not a visual element, people focus on it after they’ve seen the photos. The basic option is to clearly state your job title, so that people know what you are all about. Of course, you can also go a step further and include a catchphrase (with less than 10 words). You can use the headline to show profile viewers what real estate investing area you specialize in (eg. house flipper, wholesaler, etc.) or the local markets you are interested in (if you operate in only one ZIP code).
In essence, use the LinkedIn headline text to stand out from other REIs.
In this section, users typically include a short description of their business. Is this relevant for a real estate investor who wants to get some leads? Yes and no. You can boast with a couple of great testimonials and leave it at that. However, if a motivated seller wants to run a background check on you, they’ll be interested to learn more about you.
So, you can add a summary that helps establish credibility. Let profile viewers know who you are. You can also provide more details about your approach to real estate investing – what kind of properties you are after, the vision of your company, and more of that sort of stuff.
Pro tip: don’t waste the opportunity to include a URL (of your website and other marketing channels) in this section.
LinkedIn users who want to be recruited list their qualifications (education) and professional experience in this section. Don’t think that you can skip them because you are a REI. Some sales may depend on the info that you’ll provide here, like years in the business, or specific accomplishments that set you apart.
Endorsements from colleagues are good for networking, but they can also serve to convert sellers who are on the fence. Recommendations and testimonials can do the same, especially if you put them in a short video.
The key to getting real estate leads on LinkedIn is in the active use of its features (we will delve deeper into it in a bit). Keep in mind that making a good profile is your digital handshake and you should treat it as such. What do you want your profile viewers to remember about you? If you populate all the available fields, they might get overwhelmed and leave without a specific impression. So, do your best to stand out. Keep the message clear and to the point because even though LinkedIn isn’t the most visited social network, there are many other profiles to look at.
Of course, you can take a proactive stance on getting new leads as well.
While the discussion about inbound and outbound marketing for real estate investors can include a wide range of topics (types, methods, best practices, etc.) we will quickly touch upon those that are relevant for getting leads on LinkedIn. In essence, when people are messaging you, that’s an inbound lead, while when you reach out to people with your pitch, that’s an outbound lead. On LinkedIn you can do both. And although REIs mostly deal with inbound requests, it’s worthwhile to know how the outbound options work, too.
There are more than 740 million LinkedIn users globally, but only 3 million of them share blog posts and other content. Publish good content and you are automatically at the top. It can’t be more simple than that.
Granted, some REIs struggle with consistent content output, but there are many remedies to this. For example, posting content from your other channels (including your website) will not only increase your activity on LinkedIn, but it will also improve your overall search engine optimization efforts. The use of hashtags will make your posts more visible, but don’t flood users exclusively with promotional posts or recycled content. Sooner or later, this becomes irritating and you’ll have to offer something of value. Those of you who are in a creative rut can draw inspiration from these real estate investing content ideas.
People usually respond when you address their problems, so start a conversation about a topic that is relevant for your audience. What problems are your potential leads facing?
Lead magnets are the focal point in lead generation efforts of REIs on LinkedIn, so let’s talk specifics. You are probably used to offering all sorts of materials (ebooks, reports, checklists, webinars, and such) to motivated sellers in exchange for their contact details (name, email address, phone). But which one of these would work best for real estate investor leads on LinkedIn?
First off, if you don’t have lead magnets, learn how to add one to your profile as soon as possible. And before you publish materials that could serve as lead magnets, take a step back to evaluate your audience. The people who did manage to find you on LinkedIn are more interested in your REI business, so you have to factor this into your plan for lead magnets. For example, if the leads are hot, do you want to offer people a free report? Or do you go a step further and offer something like free property appraisal?
You can always go to the fallback position of offering them to fill out a form and taking it from there, but since they went through all that trouble, you can consider using a lead magnet meant for sellers who are deeper into the journey.
Some sections of your LinkedIn profile are bound to get greater exposure, so you might want to capitalize on that. You are probably wondering what’s the best place for publishing REI lead magnets on LinkedIn, anyway. The short answer is: it varies.
For instance, the project section is considered a prime location for placing a clickable lead magnet because it’s shown above the summary. You can also use the headline to add your telephone number instead of text. These sorts of tricks work, but most of the time they aren’t long-lived, especially if they depart significantly from user guidelines.
Outbound leads, as you may assume, include you reaching out to clients over LinkedIn. Let’s take a look at some concrete examples.
What’s the most common way to place your business in front of people? It’s paid ads, of course. Even if you already have a paid ads campaign elsewhere (Facebook ads or Google ads), you might want to take a closer look at what LinkedIn offers.
For example, you can target a specific audience (based on location and job title) on LinkedIn, but the cost will be as high as $10-$20 per click. So, REIs generally avoid paid promotion on LinkedIn simply because there are cheaper alternatives. But if your research shows that these ads are going to be cost-effective, by all means – go for it.
On the topic of outbound lead generation, you can message people directly on LinkedIn. There’s only one caveat, though: you can only do this with your contacts, i.e. those users who’ve already connected with you. So, don’t regard these messages as a digital equivalent to direct mail campaigns for real estate investors. In theory, you can indiscriminately send your copy to all of your contacts, and since there is no junk mail folder in LinkedIn (like there is in email marketing), you will reach all of them.
However, you have to be mindful of basic business etiquette before you go about doing this. Each user expects high-value content from LinkedIn connections. And then you need to make a cost/benefit analysis – are people interested in those who keep on banging their own drum?
Instead of sending mass messages to your LinkedIn contacts, try to send personalized messages. Even if you don’t know the person too well, you can definitely find some mutual interest to serve as a starting point.
Mass messaging on LinkedIn is acceptable when you contact a group you are already a part of. The only exception is if you travel to a specific area and you invite LinkedIn members from that local ZIP code for an event. This applies more to networking than to lead generation, but try to get leads through it if you feel that you can pull it off.
This option allows you to send messages to users who are not your contacts on LinkedIn. It’s similar to direct messages to contacts, however, there is a charge for reaching out to strangers. InMail functions on a credit system that allows you to send a certain amount of messages based on the account type.
Would you use InMail for finding motivated sellers? This is an expensive way to reach people (5 InMail credits per month come at $29.99) and it seems that REIs will find it more useful for contacting other investors (private lenders, venture partners, etc.) rather than for finding leads.
Of course, if you notice that some person who is not in your contacts has viewed your LinkedIn profile, you can send them a personalized message to take the relationship further. But, you have a cheap alternative to this: ask them to become a connection, and if they accept, the messages between you two are free of charge.
There are alternative ways to attract leads, and some of them are typical for LinkedIn real estate investors. The showcase page is one example, but LinkedIn groups and advanced search filters are effective as well. Let’s take a look.
REIs can get a lot of leads through LinkedIn showcase pages. These are similar to landing pages on your website because they focus on one aspect (or project) of your company. Plus, you can have more than one showcase page.
What do you put in the showcase page for your REI business? Well, this depends on the things you offer, particularly on those that make you stand out from the competitors. For example, you can have a showcase page for the contract terms you’re able to offer to motivated sellers. You can have one where you outline your referral program and this showcase page will perform great in tandem with the testimonials on your main page. You can also show your process (and explain why it’s faster than others). In essence, use this LinkedIn feature to show your profile viewer the perks of selling a house to you.
Although they are not utilized as much as their counterparts on other platforms (like Facebook), LinkedIn groups can help you build a relationship with other users based on a shared professional interest. Again, this sounds more like a tool for networking than for finding leads, but you should spend some time in one of these groups before you write them off.
LinkedIn groups based on location can help you find your immediate competitors. But leads could come in from any of these groups, as well. For instance, you could join a group on flipping houses and find a lead there. The golden rule is not to be pushy with your advances – if someone in the group needs you, you are one direct message away.
LinkedIn allows you to use advanced filters to look up users. It’s similar to targeting users via Facebook, but the scope is more narrow and you need to put some thought into the search to find users. The popular filters are: jobs, posts, groups, courses, events, schools, companies, etc.
To find a lead through the search feature you have to be creative. For instance, you can filter users based on posts and events related to open houses. The comments under those posts and the attendance of such events can give you a list of people – some of whom might be motivated sellers.
Let’s be open about it – these are cold leads, and a lot of work is required to get one. But, some REIs out there might crack the system and come up with a search that will deliver motivated sellers that fit certain parameters.
LinkedIn can enable real estate investors to find leads, but this takes some effort and a budget. If you put in the effort to present your REI business in the best possible light, you can use it for both networking and lead generation.
There are two main reasons LinkedIn isn’t the go-to platform for finding REI leads: some of the features (like ads or InMail) are expensive, and motivated sellers are a small minority among its everyday users. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use it with success, especially if you know what kind of people you are looking for and if you are creative about reaching out to them.
Pushing content through LinkedIn and other similar inbound lead generation efforts (like offering lead magnets) can’t hurt your general search for REI leads. In a nutshell, include LinkedIn in your multichannel marketing, but don’t expect miracles to happen.
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