I always tell new real estate agents that don’t have a marketing budget not to let that hold them back. I generated tons of leads without spending any money. In the beginning, I had no money, so I had to use my time. I found free places all over the Internet to post ads. Most of the sites are not specifically real estate related, but all of the sites in this list are free and you can post real estate ads on them.
Before I start, here’s a couple tips. Make sure you include keywords in all of your ads that explain where you are, and what type of properties you specialize in. Also, always include a link back to your website, and better yet, to a specific landing page on your website that has a sign up form. (Contact me if you need your website updated or landing pages built.)
Let’s roll out the list of sites to post real estate ads on…
Craigslist. Yes, they still get the most traffic. It is easy to use. I just spoke with a real estate agent in Canada today that posts ads on Craigslist every single day and says she gets a lot of business from it. I also generate a lot of leads for my clients using Craigslist.
Backpage.com. This is a very similar site to Craigslist. In some cities and countries it gets more traffic than others. It’s free so it’s worth checking out. Take a look at the analytics of your website or landing page to see if it is bringing you any traffic.
LinkedIn. I post a lot of things on LinkedIn, and it brings me a lot of traffic to my websites. The key is to join groups relevant to what you are selling. There are groupds for specific cites, and there are groups for referrals. Just do a search for real estate on the LinkedIn Groups.
Facebook. I use Facebook groups the same way as I do LinkedIn. You may want to join some local business networking groups and let them know about your services. People are more likely to contact you if you are providing them with good information they can use rather tahn jost posting links telling them to hire you.
Ebay Classifieds. This site gets a fair amount of traffic and is worth taking a look at. It’s also pretty easy to use.
Hoobly. I was actually surprised when I was using this site a lot how often my ads would show up in searches on Google and other search engines. I haven’t used it in awhile, but it is worth trying out. I will probably use it again some time soon now that I am thinking about it again.
Penny Saver. Honestly I have never used this site, but told that it gets a bit of traffic and will sometimes show up in Google and other search engines. If you use it let me know if you get any results.
Oodle.com. I have used this site before and liked it. I do not have any data on number of leads or if it was a good source of traffic, but I have posted many ads on the site in the past. Overall the site is pretty clean looking and easy to use.
Manta.com. This is a business listing directory. You can list yourself as a real estate agent. I have mixed results from this site. One annoying thing is that they email you a lot. usually updates on how many people viewed your profile, and sometimes about trying to upgrade. It’s probably not that bad if you put one profile on there, but I made the mistake of setting up profiles for a bunch of different clients. I was finally smart enough to unsubscribe.
Google Places. This is another listing directory. Without looking at the stats I would say it is probably by far the most powerful, since it is owned by Google and shows up in their search results nears the top when you are searching for local businesses. Here are some tips: Fill in your profile completely. Add pictures. Add video. Add information on what you do. The more complete your profile is, and the more content it has for Google to index, the more likely it is to show up near the top of the search results. I had my real estate business at #1 for years and got a lot of leads from it. I love free leads!
Yahoo! Local. Same concept as the last two. This one is just a part of Yahoo! (I find it annoying putting the explamation mark after Yahoo!, but I still keep doing it…) It is worth getting yourself on there.
Bing Business Portal. Yes, same thing again, and once again you can get on here for free. It takes maybe 20 minutes, or less if you are fast. Then you are on there forever. It’s a one time setup, so just go ahead and do it.
Yelp. When Yelp first started getting big, it kind of got known as the place to go to shit talk businesses that you had a bad experience at. Well, guess what, you can do that on Google, Yahoo, or Bing too. Now tons of sites have places where people can post feedback, ratings, and comments. Don’t be scared of Yelp. Do a good job and people will give you good reviews.
Classifiedsforfree.com. I’ve never used this site before. I only put it here because for some random reason I decided I wanted a list of 14 sites to post real estate ads on. I only had 13 that I could think of, and that seemed like a crappy number. So I searched in Google for “free online classifieds” and that was the top listing. So, even though the site looks a little cluttered and annoying to me, I figure they have to be doing something right with that great of a ranking in Google.
Ok, I’m done now.
That was the list. Its all free, it just takes some time to get your stuff out there. SO right up some ads with some compelling calls-to-action, set up your business profiles with pictures and video, and start making it rain real estate leads.
If you have any other sites that you suggest we start using, please leave them in the comments below. Or if you have any comments or advice about the sites listed, we want to hear that too.