Looking for estate sale leads? Whether you’re in the beginning stages of building your estate sale business, or you’ve noticed sales have gone stagnant lately, you may just need to breathe new life into your method of getting leads. Finding customers is the foundation of your business and can take a lot of energy, as well as creativity. Sometimes trying something different is just the trick to get things moving again.
We turned estate sale professionals around the country to learn some fresh strategies for getting estate sale leads.
1. Need Leads? Network!
Networking is a big part of any successful estate sale company’s business, and word-of-mouth marketing still works. This doesn’t have to mean joining professional estate sale organizations, although this is definitely a good idea to establish credibility. Networking can be as simple as reaching out to the people you already know: family, friends, co-workers, gym buddies, your children’s friends, etc. Even if you don’t consider yourself a social butterfly, chances are you run in a few circles. Needing to downsize is something most people face in their lifetime, so it’s likely someone within 6 degrees of separation will need an estate sale professional. Stay vocal about what you do, so when the time comes, you’ll be the one they think of to hire.
2. Be Online
There’s no getting around the fact that everyone is online these days, largely because of social media. The Internet’s a great place to get estate sale leads. It’s likely you’re already on at least one of the big social media networks out there like Facebook or LinkedIn. (Or if you’re more “hip”, maybe you use Instagram or Vine or Snapchat). It can be hard to keep up with everything that’s out there! Don’t worry. The important thing is to leverage the networks you already have — on all your social channels. After all, you’ve already built this audience organically. Even if someone in your network doesn’t need to have an estate sale, they could know someone who does. If you’ve been regular about advertising your business, they’re likely to remember and recommend your services.
3. Invest in Google Adwords
Getting found on the Web these days is key to getting estate sale leads since people are more likely to search the Internet to hire a company than anything else. While search engines like Bing and Yahoo get some traction, Google is where you’ll see the most results. Paying for Google Adwords is easy to use and manage, and is flexible enough to work within your particular budget. Many estate sale companies have had great success with Google ads, so don’t let the fact that you’ll have to put some money down deter you. Sometimes investing a little bit of money can go a long way toward getting leads for your business.
4. Get Listed
There are tons of places you can list your business information, beginning with the good old-fashioned phonebook. Remember, some people, including seniors, still use the phonebook and when they need your services, where do you think they’re going to look? Make it easy on them and get listed in the Yellow Pages. Your local Chamber of Commerce is also a great place to be found. Other places to consider listing at are at places like the Junior League, the Lions Club, churches, and moving or storage companies.
5. Leverage Lawyers
When an estate sale happens, often an attorney gets involved. They may be willing to recommend your services if their client needs an estate sale company. If you know any lawyers in your area, that’s a good place to start (your friends included). You might also encourage them to let their colleagues know about your services to spread the word. Hint: This is one reason business cards are crucial; not only do they lend credibility to your business, they make it easy for someone to reference if needed, as well as pass along the information to someone else.
6. Reach Out to Realtors
What other professional is often involved when it comes to estate sales? Real estate agents. It’s in your best interest to make nice with the realtors in your area who can be a boon to your business by recommending you to their clients. You could reach out by email or send them a brochure via snail mail. But it’s always best to get in some face time. Schedule a chat to discuss your services and set yourself apart from the people who just email.
One smart strategy is to get in with a real estate brokerage, so can appear on the list all their agents use for their referrals. Set up a lunch (on your dime) with the brokerage and let them know how your services can help their clients, and ultimately them, whether their client is just listing their home or needing to move.
7. Thrift Shops, Antique Malls, and Consignment Stores
There’s always been a symbiotic relationship between shop owners, dealers, and estate sale companies. Believe it or not, the estate sale community is a small world. We all have a common interest: either to procure interesting goods, or sell them, (or both) and thus, we can often help each other out. Make yourself known at the local shops in town, and get to know the owners. They may hear about leads from customers and can pass along your information.
8. Senior Community Centers
It’s true, many people who need estate sale services are seniors. A good way to get in touch with them is to meet them where they already are. Many senior community centers will allow you to post bulletins in their common areas. Be proactive and reach out to different secular and religious senior centers in your community. Remember, don’t be pushy or salesy, just helpful. And if you feel shy or weird about soliciting, keep in mind you’re providing a much needed service! Most people will be happy you reached out.
9. Your Competition
That’s right – you read that correctly. Sometimes you can leverage your competition to be a resource for leads. While the estate sale industry is competitive, it’s mostly made up of people who love the business and love helping people, including their colleagues. Reach out and be a part of the estate sale community, whether you join a professional organization like ASEL or you participate in an online community like the Estate Sale Company Network. Get to know estate sale companies in your area.
Estate sale companies can’t always take every sale. In many cases, they’re more than happy to recommend another service of a company they trust. The more connected you are to people in your community (assuming you do good work and have positive references), the more likely you are to be on the receiving end of leads. Also, remember karma: Pay in forward when you can, and chances are you’ll get something in return later when you need it.
10. EstateSales.org’s Estate Sale Leads System
Another great way to get leads is to become a member of EstateSales.org. Besides getting your sale listed on our website and in our daily mailer that goes out to over thousands of subscribers, you’ll get access to a number of leads per month. This feature is for all EstateSales.org paid plans and can help give your business the boost you’ve been looking for. We even reward customers with premium paid plans by sending leads via text message to your phone, for even more convenience. This leads system is easy to use and soon will be even easier — requiring no inconvenient access code.
Become a part of the EstateSales.org network to make sure all your bases are covered.
We’d love to hear your thoughts! Who has gotten leads by a way not mentioned here? Tell us in the comments!