Real Estate Leads & Lead Generation
Spring will be here soon and you’re on the hunt for high quality buyer and seller leads looking for houses for sale. They’re online and if you don’t have a great web presence, you might still be able to leverage lead generation services or advertise on good real estate sites.
Companies which specialize in attracting real estate leads are known as lead generation companies. They advertise houses for sale and other remarketing advertising on Facebook and Google Adwords along with blogs and news sites to cull leads. They promise to rid you of the advertising and prospecting work and accelerate the lead generation process.
Unfortunately, when scraping for leads this way, a lot of poor quality leads are served up to participating Realtors. And the terms of the arrangement may not be attractive.
If it worked, who wouldn’t sign up? Well, nothing’s ever that easy. So let’s take a closer look.
Buyer sand Sellers. Find Good Real Estate Leads Fast!
There’s nothing wrong with fast, if it’s real. It can happen, and you shouldn’t be afraid to spend. Here’s 20 top lead generation services with a look at their strengths and limitations.
Leads Generated Still Need to Be Converted
This post is an exploration of 18 of the top online real estate lead generation companies in the US and Canada. And 2 more including Zillow Leads. There’s more new lead generation startups arriving every week.
Acquiring leads this way won’t hurt, however converting leads has a lot to do with brand image. Even if they agree to work with you right away on the phone call, they will Google you online and visit your website. Who wouldn’t? Trust, transparency, responsiveness, and proven competence are what motivate them.
There’s no doubt you can sign a client right away, however you probably need to take a hard look at your online presence and ask yourself whether you like what you see. Would you hire you?
Real Estate Leads Fact Number 1 — 90% of Home Buyers Go Online
90% of home buyers go online, and you need to be in front of them and number one in your Zip Code. Home sellers are there too checking out comps and searching using keyword phrases such as home selling tips, best return on home renovations to homes for sale + cityname, to bidding wars and best real estate agents. They’re doing hundreds of millions of searches using Google, Zillow, Realtor.org, Yahoo, and thousands of other websites.
Make sure you’re highly visible on Google for all of them. Set up an amazing new mobile friendly IDX website, with outstanding, professionally optimized content, use some real estate videos, and do a little pay per click advertising. Build a strategic plan, then work the plan.
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Who are Lead Generation Companies?
These are firms who provide buyer (or sometimes seller) leads for realtors, using methods of aggregating online prospects (most often via Google Adwords or cheap ad networks) which they then sell to realtors. 3 drivers promote the growth: a lot of prospects are online, home buying is in a frenzied state right now, and the fact there is only one home sold for each realtor in North America — there are too many realtors and most have few quality leads.
Questions: Let’s assume they can generate solid leads.
- do you have the patience and skill to nurture and close these types of leads?
- do you have a website that can help convert them?
- what is the real cost of doing business with them?
- would a luxury home owner from your target community use their websites?
- can you respond to these cold leads fast?
Here’s Some Leads, but Let’s See You Try to Convert Them
The way these lead generators collect leads may be why they could be of poor quality. Ad campaigns, auto-dialers, and sketchy email lists of people make for testy, suspicious prospects. And these are someone else’s leads — they initiated them, which takes the warm and fuzzy out of it. Anything transferred from one person/company to another loses something in the process – the problem is lead quality and lead conversion.
Some realtors say these leads are hard to close while others treat them like flies at a picnic. They’re basically cold calls and the prospect knows nothing about realtor’s brand image or honesty. And how do real agents and brokers feel about lead generators?
I’ve never found an online lead generation system worth the investment. Better to cut out the middle man (Internet) and just get out there and meet… people! — John Souerbry, Agent, Fairfield, CA —
I have never bought a lead. I don’t think that is the way to be successful in this business. You need to spend your money developing a strong internet presence. — Carmen Brode, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
It’s very expensive to purchase online leads. I’ve paid as much as $4,000 per month, but today I spend about $500 monthly. — Brian Talley, broker-owner, Austin, TX
Here’s 18 of the most visible lead generation companies onlinealthough new ones are coming. I’m leaving out realtor.com, and Zillow Leads because they’re more like Google or Facebook advertising programs. Some are well known while others are regional or startups. They all seem to be missing the vital component that creates genuinely good deals (in your target Zip Code) – the ideal customer experience from beginning to end.
The Good and the Bad about Paid Lead Generation
With some of them, the fees are low, sometimes only $20 a month and other times a little high, but almost never outrageous. For most, it’s like playing the penny slot machines at the casino. There’s a chance you could win, but is the payout worth it?
A few of the companies you’ll see below actually have you set up an account to be available for leads. Sort of like realtors sitting around a poker table. If you don’t respond fast, the lead is sent to someone else. In other cases, you will have to “buy your territory.” The lead gen firms will push you in that direction once they have you on the hook.
Before you hire a lead generation company, consider how home buyers and home sellers themselves buy and sell a condo, home or property. They likely already know a local realtor or they’ll go to Google to search. So online is a great place to be to lure the prospect away from his/her familiar agent.
Real Estate Search: Prospects begin with Google even though they could go directly to realtor.com or realtor.ca for MLS listings in their Zip code, or a major brokerage website such as remax.com, sothebys.com or kellerwilliams.com. Google has a better brand, a better search experience, and it leads to realtor’s websites or phone numbers where they can begin a trusting relationship with that agent.
Few condo or home sellers would type their personal details into the text box of an unknown website. And buyers are normally pretty cautious too. They want to get to know the realtor, so they’ll Google his or her name and if that discovery experience is unsatisfying, it dampens their spirit. That’s why it’s a good idea to be online in a good way – i.e., a great realtor brand image — an image built on prospects needs and preferences.
Google Adwords is the Lead Generator’s “Go to Source”
Google Adwords and remarketing programs could capture some good leads online. The highest quality leads will often originate from Google. However, most realtors could do this advertising themselves assuming they have a website with lead converting webpages. These programs are just a normal part of what a real estate digital marketer would offer along with lasting, sustainable, marketing assets.
Would I recommend using the lead generation companies? If they’re very cheap you probably don’t have much to lose other than your time, yet you could get distracted and fail to put 100% into your career. If you’re bright, you may learn a little about how they generate and convert leads.
Top Real Estate Lead Generation Websites
1. Bold Leads – Bold leads advertises on unspecified networks to capture leads and direct them to you. If the lead doesn’t give away info, boldleads will continue to nuture the lead for you. You are given your own landing page on the boldleads site.
2. Agent Locator – tells you straight they’ll conduct your ppc advertising and generate 480 leads for $6000. I like how they’re open about it. It may be worth gambling $6000 to try it out.
3. Market Leader – Aggregates leads from their own site called homevalues.com, Trulia.com, and via ppc advertising. Market Leader guarantees they won’t sell the lead to another agent. You get to manage it all from your “Pro” account.
4. Point2Homes Leads – offers low priced straight forward advertising options on its website where prospects arrive to search for a home. They also provide you with a webpage on their site.
5. Real Estate Pipeline Leads – Real Estate Pipeline Leads says it has a network of real estate sites where it draws leads, and it gives realtors full ownership of their territory, although the size of that territory isn’t explained. Drip email campaigns are a big part of their service. Their basic package is $1164 for 12 leads.
6. Agent Pronto Leads – Agent Pronto is different. There’s no upfront charge for leads! You will only be matched to referrals who have specifically requested to speak with an agent. They match each referral with a single agent that they believe is the best fit for their needs. Once you accept the referral, they provide your with the prospect’s full information and the details from their conversation with them. Sounds good. Their site looks a little lacklustre, but give them a good look.
7. South Florida Real Estate Leads – This firms specializes in south Florida leads. They say they have a variety of sources of leads. It appears to be owned by Lex Levinrad who is a real estate coach and owner of the Distressed Real Estate Institute™
8. Offrs – Offrs uses vague sounding smart technology to find homeowners who are going to put their house on the market. It’s based on predictive algorithms or just social listening perhaps. If it works, it would be very exciting technology.
Combine that with communications that encourage homeowners to actually sell the property and that could be very powerful, particularly right now in places such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto and Vancouver where prices are very high. They list by territory, but sadly your territory or Zip Code may be taken.
9. Trulia – Offers a service for seller leads with Market Leader, a company that was in severe trouble before the purchase. Trulia is no Zillow, but it does have some traffic.
10. Prime Seller Leads – Prime Seller leads creates a bunch of pages on their site for you. The CMS offers the ability to send epostcards and eflyers and their system integrates with many broker CMS.
11. eRealting – eRealting doesn’t sell leads, they give you a website to send all your traffic to! It’s kind of a CMS for rent. They state that it costs about $300 to create a client in their solution.
12. Lead Galaxy – Lead Gives you a home for your leads and uses the usual combo of Adwords, Facebook ads and telephone prospecting to create leads.
13. Experian – Experian is a research and statistics business who have mailing lists of potential buyers and sellers. You can build your list online.
14. Exact Data – Exact Data gets its lead list from telemarketing, opt in emails, and lists of prospective buyers and sellers. They claim superior data hygiene, however most list companies promise that.
15. Commissions Inc. Lead Platform – Commissionsinc claims they are the #1 Real Estate Tech Solution. They offer a platform and an app to manage your leads. They will run your Adwords and Facebook advertising campaigns for you. Sounds like a lot of noise. The value proposition is a little flaky.
16. Firepoint Realty Leads – Firepoint says they deliver scalable lead generation with intelligent routing, to automated lead follow-up and task scheduling, to ROI and conversion reporting for all of your lead sources. The price is $350/month and you set you PPC budget which they manage. Is this better than a self-directed digital marketing program?
17. Home Value Leads – Home Value Leads offers a CMS system for $59/month.
18. Refindly Seller Leads – REfindly helps you generate, engage, and convert leads using one convenient system. They claim that historically, their agents receive between 5 and 8 leads per $100 spent in advertising. You can spend as much as you like on ppc advertising and they give you a lead management system to use.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to leads and sales, dollars and time. I must say, I like Agent Pronto, and Offrs best.
Even the best lead generation sources and sites can be a negative if you neglect to build your own Internet presence and realtor brand image. People want to do business with those they know and trust.
Should getting known and trusted be your Job #1 in 2018?
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