Lead Generation for Lazy Realtors (Pros and Cons of 10 Realtor LeadGen Solutions)
If you market your business online, you would likely have come about terms like lead generation and inbound marketing. Don’t fret. They are just terms that describe a number of online marketing techniques for attracting potential clients. We’ve essentially covered the basics of DIY inbound marketing in previous posts.
These lead generation strategies have been used successfully by both big and small scale real estate brands. However, implementing lead generation strategies isn’t an easy task for most real estate agents.
The array of marketing tools available keep expanding and there is information overload, which can make it all seem overwhelming.
Yet, lead generation is crucial for marketers, whether b2b or b2c. Here are some recent facts about lead generation from Hubspot’s 2018 Ultimate List of Marketing statistics.
But what if these all seem like gibberish? What should you do if you find it hard to generate leads on your own?
Note that 44% of home buyers will search online for properties before anything else. And 13% will search out information about home buying online before even speaking to a realtor. This means that without a lead generation strategy, you would potentially be missing out on 57% of home buyers.
Let’s consider your options if it feels like you have tried a number of things and aren’t getting anywhere with your online marketing. Or if you just aren’t that tech savvy enough to be bothered with this stuff. Each of these has its pros and cons.
1. Outsource your Online Lead Generation.
If you don’t have the skill sets needed to acquire customers fast from online lead generation campaigns. Or you just want the extra time that outsourcing delivers. Then you should give a more experienced person or company the reins. There are increasing numbers of agencies and freelancers who can bring their own skill sets and industry experience into your marketing. Let’s consider the pros and cons.
- You get to focus on other things. You can take a break from online marketing; just checking in intermittently to see results or to answer essential questions.
- You hire experts. Without paying them a check monthly, you can engage experts for a one-time or per consultation fee to take charge of your marketing while you do what you can do best offline. Experts are informed on the latest trends in SEO, SMM and PPC advertising and can implement new strategies. This will be a big boon for your online real estate lead generation.
- Better results. Hiring a real estate marketing agency with years of experience to handle your online lead generation will probably get you better results. Plus, these folks are motivated to deliver better than average results because they want to secure your business. The results are potentially going to be better than what you or your team can achieve alone.
- You have no direct control. You cede control of your business albeit temporarily to someone else. This means you dictate the terms from the outside. You’re not actively involved. You will be subservient to the creativity or lack thereof of your agency or freelancer.
- It’s costly. In the short term, you’ll be spending more money by bringing in outside experts.
- It’s risky. You’re hiring someone who may not be as passionate about your business as you are. Plus if the marketer(s) you hire are not well-trained. You risk ruining your brand’s reputation.
Instead of outsourcing the bulk of your online lead generation, which can be costly, you might want to consider outsourcing highly specialized tasks that you find time-consuming. This means you get a relatively quick turn around, high specialization and you are still in control. Want to hire an experienced real estate content marketer? click here.
Unbeleadsable is a lead generation agency for real estate that offers a pay-as-you-go plan. It stands between being a lead generation service provider and lead gen contractor. The platform features a built-in predictive follow up tool, CRM, landing pages and social media ad tools. A great tool if you want to create automated Instagram and LinkedIn ads. You pay a one-time setup fee of $99 to access the landing page, CRM and analytics tools. Ad budget is selected on a per need basis.
2. Purchase leads from these real estate lead generation service providers.
Setting up systems to attract leads can take a lot of time. You can just jump right ahead by purchasing leads. When you purchase leads, note that you still have to qualify, segment and nurture your leads.
However, buying leads from any third-party lead gen company isn’t best practice. You may be buying refurbished leads that have been sold to multiple agents in your area. This is why if you follow this route, then select reputable lead gen companies.
- Hit the ground running in less time. One of the perks of buying real estate leads is that you get to start working on an outreach strategy immediately. Your landing pages are setup for you and leads are sent into your CRM directly. This is especially useful for new agents who do not have a list yet.
- Potential to deliver a consistent stream of new clients. With a reputable real estate lead generation service provider, you might be paying more but there is a higher potential to get a steady stream of leads that have passed an initial qualifying stage. When you have a good outreach program, you can potentially get a steady stream of new clients.
- You don’t have direct control over what you get. What’s the company’s promotion strategy and its qualifying criteria? How do you know if leads generated are high quality? You don’t know how qualified or how relevant your leads are. This means you take whatever you get.
- Cost of buying leads can add up. Across the board, the cost of buying leads will be different. According to Ryan Graham of Graham Seeby Group. “You’re either paying small amounts per lead, but it requires large amounts of those leads to convert. So the cost per sale can get high if your conversion rate is weak. Or you’re paying large referral fees on vetted leads”. Either way, the cost of buying leads add up.
- Higher Unsubscribe rate. It’s a bit intrusive since leads possibly have not engaged with your brand before. Doesn’t matter how exciting your offer is, you may not have their permission to contact by email. This means you should expect a higher unsubscribe rate.
When you plan to buy leads, shop around and choose an exclusive real estate leads provider. Odds are they have been in the industry for a while and have developed considerable marketing skills. If the same leads have been sold to five other of your competitors, then you’ll be fighting a losing game. You get a much lower ROI.
MarketLeader is a pay per lead platform that sells leads that are uniquely generated via PPC ads, Facebook ads, and network ads. They have been in business since 1999. Trulia purchased the platform in 2013. When Zillow bought Trulia, Marketleader was sold to Constellation Real Estate Group, based in Bellevue, WA.
MarketLeader offers a price range of $20-$30 per lead depending on location and the number of real estate leads. Leads are routed majorly from the website, Housevalues.com. MarketLeader is one of the real estate lead generation services that offers a 48-hour lead return policy if you receive a fake or unqualified lead.
They charge a one time set up fee of $99 that includes IDX website and CRM. They also have a team and brokerage solution. Marketleader is one of the cheapest real estate lead gen provider around but offers little in terms of IDX website customization.
Boldleads also sell exclusivity i.e unique ads are created based on your Zip code. Boldleads are well known for Facebook and Google ads. They set up landing pages and attract leads via well-placed social, search and display ads. Once the leads offer their information, they are sent to a built-in CRM, where you can export or start interacting with them.
BoldLeads charge a setup fee of $299 per month, which cover the cost of implementing and managing your ads and setting up your lead forms plus the ad budget. A minimum ad spend of $250 per month is recommended.
RedX is an indispensable tool for cold prospecting. Cold because prospects do not know you or subscribed to receive information from you. RedX uses advanced tools to scrape public records and message boards and deliver leads into the Vortex, an inbuilt lead management tool.
Each of the leads comes with a profile complete with all the publicly available information the Internet can provide, including phone numbers, mailing addresses, property history, and more. The lead sources are priced distinctly from $39 for FSBO leads to $79 for FRBO leads. There are also prices for pre-foreclosure, expired and Geoleads.
RedX also offers an optional call dialer, that is able to dial up to 3 numbers at once and drops off the other two lines once someone picks. This is a great tool for efficient cold calling. It’s priced at $99.99 per month.
GeoLeads is a feature of the RedX platform that allows you to select prospecting boundaries based on a manual mapping tool integrated into the platform. Leads can be pre-foreclosure, expireds or FSBO but they are relevant leads from your farm area.
Zillow is the number 1 online real estate MLS in the US with over 188 million monthly visitors. The Zillow Premier Agent program is designed with the simple purpose of bringing agents more buyers, more sellers, and more business. Zillow’s large size and high traffic mean that premier agents get their listings shown to a large base of prospects.
Zillow itself is a platform that gives you the chance to build your real estate online presence and connect directly with buyers. The Zillow Premier Agent takes this a notch further. With Premier Agent, you show up with the Zillow Premier Agent designation on your listings and also on listings where the listing agent isn’t a premier agent. Plus there is a robust CRM tool for nurturing leads.
Pricing is based on the number of leads and Zip code. Price per lead usually ranges from $20 to $100. Set up fees also range from $250 to $3,000 depending on Zip Code.
Zillow Live Connections
One of the major complaints with Zillow Leads is that leads are unqualified. Zillow live connections seeks to mitigate this by having a Zillow staff initiate a qualifying call so that Premier agents are connected with ready leads. The program started in 2018 and has not yet been rolled out in many cities. It should be noted that Zillow is a competitive platform and exclusivity is not promised.
Ylopo delivers early funnel leads. This means leads that are still contemplating the home search or browsing around for information on listing their home. This is great because early funnel leads are more likely to engage with the first realtor that comes their way. In most cases, a realtor referred by a friend. Ylopo allows you to beat their friends to it.
Ideally, you get in their face before they have the chance to interview anyone else. The platform boasts advanced targeting algorithms for high converting Facebook ads. They incorporate dynamic Facebook ad sets that can connect with your MLS so that the right properties are shown to the right people at the right time.
Ylopo is the most expensive real estate lead generation provider on this list at $495/month plus ad budget. At this price, users get an IDX website, a customized website plus expert ad setup and analytics. Its perfect for you if you want real time results without minding cost.
3. Actively generate leads with these real estate lead generation services.
There are other real estate lead generation service providers that provide self-managed lead generation, some with a professional help option. They provide tools and education to streamline the whole process of getting leads while giving you complete control over the lead generation process. However, these are not for folks who aren’t tech savvy.
- You have direct control over your pipeline. These real estate lead generation tools give you more control over the lead gen process. With tools like Real Geeks, Facebook ads are self-managed. You create the campaigns and run your ads. These real estate lead generation services also feature CRM software for lead nurturing.
- Relatively cheaper. When compared with the cost of hiring an online marketing agency, this option is relatively cheaper.
- Leads are exclusive to you. Since you’ll be doing much of the work yourself, leads generated are exclusive to you. They offer the tools and the framework, you generate the leads through your own marketing efforts.
- Training and Help. A perk of using these real estate lead generation services is that they provide enough information to help you get your lead generation system set up right. Some of these also come with the option of requesting professional help for a fee.
- You need some inbound marketing knowledge. Obviously, these services are for folks who have some knowledge about real estate lead generation but need the right tools to set up campaigns. Even though some of the services are intuitive, if you’re a novice to online marketing, you might need to consider outsourcing.
- Lead generation can be time intensive. It takes time to get leads. Unlike buying leads outright, you may have to wait a long while before you start seeing results.
- You might not get conversion results. Some customers complain that leads do not convert. This means ROI may not always be justified.
Develop a system that works for reaching out to leads on a consistent basis. You should actively make use of the CRM tools for lead nurturing. And don’t just be about getting leads but creating value. Folks can smell your motivation from a distance. Are you looking for one more signup or creating real value?
Real Geeks give Realtors the tools to manage their own ad campaigns whether via Google AdWords or Facebook. The leads generated are automatically transferred to a CRM tool for nurturing. Real Geeks also provide editable IDX-based website templates with lead capture forms. Real Geeks is similar to BoldLeads but it is essentially self-managed social and Google PPC advertising with necessary tools and resources provided. You can opt for professional help with top-to-bottom ad management if you like but that’s optional.
Real Geek platform is well customized for teams and brokerages. Leads can be assigned or re-assigned to members of a team based on sales volume, lead activity and more criteria. RealGeeks also feature an advanced CRM that supports drip emails and automated sms.
Real Geeks charge each user $190 per month for its CRM, IDX tools and funnel creation through its platform. Plus an additional $300 to $500 for creating ads per month. Ad management fee (if you want professional help) is $550.
Placester offers easy landing pages and website design plus CRM for real estate lead nurturing. Leads can be imported from Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. Placester includes more advanced personalized email targeting features to help you generate more open rates on emails.
There is a unique feature for lead generation called Open Home Pro, available for Tablet devices. It allows you to capture more information about visitors to your open houses. The info is sent to your CRM. The more knowledge you have about your lead, the more targeted your lead nurturing system will be.
The company also offers content services for realtors at an extra cost. But note that these are pre-written and will not be unique to you or your audience.
There are two pricing plans – Agent Pro and Broker Pro. Agent Pro costs $99 per month plus $99 setup fee while broker pro costs $199 per month plus $199 setup fee.
Just like Placester, Agentfire is about websites, IDX and landing pages. Their websites, called Spark sites are based on WordPress but feature analytics and hyperlocal content. The goal, according to AgentFire is to “play a different game and stand out as the hyperlocal authority”. They offer more customization options than Placester for a price of $119/mo with custom pricing options. They also offer a free trial so you can give the platform a test run. You can also purchase leads if you opt for the “hyperleads” program.
Boomtown features custom website design plus real estate CRM with lead gen and lead management tools. It probably has the best CRM tool for real estate follow ups with smart drips and customized listing updates (e-alerts) to drive subscribers to your listings. According to Boomtown, “their software acts like a team member” probably because they have a helpful support staff, called success team. Prices are customized based on your needs.
Lead generation is not enough. Nurture your leads!
Acquiring new leads is great. But new leads don’t automatically turn into sales. You still need to do three things. Top real estate lead generation services like Placester have tools to streamline these three processes:
1. Qualify your Leads.
Let’s say you’ve bought leads, the problem is how do you know if they have the slightest possibility of converting? Even though buying high quality leads from reputable websites may save you the stress of dealing with duplicate leads, it doesn’t automatically ensure high conversion rates. So, buying or generating high-quality leads is great but you want to qualify your leads. One great way to do this would be redirecting your leads to fill a form on your landing page. You can provide a free newsletter, brochure or some other lead magnet as an incentive.
2. Segment your Leads.
There are different stages in the buying cycle. Your leads would likely be at one point or another in the purchase cycle. Depending on engagement, you can segment your leads into hot or cold (that is, based on their responses to your messages). You can segment them based on the qualification criteria (have they filled your form?); based on demographics or gender. This will allow you to tailor your outreach strategy to meet each persona. For instance, by focusing more effort on hot leads, you can increase conversions.
A way to segment leads quantitatively is via lead scoring. Lead scoring means that numbers are assigned to each lead based on predetermined qualifying criteria. For example, someone in your target demographic, who shares your posts on social media and reads your emails has a much higher score. S/he is more likely to convert than someone who only reads your emails occasionally.
3. Analyze your outreach strategy.
You need to keep an eye on the analytics. Know the numbers and you can optimize your lead generation strategy to include more of what works. Take note of your social media ads stats, your CRM stats. For landing pages, tools like Hotjar give you real-time data about how users interact with your pages and forms. Hotjar is a heatmap tool that displays a user’s navigation of your pages in the form of a color-coded representation. You can use this to gather insights on how effective your CTAs, copy and page user experience are.
Take note that lead generation is a direct predictor of how successful a business is. The more leads a company generates, the greater its profits. Hubspot Demand Generation Benchmarks report revealed that 82% of companies with $250,000 or less in annual revenue report generating less than 100 leads per month. Whereas only 8% of companies generating $1 billion in annual revenue report less than 100 leads per month.
Importantly though, you want conversions. So be on the ball with your leads. Learn some real estate lead nurturing strategies that work.