Buying real estate leads is a gamble. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Before you take that risk, think hard. Do you have the ability to take a gamble with your hard-earned dollars? Most real estate agents do not, especially now that the market has become unstable and prospects are even more in-demand.
Agents have enough to worry about between competition from other agents and apps that are trying to cut out realtors altogether. That’s why buying real estate leads can feel like an easier option, especially if you’re not aware of the alternatives. But there are alternatives, and they’re usually a safer investment than buying leads.
If you’re considering buying real estate leads, try one or more of the following lead generation tactics first:
Try marketing automation
According to HubSpot, 80% of marketers using automation software generate more leads. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.
- Helps build relationships
Businesses who nurture leads (meaning they stay in touch over time) make 50% more sales and spend 33% less than non-nurtured prospects. Imagine walking up to someone and saying, “Hi! I sell houses. You should use me to buy yours. Give me all your personal info right now.” Most will look at you like you’re crazy and walk away. Nurturing fosters deeper relationships, trust, and referrals.
- Increases lead numbers through content marketing
Content marketing gets three times more leads than traditional marketing. Content marketing focuses on helping and not selling. No one wants to be aggressively pitched all day long — content marketing provides value without demanding anything in return.
- Captures prospect data for you
Marketing automation platforms should provide an optimized website or landing page where marketing traffic is directed. Having an easy to navigate website is a way to make it easier for interested leads to fill out a form or send you an email. It’s crucial to capture interested prospects or re-engage with past clients.
Expand your social media advertising
Social media is important, but simply posting to your page is not enough if your goal is to expand beyond your current followers. Organic social media keeps your name top of mind with those that know you. Paid ads help you increase brand recognition by getting your name and business in front of more eyes. And unlike some other forms of advertising, social ads let you target only the exact people you want to reach.
OutboundEngine offers help with social ads that reach your target audience. Combine Facebook ads and Instagram ads with an optimized website or landing page to capture interested leads more easily.
Organic social media is not scalable. There is a ceiling to how many people will see your shared posts without boosting them. Utilizing paid ads means your content will continue to reach more people.
Test out a chat service
Let’s be real. It’s never been fun to interact with automated phone systems. You know the drill; listen to the menu options, press 1, then 4, then hang up and start over again because you should have pressed 5 and now you can’t get back to the main menu. Or maybe you get through the menu, but there is a 30-minute wait to speak to an agent so you leave a call back number, only to miss the call later. It’s frustrating and not fun.
Other than automated phone systems being clunky, a standard office line still requires someone to answer to be effective. If you’re on the go, or short-staffed, those messages may be unanswered for days or missed calls never returned.
In addition, doing the bulk of business by the way of phone is dwindling. The largest living generation in the US workforce is now Millennials. They are even less inclined to do choose the phone option over an email or chat option.
Live chat captures more of your website traffic that would’ve otherwise bounced without a trace. Those leads are more valuable to you than any purchased lead, because they already know who you are.
These are just a couple of ways you can invest in lead generation. After you’ve tried these and are still interested in buying real estate leads, read on.
Still interested in buying real estate leads?
Sometimes it is possible to get lucky when buying real estate leads. You spent a couple of thousand dollars and closed a sale from it. When you look at that scenario, it seems like a decent return on investment. However, this is typically not the way this story goes.
Instead, most hardworking agents will fork over a chunk of money with the best intentions of it working out. More often than not, they get zero return on their investment.
If you choose to buy real estate leads, then consider these possibilities:
Quality is hard to gauge.
Buying leads is a tricky business in general. You can never be certain your real estate leads will be high-quality. Even a high-quality lead may not be interested in an email or mailer for someone they’ve never heard of before.
The competition is fierce.
Much of the time, when you spend money in exchange for leads, those leads are also being sold to other agents. You’ll have to stand out from a barrage of emails, phone calls and texts from your competitors. Above all, you don’t want to end up buying real estate leads who have been sold to over and over again.
There’s no real way to verify sellers.
Word of mouth is the best way to investigate how good a lead company is. But many successful real estate agents shy away from buying leads, so tracking down a trustworthy referral can be hard.
If something is confusing or goes wrong, does the supplier give you an easy way to contact them? For example, say you run into issues getting flagged as a spammer or even receive corrupt files. Once the sale is complete, you might be stuck.
It’s an expensive gamble.
When it comes to leads, you don’t always get what you pay for. Buying an expensive list doesn’t often come with a guarantee that you’ll make a sale. Due to that risk, consider the more cost-effective (and successful) ways to engage with an audience through tools you already use for your business every day.
In conclusion, instead of buying real estate leads, consider taking a more strategic approach. Marketing services like the kind offered by OutboundEngine keep existing clients and new prospects engaged. We help real estate professionals discover existing opportunities in their network and know who to follow up with. Schedule a free, guided demo today and see how.