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AG Flash Poll – studying where real estate leads come from

Whether you like the word “lead” or not, we’re asking today about how you generate business. Given recent claims of who has the largest real estate website, we’d like to know to what extent that impacts our readership.

Be heard! We will publish the results this week to the following poll with one and only one question that we appreciate your taking the time to answer:

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. mariana

    November 9, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    The majority of our leads come from our website, but Trulia and Realtor.com do send traffic our way and we get about 1-3 leads a month directly from r.com.

  2. Bruce Lemieux

    November 9, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    This survey would be more revealing if it included the major source of leads for most agents: past clients, sphere of influence, direct mail, FSBO, expireds, open houses + other ‘old school’ sources. I would be shocked if Trulia, R.com or Zillow made he top 5 for many full-time agents who make a living in real estate.

  3. Marty Hunt

    November 10, 2010 at 8:42 am

    While I get far more leads from Zillow in quantity, they aren’t the best quality leads. I get fewer leads from Trulia but have a better conversion ratio from contact to contract. I spend three times the money on Realtor.com with amazingly poor results and without a doubt it is the worst of the bunch for ROI by miles and miles. Why am I still there? A one year contract to fulfill!

    When I reallocate my considerable advertising budget the mix will change dramatically. I’m not sure WHY people going to Realtor.com aren’t getting to me as leads when I get literally tens of thousands of listing views according to the Realtor.com reports. THAT would be interesting to research…how many raw leads are generated by each of the third party aggregators (and make no mistake that Realtor.com IS a third party…). The only thing I can think of, my “AHA” thought about this, is that consumers feel less resistance to asking for help or contacting an agent on Zillow or Trulia than they do on a “Realtor site”.

    Those surveys we’ve all seen many times that put Realtors at the bottom of the food chain in the consumer’s eyes might reflect why I get literally over 100 leads from Zillow and Trulia for every ONE lead from Realtor.com. Either the leads from my listings are getting cannibalized and sent to other agents who are buying zip codes, OR the “uniques” on Realtor.com are actually Realtors and customer of Realtors who aren’t paying MLS fees but use Realtor.com as a free MLS-like research tool, OR whether my ISP is blocking hundreds of leads from Realtor.com (because they certainly aren’t getting to me while the Zillow and Trulia leads continue to flow in)!

    So the question should be “Of these online sources, where do you get the leads that have actually converted int listings, showings, closed sales and commision checks?” I’ve always said you can’t take a “hit” to lunch…we need to generate leads that are looking for a real estate agent and have an interest in buying or selling real estate. So…how many leads have turned into appointments, how many are active buyers and sellers in your pipeline today from each source, and how many leads from each source have turned into closed sales? I’ll pay for leads that convert to buyers and sellers. I think if you took the Realtors, ex-Realtors, wannabee Realtors, appraisers and our families and friends out of the unique count the nubers would change. Of course it would be just as interesting to know how many Realtors, appraisers, banks, insurance agents, etc. visit Zillow each month to get a “Zestimate” and have NO interest in buying or selling real estate…they just want the data, accurate or terribly inaccurate and incomplete, they want data but it sure helps the numbers if you’re counting uniques.

    • Bruce Lemieux

      November 10, 2010 at 8:53 am

      Marty – I’m in the same boat with R.com. I simply don’t get any buyers from enhanced listings – and I do a lot to make my listings stand-out there. If they are getting so many views, then why aren’t buyer leads coming in? It doesn’t make sense – something doesn’t add up.

      I pay to enhance listings only as a service to my sellers. I hope that buyers are calling their agent when they see my listings there.

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