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AG Flash Poll – studying where real estate leads come from

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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:

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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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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Business Marketing

Gloves that translate sign language in real time

(BUSINESS MARKETING) A new wearable tech translates American Sign Language into audible English in real time.

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Advancements in technology never cease to amaze. The same is true right this moment as a new technology has been released that helps translate American Sign Language (ASL) signs into spoken English in real time.

This technology comes in the form of a hand glove – similar looking on the front side to what one would wear in the winter, but much more advanced when in view of the palm. The palm side of the glove contains sensors on the wearer to identify each word, phrase, or letter that they form via ASL, and is then translated into audible English via an app that coincides with the glove.

This is all done in real time and allows for instant communication without the need for a human translator. The signals are translated at a rate of one word per second.

The project was developed by scientists at UCLA. “Our hope is that this opens up an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate for them,” said lead researcher Jun Chen.

The hope is to make communication easier for those who rely on ASL, and to help those unfamiliar with ASL adapt to the signs. It is thought that between 250,000 and 500,000 people in the United States use ASL. As of now, the glove does not translate British Sign Language – the other form a sign language that utilizes English.

According to CNN, the researchers also added adhesive sensors to the faces of people used to test the device — between their eyebrows and on one side of their mouths — to capture facial expressions that are a part of American Sign Language. However, this facet of the technology is not loved by all.

“The tech is redundant because deaf signers already make extensive use of text-to-speech or text translation software on their phones, or simply write with pen and paper, or even gesture clearly,” said Gabrielle Hodge, a deaf post-doctoral researcher from the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at University College London. “There is nothing wrong with these forms of communication.”

What are your thoughts on this advancement? Comment below!

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Business Marketing

Stand out with video as part of your resume (but be careful)

(MARKETING) This new tool helps you stand out in the job market, as video now dominates – so it’s possible to use this to your advantage (with caution).

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In the midst of a pandemic, people are finding themselves thrust back into the job market sooner than expected due to mass company layoffs or underemployment as a freelancer. Fields are oversaturated and jobs are sparse so it can be hard to stand out in today’s job market.

Although standing out in the job market is hardly a new problem, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use some new and creative solutions. One company, VCV.ME has designed a tool to help you get creative and stand out from your competition.

VCV.ME turns your traditional resume into a video à la Instagram stories.

The process is simple. You answer a few questions and upload a video of yourself then the tool will provide you with a sharable link.

VCV Founder and CEO, Arik Akverdian, believes that video is the future saying, “Video will represent 80% of all internet traffic by 2021 according to Cisco, and according to eMarketer 94.1% of millennial internet users were streaming digital video in 2019. With growing demand for video social media such as TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram stories, and others, we’re bringing the short video format to the job market.”

There are some obvious limitations to using this tool in your job hunt.

First, not all employers will take videos as part of an application both for technical and legal reasons.

On the technical side, many automated tracking systems are not designed to filter that kind of file, so there may not even be an opportunity to showcase it. That’s not to say there aren’t some work-arounds. Many job applications will have a place for applicants to link to their portfolio or websites. An alternate option for this tool could be to place the video introduction on your website.

Another problem with the tool is how it exposes candidates and hiring managers to bias.

As more companies work to remove bias from their hiring practices and hire more diverse candidates, a video intro just won’t fly. Some companies have removed names and even alma maters from their applicants in order to make more unbiased hiring decisions. A video introduction would expose many characteristics that people have conscious and subconscious biases towards such as race, gender, age, and ethnicity.

Although VCV.ME’s intentions are to help candidates stand out in the job market, it’s worth questioning whether they would be standing out for the right reasons, so tread carefully.

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Business Marketing

Why should you take Facebook’s ‘Summer of Support’ courses

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Every company can use a little marketing advice, well Facebook has partnered with big companies to give you some free digital marketing courses.

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Our world has turned into a place of upheaval and unrest and we are continuously surrounded by more and more evidence of it. One thing that the majority of us are constantly seeing is announcements from companies. Some of those are about closing hours, but others are more helpful. As they all attempt to get used to this new world that COVID-19 has created we begin to see some different tactics. Some are only politically motivated, but others are more focused on helping out their communities.

Earlier this week Facebook announced that they will be putting on a six-week digital marketing education series. This series will be an extensive collection of videos with a full in depth set of courses that will cover a large amount of topics. The company has put together a cast of renowned entrepreneurs for the presenters as well.

The topics will be done in themed weeks starting on June 24th, and running through the month of July. They include categories such “The Changing World” & “Resilience”. Focusing primarily on the world that is here and now, with recommendations on how to adapt to it. With this world in a constant state of flux the push for adapting to change and staying in front of the tide is crucial for a small business.

The next two courses will be going forward with discussing “Reinvention” & “Re-Emergence”. Encouraging struggling companies to take a serious look at their potential for moving forward, or changing the things that they can to stay more on top of their client base. They also plan on attacking the confusing world that we will have when things get closer to normal.

The last two weeks are focused on community and customer care, which is actually their names as well: “Customers & Commerce” & “Community”. These will help develop a sense of how your business affects your community and the impact you have on it. Keeping that in mind you can then develop a plan for how you want your community to see you and shape things within it.

These courses are all set up for free and open to anyone. With a completely online set up with their new “Summer of Support” mini-site they are prepped to reach millions of people. They’ve organized this with a range of partners as well: Dell, PayPal, American Express, & Small Business Roundtable. A helping hand for people who wouldn’t currently be able to source things like this.

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