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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

Canva is catching on to content trends, launches in-app video editor

(MARKETING) Canva launches an in-platform video editor, allowing access to their extensive library of assets and animations to create high-quality videos

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African American woman working on Canva Video Editor Desktop in office setting.

Video content consumption is on the rise, and the graphic design platform, Canva, took note of it. The $40 billion Australian startup has entered the video business and announced the launch of its video editor, Canva Video Suite.

The end-to-end video editor is an easy-to-use platform that anyone, no matter the skill level, can create, edit, and record high-quality videos. Best of all, it’s free, and it’s available on both desktop and mobile platforms.

The tool has hundreds of editable templates that you can use to create videos for several online platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Some templates can be used to create workplace and business videos, while other templates are perfect for personal videos. There are playful themes you can use to create that spooky video just in time for Halloween or make a laugh-out-loud video to send to your best friend! With a wide range of selections, in no time you’ll start creating your very own video masterpiece with Canva.

Caucasian man holding iPhone showing Canva video editor on mobile.

What else does the video software offer and what can you do with it? Well, let me tell you:

Collaborate in real-time

Having everyone on the same page is important and Canva’s video suite takes that into account. To collaborate with others, you simply send them an invite, and together you can edit videos, manage assets, and leave comments to give your input.

Video timeline editing and in-app recording

Similar to building presentation slides, Canva’s scene-based editor simplifies video editing by using a timeline approach. With it, you can quickly reorder, crop, trim, and splice your videos. Also, users don’t need to leave the platform to record that last-minute shot; within the app, you can shoot and record yourself from a camera or a screen.

Library of assets

The video editor is filled with an array of watermark-free stock footage, icons, images, illustrations, and even audio tracks that you can choose from – but if you really need something that is not on their platform – you can upload your own image, video, or audio track.

Animate with ease

Although still in the process of being released, soon you will be able to add animations of both text and visual elements in just a few simple clicks. Among others, animation presets that fade, pan, and tumble will help you transform your video and take it to a whole other level.

Overall, Canva Video Suite is very intuitive and has all the essential things you need to create a video. And by streamlining the video creation process, Canva is ensuring it enters the video marketplace with a bang.

“One of Canva’s guiding principles is to make complex things simple, and our new Video Suite will allow everyone to unlock the power of video, whether that’s to market their business, make engaging social posts, or express their creativity,” said Rob Kawalsky, Head of Product at Canva.

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Business Marketing

Amazon attracts advertisers from Facebook after Apple privacy alterations

(MARKETING) After Apple’s privacy features unveil, Amazon adapts by taking a unique approach to targeting, disrupting revenue for the ad giant Facebook.

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Two African American women work at their desks, one viewing Amazon's advertising landing page.

As a de facto search engine of its own persuasion, Amazon has been poaching ad revenue from Google for some time. However, disrupting the revenue stream from their most recent victim – Facebook – is going to turn some heads.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s recent privacy additions to products such as iPhones are largely responsible for the shift in ad spending. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram were originally goldmines for advertisers, these privacy features prevent tracking for targeting – a crucial aspect in any marketing campaign.

Internet privacy has been featured heavily in tech conversations for the last several years, and with Chrome phasing out third-party cookies, along with Safari and Firefox introducing roughly analogous policies, social media advertising is bound to become less useful as tracking strategies struggle to keep up with the aforementioned changes.

However, Amazon’s wide user base and separate categorization from social media companies makes it a clear alternative to the Facebook family, which is perhaps why Facebook advertisers are starting to jump ship in an effort to preserve their profits.

This is the premise behind the decision to reduce the Facebook ad spending of Vanity Planet by 22%, a home spa vendor, while facilitating a transition to Amazon. “We have inventory…and the biggest place we are growing is Amazon,” says Alex Dastmalchi, the entrepreneur who runs Vanity Planet.

That gap will only widen with Apple’s new privacy features. Bloomberg reports that when asked in June if they would consent to having their internet activity tracked, only one in four iPhone users did so; this makes it substantially harder for the ad campaigns unique to Facebook to target prospective buyers.

It also means that Amazon, having demonstrated a profound effectiveness in targeting individuals both pre- and post-purchase, stands to gain more than its fair share of sellers flocking to promote their products.

Jens Nicolaysen, co-founder of Shinesty (an eccentric underwear company), affirms the value that Amazon holds for sellers while acknowledging that it isn’t a perfect substitute for social media. While Nicolaysen laments the loss of the somewhat random introduction charm inherent on Instagram, he also believes in the power of brand loyalty, especially on a platform as high-profile as Amazon. “The bigger you are, the more you lose by not having any presence on Amazon,” he explains.

As privacy restrictions continue to ramp up in the coming months, it will be interesting to see how social media advertising evolves to keep up with this trend; it seems naive to assume that Amazon will replace Facebook’s ads entirely, tracking or no tracking.

Apple's privacy landing page showing iPhone users ability to shut off location services and a desktop image of a user's ability to control how their data is managed.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.

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Clock pointed to 5:50 on a plain white wall, well tracked during the week.

Social media is always flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and… hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care… that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well… probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

This story was first published in January 2020.

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