Beware! The Referral Companies!

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker WEST 01358953

Wanted to give any AR members that didn't see this a chance to sound off!

Just curious AR members, I would like to use this blog as a sounding post for so many of us that have tried 'paid' referral companies with no success, and those who maybe did. There must be 'some' companies out there that will help you get legitimate, qualified leads, but I as of yet, I haven't found one. Last company I checked gets paid $99 'per lead', good or bad. If it's a lousy one, they will replace it with a new one for free. The catch is, you've now blown through a couple thousand dollars, and if the leads haven't been good, (i.e, the buyer says they don't already have an agent but they really do...) then you have nothing to show for it except your 'free replacement leads', and who knows how long it might take you to get one actual live body to work with. Now we all know buyers often don't understand how agents' get paid on a commission basis. Are there referral companies out there that will go beyond the luke warm internet lead and truely qualify them? Who's got a story to tell, good or bad? Now's your chance!

Comments (11)

Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Never spent a dime on lead companies. Never say never, but most likely I never will. I'd rather spend the money generating my own leads! :)

May 23, 2010 06:26 AM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Instead of spending a few hundred or thousand on referral companies.  Spend the same money running some ads or doing direct mail or joining a networking group. 

May 23, 2010 06:29 AM
Ed Cordle
Genesis Real Estate - Barboursville, WV

I'm fairly new to real estate but I have already received calls from these "pay for leads" companies.  I did a little research and most look like scams.  Seems the best way to get solid leads is to get out there, hustle, and earn them yourself.

May 23, 2010 06:30 AM
Dan Benefield
Benefield Realty - Decatur, GA

I tried a couple of different ones over the years, and was not happy with either one.

May 23, 2010 06:33 AM
Stacey Smith
Keller Williams Realty - Aliso Viejo, CA
Your Orange County Beach Cities Realtor

Once I first got my license I got these calls and decided to try one of these lead referral companies because I thought it would give my career a boost, you only had to pay and initial 15 dollars per area you choose and 30.00 per lead, that they supposedly checked to see if they where good or not, so first lead I got from them gave me a number that didn't work, so I told them didn't charge me. Than the next one I got already had their house listed with another agent and was just was just checking to see what their home value was, so I told them once again and they didn't charge me, and the next one was just rude and very clear that she didn't want me to call her back so I told the company about her and they said that is not a legitmate reason to cancel that lead and that I would have to pay for it and convert it! I told them I am not paying them to convert these so called warm leads that that kick to me that are obviously icecubes into sales, I gave them three chances to send me a good lead that I would have been more than happy to pay for but all three times they sent me ICECUBES!!!  and so I told them refund my money but either way you will not get another dime from me because I already changed my account info and stop sending me "leads" that as far as I know your pulling those names out of a phonebook! But you know if you as an agent are doing everything you should be doing in this industry there should never be a reason to pay for your own leads.

May 23, 2010 06:34 AM
John Souerbry
Cordon Real Estate - Fairfield, CA
Homes, Land & Investments

I tried several lead companies between 2005 and 2007 and never got a qualified lead.  When I researched how they obtained the leads they sold, I discovered 3 important things:  1) they were selling the same lead to everyone who signed up for leads in a zip code, 2) their leads came from online banners that I could have placed myself for half the cost of what I was paying for leads, 3) the verbiage in the banners they placed were misleading, which is why almost all the leads I contacted said "I never asked for anyone to contact me...".

Candice is right, never pay for leads.  Place, control, benefit from your own advertising.

May 23, 2010 06:36 AM
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

I relocated twice in a period of 3 years, going in to new market areas. So I bit the bullet and paid for leads. Never closed a deal from a paid lead.

May 23, 2010 06:39 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I never have paid for leads either --- just improve my web site, and they come to me, without paying fees.   Still love agent referrals also!

May 23, 2010 06:41 AM
Katherine Fornale

I agree, the only way to get hot leads is to generate them yourself.

May 23, 2010 06:44 AM
Rick Cavallaro
Rhino Realty Pros - Westminster, CO
"Charging Hard on Your Behalf" ~ Colorado

I am looking at a company right nowthat sets up a Professionally managed website that generates leads for you - the leads are yours and they are coming to you with specific questions.  I have done some research and can't really find anything negative about this company and spoke to couple of people who use them and they are very pleased with the results - It is Compass Internet systems - ProLeads.  Have you tried them before?  I might give them a try.

May 23, 2010 07:20 AM
Carol Bostwick
Coldwell Banker WEST - La Mesa, CA

Haven't heard of this company. I would definately ask some people who have used them before I'd spend any money on it. So far, it seems most haven't had a whole lot of luck with referral companies.

May 23, 2010 07:50 AM