Real estate agents' most valuable leads still come from traditional sources – open houses, past-client referrals, for sale signs and walk-ins to brokerage offices – according to the latest Imprev Thought Leader Survey of more than 270 broker-owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms.
Imprev says that real estate agents and brokers spent more than $33 million in the latest quarter to secure new leads from Zillow and Trulia premium services, but data from its survey finds that brokers consider the leads agents already have in their address books as far more valuable.
"A real estate agent's best lead is organic," says Renwick Congdon, chief executive officer of Imprev, a real estate technology company. "It comes directly from his or her sphere of influence, company or personal website, and through local marketing, such as yard signs, flyers and open houses."
Of those responding, 86 percent said organic leads from an agent's sphere of influence offer exceptional value (based on quality of the lead, or return on investment: ROI), compared to only 8 percent citing Zillow, 7 percent citing Realtor.com, 5 percent citing Craigslist and 4 percent citing Trulia.
"Real estate leaders are telling us their agents already have the gold – they just need to mine it," Congdon said. "The nurturing of organic leads from capture to transaction is crucial, and an area that I believe is not adequately embraced by the typical real estate agent."
- An agent's sphere of influence ranked first for valuable leads, followed by the broker's website, with 32 percent of the real estate leaders rating the ROI as exceptionally valuable; in third place was local marketing (flyers, walk-ins, signs, open houses), with 27 percent.
- 42 percent of real estate leaders cited lead generation and the creation of "systems for more effectively competing against the RE portals for generating leads" as their No. 2 challenge next year. "Getting our systems to work together" topped the list at 54 percent.
- 70 percent rated social media (Facebook, etc.) as having "exceptional" or "reasonable" value, compared to 58 percent for Zillow, 49 percent for Trulia and 46 percent for Realtor.com.
- Craigslist topped the zero-value list: 32 percent of real estate leaders said Craigslist has "no value" as a lead-generation source, as measured by ROI.
- MLS/Association ranked low as a lead generator: 22 percent of real estate leaders also said their MLS/Association had "no value" as a lead-generation source, with only Craigslist ranking lower. Only 9 percent of the respondents said MLS/Association had "exceptional" value.
© 2014 Florida Realtors®