Does Lead Generation Cost You Time, Money, or Both?

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Does Lead Generation Cost You Time, Money, or Both?

Many of you know the story of my importing 10,000 teddy bears after I went on a trip to Seoul Korea with a flight attendant friend of mine. This was many years ago prior to me starting my real estate career and what I learned from this experience changed me for the better forever.

I imported the bears from Korea because I got an amazing deal on them. However, they arrived without proper tagging, I was unable to sell them to retailers, and essentially was stuck with a stock of teddy bears that I had no idea what I was going to do with. I had also borrowed the money to buy these bears and I was freaking out about how I would ever sell the bears, pay back the money I had borrowed and get out of this horrible mess I had created. I didn't do my research when buying the bears and I failed to inspect them prior to them shipping as I trusted the company I was doing business with. This was a big mistake on my part.

My way out of that situation came from a sales guru named "African Joe". This guy was rough - I met him at a direct marketers event that had been advertised in the local paper to attract new business owners who wanted to sell their products and I thought this was perfect for me and my situation. I met African Joe at the first meeting and he got his name from importing products from Africa. He wore big cowboy boots, an enormous belt buckle, big hat and his skin was like leather. He advised me that the bears could be sold, one by one if need be, but that would either take time or money to make the connections needed to do that.

Well, I had no money left, so that left me with only time at my disposal. With his advice, I used that time to make connections with people one on one and sure enough, I found a buyer for my bears. But it didn't take me connecting with that person once. It wasn't twice. It took me several times connecting with that person to even begin the conversation.

When I started my real estate career, I had to put those same skills to work. I focused on geographically farming three different areas (which took little time but certainly money) and expired listings (which took more time, but not too much money). My consistency in implementation paid off.

There are dozens of different ways to generate leads out there. Imagine a see-saw with time on one end and money on the other. Most types of lead generation fall somewhere on that see-saw. Open houses? That is more on the time side. Video? Time and maybe money if you are promoting them online or using a professional videographer.

But there is one form of lead generation that causes the see-saw to break in half due to the weight on both sides. What is that?

Online leads.

Now, not all online lead generation sources are created equal. There are effective ways to generate online leads. I am talking about online leads you pay hundreds or even thousands per month for. Think about it. You pay the online lead company each month. You get some online leads. And then you waste hours chasing these leads that don't return your calls, texts, or emails. There goes your time and your money!

Furthermore, they cost you energy that you could be using cultivating other leads. There is also the false sense of security that comes with having dozens of leads on your potential client list, whether they are viable or not, which causes some agents to not work as hard.

Folks, I am here to tell you that tech companies that create "leads" are here to stay. It may be one or two companies today. It might be three or four tomorrow. The only way to beat them at their own game is to stop paying them, get back to working with your past clients and your real estate connections, connect with more new people using your expertise (expertise they can't get online), and be strategic about how you spend your time and money when it comes to lead generation. It could be costing more than you know.


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I love this paragraph from you - because it is so true

Furthermore, they cost you energy that you could be using cultivating other leads. There is also the false sense of security that comes with having dozens of leads on your potential client list, whether they are viable or not, which causes some agents to not work as hard.

Oct 25, 2019 11:40 AM #1
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

So very true about online leads Denise Lones .  Many years ago I paid for seller leads, and I was locked in for one year.  I spent lots and lots of money for one listing. 

Oct 25, 2019 03:38 PM #2
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Denise, excellent post. Thanks for your time. Many of us have bad stories about others that generate leads for purchase.  Sure I stay top of mind and nuture my list that I look to grow each day. Familiarity breeds Acceptance is my Motto.

Oct 30, 2019 09:08 AM #3
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It usually makes more money than the cost of anything,. but again, in my experience

Nov 08, 2019 09:52 PM #4
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I agree with everything you've said. There are different ways to find clients, some take time, some take money, and some take both. Paying for online leads is definitely an example of that last one.

Excellent post.

Nov 16, 2019 06:47 AM #5
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Bravo, I say it nearly once a week, if the damn agents would stop throwing money at these lead generating platforms - Z included, we could all improve the industry and the customer service experience. 

Nov 16, 2019 08:27 AM #6
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Great teddy bear story and so glad it had a happy ending, Denise!

As to the leads/working them - time is money and I love spending money on people I know. Spoiling my sphere is the way I prefer to run my business.

Love this post, Denise and kudos to Carol Williams for sharing your post on her Second Chance Saturdays feature list!

Nov 18, 2019 04:21 PM #7
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Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
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