Lead generators - do they work???

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Asiyah Ali, Broker/Owner Live the Good Life!

So we've all seen the commercials or received emails for HouseValues.com, HomeGain.com and others.

In this so called '"uncertain" market, what have you done to maintain visibility and continue to bring in prospects?  I have my opinion on this but just wondering what others think.  I'm old school - I believe relationships are what makes you successful in this business.  So I am focusing on my SOI, prospecting FSBO's and expireds and good ol' networking.

Have you paid for leads?  Have you been successful?  With the referral fee being at least 20-30% (before split), is it even feasible?

Tell me what you think Rainers...

Comments (22)

Asiyah Ali
Asiyah Ali, Broker/Owner - Virginia Beach, VA
Associate Broker

Linda - you are so right about the friend, LOL!

Lynda - referrals are far different, I agree there!

WOW - 2 Lindas/Lyndas - I am batting 1000 here!!! WOOHOO!

Jul 02, 2008 03:59 PM
Steve Dawson
J. Rockcliff Realtors (#01723588) - Walnut Creek, CA

lead generators  are crap in my experience.  They haven't helped me at all and I have tried a lot of them.  I won't be doing them anymore.  However I do feel that the internet is going to have more influence on real estate than most people think.

Jul 02, 2008 04:47 PM
Kim Harris
Sound Realty - Kirkland, WA
Designated Broker/Owner/Sound Realty

       I don't use a lead generating site and I never will.  Blogging finds the "right" sellers and buyers who already know Ardell and I before we ever meet with them.

Jul 02, 2008 05:33 PM
Gary McNinch
Better Properties Real Estate - Renton, WA
Broker, Renton WA Real Estate

Asiyah,

Nope tried one once, no return on investment and I was misled.  Work your sphere consistently, circle prospect around listings.   Work the 'Power Hour" and touch up on your scripts or mindset on "KW Connect".  You know how to do it, just keep at it.  And make sure your blog is all over the place, you will get leads that are ready to be converted.

List and Sell (and lead generate 3 hours a day ... blogging counts in this)  Gary @ RentonHomeFinder

Jul 02, 2008 07:35 PM
Asiyah Ali
Asiyah Ali, Broker/Owner - Virginia Beach, VA
Associate Broker

Steve & Kim - can't agree with you more!!!

Gary  - Hello fellow KW agent!

To all:

I tried HomeGain about 5 ago and did get 2 leads that actually panned out, can you believe that???  Both clients remain in my SOI to this day and have turned into very good friends and a few more referrals.  But every one that I have talked to over the years have experienced almost no return on their investment so I am surprised they are still popular among agents, guess the word hasn't gotten out yet???  That's why I love Keller Williams, LOTS of suggestions, tools and support toward your goals.  And so far so good on the blogging, I LOVE IT!  No referrals yet but I have connected with lots of WONDERFUL professionals across the country....ALL OF YOU!!!!!  THANKS for sharing!!!

Jul 02, 2008 11:11 PM
Asiyah Ali
Asiyah Ali, Broker/Owner - Virginia Beach, VA
Associate Broker

Steve & Kim - can't agree with you more!!!

Gary  - Hello fellow KW agent!

To all:

I tried HomeGain about 5 ago and did get 2 leads that actually panned out, can you believe that???  Both clients remain in my SOI to this day and have turned into very good friends and a few more referrals.  But every one that I have talked to over the years have experienced almost no return on their investment so I am surprised they are still popular among agents, guess the word hasn't gotten out yet???  That's why I love Keller Williams, LOTS of suggestions, tools and support toward your goals.  And so far so good on the blogging, I LOVE IT!  No referrals yet but I have connected with lots of WONDERFUL professionals across the country....ALL OF YOU!!!!!  THANKS for sharing!!!

Jul 02, 2008 11:12 PM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

My first year in business, I used RealtyTrac (I think it was them) and I didn't receive any business from the "leads" they provided.  Most were raw leads that didn't even have valid contact info.  Better to focus on SOI, community, and farming to build long term success.

Jul 02, 2008 11:23 PM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

My first year in business, I used RealtyTrac (I think it was them) and I didn't receive any business from the "leads" they provided.  Most were raw leads that didn't even have valid contact info.  Better to focus on SOI, community, and farming to build long term success.

Jul 02, 2008 11:23 PM
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist

Asiyah - I am not a fan of either service you mentioned.  I do like lead generator websites but usually only the type of sites that are owned and controlled by the agent.

Jul 04, 2008 02:18 AM
Roland Woodworth
eXp Realty - Clarksville, TN
eXp Realty

Asiyah: I would personally stay away from HV and HG and JL   I have been there, done that... and not a good experiance.. Now online marketing and direct mail are what I recommend

Jul 06, 2008 02:03 PM
Chris Cox
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Tyler, TX

I tried HV, and failed to convert any leads. It was lousy. They told me after my first six months, that I needed to renew for six more, because the leads usually took 12 months to convert.  I remember one of my leads had a taco bell email address, one was a mickey mouse@disneworld, I tried to send these back and was told a story about another agent who had received an email lead like this, and they bought a house after a year.  All I know, is that none of my leads converted, and I lost a lot of money. I also have issues with Talking House, but that's another story... Pass out those cards, and work your SOI.

Jul 07, 2008 03:27 PM
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL

Lead generators are about numbers. You have to invest a lot to get a return. You are better off working your own website and your own SOI.

Jul 07, 2008 03:32 PM
Greg Fox
Realty World Wichita - Wichita, KS
Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas

I used HomeGain as a PPC to my site, but ONLY with a landing page that required email to go thru.  Without the landing page I had no capture.

Jul 09, 2008 01:03 PM
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team

I think face to face and building relationship is the best - thanks for sharing!

Jul 12, 2008 12:43 AM
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Asiya - Why would you pay for leads you are capable of generating with your own web sites and blogs?

Sep 23, 2008 11:03 AM
Bart Whitmore
Keller Williams- Louisville - Louisville, KY
Real Estate Agent

I havent tried any lead generating companies and dont plan to use any--Bart

Sep 23, 2008 01:43 PM
Jerry Becker
Jerry Becker and Associates - Littleton, CO
Littleton, Colorado

I have tried several and haven't had any luck with any of them.  One furnished me with lots of leads but none of them ever converted.  Another had leads that were of the worst quality, in fact even thinking about it makes my mad all over again.  There are better ways to get business than relying on these systems.  We are made to feel guilty if we don't use something high tech, but I think these  systems are very low return.

Sep 23, 2008 02:41 PM
Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

I guess you have read my post that I wrote a while ago on Lead generation companies. I used www.realestate.com like a year ago- One of the biggest mistakes that I have ever made in my life. Paid thousands to get something that has netted me not even a single deal. One of those rookie mistakes that I made. As long as we continue buying from them,we are going to keep them in business. We need to eliminate them completely and work our SOI. Great post.

Sep 25, 2008 12:36 PM
Monica Downs
Re/Max Unlimited of Lexington TN - Lexington, TN

I did HomeGain.. when I was with my former non-MLS compnay hopoing to get one the same level as the other REALTORS in my area. I had quite a bit of leads only 1 has actually panned out and it only panned out becasue she was on my sons ball team. The system was good for "mastermind calls and Training". It propmised me that it wouold do  automatci CMA and send out listings however it did not-

Really a waste of money.

Remax offers everything Homegain did. I agree with the rest of you personal face to face outin the community is what really gets people to know you ,use you and trust you.

Nov 24, 2008 07:19 AM
Monica Downs
Re/Max Unlimited of Lexington TN - Lexington, TN

I did HomeGain.. when I was with my former non-MLS compnay hopoing to get one the same level as the other REALTORS in my area. I had quite a bit of leads only 1 has actually panned out and it only panned out becasue she was on my sons ball team. The system was good for "mastermind calls and Training". It propmised me that it wouold do  automatci CMA and send out listings however it did not-

Really a waste of money.

Remax offers everything Homegain did. I agree with the rest of you personal face to face outin the community is what really gets people to know you ,use you and trust you.

Nov 24, 2008 07:20 AM