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The True Cost of Real Estate Lead Generation

Lead generation and the demand for it, while not new, has become more prevalent in today’s market. You can say it’s a product of our times. As a result of the market slow down, some real estate agents are looking for brokers to provide them with leads, and many brokers have responded to this by offering leads. While the number of brokers offering lead generation has increased, the question is, “Are these leads really helping Realtors?”

…the question is, “Are these leads really helping Realtors?”

To better answer this question, let’s divide leads into two main categories, bogus or “here say” lead generation and genuine lead generation. The first usually can not be substantiated and come in the form of; “our company is so well known and respected in the area that by working here you will close an extra X number of transactions” or “our national brand is so well recognized that you will close more deals if you join us.”

These claims are rarely if ever substantiated. Even if there was some element of truth to them, all you have to ask yourself is, “How many of these leads will I actually get and how are they going to pick me out of the hundreds and in some cases thousands of agents of the same brand in the area?” It’s simple enough to say that if the leads cannot be substantiated then you can’t count on them.

So what is real lead generation, what are the best quality leads, and what is the cost associated with them? There are many opinions on the matter but let’s categorize them by this writer’s opinion.

Sign Calls

Sign calls are always the best. The prospect is in the neighborhood, likes the exterior, has read the brochure, etc. Although this is the best lead, most reputable brokerages forward these calls to the listing agent, and in many cases the prospective buyer calls the listing agent directly from the sign rider’s phone number. Arguably these are the best leads, but unless it’s your listing you are not likely to get them and it’s not a broker/office “lead generation”

Walk-ins

Walk-ins are probably the next best source of leads. “Tire kickers” very rarely walk into a real estate office, and a face to face meeting will always yield the best results.

Internet

Volumes can be written about these leads, but for the sake of time, we will split them into two categories, purchased leads and direct contact. There are a number of companies that sell Internet leads. The problem with those leads is that the same lead is often sold to a number of people and in some cases those people resell the leads so by the time you get them they could be stale or someone else already got to them. The best source of Internet leads are the ones where the prospects contact you directly. Your website, if it’s well designed and promoted, will yield some of these leads.

The most important thing to understand is that three top websites for home search inquiries are: Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow.  With that in mind, your efforts should be directed at taking advantage of those sites.

Advertising

Advertising is the most expensive lead generator. We all know the purpose of an ad is to generate a call. The key is to then be skillful enough to turn that call into a face to face meeting.

Costs

All of these lead generators have a cost associated with them. If the office has walk-ins, that usually means that they are in a superior location with higher rent. As a result, these costs will be passed on to you, often through your commission structure or referral fee.

If the office is generating Internet leads they either have to buy them or pay one of the 3 top websites for listing enhancement ads, etc. Once again, the cost will be passed on to you either on your commission structure or by a way of a referral fee or even through a technology or Internet marketing fee.

The same holds true for advertising. If the office pays for it, it will be passed on to you either through a direct fee, commission structure or referral fee.

Be wary if someone offers you maximum commission and “free lead generation”. The money has to come from somewhere.

Final Words

The moral of the story is that there is no free lunch. Be wary if someone offers you maximum commission and “free lead generation”. The money has to come from somewhere.

If you need or are looking for lead generation and don’t have the resources to invest in marketing yourself, find an office that has true lead generation, high commission structure, and charges a referral on the leads that they provide you. This way you only pay on actual transactions from those leads and not on a continuing basis whether you close a deal or not.

Lastly when someone claims they have “lead generation”, ask them to show you what type and where are they coming from.

Choosing a new broker is a business decision, do your due diligence.

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YouTube for Real Estate

YouTube for Real Estate – Your introduction to YouTube for Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Brokers

YouTube is one of the most trafficked websites in the world, and when it comes to video sharing, no other site compares. YouTube is available on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, TVs, and other devices. Real estate professionals can reach out to their market through this platform and take advantage of YouTube’s traffic to increase their business.

What is YouTube?

YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing website. Users upload videos which can then be searched and shared by everyone. The service support multiple video formats including high-definition videos. Users can upload videos from their smartphones and tablets, along with uploading video from their desktop and laptop computer. YouTube is the premier website when it comes to uploading and sharing online video.

Channel

On YouTube, your channel is similar to your profile on other social websites. Channels include uploaded videos and playlists, information about the channel owner, and an activity and comments feed. A channel provides visitors with all of the videos uploaded by a user as well as their activity on the website.

Comments

Comments are a great way to use YouTube for real estate. By taking advantage of the comments feature, real estate professionals can socialize with their audience and even capture leads all within the YouTube interface.

Embedding

YouTube allows users to quickly and easily place uploaded videos on other websites. This is done by a process called embedding. YouTube provides the user with a snippet of code that is able to be copy and pasted into a website.

Why is YouTube Important for Real Estate?

Considering that video provides the most information of all the digital communication mediums, it is natural that video is used when promoting real estate. YouTube offers the ability for real estate professionals to connect with buyers and sellers through video in a simple, easy-to-use manner.

How Can Realtors Utilize YouTube for Real Estate?

Realtors can take advantage of YouTube in a variety of ways. Realtors can quickly create and upload virtual tours. By using their smartphone, Realtors can walk through a home while narrating, upload the video to their YouTube channel, then share their new video with potential buyers, all within minutes. Videos can be shared via email or on popular social media platforms like Google Plus and Facebook. Additionally, Realtors can use YouTube to host an “About Me” video that can be placed on their website for potential clients to view instead of having to read through their bio. This gives the Realtor the unique opportunity to really sell themselves, something that cannot be accomplished through basic text.

Mobile/Tablet apps

Because YouTube is the most popular video sharing platform, there is a high level of third party and device support for the site. YouTube is built into all major smartphone and tablet devices today. This means that you don’t even have to be at your desktop or laptop computer to take advantage of the service. You can utilize the power of YouTube from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet.

How Do I Sign Up?

There are two ways to sign up for a YouTube account if you do not already have one. First, if you have a Gmail or Google Account, click here, then fill in your Gmail or Google Account credentials. If you do not have a Gmail or Google Account, or would like to create a YouTube account that is separate, click here, then fill out the required fields.

Final Words

Agents and brokers who are serious about increasing their production should absolutely be using YouTube for real estate to promote their business. It’s free, simple, and can be used in so many ways, even replacing traditional offerings by third parties.

You can visit Sellstate’s channel at YouTube.com/SellstateRealty.

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Twitter for Real Estate Part I – An Introduction

The social media craze is only getting stronger. While we have spent a great deal of time discussing Facebook for Real Estate, today I would like to take a look at one of the other major social networks, Twitter.

Twitter for real estate is different than Facebook for real estate in a lot of ways. Let’s begin by taking a look at what exactly Twitter is, how it works and why you would want to use it for real estate.

What is Twitter?

Twitter, like Facebook, is a social network designed to connect people around the world to share communications. While not nearly as large a user base as Facebook, Twitter is still very significant with a 175 million registered users making it the second largest social network.

Tweets

A “tweet” is a nickname for a message posted on Twitter. This is where Twitter varies the most from the other social networks. While many of the other popular networks allow you to post very large messages, Twitter restricts each message to 160 characters. A character is any letter, number, punctuation or space. Essentially any time you press a key you are inputting a character.

By restricting the length of each message Twitter keeps things very concise making it a quick read. Instead of having to read through a large amount of information you essentially get a series of headlines. As a result Twitter is able to share a lot of information quickly.

When writing on Twitter we are forced to condense our message. This is actually helpful in making sure that we can get our point across as Twitter does not allow us to ramble. Because of the lack of characters, short forms or abbreviations are very common. In fact often times Twitter users will get creative with numbers and short forms in order to fit their entire message.

Users

Twitter usernames are preceded by the @ symbol. So for example, my username is @SellstateCOO and I can be found at Twitter.com/SellstateCOO.

Follow

While Facebook creates connections by having users become mutual “friends”, Twitter is designed to be more public. This is done by making it where users may “follow” other users without the need for the user who is being followed to accept or even acknowledge that they are being followed.

So for example: You would like to follow me, you have two options. You can either visit Twitter.com/SellstateCOO or if you have your own Twitter account you can search me and click the “follow” button. Once you click follow, you will see any messages that I post without the need for me to accept your follow.

Because of this public nature, Twitter has become a very popular source of news, entertainment, sports and gossip. If you would like to follow your favorite celebrity, athlete or news reporter, chances are you may find them on Twitter.

Why is Twitter Important for Real Estate?

Twitter can be an important tool for real estate agents and brokers in a few different ways. Using Twitter, members of the real estate community may follow key organizations/individuals, share their messages or see what is generally trending in the real estate community.

Twitter offers a simple interface that allows users to consume high amounts of content in a short period of time. With conditions in real estate changing frequently, it is important for real estate agents and brokers to stay on top of the industry and be knowledgeable on the latest news and information. Twitter enables real estate professionals to get real estate information from multiple sources in short period of time.

How Can Realtors Utilize Twitter?

We suggest that Realtors use Twitter for real estate in a manner that allows them to learn what’s going on in the industry in the shortest amount of time. While we have seen Twitter used by real estate professionals to connect with clients, we find that it is better as a source of information as opposed to sharing a message when it comes to real estate. For Twitter, real estate agents and brokers should follow all of their favorite sources of real estate news and information.

Mobile/Tablet apps

As you might expect, Twitter has apps available for mobile platforms. Given the short message nature of Twitter, these apps come in handy as Twitter is about getting information out quickly. Nothings is faster than having the information in your hand. To get a Twitter app for your smartphone or tablet, simply visit your app marketplace, search for Twitter, then download the app. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can enter your login information and begin using twitter on the go.

How Do I Sign Up?

Signing up is easy. Visit Twitter.com and fill out your information in the “New to Twitter? Sign Up” box. Click the “Sign up for Twitter” button, and you’re done.

Final Words

Twitter is an incredibly simple social sharing platform that real estate agents and brokers can use to stay informed. Rather than subscribing to email newsletters or visiting several websites, real estate professionals can use Twitter to aggregate this information allowing them to quickly skim news and information for what’s important and move on to other productive tasks.

You can follow me on Twitter: @SellstateCOO or Twitter.com/SellstateCOO and you may also follow Sellstate on Twitter: @SellstateRealty or Twitter.com/SellstateRealty.

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$1,058.46 - Average AAD Payout for March

The average AAD Payout for March was $1,058.46. What are you doing with your 5%? To learn more about our Agent Asset Development Program, click here.

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