There are almost too many choices when it comes to buying leads for real estate agents. You can buy internet leads, phone verified leads, email leads; the list goes on and on. How do you know if the leads you buy are high quality or just data being re-sold a million times before you’re the next sucker who buys it? Let me tell you about my experience so you avoid some pitfalls…
Years ago, before I earned my real estate license in Seattle, WA, I was a mortgage broker for about 3 or 4 years. 99.9% of my business came from internet leads that I purchased from multiple online companies. The leads I purchased were from consumers filling out a request online for a refinance. I relied on these types of leads to make my living and it worked just dandy.
Some companies sold fantastic leads and other companies… well; let’s just say I couldn’t believe they were still in business. But all in all, when you averaged out the good and the bad, I was still able to make a great living solely on buying internet leads.
When I made the move to “real estate agent”, I decided to start off buying specific leads for real estate agents to jumpstart my business; just like I did as a mortgage broker. The problem was that the leads for real estate agents were nowhere near the quality of the leads for mortgage brokers.
It was like ordering a hamburger at Wendy’s and getting a pile of poop between two buns! I was expecting one thing and ended up getting useless junk that I couldn’t make me any money.
Now I’m not saying the mortgage leads were stellar, by any means, but I was able to generate business from them. At the time, it seemed like the right move. It saved me time from marketing myself and having to generate my own leads. Plus, I was making good money so why complain, right?
With the leads for real estate agents though, they were just horrible; the kind of horrible that makes you want to vomit. I kept trying different lead companies but the data was just insanely bad.
Most companies I bought leads from were simply reselling “lead data” over and over and over again. When I got the lead and made the phone call, the actual person who filled out the request would tell me, “that happened 2 years ago” or “we were signing up for some free baby care item” or “you’re the 70th agent to call.”
On top of having these consumers screaming at me to stop calling, “frustrating” didn’t begin to describe my feelings.
What really got me was that some of the companies, who sold me leads for real estate agents, wouldn’t give any kind of refund. At best, they’d give me another “pile of poop” lead, which was worthless to me. So you can guess the thousands of dollars I ended up losing!
This is when I said enough was enough and I really started digging into marketing and lead generation and how to do it like the “big boy” real estate agents did. I figured I could stop paying the $20-$70 per lead I was throwing down the toilet and set up my own real estate agent marketing program cheaper and at least on “semi”, if not “full” autopilot.
I don’t want to give you wrong idea though; there are good, solid, reputable companies who sell leads for real estate agents out there. The trick is spending your marketing dollars on trial and error to find them. It’s not easy or cheap because it’s almost impossible to tell the good from the bad until you actually buy the leads.
Of course, the benefit to finding a great company who generates leads for real estate agents is that you save yourself a ton of time. You’re only paying money “per lead” and all you need to do is make the follow up calls and emails. You don’t need to spend any time putting together a marketing plan either but that’s kind of an excuse because in reality it’s really a breeze to set up.
Knowing what I know now, I would definitely not go through the hassle, expense and frustration of dealing with internet, phone or email leads for real estate agents. Doing your own marketing and lead generation is a piece of cake. Most real estate agents just don’t know where to start, which is why they shake in their boots just thinking about it.
But if you’re patient and do a little “book learnin”, my opinion is that you’ll be far better off relying on your own marketing rather than a company who provides leads for real estate agents. Even if you find a good lead company, you’re relying on them for all your business just like I did way back at the beginning. (don’t underestimate diversification!)
If you’re still tempted to find some of these quality internet leads for real estate agents, go ahead but be careful. You know what to be prepared for now and the potential cost of it but you also know there can be a nice upside, if you find the right lead company.
Just do me a favor and don’t jump in head first. Take it slowly and test out these lead companies just like you’d test any marketing method you’d do yourself. At most, I suggest making these leads for real estate agents just a small part of your overall marketing plan.