Finding leads is essential for agents building their business. New leads become buyer and seller clients. Agents use many tools to acquire new leads. The tools they use often address the following problems:
There are many sources where agents can pay more to increase their volume of leads. Most agents track success based on cost per lead or cost per transaction. They want to know identify much each lead costs and how much they need to spend on a channel to close a deal. The platforms that are the cheapest or offer the most volume are usually the most popular.
Large real estate portals are the top paid lead source for agents. These sites capture traffic from buyers and sellers. They then allow agents to pay for access to users interested in working with an agent. Platforms usually charge per click, per lead, per closed transaction, or for a certain number of impressions of an agent’s ad. The most popular sources of leads are the most visited consumer sites. These include Zillow/Trulia, Realtor.com, Estately, Movoto, Homes.com, Nextdoor, and Homelight.
Agents also buy leads on major ad platforms like Google, Facebook, and Bing. These services are not real estate-focused and can be hard for agents to use. But many brokerages offer assistance to help agents market on these platforms.
Finally, there are lead aggregators. They work with multiple different sources to collect leads. This can include relocation companies, fix and flip investors, and their own outreach. Services like Opcity even receive leads from other portals, screen them over the phone with their own team, and then provide these leads to agents charging on close. Some other examples are OJO Labs, Lead Geeks, Qazzo, SetSchedule, and zBuyer.
Handling multiple ad platforms to capture hundreds of leads can be complicated. Many tools have emerged to help agents manage these lead sources. These often offer a few or all of the following features.
There are two categories of lead management software:
An inside sales agent or ISA works for an agent, team, or brokerage to find new leads, follow-up with existing leads, and pre-qualify incoming leads. ISAs are usually paid on a combination of salary and commission. This presents an alternative form of paying for leads through ad platforms or lead aggregators. ISAs spend a fair amount of their time finding new data sources. They then sending out emails and make cold calls to turn these data source into actionable leads.
CRMs help agents place and log calls each day. But ISAs may be making over a hundred calls per day to find and screen leads. And it may not be necessary to record much information until someone answers. This is where dialers can help. These allow agents and ISAs to automatically call lists. They often dial from their computer with one click and can leave pre-recorded messages if there isn't an answer. Many services also ensure compliance with telemarketing laws. Some examples of dialers are Mojo, Kixie, ProspectBoss, and Vulcan7.
Some services help automate the types of services an in-house ISA would handle. This includes automated responses to website chats, instant outreach via email to a Facebook lead, or sending custom text messages to certain leads in a list. For agents not handling a massive amount of leads, these services can solve their lead management problems without the high costs of hiring staff. Some automated ISA services are Agent Legend and Automabots.
Virtual ISAs are external companies paid to handle the functions of an ISA. These companies charge a monthly or per-lead fee. They will generate new leads based on an agent’s specified criteria.
Often, virtual ISA services are built into platforms of ad management tools. For example, Prime Seller Leads has an ISA service. There are also non-real estate focused platforms like Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer, Fiverr, and Upcall which have specialized calling and lead generation professionals available. Here is a short list of virtual ISAs: Rocket Agent, Aiva, Structurely, Referral Genie, Power ISA, AgentAssistant, Verse, rokrbox, and Smart Alto.
Some agents will also hire virtual assistants for administrative tasks. Sometimes these tasks include sending leads a form or scheduling appointments. These services tend to be less specialized for full lead handling. Some virtual assistants are ShoreAgents, Zirtual, Virtudesk, and and MyOutDesk.
A number of services focus their technology on finding higher-quality leads. They use many different data points to predict which leads are most likely to buy or sell in an agent’s geography or CRM database. The goal of these services is to help agents identify and focus their time on high-quality leads. Some examples of predictive lead generation companies are smartzip, offrs, Revaluate, and first.io.
Some companies sell access to lists of potential leads. These lists include owners of residential properties, for sale by owner homes, agents in other markets, and really anything else imaginable. These services usually charge by name, geography, or monthly access to a pre-set amount of data. Many can integrate lead lists directly into CRMs and dialers. Services offering lists of leads include ProspectNow, Espresso Agent, Landvoice, and REDX.
There are also separate services that specialize in completing lead profiles, either from existing contacts or new lists. These companies use names and addresses to return phone numbers and emails. Agent can pay to convert existing lists with limited information into full prospecting lists. Some examples of these services are Batch Skip Tracing and Skip Genie. There are also email verification services that ensure that new emails don't get sent to invalid emails. Some examples are Xverify and ZeroBounce.