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read this before you start advertising on zillow

This article was inspired by a coaching client who asked me if they should start advertising on Zillow because $200 was open in a zip code they would like to be in. 

It all started because Zillow has been contacting agents with the good news that they've opened up spots in popular zip codes. Apparently they're getting more traffic and leads than they expected so they can let more advertisers in. 

But, before you invest, consider what you'll GET for your money. 

For example, if a zip code you want has only $200 available - how many live connections will you receive? 

Probably less than 1 per month.

Is $200 really worth .5 a lead? That's a HALF of a lead. Seriously. 

That means you'll be getting ONE lead every other month. WHAT?!?

Your Zillow rep (aka sales person) will sell you on the "nurture" leads. These are also sometimes called "other" leads. And, while all leads are welcome and nice to have, you need to understand that they are a lower quality leads and they don't convert like the live calls. 

The "Nurture/Other" leads include people that are unresponsive - which means the lead is OLD. Who even knows how long Zillow has attempted to reach this lead. Probably at least a few days, if not more. Those leads look like this:

Then, there's the "Nurture/Other" leads that specifically say they're not ready to talk to an agent. Maybe they said "OMG, DON'T CALL ME!" or maybe they said, "Ooops, I didn't mean to submit that on Zillow." Or, my favorite, "I don't know what you're talking about, I never asked about a property??" Those leads look like this: 

The live calls, or "connections" are the best quality of the paid leads through Zillow.

However, they aren't as amazing as Zillow would have you believe.

To give you some perspective, I spent $1168 on Zillow in the last month. 

With that investment,  in the last 30 days I've received 5 "connections" and this is where they're at today:

1 - was a bonus connection - it wasn't in the zip code we advertise in it. Thank goodness, because turns out she has an agent. She told us on the phone she didn't have an agent, but then when we drove 30 minutes to show her a rural property she mentioned in fact she DOES have an agent. Awesome. 

1 - buyer rescheduled two different appointments with us but did take our advice to get pre-approved. Unfortunately, they don't have enough trade lines to get approved today. Naturally, we'll stay in touch and hopefully convert them to a sale in the future. 

1- showed the buyer one house, her brother is buying it for her family but can't provide a pre-approval letter. After days of inquiring on pre-foreclosures (aka homes NOT for sale) she's ghosted us. We will continue to call, text and email and nurture this lead. 

2 - were decent prospects that aren't ready to buy today, but might be ready to write within the next 6 months. 

SO, in 30 days, we have 2 good prospects. 

What do you think about those leads? Does it seem sort of low for the investment? I know a lot of agents in more competitive cities and they're paying THOUSANDS more, for basically the same results.

Now, imagine if you're spending $200. That half a lead isn't going to get you very far, is it? 

So, before you invest your hard earned dollars - be very clear about what you can expect in return for that investment.

Please note that if you're a brand new advertiser with Zillow, you can probably expect to be in a 6 month contract. Maybe even a year contract.

It's no fun spending money when you're not getting much of anything in return.

So, if you've been wondering if you should start advertising on Zillow (or any other online portal) I hope you take some time to analyze what you can expect to get for your investment. 

While I'm not against investing in Zillow or other online lead strategies (obviously, since I do!) I firmly believe you should have a SOLID STRATEGY to help grow your business. And paying for half a lead a month isn't a very good strategy. Paying for online leads without a solid strategy isn't going to help you grow.

While you're here, why don't you grab our FREE social media graphics and amp up your social posts to reach your online audience - maybe they need your help buying or selling a house! 


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Update Your Home Value Lead Generation

Update Your Home Value Lead Generation

We’ve heard that it’s all about the customer, but when it comes to lead generation, specifically home value lead generation, how does that work? Let’s look at an example: Just take a moment to picture your typical, run-of-the-mill Home Value ad. Home Value Lead You’ve got your landing page or capture page, which takes in your lead’s home address, name, phone number and email address.
This is a standard Kunversion sell page.

This is a standard Kunversion sell page.

Get that contact info!

Get that contact info!

Once the lead enters that information, they’re given an instant quote of their home’s value (exactly what they came to you for).
Instant gratification home valuation

Instant gratification home valuation

After that, you might expect an email sequence to be sent out to that lead with the goal of trying to set an appointment, while still delivering useful and relevant content in the interim. All sounds pretty standard, right? Well, if you’re selling real estate, you probably already know this sequence is a bit… dated.  And even after reading all about updating your marketing to meet the new me-economy standards, you still might not be sure of what you’re getting yourself into with this new “inbound thing”. But here’s the good news: what you’re doing now is not that far off. We know the 4 pillars of Inbound Marketing (or me-economy!) are: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.

                      Thanks, Falcon Creative for letting us use this cool image.


So, what does this look like for a typical home value ad?

Attract: This is the offer itself – you’re attracting your customer to a lead capture page with the promise of delivering them a home value quote. They came to you because they wanted a quote, and you deliver on that promise. Simple! Convert: Once your visitor converts into a lead by leaving their contact info, the email sequence and phone calls are all designed to convert that lead into a paying customer. Close: After all that hard work finding the perfect home for your buyer, this is where you finally make the sale! Delight: You’re hopefully already doing this to some extent, but in today’s Me-Economy, you’ll need to place a massive importance on delighting your customer. And not just while they’re still a prospect, but even afterwards! By now, you can see that there are definite similarities between typical real estate marketing tactics and this slightly newer “inbound thing”. The one piece that needs some major updating in the world of real estate is the “Attract” stage: Once you have your buyer persona figured out, you can easily create super helpful content that’s exactly what your ideal buyer is looking for. Depending on what that persona looks like, you might have some ideas:
  • a first time home buyer guide
  • a “veterans” guide to buying or selling in real estate
  • a checklist of things to complete to get your home ready for sale
  • an eBook packed full of things to consider when downsizing
This is the best strategy to attract new leads directly to you. Because you’re giving your ideal customer what THEY want. You’re solving a problem. Or answering a question. It’s not about YOU. It’s about THEM. And, in the Me-Economy – it’s alllll about the customer.    

Need inspiration?

If you're looking for a little inspiration, we've brainstormed 25 ideas that you could build a guide on - and serve your clients by giving them what THEY want. Meet the Me-Economy standards!