Tuesday, August 29, 2006

How much did that lead cost?

A lead is only as good as it’s qualifications. When you purchase a lead from an online lead aggregator you are generally buying the contact information of a stranger that was surfing the web and landed on a website that was offering something (comps report, information, a giveaway) in exchange for their contact information.

With that in mind, how valuable is this lead? Generally, leads collected in this fashion are just barely warmer than contact data taken from the phone book. Why then do some real estate agents find great value in these leads while others feel as if they have been robbed after buying a couple of months worth of leads? I think the answer lay more in the effectiveness of the agent’s prospecting engine and less in the value of the lead.

Statistically speaking, 20% of your local population will move within the next two years. This number varies depending on location in the country, but is generally consistent. Given that fact, if you have a good prospecting engine that continually contacts a group of people, 20% of them will eventually be primed to become clients. If you read the posts and attend the seminars and conference calls of different agents that teach the value of these online lead aggregators, their stories of success generally revolve around the system of follow up that they use after receiving the lead. These prospecting engines are immensely effective, but these agents don’t need to spend their money buying monthly lead lists to be effective. In listening to their stories, it is immediately apparent that they would be just as effective if they took a random sample of contacts out of the phone book and applied their systems.

So what is the takeaway from these observations? Invest in yourself. Spend money on your own prospecting engine and develop systems that will make your list of contacts completely aware of your value proposition. Use different marketing tools to touch the same contact over and over until they become a client. You don’t necessarily need to buy leads to be successful. Invest in your own lead generation system and enjoy a continual stream of clients.

As a final note, we at 4MySales.com strive to give agents as many different marketing tools as possible to use in their own prospecting engines. If there are additional methods that you have found effective in attracting listings, please let us know.

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