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2009-05-05 21:43:36

Proof That Lead Generation Isn’t Dead


With tech stocks still worth half what they were in 2000, and housing-related stocks even less, it’s been a challenging market for real estate lead generation companies.

Yet the market says it’s never been a better time for Internet leads.

According to a survey by the NAR, nine out of 10 home buyers under the age of 44 in the U.S. use the Internet as a resource to help them shop for a home. And, buyers who use the Internet report using the Internet more frequently, from 42 percent in 2003 to 69 percent in 2008.

Market Leader, for one, isn’t waiting for the economy to get better. The company’s announced a unique new agreement with Realty Executives in which the franchisor says it will pay a portion of its 800-plus franchisees’ online advertising to help them drive leads to their Websites.

Then RealtyGenerator, the flagship lead generation product from Market Leader, helps the brokers manage and hopefully close those leads through their agents.

This announcement shows that lead generation isn’t dead, as some have said, but it’s definitely changing. Franchisors are sending leads directly to their brokers, rather than their own corporate Websites. 

Realty Executives is the first franchisor to try to funnel leads back to their brokers using Market Leader, says the company.

In effect, each broker is buying a custom lead generation solution with the RealtyGenerator engine, and it’s betting on Market Leader’s six to 10 percent conversion rate in turning Website visitors into registered prospects.

RealtyGenerator works in three ways, explains John Gallagher, senior marketing director, an advertising component, lead capture component, and communication/customer retention component.

“We are working with each of the local brokerages and developing an advertising strategy for them,” says Gallagher. “We are one of the few resellers of Google AdWords, and there’s also search engine optimization. We promote the local broker in their area.”

Visitors are driven to the local brokers Website to see listings. For the lead capture, visitors can view one home, but to see a second home, they must register. Once they’ve registered they become prospects.

As prospects, the consumers are cultivated by communication tools such as listing alerts and a system that understands what kind of homes the consumer wants, and which ones they didn’t see. If the prospect changes neighborhoods or price ranges, the agent is notified and a communication is generated to the consumer.

When the agent contacts the prospect with new or unseen listings, the agent looks very professional and thorough.

While many of these features aren’t new, it’s the total, well-thought-out process that matters.

Congratulations, Market Leader.


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