If real estate agents and brokers received a dollar for every lead generation sales pitch they hear, they could retire from Real Estate. While that might be a slight exaggeration, it illustrates a reality: the market is overrun with multi-billion-dollar companies trying to sell them leads. And those leads keep growing more expensive, or come with hefty referral fees, or are sold over and over again. Because they’re generated from web traffic and consumers surf multiple sites, they’re often delivered to multiple agents simultaneously. If you’re not the fastest phone in town, you lose the deal. This combination of factors squeezes potential return on investment to all but nothing. The situation evokes a commonly heard question: “How come I’m the only one not making money in this scenario?”  

The biggest and most successful agents and teams see the writing on the wall and are fleeing the big portal lead sellers. Instead, they are reclaiming control of their own brand and marketing by working with real estate focused digital marketing companies like Ylopo. 

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The real estate market has always been competitive, but with inventory at an all-time low, and with the pandemic greatly reducing in-person client interactions, agents have to be more resourceful than ever before. And this resourcefulness has been in the digital realm– a development is both reactive, and predictive of the future.  To thrive in an increasingly virtual market, agents and teams must meet the client on their terms, where the average consumer spends her time: online.  The best approach involves a combination of multi-platform lead gen (Social Media and Google PPC), automated high-volume remarketing, direct-to-consumer automated communication, as well as branded video advertising on social media.

Industry Portals such as Zillow and Realtor.com deliver leads, but at an expense that squeezes ROI potential to very little – often 10x to 20x more expensive than Social Media and Google PPC produced leads. More importantly, lead conversion is a long-term game, and they offer no solutions toward nurturing leads. 

How Do Most Leads Become Sales?

With technology, time, and nurture. 

Robert Slack of Robert Slack LLC in Florida, who runs one of the top producing brokerages in the US and who is a leader in digital business development, decided to add a Ylopo Google PPC strategy to his brokerage to lower the company’s reliance on Zillow and Realtor.com. With more than 560 agents, they have created a client database of 750,000 former and potential customers. Slack partnered with Ylopo to stay in front of those customers as they use the internet. “I was always looking for emerging technology when I heard of Ylopo,” Slack explained. He says that the re-targeting of leads continues to pay off and delivers a much higher return on investment than his portal advertising budgets. This is because, while some leads can be converted in the near-term, high-level ROI is unlocked over time. Teams and agents must persistently nurture leads in order to remain in front of customers when the time comes, regardless of when that customer lead was acquired. 

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Digital Marketing Controlled by Brokers and Agents

Real estate portals generally operate using a business model that is designed to keep their brand front and center. Your brand is simply not relevant to their model. In fact, much as regards your actual business is not relevant to their model. Mike Bernier, the managing broker and co-owner of Realty Group in Minneapolis, realized what he was losing. With a $20,000 dollar a month spend with Realtor.com, he not only sacrificed brand recognition, but also financial diversity and long-term lead opportunity. While 5-9% of the Realtor.com leads closed in the relative short-term, he wondered how much he was leaving on the table. Bernier tried Ylopo’s re-marketing approach and they closed a five-year-old Realtor.com lead nearly right away. Bernier calls Ylopo a “tool box to optimize your database contacts that keeps them in your ecosystem.”

Change the game, don’t let the game change you.

As the portals look to take complete control of the real estate transaction, your margins with them will continue to evaporate. With well-run PPC campaigns like Ylopo offers you’re able to get a similar quality of lead for a fraction the cost. You grow your brand on your terms, with your value messaging, and realize more efficient ways to convert out of your database, maximizing conversion rates in the long run and realizing significantly greater ROI.