Real Estate Lead Generation: An offrs Overview
We've written a lot about improved access to real estate leads as well as the various types of real estate listing leads you now have access to. We've even topically covered the real estate lead generation companiespanies providing these services and how offrs stands out and above as the leading real estate lead generator. But we'd like to discuss a few of the many voices in the market and demonstrate how offrs real estate agent leads still top the charts (across multiple quality and value-based metrics). We'll get into that in a bit... for now, it may be helpful to review a sort of state of the union for the real estate industry, the ecosystem we all share as real estate professionals.
It wasn't long ago that lead generation consisted of a phonebook, a phone, and a desk. Certainly within the lifetime of most agents out there. Obviously, real estate lead generation services have advanced and we don't need to cover the technological impact that internet proliferation, social hubs, and mobile dominance have had on our industry. But it is helpful to acknowledge that the trending school of thought that leads are scarce is largely no longer true. Housing inventory and commissions have trended downward while agent influx has trended upward, making the market as a whole a heck-of-a-lot bloodier, but real estate lead generation options and the seller leads available are actually one factor that's now in the agent's favor.
So as we look now at just a few of the voices out there, fellows in our industry, we want to highlight the value that they provide to the industry. You see, most of what would appear on the surface to be competitors are actually only competing for your marketing dollars. Each of these lead generation services and solutions has a spot or two in the overall timeline of leads going from strangers to consistent clients referring business to you. Of course, we're proud to say that because we're going to demonstrate that offrs provides services across the lead generation, outreach and conversion timeline. We'll even show where some services provided by our peers can bolster your business (if you have the marketing budget to enhance core services already covered in abundance by us).
As we discussed in previous articles, lead generation has splintered into multiple schools of thought. We won't go into every off-shoot here, so the easiest way to understand how lead generation has evolved over the last 20 years or so is to again examine the lead timeline. That is to say, where in this conveyor-style timeline that these lead generation services spike in both utility for your operations and return on the investment on your part. To lay this out, we'll highlight a lead gen provider that best exemplifies the lead conversion approach they embody...
- Skimming: Walking through the public data, picking leads that look ripe based on what's visible from the path
- Shotgun: Scattering your brand across a wide area with little effect on each target hit
- Farming: Focusing on post lead capture nurturing and conversion with tools and technique
- Mixed: A mixed bag of various real estate lead generation services and approaches
- Comprehensive: Threaded lead generation services that work alone and together to create optimized leads
Lead Generation Processing Public Data (Skimming)
The most common form of lead generation in the relatively open-data world we now live in is data skimming. It's pretty much what you think it is and many agents do this already. Just as prospective homebuyers are able to scour the net looking for listing leads (where "leads" is often defined by their methods and access to resources), you too can follow this trail picking leads off the bushes where you can. There's nothing wrong with skimming public resources for leads. It works (sometimes) and therefore it's legit. Companies like Remine will live in this environment, sifting through the MLS as more of an MLS lead prospecting widget. The downside to this is that if it's online already, then you're working against a proverbial wall of competition, all vying for the same potential leads. And that matters. Think of it this way...
If you're already paying the cost for a parking spot, why do you now have to rush to park in it before the next person who paid for the same spot does? Seems like you're stacking on your risks and not necessarily getting any guarantee that whatever you've parked there to take part in... will even happen. Of course, all business is the risk... the key though, is to mitigate risk by whittling it down to the lowest possible factor. In this case, that factor is you. Thought we were going to say "them deciding to list" didn't you? We'll go into it later, but we work with passive and active, automated and manual, multi-stage lead qualification processes to do just that... help eliminate lead conversion resistance. Does offrs factor in public records and the analytics around it... absolutely! It's one of over 250 data points that drive just one of our many included lead generation solutions. =)
Lead Generation Leveraging Mass Comm (Shotgun)
Brand saturation is a solid way to drive business over time. They may not know what you do, but they can't get that jingle or that tagline out of their head. As consumers ourselves, we all know the gal or guy dominating our neighborhood with flyers, commercials and so on. No matter where you go, there's their face (or the faces of their team). Thing is... they're doing it right. They're going to spend a lot doing it, but they're doing it right. This is the shotgun approach to catching leads (note: not generating leads, but catching them). The key difference is reliance on the lead raising their hand first. It's essentially widening the inbound sales funnel and placing a large amount of the burden on the leads to qualify themselves by jumping through various Calls To Action hoops. In short... it's a wide, expensive net. But that's not the only consideration here... they're going to bleed cash (a dangerous play without a powerful follow-up machine).
Active brand proliferation campaigns (shotgun marketing your farm) are the way to go when you can afford it, but for SMB's like most regional agents are, it's best to use them sparingly and strategically. Your brand may deserve the limelight, but there are a few paths to get there and straight at it is costly. Alternatively, playing the long-game and setting up a series of actions based on data... that's the smart way to roll out your next marketing push (a "1-2-3" power combo versus swinging wildly at any small opening). If that seems counter-intuitive, you'll benefit from learning more about what offrs has to offer our agents. After all, our commitment to helping your business grow doesn't stop at building and delivering the best real estate lead generation solutions... offrs provides powerful game-changing strategies to help you cash in on those lead opportunities more often!
There are solutions like SmartZip which loosely fit within the category of shotgun marketing... but where shotgun marketing services can indeed help move hand raisers into the lead conversion pipeline, these types of services tend to be more of a mailing service with light analytics on the backend than lead generation solutions (a worker, not a factory). The problem with most mailing services, however, is that they often fall short of being effective when it comes to brand dominance. In a seemingly counter-intuitive (and in many ways a clear act of conflict of interest), shotgun marketing companies ("lead gen companies" in their eyes) like SmartZip will offset part of the high costs of their wide target blast by opening what should be your hunting ground to countless other hunters when everyone knows that the value of shotgun marketing (and the sole purpose of lead generation) is to connect otherwise open-market residents to your brand singularly.
Services like SmartZip do provide hundreds of postcards for a given marketing campaign and them to try to narrow your farm down, but with their limited methodologies in identifying leads, you can expect only 30%-40% out of 20% of homes to be targeted. That's right... roughly 35% of 20%. Hardly a comforting algorithm. =0 But, their true value shines in their ability to quickly and easily deliver your branded direct mail flyers. Then again, the problem there is that you can similarly expect your resident's mailbox to be stuffed with the same exact templated 4th of July postcard (just with different flag designs) from 10 other SmartZip customers that bought "access" to the area too. Seems like the provider is the only one getting brand dominance there. The key takeaway here is this: shotgun marketing is effective. Just make sure you're brand gets a clear, uninterrupted shot at the target. Otherwise... VistaPrint is cheaper and has the same open-market results. =\
Conversion-Focused Lead Generation (Farming)
Brand presence may not be what you think it is... and it is essential. It's not being everywhere, it's being there. We've written about it many times over... farming. The concept of being omnipresent - truly present for each and every one of your homeowner (and non-homeowner) leads alike... not just the hot leads or warm prospects requires a lot of process and a few tools. With real estate lead generation, conversion-centric thinking mostly happens after the lead has been identified. That is, services like Kunversion, a CRM with lead generation infusion capabilities specialize in conversion (and this is a great place to focus). That said, with the focus on CRM, lead generation takes a far back seat and you'll be left carrying the burden of roaming the neighborhood for leads. It's not that dire, but for the price... it feels like it.
Kunversion is essentially an RE centered CRM with data skimming as a second service offering whereas offrs is an RE homeowner data sourcing hub (gathering public and commercial consumer data from over 20 top-tier data providers), a data scrubber (cross-checking the provided sources for accuracy), a predictive analytics engine (processing over 250 consumer behaviors to highlight leads), a lead qualifier... a lead router... and a CRM. Oops, yeah... we failed to mention that we provide an RE-centered CRM too. =) We'll be fair and say that CRMs are not our primary focus, but like everything else involving lead generation, we have led the way in CRM innovation for real estate too. We'll get into that later, but for now, it's easier to see solutions solely centered on farming as focused on the right thing... after lead generation has been put in place and after the waterfall is flowing. We'll help (a lot) with your farming needs. First, let's get the leads flowing. =)
Miscellaneous Lead Generation Approaches (Mixed)
So above, we see a few of the real estate lead generation methodologies along with an example of a service provider that lives within each stage of the broader process of lead generation. But then there are the behemoths... Zillow, Realtor and so on... and new agent-disruptive service types like iBuyer services. Sometimes, the players cross paths with the approaches and you get a perfect storm of "good" intent quickly turning to hurricane-level disaster for the agents supposedly served. Zillow, the latest but not last in a long lineup of technology disruptors, has, for example, joined in next to Opendoor, Knock, OfferPad, Redfin (and others) to push iBuyer services. While each has their own take on lead gen for or at least involving agents, the method almost invariably comes at the cost of the agent's long-term role, the homeowner experience and trust for the process or both. Effectiveness aside, robbing Peter to pay Paul isn't a longterm strategy... especially when you're Peter.
offrs Lead Generation (Comprehensive)
So, without going further into the trees, we'll pull back and take a broader look at how this helps to highlight our position and approach... the bigger picture with regard to lead generation. First, our lead generation is centered around the agent and homeowner connection. offrs provides true, core-focus lead generation for real estate agents. We passively and actively generate listing leads. We focus on homeowners and we focus on real estate agents... connecting that bridge. To do this, we source from the best data providers money can buy as well as gather any available public sector info we can employ to not only find them, but categorize them across multiple conversion stages, qualify them through manual and automated processes, pre-cook them for your team (to make them more easily convertible), provide scripts and templates for best approach based on their current lead timeline status and all this... before you connect with them.
offrs does all of this instantly (and cycles through this process every few weeks to keep the business intel fresh), then distributes this to you and/or your team using a toolbox dashboard you can then use to distribute the leads to your team and/or track your touches over time. Oh yea... with analytics for each connection... just so you have peace of mind when working with your real estate seller leads. Because lead generation for real estate don't have to be a shot in the dark. Far from that, offrs provides clear and hands-on access to each of your territory's residents when you want it... or a more automated approach to real estate lead generation for those times when you need to focus on marketing or offline relationship building. We'll demonstrate for you the myriad of ways our agents (over 5,000 across the country) have employed offrs within their business model in order to grow their business and expand their reach.
The comprehensive approach to lead generation in real estate, while not often admitted by our peers, doesn't compete with other service offering or methodologies... it embraces them. From ground-breaking advances in active lead generation such as (but not nearly limited to) real estate predictive analytics, to passive, wide-net strategies like real estate lead generation websites, every stage of reaching out to the homeowners in your community... stranger and friend alike... is handled comprehensively by the offrs all-in-one lead generation solution. We not only provide services centered around each of the real estate lead generation methodologies (not just those listed above)... we lead the pack in delivering quality listing leads for each method... and we offer them exclusively... all under one service. We take real estate lead generation seriously. Let's move.
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