Inman Report: Comparing Online Lead Sources - Part 1

Recently, Inman released a report that took an in-depth look at Online Leads. They polled agents, team leaders, and broker-owners to learn more about where they were finding success with online leads, both paid and unpaid. Since they gathered so much data, we're going to break our analysis of the report into two pieces, Best ROI of Paid Online Lead Sources and Best Sources of Unpaid Online Leads.

First of all, of those polled, 26% said they don't pay for online leads and only 27% said that they utilize Facebook advertising. One of the reasons we are such fans of Facebook is the fact that it's not over-saturated with real estate agents vying for the attention of users. Just to drive that point home, a quarter of agents aren't spending money on online leads at all, and of those that are, only a quarter are spending money on Facebook advertising. This means that when you boost a listing or run Seller Lead ads on Facebook, you're competing with a relatively small percentage of other agents.

Perhaps the most ringing endorsement of Facebook in the report came under a section called, Return on Investment of Paid Online Leads:

"Leads generated by search engine and Facebook ads generally provide the best return on investment among paid online leads included in Inman’s survey, according to agent respondents."

The report also took a look at agents' online advertising budgets and found that they were spending an average of $200 on online leads per month. Among those online leads, buyer and seller leads were shown to cost the same.

Another interesting thought came via a quote from a broker-owner who commented on Facebook's response rate, cost, and targeting tools:

“Even though the response rate is low, it is higher than Zillow, Trulia or, and the cost is much lower. It also allows us to market our listings to specific demographics without having a buyer agent’s face on our listings.”

Interested in driving traffic to your website? Here's what the report suggests:

"The most common sources of paid traffic for agent websites are search engine and Facebook ads, with Facebook delivering the best return on investment, according to the survey."

In conclusion, this particular report indicates that agents who use Facebook and search engine advertising to garner leads experience better ROI than any other online marketing. If you haven't utilized online advertising before, you should be aware that agents are spending an average of $200 every month and they are getting the most bang for their buck on Facebook.

Ready to learn about where agents are finding the most success with unpaid online leads? Check out Part 2!