Agent2Agent in Los Angeles>Question Details

Stuart Schon…, Real Estate Pro in 91356

Do you pay for leads? Is it worth it?

Asked by Stuart Schonwetter, 91356 Mon Jan 27, 2014

Realtors, I am preparing for a presentation about paid for leads, so I wanted to reach out to you and ask… and if you answer I will share my findings with you.
What pay for lead sources have you tried and was it worthwhile for you?
How big of an area do you cover and what is the cost?
Would you recommend any of the services that you use?
Is there a great lead source that is not on my list?
Boomtown ROI, irealty leads, Lead Nozzle, Market Leader, Movato, Qazzoo, Real Estate Pipeline,, Sales Genie, Smart Zip, TigerLead, Trulia, Zillow Premier Agent, Zurple
Please message me or comment.

Help the community by answering this question:


The best lead generation to do is still get out in front of people and let them know what you do. Leads don't come easy.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 31, 2014
Don't pay for leads for one simple reason: I don't have time for them, because every "lead generation" model I've come across has the same program - we'll bury you in garbage but if you have time to sift through eventually you'll do a deal. I have better ways to spend my time.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 30, 2014
You bet I do!....Pay for leads.----
Was it worth it? Not in the way you would expect.
A few examples. Paying Trulia.
It took all of 3,211 nano-seconds to realize all advertising on Trulia benefits the listing agent. The listing agent soon realizes, they don't need to pay to benefit! It's a broken business model.
Yes, I have made money via Trulia
Market Leader: Observing consumer responses on ML revealed the REAL indicators to monitor. These indicators work in ANY marketing arena. Yet another marketing company spewing "Gotta respond to inquires in 3.1 nanoseconds." ReALLY? Just how does that work when you are taking care of the people who are ACTUALLY paying you?
Yes, I have made money via Market Leader.
- - Yep, paid them and stopped.
I truly don't recall the last time a buyer stated they are using as a home find resource...I always ask. A broken lead model whose only benefit is 'smoke and mirrors' to get listings.
No, never made money via
Lead Street - This has proven to be a more effective resource....if the right squeezes are in place.
Still in use, Yes, I continue to make money via Lead Street.
Hey, what about the real estate publications?
Moral to the story: It is worthwhile to purchase leads IF you know the trigger event AND have conformed your message specifically for the trigger event. When you know the trigger event, an agent WHO IS NOT ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL will have an 'Ahhh Hah' moment and understand they can do the same thing for 1/10th the cost and realize conversion in the upper 30s instead of in the 7% range. ALL of us already have those resources at our finger tips.
Sometimes you need to write a check or two to see what others are doing. Realtors would be well advised to scooch up close to SalesForce, SugarCRM or ListingGrabber to catch a glimpse of the pivot that well underway and will leave all those companies in Stuarts list, and the subscribing agents, orphaned on a remote island.
Since we are all right here on Trulia. focus on what TRULIA is doing to market themselves (not the agent) and the curtain will pull back a little, then visit those companies I mentioned. If you mention my name they will know what you are looking for.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
Your answers are so thorough, I appreciate that!
Flag Thu Mar 6, 2014
I presently pay for Zillow and will get only an occasional lead. A lot of them are not buyer ready yet. I was on Market Leader and all the leads from there were terrrible. I was actually told that anything they would send me would be possible clients way down the road. Very expensive too. I was on and never received any closing leads.
It's very frustrating as there are too many realtors on all the same sites.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2014
I Signed a contract with Trulia about one week ago and I don't receive a single Lead yet!!!!! I should be concern????
Flag Fri Sep 26, 2014
Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Flag Thu May 1, 2014
Closed google adwords lead in 30 days from first inquiry to closing. After 2 months and $120. About 500% return on investment.
Flag Sun Mar 9, 2014
Generate your own leads! It's not as hard or time consuming as you think. My old broker showed me the light, and I've never looked back since.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
Please share! I am a new agent in New York. I would be appreciative of any advice I can get! Thank you.
Flag Wed Jan 28, 2015
Please do share! I am a new agent in NY (Long Island)....could use all the expert advice I can get. Thanks!
Flag Wed Jan 28, 2015
I would love to hear what you do!
Flag Tue Jan 27, 2015
Hey Tom it's dark out here, please turn on the light for those of us that still don't know where to find it!
Flag Thu Jun 5, 2014
Show me the light Tom
Flag Fri Mar 7, 2014
Can you explain what you do?
Flag Mon Feb 3, 2014
I have had many leads from both Zillow and Trulia but until I picked up some education in lead conversion, I converted very few. I have had real good success with What I appreciate with them is that they will send a lead to me only and if that same person queries their site on anther property, that will come to me as well. I cover about 400 square miles with a population of about 80,000 but we have a constant turnover due to a large Army base in my area.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 28, 2014
Here, in the market I currently work in, it is prime for online advertisement. Trulia is widely used and has shown much promise.

Depending on your market, choosing the right "pipeline" would prove most beneficial in securing, and ultimately, activating leads into buyers/sellers.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 28, 2014
Im completing my first year as an agent. I asked around when I first started and was told that Trulia is the best and only place to pay for leads, so I do around $50/mo in my neighborhood.

So far, no success, but I have one buyer Im working with who found me on Trulia.

I could spend thousands a year on it, and if I just get 1 client/sale out of it per year, it pays for itself and then some.

Odds are that once I've been in the business for a while, I'll be able to work through word of mouth rather than paying for leads, but for now, it's worth the minimal investment to try to build up my list.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 28, 2014
Congrats for your decision to join this profession and stick with it the first year. I totally agree that spending such a trivial amount of money is well worth it. I spend much more per month and yes I get frustrated with the flow of crap leads, but within that crap you'll find diamonds. Quite an analogy, eh? All it takes, as you've said, is one sale to justify the expenditure. Hang in there. There is a huge learning curve with this business and you'll be over the hump soon.
Flag Wed Jan 29, 2014
I pay for enhancements on trulia, zillow,, google, and facebook. Did not like seeing other faces next to my listings. I get a few prospects every week that saw me on any of the above. I also try to answer the questions in my areas. I have 2 deals in escrow and 3 in back up right now from internet sources. When one of them closes I will update.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
I do not use pay for leads programs.

There just seems to be too many out there that start off very aggressive promising the moon and the stars, then they get bought out by one of the other programs.

Kawain Payne, Realtor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 31, 2014
I don't pay for leads per se, but I do have a presence in the sites that people visit specifically, Trulia and Zillow.

The best way to get leads, it seems, is to have listings that one can post. When people contact you for information, every single inquiry is a lead.

For my second to the last sale last December, one of them was for a lead that came through via Trulia. I called the lady immediately, and we had a nice conversation. Less than a week later, after guiding her through the buying process, we got into contract. They closed just in time for Christmas. So the commission earned from that one sale has more than paid for itself in terms of advertising online.

But to pay by click, or per lead? No.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 28, 2014
No. I don't pay for leads. I tried it a few times, but had zero success. I'd rather focus on loyal clients that come from my sphere and my past clients.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 28, 2014
I had Trulia for 6 months a few years ago. Never go a lead. I dumped them as soon as my contract was up. I went with the other guy, Z-----w. Was having very good luck with them until recently. 2013 and 2014 I closed 16 deals and 14 deal respectively. The last 6 months has been dead. Lots of rental leads, but that is about all. I am considering dumping them as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2015
The leads are not good and most are just wasting time. My broker and me decided to canceal
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 24, 2015
First, I'm not a real estate pro. What I am part of is a co founder of a referral and rewards application that will soon go to beta. While it's not designed specifically for real estate, we do feel it could be a valuable tool for real estate professionals, apartment leasing, etc. In short, you ask past clients to write a recommendation for you and they share to their friends via the globally searchable application and also social media. The business user (you) only pay if you get a sale/rental. Your referral reward is determined by you and can be based on sale type or amount. Both the referrer and the referee receive the same reward value, which is 100% of what you paid. In essence it's a pay per sale if you will, kind of like spinning a search engine 180 degrees where the consumers are rewarded for sharing business users that they value and trust.

Hit me back with any questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 2, 2014
Whenever I've tried programs that are for paid leads, it's never worked out well. I am currently using zurple which I am doing well with. It is a pay-per-click program..and it is indeed doing what it's supposed to do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 28, 2014
I pay for certain website yes. Some I have found worth it and others I have not.
I don't like to door knock or cold call. I like people calling me. I am closer. So if warm leads come to me I can close them.
One not on your list is Obviously it's not open to all but I do get leads from ReMax along with the other websites and I feel ReMax agents pay a bit more to be there but I find it worth it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 28, 2014
I was a RE/MAX agent for the first 5 - 6 years of my real estate career and they do sell you on the idea of the "power of the balloon." In reality people hire me because of who I am and what I bring to the table, and not because of the national marketing campaign of the company for which I work. RE/MAX took about $8,000 from my income each year. They did NOT provide an equivalent amount of benefits. I'd suggest you explore other options.
Flag Wed Jan 29, 2014
I'm not a fan of paying for leads. Maybe if you pay only upon the close of a transaction, but plunking down money in advance without knowing what is going to come your way is a little risky. But that may just be me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 28, 2014
You're correct in that when I take buyers to see homes, there is no guarantee they're going to buy through me, but I'm not paying a third party for the introduction.
Flag Fri Jan 31, 2014
I agree that it is pretty scary to pay for something you don't know that you will actually receive. But in this business we deal with uncertainty every day. When you take a buyer out to see houses you really don't know if they'll ever buy a home or buy through you. It is uncertainty day in and day out. When it comes to paying for leads there will be some uncertainty, but you're doing the right thing by participating in this discussion in an effort to find the most lucrative lead sources. For me Trulia has paid off but if they raised their prices I'd drop out quickly.
Flag Wed Jan 29, 2014
Hi Stuart - I don't and instead focus my efforts - and money - on doing my own thing online. I will say that I've been boggled to learn how much agents are paying Zillow and that most are happy to do so.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 28, 2014
Agents who are happy to do so are only happy because they are in profit because of it.
Flag Wed Jun 4, 2014
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer