Deborah comment is worth repeating, "I think the potential clients are just fishing for info, and have no intention of using you as an agent." Now, as you have read, there are exceptions, but the overwhelming consensus and evidence is these folks are in the info stage. Unless you have a two year capture and localized retention and nurture program in place, any short term analysis will show a real waste of time using the largest aggregate websites. Just review the Q&A and that should open the curtain a bit.
Before subscribing to any lead generation plan you need to observe how the leads are being generated. To convert a lead to a client, your message MUST align with that of the lead capture mechanism. If they (the citizen) is responding to a "50% buyer rebate" ad and you are displaying your professional achievements and a never ending list of letters after your name, the suspect will vanish. But here's the catch. If you actually see how the capture system works, you would set up your own Ad-words campaign wouldn't you?
Moral to the story, there is nothing these aggregate sites are doing that you can not do yourself in a much more targeted fashion. Consider utilizing those companies that use resources you can not access due to cost or exclusivity. For instance the REMAX TV ads have been huge generators of citizens inquiring about FL real estate. The more specialized the resources the higher quality the lead will be.
Let me give an example or two:
"Live where other vacation!" plays well in the entertainment coupon books tourists grab in the hotel lobbies and street info boxes. From this you get buyers AND referrals to agents in the vacationers state of origin. You may want to modify the message to be appropriate for Chicago.
"What's your home Worth?" plays well BUT must include a self selection mechanism. My statistics support the data stating over 95% of responders who self select make a real estate decision within 12 months. This group has visited Zillow and Trulia and realized the information is bogus and have moved into the action arena.
IT is possible and quite easy to build a self selection mechanism into your Trulia or Zillow efforts, but these folks (users) are so far up stream and undefined I seriously doubt the results would make any difference.
Going old school with micro-mailings yield exceptional results.
So, it boils down to "Where you want to spend your time?", Chasing vapors or creating exceptional copy and getting it in front of the specific citizen you want to do business with.
The environment in which you are located the coupon book would not work well BUT I would consider a collaborative effort with key real estate partners and start calling on the head of HR in all those big companies. Make it a win-win-win and redirect the savings into the employee retirement savings. Take care not to create conflict with any existing re-lo parasites.
Best of success to you.
ReMax Realtec Group