There’s a fundamental problem in the real estate industry: Most real estate agents aren’t marketers. They don’t come into the job with any sort of lead generation skills, but they need marketing and lead generation to succeed.
BoldLeads seeks to solve that problem by providing a real estate lead generation platform that generates prospects and helps you nurture them into clients. Is BoldLeads actually successful in their aim? In this BoldLeads review, we’re going to walk through what BoldLeads is, how it works, and ultimately answer the question: Is BoldLeads worth it for your business?
How Does BoldLeads Work?
BoldLeads generates real estate leads by taking what I like to call the “ad agency” approach.
Working on your behalf, the BoldLeads ad experts place ads on places like Facebook and Google offering something your leads want—usually an offer for a free home valuation (for sellers) or a specialized list of homes for sale (for buyers).
When a prospect clicks on an ad, they’re taken to a landing page where they’re asked to submit their lead information in exchange for what they were looking for. Once they’ve submitted their contact info, they appear in your BoldLeads customer relationship manager (CRM) as a new contact, where you can follow up with them manually or utilize the automated or Concierge follow-up options (more on that later).
How Much Does BoldLeads Cost?
BoldLeads offers multiple price options for agents, teams, and brokerages. Most BoldLeads agents choose the Professional package which breaks cost down into two columns: the account fee, which starts at $399 per month, and the ad budget, with a minimum spend of $250 per month. The lowest price for the most popular BoldLeads choice is $649 per month and can go up from there depending on the add-ons to your account and the ad budget. There is a BoldLeads “Lite” option as well that includes less leads and limited access to BoldLeads tools that starts at $499 per month.
I know what you’re thinking—this seems like a lot of money, but remember what you’re getting here. BoldLeads will not only create, implement, and manage all your lead generation ads, they also provide a CRM, lead nurturing automated communication, and the option to assist with your lead nurturing using a real person (again, more on that soon).
So is it worth this price? Before we decide yes or no, let’s dig a little deeper into the BoldLeads process and walk you through it step by step.
The BoldLeads Process: Step by Step
We summarized how BoldLeads works earlier, but for those of you seriously considering this program, it’s helpful to have a little more detail into how the program works.
Curious about how the BoldLeads process stacks up against other lead gen platforms? Check out our article all about the Best Real Estate Lead Generation Companies of 2021.
Step 1: Pick Your Territory
When you sign up to become a BoldLeads agent, you don’t get free range over the entire world. Just like most paid lead generation tools, you select a particular geographic region or territory to focus on.
The Pros: This step makes sense; as a real estate agent, you want to focus your lead generation efforts in the places you do business, so it doesn’t make sense to be advertising outside your local market.
Also, the BoldLeads territories are based on a 15-mile radius from a specific spot you want to target and are all a flat rate, meaning a populated metro area is going to cost the same as a rural, sparsely populated one. This makes for a level playing field, unlike tools like Zillow and Offrs that charge more for more populated or expensive areas. The more populated an area is, the more agents BoldLeads will allow to advertise there, but they’d never over saturate a market to the point that you wouldn’t get the exposure and lead volume you expect.
The Cons: Since BoldLeads works so closely with Facebook and Instagram to deliver the ads that push your prospects to your landing pages, changes in the way that Facebook allows advertising will affect the way you can market with BoldLeads. This can be a little frustrating at first, but having the BoldLeads team supporting you through those potential changes is definitely preferable to having to navigate them yourself.
Step 2: Establish Your Budget & Run Your Ads
After you’ve chosen where you want to get leads from, the next step is to set up your ads. This is possibly the easiest step in the entire process because you don’t have to do a thing except a couple keystrokes.
The BoldLeads ad experts will pull together all the images, copy, links, landing pages, lead magnets, and form fills for you, and they’ve gotten pretty good at it. To date, BoldLeads has placed over $20 million worth of ads on behalf of their clients—they’ve got a great idea of what works and what doesn’t in all different kinds of markets.
The Pros: Real estate advertising is hard to do well, which is why it’s so great that this program does it for you. You get to lean on ad experts who know exactly what they’re doing, freeing you up to focus your attention in places where you can be more effective.
The Cons: The downside to handing off all the work to someone else is that you aren’t in control. If you are picky about every piece of media that hits the wires, it can be tough to surrender control over your marketing efforts to someone else.
Also, it isn’t uncommon to feel a little anxiety when your only contribution to a step is money, but the perk of having someone execute this crucial step for you is worth it.
Step 3: Start Collecting Leads
After the ads are prepped and live, it’s time to start collecting leads. There isn’t much to be done during this step by the agent—the action is on the consumer side. Here’s how the first part of the consumer journey happens with BoldLeads:
First, a Prospect Sees Your Ad
When your ads go live, they’ll start showing up on Facebook, Instagram, and Google, in front of your prospects. The ads are offering something of value—usually a free home valuation or a list of homes for sale in the area—something enticing enough that your prospect takes action and clicks.
Then, the Prospect Converts to a Lead
After clicking on an ad, a prospect is taken to a landing page where they are offered the value they were promised in exchange for their lead information (name, phone number, email, home address). After giving their lead data, they get their lead magnet reward, and their information is sent to the BoldLeads CRM.
The Pros: This step is easy on an agent’s time, and quite frankly, pretty exciting. When you’ve got an ad that is connecting with your local audience and you’re getting notifications that profiles are being added to your CRM, it’s a good day.
The Cons: The fact of the matter is, the leads that BoldLeads collects are generally top-of-the-funnel leads. There are certainly going to be some buyers or sellers who are ready to go sooner than later, but even the BoldLeads website mentions that the goal of the BoldLeads system is to “connect with prospective buyers or sellers before they’ve had a chance to reach out to an agent.”
By definition, this means you’re going to get a higher percentage of cold, uninterested, or even unintentional leads than you would with a more explicit program like Zillow Premier Agent.
Step 4: Attempt Lead Contact
After the lead’s information gets sent to the BoldLeads CRM, the lead is started on an automated communication series to follow up on their initial request. These emails, text messages, even prerecorded voicemail messages are all designed to do one thing: start the conversation with your lead. If your leads have provided valid contact information and are genuinely interested in the services you offer, they’ll respond to one of these touches.
The Pros: Speed-to-lead is often the deciding factor in whether or not a lead engages with you, so having an automated process in place to get back to people who’ve engaged with your ad is a lifesaver. You also have an option to tweak the send cadence (when this communication goes out), to edit the templates used to make contact, or even to create your own messages altogether.
The Cons: No automated system is perfect. There will likely be a time when a BoldLeads automated response takes lead information that was possibly entered incorrectly (for instance, someone who gives only their first name and the first name of their spouse instead of their first and last name) and incorrectly applies it to an automated communication template. That will immediately show the lead that it isn’t you at the keyboard sending this communication, and could result in the loss of an opportunity if someone was irked by this.
To be clear, this is not a BoldLeads unique problem; any lead gen program with automated follow-up faces this.
Step 5: Text Concierge
Once a lead responds to one of the automated communications sent to them after completing a lead form, Text Concierge kicks in. Text Concierge is a service that connects a live person employed by BoldLeads to act as your “assistant” in qualifying leads. Here’s how it works:
The Text Concierge reaches out (using a number local to your lead), beginning the qualification process, gathering all the information that you’d get during your first conversation with a prospective client and determining whether or not they are a hot, warm, or cold lead. If they are cold (or just not quite ready to move forward), the Text Concierge stays in contact with them, checking in periodically, attempting to move the lead down your client pipeline.
Once a lead is ready for the next step, the Text Concierge sets an appointment for you and notifies you that the lead is ready to be passed off.
This could take as little as an hour or as long as six months; the Text Concierge program will maintain contact and attempt to qualify as many as 500 leads at a time for up to six months each.
The Pros: If you’ve ever felt like you’ve needed an assistant but haven’t wanted to devote the budget to it, Text Concierge could be a good first step to see if it’s worth it.
Your Text Concierge rep will introduce themselves to your leads as your “assistant,” they have access to your actual calendar so they can schedule appointments for you in real time, and since they are a real person and not a chatbot, there won’t be any embarrassing conversation gaffes that occur when computers don’t interpret humans correctly.
The Cons: The program isn’t included in the base price of BoldLeads, so you need to upgrade to the second-tier package (another $100 per month) to get access to it.
Also, the person acting as your Text Concierge “assistant” isn’t a licensed real estate professional. This means they can’t have any sort of meaningful real estate conversation with your leads.
While I agree that it should be the agent who is having these conversations, there will certainly be times when a lead is going to ask a question the Concierge isn’t permitted to answer, which is going to result in a “let me get back to you on that” answer—not exactly the best experience for a lead.
Step 6: Claim Your Lead
After your Text Concierge has qualified a lead and set an appointment for you (which, by the way, doesn’t have to mean an actual physical appointment at their home; it could be a showing, a listing appointment, a time to talk on the phone, anything you predetermine with Text Concierge as a good time to jump in and take over), it’s time to claim your lead.
Your Text Concierge will send you a message letting you know it’s time to get into the action, meaning it’s time to start prepping for the appointment that was set and familiarizing yourself with the lead you’re about to talk to. Remember, up until now, it’s entirely possible that this potential buyer or seller has made it all the way through the process without you even being aware of them.
Use the BoldLeads CRM to go over their information, review the conversations they’ve had with Text Concierge, check out other data pulled into their profile (like social media accounts, demographic or consumer data, and so on), and get ready to close them.
The Pros: If you only allow yourself to pursue leads that you identify, attract, nurture, and close yourself, your business’ growth will be limited by the hours of the day. If, however, you allow the first parts of the process to be automated or at least handed off to someone else (in the case of BoldLeads, both), you can grow significantly further and faster.
The Cons: Without having the experience of walking with your lead through the process up to this point, you may be unaware of specifics that don’t translate easily into a lead profile on a CRM, for instance, tone of voice or urgency.
With that in mind, this is a pretty solid system that allows agents with a good closing game to flourish, so I wouldn’t get too hung up here.
Step 7: Create a Long-term Nurturing Program for Leads Not Ready to Close
Since even BoldLeads admits that a decent percentage of their leads are going to be top-of-funnel (even prefunnel), it’s reasonable to expect that you won’t turn all your leads into active clients right away. In fact, many of them are going to belong in the “nurture” phase for quite some time.
It might seem appropriate to include this information in the “cons” area of one of these steps, but actually, that’s not true. Of course, we want real estate leads that are going to produce business for us now, but what about down the road?
If you think about your business as a pipeline, shoring up active clients for a month, six months, and a year from now is also important.
Using the BoldLeads CRM, you can use more automated communication to stay in the loop and top of mind with your leads. You can send them email, text messages, voicemails, even video messages all within the BoldLeads CRM, and can schedule it so once the initial templates are completed, you only have to hit send once.
The Pros: The BoldLeads CRM will make the automated communication you need to keep these leads active possible, but it doesn’t stop with just the contacts you acquire via BoldLeads.
You can upload contacts from any source (in fact, you can create automation to have them seamlessly transferred when you get new ones too), including other lead generation systems like Zillow, Market Leader, or Zurple. You can even use Text Concierge to nurture the leads that come from other companies.
The Cons: I’ll be honest, the BoldLeads CRM is just … OK. It isn’t the worst real estate CRM out there, not by a long shot, but it isn’t the best either. The interface is a little dated and doesn’t offer a lot of customization, there isn’t much in the way of analytics, and if you’re managing a team, the team functions—while they exist—just don’t wow me.
But, Text Concierge is a great perk to have, so if you’re considering BoldLeads as a lead gen option, I would investigate how your existing CRM can be used in conjunction with the BoldLeads CRM to deliver the whole package.
If you don’t have a CRM, this is definitely better than nothing, but if you do have something that you like, don’t ditch it without trying out the BoldLeads version first.
Other BoldLeads Features Worth Knowing About
I’ve walked through the primary functions of BoldLeads, but there are a couple of other things worth mentioning about the platform that I think you’ll want to know about.
40+ Landing Page Templates
The BoldLeads process depends on running traffic from social media ads to landing pages, but not every business is the same, and so a one-size-fits-all approach to landing pages doesn’t make sense.
This is why BoldLeads offers over 40 different templates for landing pages to allow agents to have a say in how their business is represented. Plus, you still get the benefit of working with a BoldLeads ads expert to get traffic to the landing page you choose.
Lots of Back-end Training & Resources
BoldLeads provides a robust set of resources for agents who need help getting better results on the platform. I know, just about everyone says this, but when it comes to BoldLeads, I actually was genuinely impressed at the number of written resources, video tutorials, and options to connect with a live person. They’ve got a policy that states any phone support request made by a real estate agent is resolved within half a business day.
Most of the resources focus on teaching agents how to use the BoldLeads CRM, how to effectively nurture leads, and how to get the BoldLeads platform to communicate with other tools you may be using.
Direct Integration With CloudCMA
When the BoldLeads ad program identifies a seller lead, getting a professional and accurate comparative market analysis (CMA) to them quickly and easily is key to closing that lead and turning them into a client.
Because of this, the BoldLeads in-platform integration with CloudCMA allows you to even automate the delivery of that CMA as a part of an email drip sequence, making getting the right information into the hands of your soon-to-be clients at the right time even easier.
Where BoldLeads Could Improve
This platform is great, but it’s far from perfect. Here are a few of the areas where BoldLeads has some room for improvement:
BoldLeads No Longer Offers Exclusive Territories
It used to be that BoldLeads offered territories to single agents. They have changed that policy, allowing more than one agent into ZIP codes at a time.
While I understand this from a business perspective, and was assured by a BoldLeads rep that they “would never dilute a market so that agents don’t get enough leads to make the service worthwhile.” Knowing that there are possibly multiple agents in my area, all using the exact same approach to lead gathering I am, and knowing that the same team is pulling the strings for each of us, isn’t great.
We’d love to see BoldLeads offer an exclusive territory option.
Not a Good Option for Generating Repeat or Referral Business
The BoldLeads lead generation system is set up to do one thing well: generate new buyer and seller leads. We’ll be the first to admit—it does this. However, the BoldLeads CRM doesn’t do much else.
A great CRM gives you options to nurture your relationships beyond just getting a prospect to convert to a lead, and then to a client. While the BoldLeads CRM could do that sort of work, you have to stretch it to get there, and even then, it isn’t the best option on the market.
BoldLeads Review Bottom Line: Is It Worth It?
You’ve seen me walk through the product, you know all about how the process works, you’re aware of my favorite features, and the things I wished BoldLeads did better. So, do I think BoldLeads is worth the price?
Yes, but with some conditions. First of all, you need to have a vibrant market whose demographics skew toward Facebook use. If your market is made up of people who don’t get on Facebook very often, it is going to be hard to serve the ads necessary to drive traffic to your landing pages.
Secondly, you need to have the budget to commit to at least six months of service. Like most other real estate lead gen services, this isn’t an overnight success platform. You need time for the ads BoldLeads is running to start working in your market, and you need time to nurture the leads you get, which means six months should be your starting time frame.
Finally, you need to have a plan to be able to maintain your sphere relationships after they are no longer in the “new client” phase. This could mean a second CRM or this could mean an extended plan to use the BoldLeads CRM in new ways, but you need to know how you’re going to tackle this. For established agents, upward of 30% of your business comes from your sphere of influence; it will be hard to grow your business if you only ever have new clients.
Ready to check it out for yourself? Visit the BoldLeads website to learn more about their lead generation platform and how you can use it to get more local leads in your ZIP code.