Real estate is a cutthroat business. With over two million active real estate licenses in the U.S., agents need every advantage they can get when it comes to lead generation. Real estate lead generation companies will fill up your funnel with lots of buyer and seller leads so you can focus more on finding them the perfect property and less on finding yourself new clients.
We’ve done a deep dive into the top five real estate lead generation companies; take a look below and let us help you decide the best option for you.
Our Top Real Estate Lead Generation Companies For 2020
|Zillow Premier Agent|
Best Lead Generation Company for Exclusive Leads: BoldLeads
Hiring BoldLeads is like hiring a specialized, exclusive marketing agency to create ads that are going to help you entice leads. BoldLeads rightfully boasts the exclusivity in their services: when you become a BoldLeads agent in a particular ZIP code, you’re the ONLY agent that is marketing there. Unlike Zillow Premier Agent, where prospects can choose among all the agents marketing in a particular area, the BoldLeads media and lead magnets are created only for you.
How Does BoldLeads Work?
BoldLeads flips the Zillow Premier Agent script. Rather than waiting for potential leads to come to your site and then entice them to reach out there, BoldLeads goes out onto the internet where your soon-to-be clients are already spending their time and draws them to you with well-placed ads. These ads lead to customized landing pages where they give their information and BAM—you have another lead in the hopper.
BoldLeads creates and places the ads on platforms like Facebook and Google, manages the lead forms, then passes along the leads as they come in. They have a built-in CRM that connects seamlessly with their platform too, providing a great end-to-end prospect solution.
How Much Does BoldLeads Cost?
The cost of BoldLeads is broken into two categories: the account fee, which is $299 per month, and the budget for your ads. BoldLeads suggests a minimum of $250 per month for this, making the starting cost for BoldLeads $549.
For that first $299 per month, BoldLeads will create, implement, and manage all your ads and lead forms, as well as help you manage your ad budget across the different platforms where your BoldLeads ads appear.
Our Favorite Feature of BoldLeads: Lead Exclusivity
Since BoldLeads only allows a single real estate agent per ZIP code, your audience won’t be bombarded with and grow tired of similar ads from multiple agents, thereby reducing their effectiveness. As the exclusive recipient of these leads, you’ve got every opportunity to convert them into clients. Of all the real estate lead generation companies on our list, this is the only one that offers a truly exclusive approach.
How to Get the Most out of BoldLeads: Utilize the Built-in CRM
BoldLeads offers a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that allows you to create a seamless connection between the leads that you gather via the BoldLeads ads, the lead magnets, and the all-important follow-up you have to do to turn those real estate leads into clients.
Yes, you could export those leads into another CRM, but why? It’s built natively into the BoldLeads platform, and it has all the bells and whistles you need to start and then maintain that client relationship, like built-in SMS texting, email, and even voice messaging.
Where BoldLeads Could Improve
There’s not a lot to complain about when it comes to the BoldLeads process or features when compared to other real estate lead generation companies. They offer a very competitive platform. However, that solid platform comes at a price, literally. At $269 just to access the platform, you’re already paying more than most of our other lead generation options, and that doesn’t include the money you need to budget to actually run your ads on places like Google or Facebook.
We’d love to see a budget-friendly choice emerge for BoldLeads that trims down some of their options to a more basic package.
The Bottom Line on BoldLeads
While BoldLeads offers their services for a premium price, they deliver exclusive real estate leads and have the best platform to nurture them after you get them in the funnel. If you have the critical mass budget to make the investment, BoldLeads is the best real estate lead generation system available. Visit BoldLeads today to see if your ZIP code is available.
Best Real Estate Lead Generation Company for Team Distributed Leads: Real Geeks
You’d think that having a real estate team would make lead generation and nurturing easier, but sometimes the extra layer of organization necessary to make sure the right leads are getting to the right team members at the right time puts a kink in the hose. Real Geeks puts together team features with their powerful lead generation techniques to give real estate teams a lead generation company tailored to their needs.
Make no mistake, you don’t have to be a real estate team to use Real Geeks, but teams are going to get a lot out of this platform.
How Does Real Geeks Work?
Similar to BoldLeads, Real Geeks generates leads by creating lead magnets like IDX websites where prospects can search for homes for sale in their area or home valuation tools. In order to use these tools, contact information is required.
To drive traffic to these lead magnets, Real Geeks offers services like pay-per-click advertising on platforms like Google Ads and social media advertising. You can choose how much help you want from Real Geeks as far as the promotion of these lead magnets, making this a solution that works on just about any budget. Real Geeks stands out in this space because unlike their competitors, they are driving this traffic to websites that you own and are in control of, not to a Real Geeks-owned site.
How Much Does Real Geeks Cost?
Real Geeks starts at $199 per month for up to two users, then $25 per month for each additional user. Whether you’re a solo agent or a team of two, you pay the same $199 minimum.
This gets you a sleek and customizable IDX website with lead forms, a property valuation landing page for seller leads, and a CRM that offers features like automated texting and advanced drip campaigns to nurture the leads you capture.
Real Geeks also offers ad management services as an add-on to this base package. For $550 per month, Real Geeks will work with you to create a top-to-bottom ad strategy for Google and Facebook marketing to generate both buyer and seller leads. This includes things like website setup, lead capture optimization, strategies for follow-up, and everything in between. You do have to supply the ad budget, so this option does require investment, but considering the sort of personalized expert help you’re getting, it’s well worth it.
Our Favorite Feature of Real Geeks: Home Valuation Lead Magnet
Real Geeks has a lot of really great features, but our favorite is the home valuation seller lead magnet. This might sound like a pretty standard offering, but Real Geeks tweaks this tool just a little bit to make it really stand out.
Most people offer a lead magnet that markets to property owners who are curious about the value of their home. When somebody completes this form, these interested sellers have to wait for an email with their valuation, or even more frustratingly, they have to wait for a call from an actual agent.
While this idea of personal contact seems like a good one on its face, this practice misses the fact that most people who are completing this form just want their valuation and they want it now.
Real Geeks solves this problem by making their home valuation available instantly on page as soon as a user fills out their home information and provides their contact information. This sort of immediate feedback is powerful, and leads to a much higher completion rate and fewer abandoned forms. Real Geeks also has a version of this tool as a widget that you can have on your IDX website as well, allowing for a secondary source of lead capture.
Consider how powerful your first conversation will be with these leads when you can see the results of their home valuation just like they can, and can use that to kick off a great start to your relationship.
How to Get the Most out of Real Geeks: Utilize Their Lead Distribution Systems
We love the team-oriented features of this platform, specifically the options you have to distribute, track, and re-assign (if necessary) leads to and from your team members. Real Geeks gives you virtually limitless options for how you want to pass out your leads to the members of your team, including a standard round-robin approach or custom formulas including seniority, sales volume, and even lead activity.
Through the Real Geeks CRM, you can see the progress of these leads and how your team has followed up and nurtured each of them. If you’ve got a team member who’s dropped the ball or just on vacation for the week, Real Geeks even offers tools to trigger a re-assignment of leads if they’ve been sitting idle for too long.
The Real Geeks CRM squeaks by the BoldLeads CRM as far as our experience and usability, thanks to the advanced team features and the inclusion of some of the advanced texting functions like automatic replies at no extra cost (something you have to pay for on BoldLeads).
The management of your leads shouldn’t add work—it should add efficiency—and that’s exactly what the Real Geeks system brings to the table.
Where Real Geeks Could Improve
As powerful as the lead magnet system is, Real Geeks falls short of the aesthetic design of BoldLeads or Ylopo. Many users have complained (and we’d have to agree) that the IDX websites and lead magnet landing pages are due for a facelift.
We can work with a dated design if it’s bringing in the leads we want, but there is something to be said for consumers who might react negatively to a landing page that looks out of date. Out of all the real estate lead generation companies on our list, Real Geeks struggles the most with this.
The Bottom Line on Real Geeks
Real Geeks provides endless customization options to tailor to your brand, custom lead capture IDX websites, and dedicated landing pages. They provide excellent strategies to promote these lead generation engines and can step in and take the wheel on promotion if you’d rather focus on the leads and not on the marketing. Finally, they have a great CRM and lead management system that enables not only easy follow-up for each lead, but also tools for team leaders to use to manage their team’s performance as well.
We really like the Real Geeks approach, and for a group that needs infrastructure to make sure the team is firing on all cylinders, they can’t be beat.
Best Real Estate Lead Generation Company for Prospecting Leads: REDX
There are some people who can look at their phone sitting idle on a desk, take a deep breath, and quietly remind themselves that when it’s ready to ring, it will ring. Most real estate agents I know find this idea laughable. They’re going to pick that phone up and MAKE something happen.
REDX is top of our list of real estate lead generation companies for agents who want to take control of their lead generation and initiate conversations with prospects rather than wait for them to initiate with you.
How Does REDX Work?
REDX uses advanced data aggregation techniques to comb through the internet and other public records to deliver leads to its users in a single, easy-to-use dashboard. Searching databases like Zillow, Craigslist, and even your local MLS, REDX users can get Expired Listing leads, FSBO leads, FRBO leads, and even Pre-foreclosure leads.
Each of these leads comes with a profile complete with all the publicly available information the internet can provide, including phone numbers, mailing addresses, property history, and more.
REDX also has a powerful geographic prospecting tool called GeoLeads that allows users to gather the same helpful information that they get from the Expired Listing or FSBO leads, but from particular neighborhoods. Use the manual mapping tool to create your own boundaries and take your neighborhood farming to a whole new level.
Now that you’ve got all these potential clients and their phone numbers, it’s time to start calling them. REDX offers a fantastic auto-dialer, called Storm Dialer, that turbocharges your calling sessions, increasing your call efficiency by more than 400%. Make more calls, get more leads, and close more sales.
For a more comprehensive review of how REDX works, check out our full-length REDX review and analysis.
How Much Does REDX Cost?
REDX offers different prices for the different lead sources on their platform. These prices range from $39.99 per month for FSBO leads up to $79.99 per month for FRBO leads. The REDX Lead Management System, called Vortex, is free with subscription to any of the REDX services.
Our Favorite Feature of REDX: Storm Dialer
All of the different lead sources on REDX are great, but the auto-dialer is our favorite feature because it’s easy to use, integrated seamlessly into the Vortex dashboard, and makes everything you do on REDX more efficient. Here’s how it works:
Select the prospects you want to call in a session, and Storm Dialer goes to work with three phone lines. Once someone picks up one of the lines, the other two immediately drop off. This does two things for you: it reduces the time it takes for you to get through your list, and it keeps you actually talking on the phone for more of that time instead of having to manually dial every number.
Storm Dialer even has a voicemail option that allows you to prerecord a generic message so that when the machine picks up, the voicemail system kicks in and you can move on to your next call.
Most real estate lead generation companies don’t offer any sort of CRM, much less a dialer as powerful as Storm Dialer. REDX estimates that the efficiency of a calling session with Storm Dialer versus one without is upped by a factor of four. This makes this tool a must-have for anyone who is working the phones every day.
How to Get the Most out of REDX: Be Religious About Your Calling Times
In a recent article we wrote about getting over your cold-calling fears, we talk about a study done by the Keller Institute, specifically about the most successful times of the day to make real estate sales calls. The study found that the most effective time for setting appointments and getting referrals was between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
If you’re going to get the most out of REDX, you need to pick your calling time and stick with it. Real estate prospecting on the phone is a marathon, not a sprint. This is an activity that you have to do consistently to start getting results. In fact, that same study found that, on average, a prospecting real estate agent needs to make 209 calls in order to get an appointment or a referral.
If you make 50 calls a day, that can get you one or two appointments a week, so you can see how giving up after a couple of days or being flakey about when or how often you call is not going to yield you the results you want.
Make it a part of your routine every day in the office: Check REDX for the day’s leads, start Storm Dialer, and don’t stop until the hour is up.
Where REDX Could Improve
While we really like Vortex as a lead management system, it doesn’t quite do what we want a CRM to do. As such, you’ll find yourself wanting to export your successful leads off the REDX platform and into your CRM.
REDX has very limited integration options, so most of this work is going to involve you manually inputting the data from your leads. We’d love to see better integration with places like WiseAgent or Realvolve, or at the very least a little beefier Vortex interface to allow for things like email and texting from the dashboard.
The Bottom Line on REDX
REDX clearly leads the phone prospecting pack. While places like BoldLeads and Real Geeks offer you set-it-and-forget-it lead generation options, you pay accordingly for those sorts of services. REDX requires more work, lots more actually, but the cost really can’t be beat, and you’re in control of how much you get out of this platform.
Best Lead Generation Company for Buyer Leads: Zillow Premier Agent
With more than 36 million unique monthly visitors, Zillow Premier Agent totally dominates the online real estate world. In fact, there’s a 99% chance your potential client will be on Zillow at some point during their search. Zillow has created a searchable, saveable, and easily navigable database of just about every home for sale in North America. Because of this, home buyers of all varieties flock to this website, making it the perfect place to pick up buyer leads.
How Does Zillow Premier Agent Work?
Zillow Premier Agent offers real estate agents the opportunity to market to potential buyers as they’re viewing property listings in a particular geographic area. Zillow Premier Agents who are marketing in a particular ZIP code are displayed right along with the property information, making it easy for a buyer to select an agent and request more information about a property or schedule a showing.
If you’d like a much deeper dive into the inner workings of Zillow Premier Agent, check out our comprehensive review, “Is Zillow Premier Agent Worth the Cost?”
How Much Does Zillow Premier Agent Cost?
Pricing for Zillow Premier Agent depends on two factors: median sale price of homes in the ZIP code you want to market in, and the number of other agents competing for space in that ZIP code. On average, a minimum budget of $250 per month is required to start seeing any sort of positive results.
Our Favorite Feature of Zillow Premier Agent: The New Live Connections Program
Starting at the end of 2018, Zillow Premier Agent began rolling out a new program called Live Connections that’s really improving the quality of leads. Historically, one of the major complaints that agents have about the leads they get from Zillow is that some of them are so top of the funnel, they are very challenging to convert.
Zillow is addressing this problem by essentially offering lead screening and then connecting Premier Agents with qualified leads who are ready to buy or sell directly over the phone. Here’s how it works:
When someone makes an inquiry on Zillow, they’re then contacted by a Zillow Premier Agent representative who verifies that this person is indeed looking for information about buying or selling a home, and is not currently working with another agent. After doing so, the Zillow Premier rep contacts you directly and asks if you can speak to the lead, and this starts the connection.
Yes, this is going to lower the number of total leads you receive, but it’s going to greatly increase the quality of those leads.
This program isn’t available nationwide just yet, but it’s being rolled out to more cities every month.
How to Get the Most out of Zillow Premier Agent: Your Profile Matters
Since leads have a choice in who they reach out to (the Zillow Premier Agent area on a listing holds up to three agents), these lead opportunities aren’t exclusive, which means you need to stand out among your competitors.
Make sure you have a totally decked-out profile, complete with great bio, as many reviews as you can muster, all your previous sales, and, of course, a fantastic headshot. Potential buyers and sellers are looking at these profiles to decide who they’re going to reach out to, so don’t lose out on leads just because you didn’t take the time to create a compelling profile.
Where Zillow Premier Agent Could Improve
The customer service for Zillow Premier Agent has a distinct “sales pitch” flavor to it. When you call with questions about your budget, ZIP codes, or anything having to do with the Zillow Premier Agent program, there is an inevitable point when the conversation is steered gently towards the idea of upping your spend.
While we recognize that it’s part of these reps’ job to sell these services, the fact that it happens on every call we’ve ever been on with them seems to demonstrate that this is part of the culture and expectation there, which is something we could do without, especially when we just have questions that need answers.
If the customer service experience is really important to you, we suggest checking out REDX. We’ve got users of REDX on The Close Team, and have had consistently fantastic experiences with both their sales and customer service teams.
The Bottom Line on Zillow Premier Agent
Zillow is a great lead generation platform if you can take the time to build a great profile and are ready to get competitive in the space. With such high traffic each day, you’re putting ads in front of people who are likely to make a transaction in the near future, which is exactly what you want. If you have the time and money to invest, you can get a great return on your investment.
Best Lead Generation Company for Early Funnel Leads: Ylopo
The National Association of Realtors’ studies reveal that 72% of sellers interview only a single Realtor before listing a home. This staggering fact brings into focus how important it is to capture the attention of potential clients as early as possible, BEFORE they get a chance to talk to other agents.
Ylopo was built for this reason, and their angle on lead generation helps real estate agents create relationships with people prior to their home search or selling process really kicking off. Before these prospects have a chance to get referred to their friend’s real estate agent, before they have a chance to interview anyone else, Ylopo finds them and sends them to you.
How Does Ylopo Work?
Ylopo takes a similar approach to lead generation as BoldLeads and Real Geeks, placing great ads in places like Facebook and Google where consumers are already spending their time, and driving them to lead magnets like beautifully branded websites complete with IDX search functionality. Here your leads fill out a form to get full access to the functionality of the site.
What sets Ylopo apart from their competitors is their ads are not normal ads. These ads are battle-tested, powered by advanced demographic data that the average Facebook or Google advertiser can’t get their hands on. To be frank, Ylopo talks a big game about the effectiveness of their Facebook advertising, and they have the walk to back it up. They even have dynamic Facebook ad sets that they can connect to your MLS so that the right properties are being shown to the right people at the right time, further enticing them to click through to your site, fill out the form, and get started looking.
Ylopo’s goal is to grab people in that zero hour of their real estate journey, before they have performed any of the tell-tale behaviors that other real estate lead generation companies are watching for. We’ve done a deep dive into how Ylopo works in our comprehensive review of the platform; check it out to learn more.
How Much Does Ylopo Cost?
For $495 per month, Ylopo users get an IDX website, a personally branded site, and all the ad tech and know-how of the Ylopo machine. You’ll still need to supply the ad budget, but Ylopo’s placements are laser-focused on exactly the right demographics, so leads who come in are exactly what you’re looking for.
All in all, a real estate agent spending $1,000 a month should be able to generate close to 100 leads, a $10 per lead cost that we could definitely get excited about.
It’s worth mentioning that Ylopo does have an option for $295 per month that doesn’t include any of the ads and lead generation, just the websites. Since one of Ylopo’s strongest selling points is their ad expertise, the bigger package seems like the obvious choice, but if you are an ad wiz, you can market these lead magnets yourself.
Our Favorite Feature of Ylopo: The Mission Control Center
Ylopo’s platform is built on the idea that they’re experts in the ad space, and what better way to display this expertise than with a super-detailed dashboard displaying all the metrics of how each of your ads is doing.
Most marketers would roll their eyes behind the backs of clients who want to actually peak under the hood of the marketing machine, but Ylopo is so confident in their process that they actually encourage it.
Here you can see in gritty detail exactly how each of your ads is performing, and even make tweaks to the strategy if there’s something that seems amiss. Doing so feels a little bit like telling your doctor what medicine is best for you when you’re sick, but you do know your body (market) best, so the option is there to contribute.
Effective digital marketing and lead generation is all about results, but you can track your results back into processes. The Ylopo approach to transparency in the process is going to satisfy data hounds and type-As alike, or just be excellent material for your quarterly marketing presentation to the team.
How to Get the Most out of Ylopo: Pay for Retargeting & Remarketing
Ylopo does an amazing job designing standalone ads that will drive new prospects to attractive websites and convert that traffic into leads. But, what about the people who’ve visited your website in the past but never ended up converting into a lead? What about people who you already have contact information from but they just haven’t materialized into a lead? We all have these people, more of them than we want.
That’s where retargeting and remarketing come into play. Here’s how it works.
When someone follows an ad to your beautifully designed lead capture form, the website installs a cookie on their browser. This cookie—or tiny piece of code—allows the Ylopo machine to then place new ads in places like Google and Facebook that are much more personalized to that individual who didn’t convert the first time around. This sort of marketing is subtle and unobtrusive, but very effective, and a great way to keep those prospects in the funnel.
This sort of approach also works for leads who have stalled or fallen out of your lead funnel from your sphere. If these people have a Facebook account, special ads can be crafted just for these particular slow movers, helping to re-energize them and create new opportunities to move them toward a transaction.
Where Ylopo Could Improve
There aren’t a lot of things we don’t like about Ylopo, so this may seem a bit like splitting hairs, but hear us out.
First of all, Ylopo has no built-in CRM. Not a big deal, Ylopo has integrations with major CRMs, but it would be nice to have at least some limited CRM functionality.
Secondly, this platform is expensive. Again, not a big deal if you are grabbing a ton of leads and they are turning into commissions, but an expensive platform on the front-end requires users to convert leads faster and more efficiently, making your follow-up and nurturing even more critical than they already were.
All in all, this is a premium service, so a premium price makes sense, but some sort of limited budget option with some ad expertise included would be nice.
The Bottom Line on Ylopo
Ylopo is a platform that looks to gather early leads and put you in a position to create relationships with prospects before they really start digging into the real estate process, and they do that by having some of the best ad minds in the real estate game working hard to make your Facebook and Google marketing better than anyone else’s.
It’s an expensive play, and you need to have a good CRM in place so that your follow-up is seamless, but if you can put those puzzle pieces together, this is a real estate lead generation company you should check out.
Bringing It All Together
Whether you’re looking for a real estate lead generation company that allows you to take direct control of your lead activity like REDX, or an exclusively tailored hands-off approach like BoldLeads (or anything in between), having a resource to fill up your lead funnel is vital. Many agents will look at the price of these services and think twice about the investment necessary to get these platforms off the ground, but remember, you are making an investment in you and your business.
Yes, $450 a month is a substantial investment. But, if you’re closing just three more $200,000 deals a year at a 3% commission rate, you’re looking at an additional $18,000 in gross commission income (GCI). Compare that to the mere $5,400 annual investment, the choice is clear: a real estate lead generation company is a smart move.
Are there other top real estate lead generation companies that we missed? Have a success story or a frustrating defeat with a provider on our list? Let us know in the comments, and let’s keep the conversation going.