Real estate lead generation companies give agents, teams, and brokers a shortcut to the closing table by doing all the lead capture and organization work for you—so you can focus your efforts on working with real estate leads who are bona fide, motivated buyers and sellers.
Since choosing a real estate lead generation company can be tough, we’ve done a deep dive into the top six real estate lead generation companies and reviewed them side-by-side so you can make the best choice for your business. Take a look below to see where you should be spending your paid lead generation dollars.
Best Real Estate Lead Generation Companies for 2021
|Company||Prices Starting At||Best For|
|Market Leader||$119 / month + $20 - $30 per lead (depending on ZIP code)||A guaranteed number of leads each month|
|BoldLeads||$399 per month, plus $250 minimum ad spend||Exclusive, unique leads you won’t have to share with other real estate agents|
|REDX||$40 per month||Real estate agents who are great at phone or direct mail prospecting|
|Real Geeks||$249 per month||Leads you can easily share with your team or brokerage and track the progress of|
|Zillow||$250 per month||A high volume of mostly buyer leads|
|SmartZip||$400 - $500 per month, depending on market||Predictive analytics-generated leads focusing on sellers likely to list within a year|
The Close Recommendation: Market Leader
Choosing a “best overall” provider for real estate lead generation companies is tough because each of the options on our list is so different.
But, that doesn’t mean we don’t have opinions. Based on all the systems we’ve reviewed in this guide, if we had $1,000 a month to spend on paid lead generation, the system we’d choose to use is Market Leader. A guaranteed number of leads every month paired with a surprisingly robust customer relationship management system (CRM) makes them a great choice.
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Best Lead Generation Company for Guaranteed Leads: Market Leader
Market Leader Pros
Market Leader Cons
Market Leader Pricing at a Glance: Starting at $119 / month + $20 – $30 per lead (depending on ZIP code)
Related Resource: Lead Nurturing: Tips & Scripts to Avoid Overtasking
How Market Leader Generates Real Estate Leads
To generate real estate leads, Market Leader takes the ad agency approach (similar to BoldLeads), working on your behalf to place targeted ads in places your prospects are already spending their time (Facebook, Google, and so on). These ads lead to Market Leader’s landing page HouseValues.com (for seller leads) or a personally branded IDX search-enabled site (for buyer leads).
Once a lead gives their information, it’s automatically populated in the Market Leader customer relationship management (CRM) system (or wherever you’d like it to go), and you take over with nurturing and conversion.
Market Leader Bottom Line: Unlike any other provider on our list, Market Leader guarantees a certain number of leads every month. Once you’ve got enough data to be able to accurately predict your conversion rates, Market Leader uniquely allows realtors to forecast their return on paid lead generation investment, making them a compelling option.
Best Lead Generation Company for Exclusive Leads: BoldLeads
BoldLeads Pricing at a Glance: Starting at $399 per month, plus $250 minimum ad spend
Related Resource: The Close Deep Dive BoldLeads Review
How BoldLeads Generates Real Estate Leads
Like Market Leader, BoldLeads generates real estate ads by creating and placing ads on platforms like Facebook and Google in order to draw prospects to customized landing pages where they’re enticed to give their information and BAM—you have another lead in the hopper.
However, they differ from Market Leader by providing more landing page and lead magnet customization, as well as providing specialized follow-up tools like their automated text concierge to help you better convert your leads to clients.
Since BoldLeads ads are created specifically for you and your business, the leads you get are yours and yours alone, unlike other lead gen companies that will create generic ads and then divvy up the leads among subscribed agents.
BoldLeads Bottom Line: Unlike Zillow Premier Agent where prospects can choose between all the agents marketing in a particular area, the BoldLeads media and lead magnets are created only for you. If you want a personalized, exclusive lead set, BoldLeads is a great choice.
Best Real Estate Lead Generation Company for Prospecting Leads: REDX
REDX Pricing at a Glance: Starting at $40 per month
Related Resource: The Close Deep Dive REDX Review
How REDX Generates Real Estate Leads
Rather than creating a system where you wait for leads to come to you (like all the other providers on our list), REDX flips the script with an outbound real estate lead generation system. REDX users choose from lead types like Expired Listings, FSBOs, and Pre-foreclosures (just to name a few) and REDX provides contact information for you to reach out and start real estate conversations.
With a constantly updated system, you’ve always got an up-to-date list of the leads in your area, and you decide how much time you want to spend reaching out, following up, and converting them to clients.
REDX Bottom Line: Unlike inbound real estate lead generation companies, you can’t just wait for the REDX system to deliver phone calls to you from interested buyers and sellers; you have to pick up the phone and make it ring for them. Though you’ve got more work to do with REDX, you’re also completely in control of your own success. Motivated go-getters will do great with this tool.
Best Lead Generation Company for Team-distributed Leads: Real Geeks
Real Geeks Pros
Real Geeks Cons
Real Geeks Pricing at a Glance: Starting at $249 per month + ad spend
Related Resource: The Close Deep Dive Real Geeks Review
How Real Geeks Generates Real Estate Leads
Real Geeks follows the well-trodden path of BoldLeads and Market Leader on their initial lead generation approach: they strategically place ads on your behalf on sites like Google, Facebook, and Instagram that drive traffic to landing pages that convert your prospects into leads.
However, Real Geeks is different in that the landing pages that your prospects arrive at are ultra-personalized for you and your business (and you can customize them however you want). And once you actually capture a lead, Real Geeks gives you some pretty sophisticated options for dispersing it across your organization, making this a great option for teams and brokerages.
Real Geeks Bottom Line: Solo agents will get a lot out of this platform, but they don’t have any standout features that teams of one will cheer for (other than the fact that they consistently produce high-quality leads). However, teams and brokers will love the endless lead assignment and progress monitoring options that make this a fantastic option for anyone passing leads across an organization.
Best Lead Generation Company for Buyer Leads: Zillow Premier Agent
Zillow Premier Agent Pros
Zillow Premier Agent Cons
Zillow Premier Agent Pricing at a Glance: Starting at $250 per month (for most markets)
Related Resource: The Close Deep Dive Zillow Premier Agent Review
How Zillow Premier Agent Generates Real Estate Leads
Zillow harnesses its group’s 229 million unique monthly visitors to give real estate agents a chance to get in front of the people who are shopping for homes in their market. Zillow sells display advertising for Premier Agents next to listings in specific ZIP codes, the price of which varies depending on the number of agents competing for space and the median sold price of a home in that market.
Zillow leads are either transferred to the Zillow CRM or into whatever CRM you’re using (they are famously collaborative and can connect to just about any platform) where you take over with the outreach, nurturing, and eventual conversion.
Zillow’s lead generation approach is unique in that they rely only on ads on their platform, which is great because you know that buyer intent on Zillow is high compared to places like Facebook and Google. On the other hand, Zillow’s system doesn’t prevent leads from clicking on multiple agents, so your leads aren’t necessarily exclusive to you.
Zillow Bottom Line: There is literally nobody in the consumer real estate market as big as Zillow—not by a long shot. If you’re looking for buyer leads at volume, it’s hard to argue with Zillow.
Best Lead Generation Company for Seller Leads: SmartZip
SmartZip Pricing at a Glance: $400 – $500 per month, depending on your market
Related Resource: The Close Deep Dive SmartZip Review
How SmartZip Generates Real Estate Leads
SmartZip uses sophisticated algorithms that take into account hundreds of demographic, geographic, and consumer-behavior data points to predict which homeowners in a particular market are the most likely to consider selling their home in the next 12 to 18 months, then gathers contact information on these potential sellers and packages it for real estate professionals.
This predictive analytics approach is an outbound marketing strategy (similar to REDX’s), since it’s up to you as the realtor to make the calls, send the direct mail, and connect with the people on your SmartZip list, making it more labor-intensive than the inbound strategies of Market Leader, BoldLeads, Real Geeks, and Zillow.
But, unlike REDX, SmartZip allows you to focus your marketing efforts (and budget) on only the most likely sellers in your market, making the bang for your buck much bigger.
SmartZip Bottom Line: Predictive analytic technology is still relatively new in the real estate space, but the early results of SmartZip are very compelling. To succeed with this tool, you’ll need a prospecting mentality; remember, your leads from SmartZip haven’t yet raised their hand to say they’re interested in buying or selling, so you need to be prepared for longer nurture times and more touches before converting them to leads.
Real Estate Lead Generation Companies FAQs
Before diving into paid real estate lead generation, take a look at some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions.
Do any real estate companies provide leads?
Yes, there are some brokerages that will provide you with leads, but that is a decision made on an office-by-office basis. Remember though, those leads aren’t free (even if you don’t pay anything upfront for them). Offices that provide real estate leads for agents often require higher splits and caps, as well as monthly desk fees. Check out our article about the Best Real Estate Companies to Work For to learn more.
Are lead generation companies worth it?
If you can get a high enough return on your investment, real estate lead generation companies are absolutely worth it. Think about it: if someone told you that you could earn $15,000 in commission by writing a $5,000 check, you’d do it, right? Assuming the number of hours you’d need to work wouldn’t be worth more than $10,000, that would be a great exchange.
What’s a good price per real estate lead?
In most markets, the max price a real estate agent should be comfortable spending per lead is $200. I know, that seems high, but do a little mental math with me, and I’ll show you it’s not. Let’s say you get 10 leads a week from Market Leader, and one of them turns into a client. Now, let’s assume you’re converting 75% of those clients into sales. This means that you’re closing three transactions every month as a result of 40 total leads.
For 40 leads a month, you’re paying $8,000 (40 x $200), which seems like too much, until you remember that the typical home is selling for over $300,000. At a 3% commission, those three sales are grossing you $27,000 in commission income, netting you $19,000 before splits and taxes.
Of course, this price changes based on your conversion rates, based on the typical sale price of a home in your market, and based on your typical commission, but for most realtors, $200 per lead is a great place to start.
Did we miss a real estate lead generation company you want more information on? Comment below who you’d like us to add to this list.