John Wanamaker famously said “I know half my advertising dollars are wasted… I just don’t know which half.” Now, even though Wanamaker lived over 100 years ago, the same saying still runs true for real estate agents today.
A recent study published on Inman News showed that many real estate executives see little to no value in the marketing channels agents use. Executives were asked to rate the quality or ROI of lead sources. The executives interviewed were all leaders of real estate firms that accounted for ⅓ of home sales participating.
The results of the study were pretty blaring, showing that by far the best lead source is an agent’s Sphere of Influence. 86% of those interviewed said that referrals from agents’ Sphere of Influence had exceptional value, whereas less than 10% agreed that MLS/Associations, Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia had exceptional value. Worse yet, more than 50% said that MLS/Associations, Realtor.com, Trulia and Homes.com had little to no value.
What’s even more surprising is that these executives were only asked to rate lead sources that their agents use! So, the over 50% of executives that said MLS/Associations, Realtor.com Trulia and Homes.com had little to no value are spending time and money using these sources to generate leads.
Looking at the results, it seems obvious that real estate agents should be spending more effort growing their Sphere of Influence and engaging with these referral sources instead of spending money on third-party websites. An agent’s contacts can send qualified leads that know how great the agent is and are ready to buy or sell, whereas third-party sites may be sending you the data on people that were curious about how much their co-worker spent or already have a real estate agent.
So, if you’re ready to start spending more time on referral leads and less on third-party sites, it might be time to shift your marketing efforts. To grow and engage your network, you can:
- Participate in community associations
- Network with other business professionals – like mortgage brokers and lenders
- Send email newsletters to past clients with home advice and info on community events
- Develop an editorial schedule for your blog and social media – remember that it isn’t just about selling!
- Send personalized holiday cards or notes to past clients
If you’re sick of spending money and time on marketing efforts that don’t seem very valuable, maybe it’s time to start leverage your Sphere of Influence. How do you engage with your past clients?