Online home search engines have revolutionized the way consumers buy and sell homes. While these sites have the potential to bring in a considerable amount of revenue for any real estate business, pricing and quality of leads from these sites vary from traditional real estate leads. Below are a few variabilities that differentiate paid online leads that agents need to know, and a few tips for converting them.
Property listings on online home search sites usually contain one or more real estate professionals as a point of contact. Listing agents may want to conduct extensive research into advertising rights before choosing a site to purchase leads from. Exclusivity to leads that request more information on a listing vary depending on the site’s policy. In some cases, leads are sent round-robin to other agents that have purchased leads in a designated zip code, even if one agent is listed as the main point of contact.

Cost per acquisition advertising (e.g. TalkLocal, Thumbtack) addresses the risk of CPM and CPC advertising by charging only by the lead. Like CPC, the price per lead can be bid up by demand. Also, like CPC, there are ways in which providers can commit fraud by manufacturing leads or blending one source of lead with another (example: search-driven leads with co-registration leads) to generate higher profits. For such marketers looking to pay only for specific actions/acquisition, there are two options: CPL advertising (or online lead generation) and CPA advertising (also referred to as affiliate marketing). In CPL campaigns, advertisers pay for an interested lead — i.e. the contact information of a person interested in the advertiser's product or service. CPL campaigns are suitable for brand marketers and direct response marketers looking to engage consumers at multiple touchpoints — by building a newsletter list, community site, reward program or member acquisition program. In CPA campaigns, the advertiser typically pays for a completed sale involving a credit card transaction.
An investor lead is a type of a sales lead. An investor lead is the identity of a person or entity potentially interested in participating in an investment, and represents the first stage of an investment sales process. Investor leads are considered to have some disposable income that they can use to participate in appropriate investment opportunities in exchange for return on investment in the form of interest, dividend, profit sharing or asset appreciation. Investor lead lists are normally generated through investment surveys, investor newsletter subscriptions or through companies raising capital and selling the database of people who expressed an interest in their opportunity. Investor Lead lists are commonly used by small businesses looking to fund their venture or simply needing expansion capital that was not readily available by banks and traditional lending sources.
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