Why I Do.
I generate hundreds of leads each month for my seven sales
associates from my company’s 12 Web sites. My primary
focus is my main site, www.regentpg.com. I require con-
sumers to register after they’ve viewed a certain number
of pages of listing informa-
tion or if they’d like to inquire
about a property. I get at least
several hundred registrations
per month, which my sales
associates and I follow up on.
That’s where I get the major-
ity of my Internet leads.
I also do pay-per-click
campaigns on Yahoo and
Google to get exposure
with certain search terms,
and I funnel all those PPC
campaign leads through
my main Web site. PPC
campaigns aren’t a main
part of my marketing, but people who are serious
about the organic search engine ranking of their Web
sites usually also advertise through PPC campaigns
because that increases both your Web exposure and
the chance people will visit your site.
It’s very expensive to purchase online leads. I’ve
paid as much as $4,000 per month, but today I spend
about $500 monthly. I was part of the
problem because I used to tell
Google or Yahoo to just make
me the highest bidder for a
particular search term,
like “Austin home
search.” That just
made the price
go up and up,
and then you
start spending a ridiculous amount of
money. I don’t
do that anymore. Instead
I focus more on
my e;orts to increase the rankings
of my main Web >>> 21
Why I Stopped.
My business partner and I used to spend about $2,500
a month buying online leads for our 10 sales associates.
Today, however, we don’t spend a cent. We generate them
ourselves, spending less money and getting more leads.
We started buying leads
about 10 years ago through our
local newspaper, The Seattle
Times. When the paper went
online, we became the headline sponsor for its real estate
section. There was a button
that said, “Interested in buying a home?” When consumers
clicked it, we’d get that lead.
That always generated a lot
of tra;c. At the time, good
tracking packages didn’t exist,
and we hadn’t perfected an
internal tracking system, so
we didn’t have great analytics.
But we knew we generally got a
couple of transactions a month
from that source. We started out spending about $1,000
a month and eventually got up to $2,500 purchasing those
leads and others. If we did one or two transactions per
month as a result, it paid for itself.
However, we began to question this expense and
whether we had other options. We came to believe purchasing online leads was like running on a hamster
wheel. Leads varied from somewhat reliable to absolutely useless depending on
the company from which we bought
them, and we knew they’d drop to
zero the minute we stopped paying for them.
We realized we could invest half as much money
every month and generate
twice as many leads long-term by building the same
platforms ourselves. Even
better, our Web sites would
have a long-term business
impact that wouldn’t disappear without substantial new
funding every month.
Today, we have about
Brian Talley is
in Austin, Texas.