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Paid Leads vs. Prospecting – It’s Not ‘One Size Fits All’

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There has been lively debate on the merits of prospecting for leads versus using a paid lead program. At realtor.com® and Top Producer® we provide both solutions – and what we offer is segmented by where your agents are in their careers.

A newly licensed agent would have likely invested more capital than they planned– and there is the “down-time” between leaving a paying job and creating an income stream. But these new agents have more available hours to invest – and this is where you hear stories about sitting at an open house three out of four weekends a month or volunteering to cover everyone else’s opportunity time.

We have provided free solutions for these agents, including the campaign we put together around Nationwide Open House Weekend, (were we provided free posters, sign-in sheets and a free e-newsletter, which you can access them here).  By making these time-and-effort prospecting investments more efficient, we endeavor to create good will and our hope is that these agents ultimately progress to the next level.

Once an agent really starts making a good income – say above $85,000 – their time spent with customers is worth more than $40 per hour. This is where paid lead generation programs can be useful – as prospecting for half a day to get a handful of leads actually costs these agents more in terms of their hourly rate than a paid lead program. We surveyed agents to see what they were most interested in – free solutions to capture prospects with some effort or completely paid solutions including systems for sellers, systems for buyers who have a house in mind. The reactions were mixed, 47% were interested in only free programs, 44% wanted paid lead programs and 16% were interested in both.

Here at realtor.com® and Top Producer®, we are interested in working with all these groups, and to help your agents decide what fits best based on where they are in their careers. We offer tools to help navigate this at realtor.com/engage.

No one way of doing business works for all – but for those willing to reinvest in their career – even if it is only just their time and effort, there is plenty of opportunity.

To learn more about what programs work best for you, click here.

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