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 solutionsâ€”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 plannedâ€“ and there is the â€śdown-timeâ€ť between leaving a paying job and creating an income stream. But these new agents have more available hours to invest â€“ 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 elseâ€™s opportunity time.
We have provided free solutions for these agents, including the campaign we put together around Nationwide Open House Weekend (we provided free posters, sign-in sheets and a free e-newsletter, which you can find 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 incomeâ€”say above $85,000â€”their time spent with customers is worth more than $40 per hour. This is where paid lead generation programs can be usefulâ€”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 inâ€”free solutions to capture prospects with some effort or completely paid solutions including systems for sellers and 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.