Realtors Killed Their Lead Honey Hole
While attending college, I was fortunate to intern at several advertising agencies in Kansas City – but the pay was pretty terrible. Basically I could only afford gasoline for my car, even though fuel was under a dollar at the time. (yeah, I’m that old) So I worked for the local newspaper to make some cash in the advertising department. Those were the last good days of a now (basically) defunct industry.
Today, print is a shell of its former self. Proliferation of the interwebs in the last 2 decades would dominate people’s attention, and the years that followed would see publishers cut staff, outsource news writing, printing and distribution and eventually sell to conglomerates.
Leading The Way
Perhaps you were an agent 20 years ago, but what some have forgotten is that the newspaper was really a key to lead generation and prospecting for real estate and mortgage professionals. The Newspaper was the industries lead honey hole. And while part of that history is no more – the same old school strategy lives on. Sort of.
The sunday paper was essentially the zillow and realtor.com, the facebook, Nextdoor and linkedin of its time for lead gen. Realtors could generate leads by simply reading the daily paper.
It was pretty common to flip to the new hire section, birth announcements, proposals and obituaries – because then, as it is now, we know that those life events caused people to move. The newspaper was the honey hole for knowing who in the community was likely to move.
The paper would also report on community events, news and items of interest. I have a newspaper clipping from my grandfather in 1965, sent to him by a realtor in Western Springs Illinois that illustrates this point. Did it make an impression? My grandfather kept the clipping – and the realtors marketing and note, for more than 50 years.
Newspaper lead generation simply worked wonderfully for decades.
The newspaper was one of the keys to the real estate industry’s success back in the day. New listings were featured in print, with top agents and brands heavily featuring their own photo and branding in the ads they created. Some of the first “color” ads were in the real estate section. Opening the sunday paper in any given market, consumers would at once know who dominated the market – their full color branding would canvas pages of the dozen page thick Real Estate section of my Chicago Tribune.
Meanwhile – when Zillow and realtor.com began creating online listings / ads, they held the creative controls, and knowing that consumers prefer pretty photos of homes rather than agents
Facebook and Instagram have replaced the proposals, marriage and birth announcement sections. Linkedin hosts all the new job and promotions announcements, and the classifieds were torn apart by Craigslist and more recently FB Marketplace. Local neighborhood news and gossip is now found on Nextdoor.
The newspaper needed Realtors, and realtors needed the newspaper – until all the attention moved online. Gone is the one place that held all the pertinent information. Who was getting promoted, married, died, born and engaged. It would take more hours than are in a day to comb all the websites for all the information for your own sphere of influence – let alone a farm or neighborhood.
they thus began removing agent and brokerage branding. Yet, agents loved the idea of getting leads from “online” and so they put up with this. Additionally, now they could have their photo on someone else’s listings. It was a win-win for the portals and for smaller agents and brands and a loss for the entrenched brokers and brands.
Of course Realtors are not to blame entirely for the downfall of their honey hole.
The death of the newspaper came from a million cuts – as people stopped paying for subscriptions, as all advertisers spent their budget online – it was simply where the eyeballs were.
Today, There is a zero percent chance I’d spend money to market Revaluate in the paper. And for better or worse, we’ve not had a kid throw the paper into a puddle in our yard for years – so I guess I’m part of the problem as well.
The classifieds and real estate ads were the cash kings of the printed word – and birth announcements, marriage proposals and newly hired posts dominated the bottom line making papers profitable.
Today that information exists not in print, but in pixels and bits, on server farms and in data warehouses around the world. The key for the industry is to be able to access that data that lets them know life event data that causes moves with ease and roll it into a cohesive, automated marketing plan for your sphere and farm.
Revaluate processes this massive amount of data, and scores prospects on a zero to 100 scale on propensity to move in the next six months for a wide variety of clients. Our clients range from individual real estate agents to the largest teams in the US, like #1 RE/MAX team Gary Ashton, or #1 in the US Robert Slack Team. However, we also integrate directly with software companies including Chime, FUB, HappyGrasshopper and Sierra Interactive CRM’s. As well as working with Mortgage companies like Cherry Creek Mortgage and Ad agencies who work with clients that benefit from knowing who’s likely to move.
We’d love to share with you how we can become a catalyst for your growth by leveraging this old school strategy with today’s AI technology. Please select a time for a demo that works well for you below.