The practice of paying for leads has always been a commonplace marketing strategy for many companies in the real estate industry. Internet Listing Services (ILSs) and lead aggregators tend to play a large role in brand awareness and many real estate marketers still devote a large portion of their budgets to showing up on these middle-man websites in order to rake in the leads. The current digital landscape lends itself to diversifying your marketing budget to take advantage of the leads that come from lead aggregators while evolving to include digital advertising. The key is to make sure you’re paying for the right leads.

How to Evaluate the Value of a Lead Aggregator

Many companies rely on the leads they pay for through ILSs. Marketers find the “set it and forget it” usability of these services to be attractive, even though the leads that come from them may not be the highest quality. Doing research up front can assist you in choosing the right ILS for your company in order to leverage the best leads from each service. Consider the following when choosing the right ILS for your company:

  • Traffic — Does the traffic add up? Smaller sites may provide you with a copy of their Google Analytics, upon request, but they likely will not provide any data on unfavorable results. Examine the web traffic statistics and conversion data from any ILS you are considering working with and benchmark against other popular services for perspective.
  • SEO — Most ILS websites can block the potential SEO benefits that come from listing with them. Be sure that in choosing the right ILS for your brand that they display a website link to your site in the listing. If they don’t link back, don’t bother.
  • Popularity — A lead aggregator may have nationwide reach, but that may not always translate into popularity and high website traffic in your city. Marketers can test the popularity of an ILS by doing a Google search and scanning for the name of the service. If the service doesn’t show up on the first page of search results, you may want to consider a different ad source.

ILSs spend money on Google Adwords in order to send traffic to their website, which unfortunately can dilute your own results. Investing in your own digital advertising strategy may be a better way to stand out and drive traffic directly your own website. Appearing at the top of search results, nestled in with your competition, can be a better strategy to find the best quality leads. If you plan to continue using aggregators to pay for leads, make sure you do your homework and determine which service will give you the greatest return on investment.

Try Digital Advertising For Greater Effect

Digital advertising can be balanced with ILSs in your current marketing strategy for the greatest result. Using digital advertising typically generates leads for less money than ILSs but do require more involvement from your team. G5 Smart Digital Advertising integrates Lead Insights and Dynamic Advertising to pre-qualify leads, which saves you time and money.

Lead Insights captures the right conversion data and then modifies your campaigns and keywords for improved performance. Digital advertising analysts receive more attribution data, which allows them to optimize your campaigns with full knowledge of what performs and what is most likely to convert — resulting in more qualified leads. Dynamic Advertising drives more qualified traffic to your website by focusing on campaigns with actual pricing and availability.

By partnering with an integrated marketing partner like G5, you have a strategist working for you doing the day-to-day maintenance while you manage the overall budget. Having your own analyst onboard helps you take the best advantage of your digital advertising spend.

Pay For the Right Leads

By balancing your ILS and digital advertising budgets you can analyze which performs best and where you should funnel your funds in the future. Lead aggregator marketing and digital advertising can be used simultaneously to drive traffic to your website. It’s essential to research different ILSs in order to find the best service for your budget. If you plan to continue paying for leads through ILSs, make sure you pay for the right leads. Consider digital advertising to place your website at the top of Google Search results where apartment, self storage, or senior living seekers will find exactly what you have to offer without going to a third party first.

Are you intrigued by digital advertising? Contact G5 to schedule your free digital advertising strategy session today.