“How do your members generate all of those leads?” – the question we are asked all the time over at our sister company Carrot.
It’s not an easy answer in one sentence, so we’re going to dive in on this blog post to walk through where the leads our members are pulling in are coming from to give you a better idea of how you can generate more leads yourself online as well.
Plus we’ll walk you through how you can tap into this source of leads as well… and grow your real estate investing business leveraging Inbound Online Marketing with InvestorCarrot as well.
But even better, we’re thinking about starting a monthly “lead generation stats” update here on this blog to show you where the leads are coming from, what marketing methods are bringing them in, what parts of the country they’re coming from, and more.
Let me know in the comments area at the bottom of this post if that’s something you think would be valuable. If we get enough comments about it we’ll start doing it every month!
Now A Few Quick Notes Before We Dive Into The Good Stuff
- What types of leads are they? The leads we are showing are motivated seller leads, cash buyers, rent to own tenants, note sellers, and some private lenders mixed in there. The cash buyer, rent to own tenants, and motivated sellers make up the bulk of the leads you’ll see.
- Do these leads include people who called on the phone? Nope, the numbers you’ll see on this page are ONLY leads where the seller, buyer, tenant, etc. put in their information into one of our InvestorCarrot members websites. Right now we can’t track phone call leads on members websites, but from our surveys and talking with customers, that is likely another 2,000-5,000+ leads per month coming in from phone calls. But for the sake of this post, we’re only going to show what we can back up by data… and since we can’t currently track phone calls our customers receive… we’ll leave those leads out for now.
- What are leads that show up as “Direct” in the stats? Great question! Google started showing a huge hunk of traffic in Google Analytics as “Direct (none)” a while back. In the past, “direct” meant that the person actually put your URL into the browser and went to your website. But now Google is mixing in a huge number of visitors that actually came from Google searches. Some studies show that 60%+ of the traffic that shows as “direct” is actually from Organic Google search. Google just does a good job of hiding that from us for some reason. So for the sake of this post, we’re going to say 60% of the “direct” lead source is actually SEO related.
Where Did The 13,298 Opt In Real Estate Leads Come From In The Past 30 Days?
First off, you won’t find this kind of openness on actual data anywhere else in our industry. Transparency is one of our core values, so we’re going to open up our doors and show you all kinds of cool stuff It makes it fun that way too!
But as you can see, the vast majority of the leads in the past 30 days are from organic SEO… inbound marketing (especially when you add in 60% or so of the “(direct)” leads which are also likely form organic traffic in Google.
Google won’t give us the specifics on this data, but another hunk of the “(direct)” lead are likely from Craigslist ads. They show up in the “(direct)” section because Craigslist doesn’t allow live links in real estate ads any longer in the majority of cities… so people have to copy and paste the URL into the browser to go to the website… which would make it a “direct” link to the site.
And then you’ll see an array of organic traffic from other search engines, paid traffic from Google PPC and Facebook as well.
Below we’ll dive into the data a bit more on the top ways our members are generating leads so you can get a bit of a behind the scenes look at how real estate investors in in markets across the country are generating their leads.
Inbound Marketing / Organic SEO Real Estate Investing Leads
SEO and Inbound Marketing are again the #1 source of leads for our InvestorCarrot members in the past 30 days.
We’ve focused a lot of time and energy into building out our platform and our training to help make ranking well in Google for search phrases that matter easier and more effective.
Our customers control more page 1 and top 3 rankings in Google for search terms that matter for motivated sellers, cash buyers and rent to own tenant buyer than any other single real estate investor website platform.
Which is something we’re proud as heck about!
We’ll continue to focus on innovating with our platform, SEO tools, and training to help members continue to leverage inbound online marketing and SEO to grow their real estate investing businesses.
PayPerClick Marketing Leads
PayPerClick is an amazing way to get motivated house seller leads coming in quickly (or any other type of lead as well).
The main reason I feel it only accounts for less than 5% of the leads in the past 30 days is because the perceived barrier of entry for the average real estate investor is higher.
In competitive markets like Houston click costs can reach upwards of $20+ per click (my most recent quick search shows a Google “suggested bid” on top keywords in Houston and Dallas north of $40 per click).
So PPC in really competitive markets isn’t for the faint of heart or for those who don’t have a solid budget to start with.
But we are seeing that those who are using PPC are seeing really solid results in conversion rates and turning leads into deals.
Numerous others reached out to us this past month as well about their PPC success. So we’ll have a bigger focus on PPC moving forward in 2015 to scale that up as a lead source with our members. The average conversion rate on our websites over the past 6.5 months has been just north of 8.5% (average). You’ll see in the screenshot above the conversion rate is a bit shy of the average but with some updates we’ve made to the system in June we’re seeing that average conversion rate number on PPC go up just shy of 9% which we’re excited about!
Social Media Marketing Leads
Social media marketing hasn’t been a huge focus for most of our members, but increasingly we’re able to leverage Facebook really effectively to generate cash buyer and rent to own tenant buyer leads.
In the snapshot above, you’ll see that Facebook has generated the most traffic and leads (the leads are the far right column) than any other social media platform by far. But some people are starting to leverage LinkedIn, Google+ and even sites like Slideshare and Yelp effectively to add onto their lead sources. We teach how to leverage Slideshare and sites like Yelp effectively as a part of the overall mix of online marketing in our 3 Lead Per Day Training course.
Craigslist Marketing Leads
Craigslist leads are almost impossible to track on our end because the majority of our members just put their website URL in the ad rather than a tracking URL. And since Craigslist doesn’t allow clickable links in ads in the real estate section for the most part any longer, the prospect has to copy and paste the URL into their web browser.
So these visitors and leads show up in the “(direct) / none” group of leads as well.
But we do know that Craigslist has been a really solid lead source for our members over the past year for rent to own tenant leads, cash buyers, and on a lesser degree motivated sellers.
We do find that the conversion rate on a Craigslist visitor is lower than SEO or PPC, but you’re able to pull a volume of leads out of Craigslist. You just need to make sure you have a system built into your website to automatically qualify your leads better so you don’t have to waste time on tire kickers.
What To Take Away From This Report – Inbound Marketing Works
The main thing I think you can take away from this blog post is that there are many ways to generate leads online as a real estate investor… and there is no single “right” or “wrong” way to do it.
Some people swear by PPC and don’t ever do any SEO because they have a marketing budget to spend on ads and would rather have leads coming in quickly.
Some people swear by SEO and barely touch PPC.
But the big thing here is that Inbound Marketing is a massively effective way to generate leads online as a real estate investor.
The vast majority of the 13,000+ leads in the past 30 days came from Inbound Marketing. From leveraging great content to rank a website for search phrases that motivated house sellers, cash buyers, note sellers, rent to own tenants, etc. are searching for every day.
Inbound Marketing does take more patience and a long-term focus, but as you can see… if you do it right and leverage tools like InvestorCarrot that help make things easier (and our support to help you when you’re stuck)… Inbound Marketing and SEO can be among the highest ROI marketing methods you can use as a real estate investor or agent.
So, decide on the best online marketing mix for your real estate investing business and get to work!
Want To Work With Us?
Over the coming months we’re developing new PPC landing pages (we’re actually testing them on PPC campaigns right now), new SEO tools to help you more effectively rank in Google, and beefing up our Customer Success team to help investors… from beginners to the most advanced… leverage the web in a more effective way.