Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate)

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Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

I'm old-school like you, Fred! It's all about the referrals and repeat business for me and the leads I work are organic from my website.

When I'm slow, I'm not opposed to buying leads and would focus on listing leads if I were to purchase them. However, now is not one of those times for me!

Dec 21, 2017 05:54 PM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida


When that question is asked, it seems it is usually by either a new agent or one that is struggling to get back into the business so their funds are probably limited. They are obviously are not up to speed on the good, bad and ugly of buying leads from any of the sources mentioned or they would not be asking the question.


I never advise an agent to buy leads because it is treating the symptom, not the problem. Agents must learn to generate their own leads if they expect to last.


I do not pay for leads and doubt I ever will. Some agents who buy leads do manage to convert them to actual business but I think they are in the minority.


My usual response when the question is posed on AR is…Buying leads reminds me of that old expression…”Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life”.




Dec 21, 2017 08:35 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Okay wait. "Reputable broker that thinks you should buy leads."
That's an oxy freaking moron!
You don't need to buy leads if you're good at what you do. You just need to wake up in the morning, drink coffee and turn on your phone!

Dec 21, 2017 05:59 PM
Richard L. McKinney P.A.
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
For Results that MOVE you on the Treasure Coast!

Fred Griffin 

Your response to agents should be for them to educate themselves on Z and R before they decide. 

I have tremendous success with both Z and R but like any other form of marketing you have to know what your doing, you have to be consistent and you have to respond quickly and follow up. 

60 MILLION people a day using Zillow alone. Customers not only like it, they demand it. So as an agent it would be foolish not to at least learn how it works, what it costs and ask other agents (not in your direct area) on how they use it, what successes they have and what not to do as what works. 

Z and R will not work for all areas. For example if you are in a rural area or if your target customer is not computer savvy then don't waste your time with Z and R.

If your customers are not local, like for example retirees in New York buying a second home in South Florida or if your target customer is young, educated first timers then you had better be on Z and R or you will lose out. Period. 

If done right, you WILL get legitimate, consistent, highly educated, serious buyer and seller leads from both Z and R and close them!

Dec 21, 2017 05:02 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
An offer you can't refuse!

I can only speak from my own personal experience.

Yes, thousands upon thousands of people view Zillow, Trulia and each and every day.  But a very small percentage of those people are interested in my local real estate world, and even fewer of them are interested in finding a Realtor.

I have found that I attract plenty of buyers/sellers by participating in online forums, and getting clients to post testimonials on those sites... without spending a dime.

Dec 21, 2017 06:01 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

There is someone here who praises the use of Z so ??? 

I say that if you were taking an overall 'average' - it's not profitable. There are plenty of credible agents that I respect that gave it up.

Dec 22, 2017 05:35 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

I've heard from a couple of high production teams that buying leads costs about $1,000 per closed transaction.  The key is having the ability to convert them.

Dec 22, 2017 05:25 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

My company is in Zillow's lead program and many sales come from this.

Dec 21, 2017 09:22 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


To each their own.  We don't advise it.  Have met an agent who spends gobs on Z feels it is part of their success.  A

Dec 21, 2017 09:07 PM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

I don't pay for leads.

Dec 21, 2017 05:18 PM
Anthony Acosta -
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

I do not pay for leads....

Dec 21, 2017 05:17 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

for me, listing leads came from marketing offline and branding my name as a listing agent.... now my daughter has taken my place and I continue to market the name.... 

Dec 21, 2017 04:56 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I'm with you, I advise against it.  There are some people though who swear by them.  I've seen them on lab coat agents talking about how they spend $3k or more a month on Z and get enough business to justify the expense.  Of course, they sometimes have a staff following up and most of the leads they say take six months to nurture.... or as I call it "resuscitate".


Not my style and I'm a firm believer that you can get the same quanity of leads for $10 elsewhere... and I have.

Dec 22, 2017 08:41 AM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

If you studied advanced marketing, you have learned that there are 2 major marketing techniques to do business development. "Push" and "Pull" marketing. You push-out to "go to" potential clients, and you pull-in "to bring" clients to you. Great marketing is a mix of both to the ratio that works best for you depending on your own unique situation.

Each marketing effort you do, falls in one of those 2 categories, but rarely or never both as the same time. So you choose based on what the goal and objectives are. And adjust.

That being said, Fred Griffin , we could have an off-line conversation, if you are interested.

Dec 22, 2017 06:42 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.


Dec 21, 2017 08:30 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

When it comes to buying leads question perhaps trying it will answer it for the many as there are mixed results

Dec 21, 2017 07:00 PM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Buying leads is the new normal

Dec 21, 2017 05:10 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I wouldn't spend anything on them but I have seen many teams that have a good system for processing them do well with them.

At KW they stress the importance of generating our own leads and very few find it necessary to purchase any.

Dec 21, 2017 05:05 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I have bought leads and got a lot of names and emails , but not many motivated Sellers !

Dec 21, 2017 05:04 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I do not like the idea of paying for leads from these services. Maybe becasue I am established and not a team with downstream agents it doesn't matter to me.

Dec 21, 2017 04:50 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

What makes that broker "reputable" and who are they to dictate where one or if one should by leads?  

I am not a fan of buying leads and I don't. 

Dec 22, 2017 08:59 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

Leads are a big "BUT"

Buying leads is great BUT you have to know the source of the lead, how it's created, and have a system in place to follow, track, and maximize your return on leads.  


Otherwise, your advice is correct.  Buying, calling once and/or sending an email, and not having any follow up system is a huge waste of time and money.


Like most things, leads work if you know how to work them.

Dec 22, 2017 08:49 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

It depends on the individual and their proficiency in converting leads.

Dec 22, 2017 07:11 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Fred Griffin I think it all boils down to ROI. Personally I have not known any agents who were successful at buying leads. The money could have been spent more productively elsewhere.

Dec 22, 2017 07:05 AM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

Interesting answers. We don't pay for leads. It's a combo of phone calls & referrals. I've seen agents who felt they needed more use Zilow. Zillow is highly recognized but they are not cheap either!.

Dec 22, 2017 06:00 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Now. as I bite my tongue. I must say it's time to 'RAISE THE BAR!"

Of course one can buy leads but their business must be structured to nurture those leads.

In most cases a newbie does not have the infrastructure in place to do so.

This is the great disservice old timers commit in instructing newbies. Old-timers have forgotten the tools with which a newbie must work.

However, depending on the outcome I want to see, I can advise, spend all your money with Zillow and and do not prolong the agony of a slow demise. The system wants $12,000 of the newbies dollars and this advise is the fastest pathway to that separation.

Your response is neither right or wrong UNTIL a few questions is asked. To think one size fits all in this business .... is a great disservice.

Dec 22, 2017 05:52 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

I am with you Fred, not a fan of buying leads!

Dec 22, 2017 05:31 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I have not seen great success in buying leads.... some years back it worked better.

Dec 22, 2017 05:03 AM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

We do Google Adwords with our BoomTown platform and for a small office we kill it. I don't talk about it a lot on here because everyone jumps on people who pay for leads and don't just work their SOI but I don't see that money spending as any different than other marketing like mailings. It is just different. And we are able to provide leads to other agents in our company and they are successful agents as well. We used to use HomeGain as well for many, many years with great success. -Kasey

Dec 22, 2017 04:23 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I have purchased thousands of leads over the years but recommend that you generate your own leads for the best results.

Dec 22, 2017 11:14 AM
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

I am with you Fred Griffin , I would not recommend paying for leads either for many reasons, not just draining the bank account, many more ways to generate leads at lower cost and a more rewarding business model.

Dec 22, 2017 06:54 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Paying for leads is a waste of money and time. Despite what anyone says, Trulia before they were bought out by the evil empire, had a blog section geared to consumers. It was incredible at attracting new clients directly who comment. What is left on Trulia is their Q and A section that attracts a great deal of consumers and costs 0. Using this site and many similar q and a sites, forums, i can attract new clients through leaving thought full answers and never self promoting.  I choose questions locally and than nationaly that affect a buyer or seller anywhere. I stay away from questions that only local agents of that area should answer. LASTLY the best source from me has been my Active Rain blog. Simply writing blogs, using catchy titles, telling stories reach consumers with my sales pitch that does not sound or look like a commercial, but is written to attract them. I paste my blog links on various social media and attract leads. No one else gets the leads and they cost me my time. 

Dec 22, 2017 05:56 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I have a self managed ppc campaign.  I follow my Google analytics closely and know what key words my clients are using and use long tail ppc phrases that get me the most bang for my buck.

Dec 23, 2017 09:33 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Those who buy leads are trying to cut corners and there is no substitute for a strong referral base, but to build the referral base takes a long time.

Dec 24, 2017 09:07 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

I would say that each individual agent needs to find out what works for them. Obviously buying leads has worked for some agents, or all these lead generation businesses would not be around. It is also very obvious that buying leads has not worked for everyone. There are many ways to be successful in real estate, as well as many ways to be unsuccessful. Each individual agent needs to discover the way they can be the most successful and not worry about what others say.

Dec 24, 2017 09:01 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I have never paid for leads, as my sphere keeps me pretty busy, plus blogging, and my web site.

Dec 24, 2017 06:55 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

We like it or not, many agents buy leads, especially those with $$$ budget and large volume. 

Dec 23, 2017 03:26 PM
Steven Nickens
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii

I would rather spend my money on Facebook and farming.

Dec 23, 2017 12:01 AM