A Zillow alternative? Can you generate your own inbound leads through comprehensive digital marketing?

Zillow exists because it generates leads for realtors, very expensive leads. We all know this. What is not generally known or considered is that a comprehensive digital marketing strategy—one that a forward thinking realtor can exercise complete control over—might present a valid source of inbound leads generation and a real Zillow alternative.

The Numbers

Real Estate ROI’s from 100% – 500%*

ROI = (Revenue Generated – Marketing Investment) / (Marketing Investment)

This is a conservative figure based on historical data from digital campaigns in the real estate space which we’ve managed. These numbers are also campaign specific (i.e. focus on single closings), and do not factor in the LIFETIME VALUE of a new client for a realtor—which can be substantially higher, obviously, than the revenue generated from a single transaction. These figures are calculated with hard digital marketing data obtained through sources like Facebook and Google Analytics/Google Ads Manager. The formula includes comparing data on new inbound leads generated from a sustained marketing campaign with specific advertising costs, and the devil is in the details. A successful digital marketing campaign takes a lot of work to optimize—considering and perfecting each of the variables that go into that ROI equation, things like cost per click, conversion rates, click rates, close rates.

What it takes to create a Zillow alternative

Consistency. A willingness to jump into the numbers. Regular, consistent effort doing the following:

  • Consistent engagement of your community and client base on social media and the web
  • Regular content production for both, via video or written blog posts
  • A website that’s fast and modern and attractive to clients
  • Advertising on Facebook and the Google Ads Network
  • Analyzing returns on any advertising, and optimizing/targeting accordingly
  • A digital marketing and sales strategy that takes full advantage of any leads generated—following up through re-marketing, regular email contact, or whatever
  • Good general sales practices and techniques
  • *A determination to learn new things, and a fierce and independent spirit*

The tenets of solid digital marketing aren’t necessarily new. They’re just a bit new to real estate, and to realtors doing them independently and comprehensively.

What it means — your own digital marketing machine

Zillow and the other leads-generating platforms offer content (listings) to consumers that generate valuable buy/sell leads for realtors. They are, effectively, a digital middle-man between the people that can offer the most help and the most value (realtors) to the people that need that help (consumers). What they do isn’t remarkable, but it is obviously done well. Offering content and being present digitally can be done by anyone, however, with the right strategy. It doesn’t necessarily mean offering a listing site to compete directly (you won’t win that game), but content, digital value and digital presence can be established in many ways. It’s an exciting time, really, full of opportunity. Ready to seize it?

Will Burcher is a numbers guy, a videographer, photographer, writer and all around good guy. He’s the founder of FēD. For more on Will and also on what FēD can offer your business, see our ABOUT page.