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ROI For 2.0/Social Media Marketing? So Many Questions So Few Answers

Joe over at Selsius published a piece the other day — Show Me the ROI: Is Web 2.0 a Load of Hooey or Who’s Making Hay? in which he links to some pretty interesting posts on the same subject. So much of this is what has made me crazy since I first turned onto the onramp of the 2.0 freeway.

ROI? What’s return, if it’s not measured in money, yenom, cash, closing statements, origination fees, bank deposits, or fill in the damn blank? This is silly at it’s best, and embarrassing at its worst. I don’t mean anything Joe said, just the idea. In fact I thought Joe’s observation was right on the money — pun intended.

He noted some folks have decided it might be time to ask the question, “How big is yours?”

This goes back (Please Lord, protect me.) to what I’ve always wondered about the whole SEO thing. It fits into this topic as if it was custom tailored. What’s the ROI on 2.0/SMM? What’s the ROI on all those leads yer gettin’ from your website and/or blog? I’ve simply stopped turning to the experts out there, ‘cuz I’m tired of being ignored when I ask them to please let me know what their clients’ conversion rates are.

I finally ran into an upfront, plain talkin’ expert, whose name I will keep to myself.

When I emailed them privately, asking about leads per day for RE clients, and their subsequent conversion rates, the answer was a breath of fresh air, invigorating by its naked truthfulness.

Here’s my email to this expert.

‘Blog/SEO/Lead generation expert’,

I’ve been tryin, in vain, to find out what the batting average is for real estate bloggers who’ve been successful in generating a reliably consistent number of daily/weekly/monthly leads.

I’ve heard of, and keep reading about blogs bringing in 10 a day 20 a day, even 30+ daily. What I’m not hearing is how many closed escrows are resulting from all those leads.

Whenever I ask this question, especially to those who are experts, (in reality, not just in their minds) I become invisible.

You’re one of the actual blog experts out there — your resume speaks for itself.

If a blog is generating 10 leads daily, (300 monthly — 3600 yearly) how many closed escrows does your experience tell you they should be experiencing?

Thanks for any light you can shed on this, as I’ve reached the point where the ‘wall of silence’ is beginning to speak for itself. :)

The reply — it’s verbatim — all emphasis is mine.

I know of nobody that is generating leads at such a clip.
I keep no formal record of lead generation for my clients – but I do speak with them regularly, and get email updates on successes.
So – in order to speak from experience, I can only give you my own – which has nothing to do with real estate.
We, the (company name) generate 3-7 very quality leads a day.
My guess on the real estate side of things that our most successful are generating this number a week.
But the more likely number for the rest of them is that a month.
That said, I know that they quality of the leads is phenomenal – and that’s what makes all the difference.
A lead generated through blogging is a relationship and the conversion rate of these leads is much much greater than some name/email/number generated from an IDX form.
I have no idea what the lead to escrow rate is, and I think that it would be impossible to truly determine given how different every agent and area is.
Their conversion rate is going to be the same whether the lead was generated from blogging or as a personal referral. If they can service and close, then the number should be solid… if not, then they need to look at another career.
We are just about to network all of our current clients so that their backends are a forum for discussions of this type.
I would be happy to address it and get back to you as soon as I do – by then I should have less of a guess and more of a range.

What do you think?

I’ll tell you exactly what I think. I think this expert is telling it the way it is.

For all those claiming their clients are the beneficiaries of 10-30 leads daily, I have a question. It’s not that I don’t believe what you claim. On the contrary, I take your word for it. These are very knowledgeable, and experienced people with massive expertise. I can’t believe they’d just make up these numbers willy nilly. I don’t believe that.

Let’s take the bottom of that range, 10 leads a day. That’s 300 leads monthly. Let’s say the agent only converts (read: closed escrows) a really crummy percentage of them, say 3.1%. Let’s also say their average sales price is $300,000 and they’re making 3% commission per transaction.

I already did the math — that agent is making just over $1,000,000 a year. And they’re doing it while converting just 3.1% of the leads their blog/site is generating.

In baseball, nearsighted, dyslexic kids prone to vertigo and the fear of spherical objects have a better batting average than .031 for Heaven’s sake. Mixing metaphors, a blind squirrel will go out 100 times and find acorns four of those times — a superior conversion rate. :)

Of course, this doesn’t begin to factor in the time wasted while dealing with the 96.9% of the leads that were less than worthless. And sure, I’ll agree with those who’ll say some of those ‘worthless’ leads will become closed escrows — maybe — some day. Maybe not. And how ’bout the lenders those agents are using. Are they about ready to fire the agent who sends them borrowers to pre-qualify who couldn’t finance a couch at Goodwill?

I know first hand of a team in Idaho, whose website spits out leads like a baseball dugout spits out seeds. A friend of mine got his son a job there as an agent. In six months the poor guy didn’t close an escrow. And the first day he was given over 80 — count ‘em — 80 ‘leads’. He’s now working for another company, selling new homes for a developer. This kid is a college graduate with a degree in business, not some high school dropout who thought real estate was gonna be easy pickin’. Yet only two of the eight members of this team to my first hand knowledge are making six figures — barely.

Aren’t we getting pretty loose with the way we’re throwing around the concept of what a ‘lead’ is these days?

Show of hands — how many of those generating all those daily leads are making seven figures a year?

How many are making half that? OK, how many are paying the bills via the leads they’re generating through blogging?

And there’s the rub.

I personally know of a few bloggers making some real coin. Real = $100,000+. I believe the experts and consultants who say their clients are generating so many leads daily. So how is it we’re not seeing these agents making real bucks? You can’t bring up a few and say it’s the rule, ‘cuz everyone knows by now the Emperor has no clothes.

So help me here. What’s the answer? We’re all working in different markets with different pros and cons, bigger/smaller, and for better/worse brokerages. What works for a Teresa Boardman may or may not work for you and I.

Finally, while many are claiming great success which is mostly a figment of their imagination, my good buddy Joe, who works for one of the mega brokerages here in San Diego, just keeps pluggin’ along makin’ his $4-700,000 a year. How? By sitting’ at home in his boxers and tank top every morning cold calling home owners while wiring himself for sound drinking impossible amounts of coffee.

He knows a lead when he sees one — and he’s surely batting better than 3.1% — which, by the way, the fantasy agent I created for my example isn’t doing, ‘cuz nobody’s doing it.

Go back to the expert who replied to my email enquiry. If that expert’s agents are getting ‘quality’ leads at the rate of 3-7 monthly, or as they said, the most successful are getting that many weekly, what are their answers to all these questions? I have a pretty good idea.

Forget the most successful of this expert’s clients. Let’s work with the 80-90%. If they average 7 leads a month, high quality leads, and convert 28.6% of them (2 for 7), a totally believable number, what happens?

Again, I’ve done the math. They earned $216,000 in commissions. They didn’t waste their time trying in vain to find the 3 out of 100 leads that were worth more than a used Snickers Bar either.

I’ve gone through all this ‘cuz I’m expecting to get the answers to these questions at Unchained.

Think about it seriously for a minute. If you’re getting 300 leads a month, and having to spend all the time it must take to cull through 290 of ‘em to find the 10 worth your time, how much time do you have left to close all those supposed escrows?

OR — Why would you continue doing the same thing, once you realized most leads weren’t leads at all?

OR — If all those leads are decent to solid, maybe that agent should seriously consider another career path.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to have the missing pieces of this puzzle explained to me. When Unchained comes to town this May, I’ll be in the front row — I’ll be the BawldGuy.

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  • 45 comments

    45 Comments so far

    1. Eric Bramlett March 31st, 2008 10:46 am

      Great post, Jeff. It boils down to quality vs. quantity. When I require registration to view properties on my site, the leads go through the roof. However, even after you discard all the “mickeymouse@screwyou.com” registrations, the majority are still poor quality. I’ve decided to keep the search feature open, and I get fewer, but higher quality leads.

      If you’re great at making calls, and following up with the same client 5 times before making contact, then you can really benefit from 30 poor leads/day. If you want to do a little less work, and still convert close to the same number, then, IMO, it’s better to go for fewer, quality leads.

    2. Mike Farmer March 31st, 2008 11:00 am

      Nevermind exactly where the leads came from online — perhaps through blogging, perhaps through Google, perhaps through the website connections to RE sites, but they came from online presence.

      Last year I had 15 transactions directly from online presence. What did this presence cost me in dollars? — Approximately $2000.00 — the transactions amounted to around around 4 million in sales and my take was 2.4%.

      What did it cost me in time? About 4 hours a day.

      I could have done away with office expense, all my offline marketing expense, worrying about listings and every other cost I had and sat in my underwear at my house with a lap top in front of me going out to show houses every so often (fully dressed), doing paperwork, managing the closings and made $94,000.

      However, listings and offline marketing brought in extra, so I can’t rule them out — I’m just saying, if you want to isolate the online efforts, that’s it for me.

      It’s tempting to go the underwear/laptop route.

    3. Eric Bramlett March 31st, 2008 11:03 am

      It’s tempting to go the underwear/laptop route.

      I hear that!

    4. Todd Carpenter March 31st, 2008 11:11 am

      Dangit Jeff! How did you steal this post from my brain before I could write it! Mine was going to be called, “if I gave you 100 free leads a day, would you take them?”

      It seems obvious to me that there’s a huge difference in what can constitute a lead. An email address captured from a valuation tool is a lead. An email from an avid reader who wants you to list their home is a lead.

      I was all set to write the post a couple weeks ago, until I had a fascinating conversation with Derek Wagner. Lot’s of RE.net regulars might know his wife Mariana better, but they work as a team. Mariana drives in leads from their blog, and Derek closes them on the phone. Most leads are IDX driven. I don’t know what their close rate is, or how many leads a day they produce, but Derek was very positive about the results. It was definitely worth his time.

      Real estate does not have to be a huge numbers game. Considering the relatively small amount of time most RE bloggers dedicate to blogging, even one deal a month is better than break even. Even one deal every three months.

    5. Charles in Las Vegas March 31st, 2008 11:14 am

      I’d definitely rather have 3 quality leads any day, versus 30 maybes. You’ll always have the lookie loos or those that want information from you but are going to use their “friend.” Not to mention emails from other agents that want information about a community…

    6. The Mortgage Cicerone March 31st, 2008 11:25 am

      Jeff – This post deserves the BAWLDY award…can you award yourself? AWESOME post!!!!

    7. Chris Lengquist March 31st, 2008 11:41 am

      Jeff – Thanks for calling about my Kansas Jayhawks today!

      Anyway, I’m going to send you an email in about 5 minutes that details my numbers for the last 12 months. But for everyone else I will say that while I do not track every “lead” I get from blogging I do track every conversion.

      “Lead” is so nebulous to me. An inquiry could be a lead. Or it could be a “feeling out” phone call that may or may not pan out 1, 2, 14, 36 months down the road.

      But coming in my office or having a phone conference if they are from out of state, well, I’d say that’s a lead and my conversion rates on those are as good or better than personal referrals.

    8. Jeff Brown March 31st, 2008 12:03 pm

      Eric & Mike — Joe, the underwear/laptop guy has been doing business that way since he got out of the oil business, as an exec. He’s a no nonsense kinda guy. I’d be willing to bet real money he averages less than 45 hours a week working.

      Of course, when he works, he WORKS.

    9. Jeff Brown March 31st, 2008 12:11 pm

      Todd — I much prefer your title. :)

      It sounds like Mariana and Derek have a well oiled machine that’s working smoothly. Derek is filling the hole which I think exists in most of the ‘high volume’ lead generations teams. He’s the guy who efficiently barrels through dozens of daily leads, culling out the nuggets.

      How cool is that?

    10. Daniel, the Real Estate Zebra March 31st, 2008 12:58 pm

      Leads are worthless.

      I want relationships.

      You can have your leads, you can have MY leads. I want relationships.

      A lead might generate a closing, eventually. A relationship is sure to generate many closings, and even greater rewards.

      Blogging is a tool to create relationships. You can certainly use it as a tool to create leads, but that would be like having a Ferrari and using it to drive to your mailbox.

      Some leads can turn into relationships, blogging is one way of helping that process along.

      I try to work in the relationship cultivation business as often as possible, not the lead generation business.

      Oh, and HAPPY OPENING DAY! Let’s go Mets!

      Chris,

      Congrats to your Jayhawks. I’ve got them losing out to the Tarheels, though. It is sure to be one heck of a game.

    11. Jeff Brown March 31st, 2008 1:25 pm

      Charles — Sean Purcell talks about his idea of a super team. The leader generates a tremendous volume of leads for his team to be constantly filtering. The advantage that approach might have is the number of agents doing the filtering. They’re not wasting as much time.

      Meanwhile, you’re making a great living on 3 leads daily.

    12. Geno Petro March 31st, 2008 5:54 pm

      Jeff,

      Our ChicagoHomeEstates.com (CHE)generates an average of 30 registrants per day, approximately 900 per month, every month since December of 07. A year ago at this time the numbers were about half. But this is a well designed real estate website, not a blog.

      My Chicago’s Home Weblog (CHW), which is linked to CHE, has several ways of ‘capturing’ a registrant as well, but it’s a rare week when I personally get more than 1 or 2 registrants from just the blog—clearly, we are spending pretty big money on the CHE site through Google PPC campaigns. We replaced our total print advertising budget with PPC instead. A free available MLS Search Engine is a must. All the organic content is fine but if the potential client can’t interact then they wont register here in Chicago. Too much competition from 3500 other brokerages and 25,000 other agents.

      Of course, the leads get distributed among 15 of us agents so my share is usually 2 or 3 new assinged leads per day from CHE and maybe 1 a week from my blog. My broker usually assigns me the higher price points although 90% of them still turn into ’0′ and a sizeable percentage never return to the site after registering. And this is with a very well thought out follow up system and links to Dream Home Locators, MLS proprerty Sends, well written personal letters and a kick ass administrative Back End for tracking, pinging our PDAs anytime someone logs on, registers, requests info, etc…

      I derive approximately half of my 10-15 million (last year sucked) in annual production from the internet i.e. 12-15 deals @ an average of about $500,000 per deal. I need around a thousand assigned registrants per year to sustain those numbers. In other words, my numbers hover around 1.5%. Thank goodness for a high price point in this market or I’m not sure it would be worth it. We give up 25% of any internet CLOSED deal to the brokerage, before our respective split arrangements.

      Check out our site and you’ll see what I mean. I guess my point is, it’s hard for me to imagine any ‘blog’ generating what a full blown real estate website such as ours can and does on a daily basis. We pay dearly for search terms and keywords to stay at or about Page 1 on Google authority.

      Clearly, your piece was thought provoking for me. Excellent post. See you in AZ in May.

    13. Brian Brady March 31st, 2008 6:18 pm

      “Leads are worthless. I want relationships”

      Okay, that’s where I stop the ROI-Fest. The former leads to the latter, Daniel. All this talk about online inquiries being worthless is a demonstration of laziness.

      Are you kidding me?

      I hate the quality of online inquiries, too…but I call them. I call them because that’s how relationships are started. The misguided notion that “if they read you…they will come” is, well..silly.

      Jeff, I get where you’re going with this. You, are the PRIME example of a good ROI in Web 2.0; you get plenty of calls, or e-mails; not all are perfectly suited for your offering. The point is that your ROI is HUGE from your online presence. You may very well be the best example of relationship building online because you’re proactive about the contacts made online; you call them.

      Prospecting isn’t a dirty word, folks. Prospecting is sifting through the mud to find the nuggets…remember? The paradigm has changed. In pull marketing, the mud FALLS INTO OUR INBOX rather than calling us or walking into our “store”.

      Are you getting too much mud and not enough nuggets in your inbox? Then your MESSAGE is wrong; you’re not doing a good job at building your PLATFORM properly. I know this because I’ve tinkered with this medium for 4 years. I continually tinker with this medium because I want to put more nuggets in my pan and less mud.

      Why are Jeff and Mike Farmer (and me or Dan Green) successful in this medium? We’re building the right PLATFORM. If you’re criticizing the folks who have stuffed inboxes, because their conversion rates are low, you’re criticizing every single practitioner out there. Conversion rates are low because the market is so poor; people don’t trust REALTORs or originators, today.

      Suggestion: Blow your inbox up, first. Get off your butt and make connections, second. Find out HOW the bad inquiries found you and HOW the good contacts found you, third. Experimentation and tinkering hones the message so your platform is correctly aligned with your ideal client.

      Give me lots of people, interested in doing business with me, so I can reject 80% of them- that’s successful marketing

    14. Brian Brady March 31st, 2008 6:20 pm

      “Congrats to your Jayhawks”

      Maybe that’s what got me so ornery, Zebra; Friday night was brutal for the Mainliners

    15. Daniel, the Real Estate Zebra March 31st, 2008 6:34 pm

      Brian,

      I didn’t find it ornery at all. I agree with you, the former DOES lead to the latter; I just find that sometimes people concentrate so hard on the leads, that they forget to develop the relationships. Hence the reason that REALTOR-Client follow-up rates are ATROCIOUS in survey after survey.

      What you do, what Jeff does, is relationship development, not just lead generation. You can do your ABC’s (Always Be Closing), but if you aren’t cultivating, you are going to be doing a whole lot of wheel spinning.

      On another note- – -

      Friday was brutal for the Mainliners. That is one of the benefits of not having a horse in the race, actually. I get to live vicariously through all of you guys. For just one game, I get to live and die by every shot that leaves Stephen Curry’s or Drew Lavender’s hands, but its just one game. I can sit back and appreciate the game for what it is sometimes– absolutely breathtaking.

    16. Jeff Brown March 31st, 2008 7:58 pm

      Brian — You’re right of course.

      The tweaking of the ‘recipe’ is what I failed to address. Also, having folks go through so many leads must be systematic or it will fail of it’s own weight.

      You and I have the advantage of not having to show properties, preview them, or all the other time snatchers faced by house agents. That’s why I really like one if not both approaches — Sean Purcell’s ‘super team’ or the hyper local blog.

      What both you and my quoted expert said is key also — a solid lead from your blog is equal to or better than a referral from your cousin. That’s been my experience in a nutshell.

      I constantly receive ‘contact’ forms from the blog asking me if I can spend some time with them setting up a Purposeful Plan. I can usually find the time. :)

    17. Denver Mortgage March 31st, 2008 8:04 pm

      I think that the return is understated for a lot of blogs because they have not matured the way their competitors (standard websites) have. I have ran quite a few blogs through a domain age checker tool and found all of them to be young and most of them to be very young. That means they are at a strong disadvantage compared to well-established sites. My feeling is that as these blogs mature in age as well as establishing more and better links as well as adding content through blogs posts — they will produce a much better return. The blog farmers planting crops right now are getting small harvests for the first season, as is normal for farming. If these bloggers stick with it for a few years, I think the returns are going to be really something.

    18. Brian Brady March 31st, 2008 8:05 pm

      Here’s the REALLY cool thing; Jeff’s performing this whole act at Unchained.

    19. Louis Cammarosano March 31st, 2008 8:09 pm

      Jeff
      Great post. I’d comment, but I remember your admonition from a while back to “step away from the keyboard”…
      http://www.bloodhoundrealty.com/BloodhoundBlog/?p=2673

    20. Jeff Brown March 31st, 2008 8:13 pm

      Geno — I gotta believe your batting average with blog leads is phenomenally better than the company website. In fact, I wonder if this year the leads from your blog might surpass the $6 Mil in deals. It may be inevitable.

      I’m still processing your job of culling 1,000 registrants to get to your 12-15 closed deals. Wow. Your price point is indeed pretty cool. :)

      What do you think of Brian’s insistence on calling every single one of those 1,000 leads?

    21. Jeff Brown March 31st, 2008 8:15 pm

      Louis — :) I remember that night was too much for my shiny pate. Dueling centuries dead poets between you and Greg.

      Thanks, Louis.

    22. Doug Quance March 31st, 2008 8:34 pm

      This should make the short list…

      :)

    23. Jeff Brown March 31st, 2008 8:41 pm

      Everyone — What works is what’s always worked — the use of your blog as another tool, and nothing else. The leads coming from blogs, at least from what I’ve observed, seem to be almost infinitely more valuable than what I call ‘site or IDX or penny stock’ generated leads.

      That said, agents with solid support staff plus great follow through can make them pay. 50 blog-leads yearly would clearly outperform 20 times that many of the more plentiful variety though.

      Seems like everyone says that, or at least agrees with it, yet they still find themselves throwing out the net for the ‘penny stock’ leads. I get it because it does result in income, which in this market is more valuable than usual to understate the case.

      Make sense?

    24. Jeff Brown March 31st, 2008 8:47 pm

      Chris — I’d love to see a Jayhawks/Bruins final. I think the Bruins would surprise the Jayhawks and the nation. Of course, that assumes they get by Memphis and you guys escape Carolina. Good luck with that. :)

    25. Jeff Brown March 31st, 2008 8:53 pm

      Thanks Doug. :)

    26. Greg Cremia April 1st, 2008 5:06 am

      My internet ROI was 10 to 1 the last time I checked. That was a few years ago. It is better than that now.

      I had 24 leads yesterday. 21 of them were cool leads 2 were warm leads and the phone call was almost hot.

      None of them are going to buy something this week or this month. The ones that are ready to buy usually make use of the 800# to set up an appointment.

      Most of them are going to buy something in the next 5 years. When they do I will be there. The internet is a long term proposition.

    27. Eric Blackwell April 1st, 2008 5:14 am

      @ Jeff– I’d agree with Doug re; the short list.

      Like Bramlett, our website does not require registration. We are in pursuit of people who want to be contacted. It works for us.

      I’d agree with your assessment on Blogs as well. We have niche bloggers doing WELL north of your conversion rate and WELL north of the total revenue (commission)generated. This year a member of our blogging group will hit the $250K commission mark generated from their blog(s). (not a typo) To me, it boils down to the quality of the niche (IMPORTANT) and the quality of the marketing plan (IMPORTANT) to attack it via blog, the diligence of the blogger (IMPORTANT), the site, the SEO, the cross promotion, the publicity, yard sign, carrier pigeon, rocks and any other effective marketing means. It is a total package and difficult to separate out…

      Great blogs are not only great magnets for soon to be loyal clients, the are at once both the promotor and promotee of the marketing plan. (IMHO)

      Again…GREAT post Mr Brown.

    28. REBLogGirl April 1st, 2008 8:08 am

      Interesting how you used one of my clients as an example then said you sent an email to an “expert” implying me, however I never got that email. I’d be happy to share what I can share which are the metrics of the website and lead system. I cannot share the deals simply becasue that is up to the agent.

    29. Todd Carpenter April 1st, 2008 9:21 am

      Mary, Jeff did ask you about conversion rates in this post. Looks to me like that question went unanswered. We’d all like to hear your thoughts.

    30. Bawldguy Talking April 1st, 2008 10:02 am

      Mary — It was never my intention to have readers think I emailed you, ‘cuz I never have. Todd is correct. In fact if I’m not mistaken, I’ve asked the same question on two of your recent posts.

      If Teresa Boardman is one of your clients, I was ignorant of that fact. I used her as an example of someone who has be extremely successful generating leads while converting far more than the typical blogger.

      In fact, I’d go as far as to say Teresa is the gold standard for house agents looking to see what’s possible. If there’s someone selling homes through blogging and doing a better job than she is, I’m unaware of who they are.

      The fact she’s your client merely points out, underlines in fact, what I said a couple times in the post: I believe experts like yourself when you say your clients are generating 10-30 leads every day. Everyone wants to hear what they’re missing, that Teresa is doing so well.

      Is Teresa just Ted Williams compared to the average minor league hitter who will never make the majors? Or is she the only one doing exactly what you’ve taught her?

      Either way, it’s surely what the attendees at Unchained, me included, want to find out from experts like yourself. I suspect that’s why Greg and Brian have enlisted you as one of the instructors.

      I’ll be in the front row. :)

    31. Todd Carpenter April 1st, 2008 10:14 am

      I’m pretty sure Teresa is not Mary’s client Jeff. There must be a disconnect here.

    32. Bawldguy Talking April 1st, 2008 10:23 am

      Todd — Mary said, …Interesting how you used one of my clients as an example…

      The only person I referenced in the entire post by name was Teresa Boardman. I have no idea who is or is not a client of Mary’s. But when Mary says what I’ve quoted above, what am I to think?

      Maybe you can explain where I’ve misinterpreted what she meant. I’m completely lost on this point. Where did I ‘use of her clients as an example’ in the post?

    33. Todd Carpenter April 1st, 2008 10:34 am

      Jeff- I’m not sure, but Teresa has a Typepad blog. It’s her own blog.

    34. Bawldguy Talking April 1st, 2008 10:59 am

      That makes sense, as I’ve always been under the distinct impression Teresa pretty much heeds her own counsel. She also seems to be generous, as she so often shares her blogging insights.

    35. Bawldguy Talking April 1st, 2008 11:10 am

      Eric (Blackwell) — Thanks so much.

      Seems your agent/students have applied your instructions well to the real world. I’m particularly interested in the blog/rock/carrier pigeon connection. :)

      Obviously what RE bloggers want most is a consistent flow of serious folk who feel compelled to contact them. Though the long tail is golden, it’s future income. Somewhere, folks wishing to make use of our expertise today must be found — and found consistently.

      Obviously you’ve been able to teach that skill. You must be a popular guy during Happy Hour. :)

    36. Bawldguy Talking April 1st, 2008 11:18 am

      Greg — You said — Most of them are going to buy something in the next 5 years. When they do I will be there. The internet is a long term proposition.

      What have you used to increase business now, while waiting for the long tail to yield fruit, as it surely will?

      Checking your site, it seems to me you must generate a ton of leads.

    37. Bawldguy Talking April 1st, 2008 11:19 am

      Tony — At some point I should try that just to see what the reaction would be. :) Thanks

    38. Denver Mortgage April 1st, 2008 12:58 pm

      Hey guys –

      On a separate subject, Teresa has over 41,000 backlinks to her site. The site is a little more than two years old. That is more than 50 links per day. Anyone know how she’s managing to be so prolific when it comes to backlinks? Blog posts can’t get you there, and I cannot imagine commenting that much. You would almost have to spend 4 hours per day commenting and blogging, I would think.

    39. Bawldguy Talking April 1st, 2008 1:18 pm

      Denver — I know one thing it’s not — luck. I don’t know Teresa. I’ve commented a couple times on her stuff, but that’s it. I’m of the Old School which forces me to land on the side of superior expertise, innate talent, smarts, and a whole bunch of plain old hard work.

      Again — I think she’s the gold standard.

    40. Denver Mortgage April 1st, 2008 5:43 pm

      Bawldguy–

      It’s definitely not luck. Links don’t come by luck. They come from blogging, article writing, commenting and directories. She does guest post on a lot of blogs, and sometimes if you are listed on the sidebar as a contributor you wind up getting listed on every post. The only problem with that is that Google discounts those links. Probably a lot of her links come from that, but still, 41,000+ … that’s an amazing amount of links, particularly in only 27 or so months. I wonder if she’s generating links automatically in some way.

      She does indeed look like the gold standard to me. She has links, excellent writing, and her blog shows up in the search engines. I’m sure she’s getting business. Personally, I like her writing.

    41. Greg Cremia April 2nd, 2008 7:43 am

      “What have you used to increase business now, while waiting for the long tail to yield fruit, as it surely will?”

      Sometimes the phone rings. 8 deals so far this year. Some of them called out of the blue a couple of days ahead of time and some of them have been getting updates for some time before they called.

      Internet leads come in 3 varieties. Hot, warm and cool. They need to be worked accordingly.

    42. REBLogGirl April 2nd, 2008 4:19 pm

      Teresa is not one of my clients and I clearly cannot answer question of what my clients actually sell. I can only show what the blog and lead generation can generate. As a vendor, that is all I have access to. I don’t think it is the responsibility of any website to sell the property- hopefully, the Realtor does that part. My responsibility ends at traffic and leads. Those are th eonly metrics I can give you and I have done it repeatedly on my blog. I have shown the back end of our system in terms of traffic and searches, our client sites Alexa rankings and even the lead generator of one client to show that the blog is generating leads. In terms of dollars and cents, you have to ask the agents those questions.

    43. Bawldguy Talking April 2nd, 2008 6:44 pm

      As I said in the post, I believe experts like yourself, Mary. Your record, for instance, speaks for itself.

      I would think though, somebody somewhere knows what the conversion rates are — if only in terms of rough averages.

      Again, anyone questioning the results of you and your peers just doesn’t understand what you do — or the results you consistently generate.

    44. Greg Cremia April 3rd, 2008 4:23 am

      “I would think though, somebody somewhere knows what the conversion rates are — if only in terms of rough averages.”

      I don’t think such numbers exist. What Teresa does won’t work in every location/market. Plus, part of why it is working for Teresa is because she has the coveted #1 spot in google.

      There are too many variables to account for to trust any kind of conversion numbers. For instance, a number of commenter’s on this post acted like IDX leads are useless. Their conversion rate is going to be different, given everything else being equal, than someone who takes them more seriously.

      Writing styles, marketplace mindset, internet strength, consistency and followup all get in the way of formulating conversion rates.

    45. Bawldguy Talking April 3rd, 2008 10:16 am

      Greg — I’m not asking for Moses to verify claimed conversion rates. :) Also, I couldn’t care less if blog leads are from IDX, the author’s content, or a button showing Mickey Mouse mooning Daffy Duck. If it results in business, that’s a good thing, right?

      We’re all rowing the same boat here. Nobody asks how you skinned the cat until they ascertain you actually DID skin the cat in the first place.

      My point remains: If so many of these agents are getting 30 leads and more every day, something’s just not happening. Even if their median price point is $300,000 and they’re only converting 1% to closed escrows, at 3% commission/side — that’s $972,000 annual income.

      We both know that is farcical.