Do Zillow Leads Work?

Real Estate agents discuss listings.

When it comes to advertising for real estate agents in the digital era, people usually fall into one of two distinct camps. Some people prefer to advertise on a site like Zillow, thanks to the fact that it’s dedicated to the actual industry that they’re operating in. The theory is that because Zillow operates exclusively in the real estate space, advertising there increases your chances of getting your message in front of the kinds of people who are nearly ready to make a purchase. We’re here to debunk that myth.

The reality isn’t quite as cut-and-dried as people would like to believe.

The savvy real estate marketer turns instead toward PPC, or “pay-per-click,” advertising. As the name suggests, this is a technique that allows you to pay only when a user on one of the search engines, such as Bing, Yahoo or Google, clicks on one of your ads.

Make no mistake about it: For real estate agents in the 21st century, pay-per-click advertising is one of the most powerful opportunities available. In fact, it’s an ideal choice over something like Zillow or advertising for several reasons.

The Trouble With Zillow

While it’s certainly true that Zillow is an undeniably powerful resource for real estate professionals, it’s not quite as helpful as some might think in certain core areas — particularly when it comes to marketing.

For starters, Zillow ads are quite expensive — and that price will vary wildly depending on which market in the country you’re operating in. Zillow itself estimates that the use of their “Premier Agent” service, for example, will cost you between $20 and $60 per lead. Keep in mind that this price will also vary depending on the average home cost in the ZIP code you’re working in, the amount of competition this area experiences, how much you’re budgeting for advertising and more.

At Lead Horse Marketing, on the other hand, one of our own clients recently paid $15 per lead via a more forward-thinking Google advertising approach. Even if you manage to fall near the bottom of Zillow’s own scale, you’re still saving money by working with a real estate agent PPC company in the short term.

But the real problem with this is that Zillow ads may generate leads, but they’re not helping you find the right kind. You need qualified leads. Zillow ads aren’t capturing these “bottom of the funnel” leads because they weren’t really designed to. Someone in Zillow could easily be just browsing — they may have absolutely no intention of going through with a transaction and are using it for little more than research. Someone on Google, however, will be at the bottom of the funnel because they wouldn’t be making this specific search in the first place if they weren’t actively interested in purchasing a property. Zillow searches are much more general in nature, while Google searches are more precise — thus allowing you to spend less per lead and enjoy higher “quality” leads at the exact same time.

The Power of Paid Search

One of the biggest reasons why paid search is superior when it comes to digital marketing for real estate agents has to do with one simple-yet-crucial concept: return on investment.

According to one recent study, for every $1 a brand spends on Google Ads, in particular, they can expect to earn about $2 in return. Likewise, the same study revealed that Google ads can help boost brand awareness by as much as 80 percent in some cases — thus making it more likely for consumers to discover your brand, remember it and interact with it in an appreciable way.

A large part of this has to do with the fact that Google Ads alone is composed of a network of more than 2 million websites and applications, with each one representing a new opportunity to expose your real estate agent brand to a whole new set of people. It is estimated that consumers make more than 160 billion searches per month on Google, which is a far larger opportunity than a niche service like Zillow could ever hope to achieve.

Speaking of niche services, it’s also critical to consider the combined market share that Google and Facebook ads allow you to take advantage of. Both companies are already two of the largest advertisers on the internet. Google holds 37.2 percent of the global digital advertising market, while Facebook holds an additional 19.6 percent.

So, if you want to make sure that your listings are exposed to the largest possible audience, you’d be hard-pressed to find something more effective — or more efficient — than pay-per-click.

Contact A PPC Company Focused on Real Estate Agents

In the end, the most important thing for you to understand about ads for real estate agents is that every dollar you spend needs to work for you, not against you. A large marketing budget ultimately won’t be able to generate the results that you’re after if you’re spending that money on the wrong ads in the wrong places.

To truly enjoy the success you seek, you need to be able to get the right message in front of the right person at exactly the right time. To that end, it should now be clear that the choice between pay-per-click and Zillow in terms of where to focus your advertising energy isn’t really a choice at all.

As a dedicated real estate agent PPC company, Lead Horse Marketing acts as the true partner in marketing to buyers and sellers you need when you need it most. In addition to pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization, we also offer services geared at optimizing your website, blogs and other content marketing techniques, and much, much more.

To find out more about how to leverage the full power of Google ads to your advantage or to get answers to any other critical questions you might have, please don’t hesitate to visit Lead Horse Marketing today.

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