Are the portals working you, or are you working them?
In the Family Reunion breakout session Syndication as a Lead Source facilitated by Cary Sylvester and Adi Pavlovic, panelists Sue Adler, Martin Bouma and Jenny Wemert shared their strategies for optimizing their presence on syndication sites to ensure the money they spend is well spent.
So how do you use these real estate syndication sites to get leads and maintain a positive ROI?
The first step is to claim your profile. Every syndication site offers a free profile page and Wemert says to start with the free offerings. From there, build it up. Upgrade options provide opportunities to further brand your inventory and market yourself on other listings in your area—as she says, “Upgraded versions give you the ability to attach yourself to unprotected inventory.” In addition, she purchases a few zip codes and works to dominate that one area.
Once you setup your profile and decide to invest in an upgraded subscription, Bouma says you must pay attention. He monitors his ROI by tracking every lead that comes into the office from all the websites, noting which leads from which sites turn into appointments, and ultimately lead to closings. After adding all the income from each sale, he can follow each site to see what is working, and what is not. By tracking the results of his investment, he can make better strategic business decisions.
Bouma and Wemert focus their syndication spending on zip codes while Adler focuses on coming soon listings which get her listings out there first. While all three panelists pay for upgraded subscriptions, they emphasize the importance of customer reviews. A good customer review can not only help you generate additional leads, but also improve your status within some syndication sites which puts your profile at the top.
However, it’s not always easy to get clients to submit reviews. Bouma asks his clients at the closing table and follows up a few days later with an email containing links to all of the sites. Adler has a similar system and noticed that many of her clients that came through the syndication sites were the first to post reviews without even being asked. For Wemert, reviews have become part of her team culture and have actually improved her team’s customer service.
What about a bad review? Pavlovic challenges you to change your perspective, “Bad reviews aren’t that bad. In fact, a bad review can help your online credibility.” Bad reviews give you the opportunity to not only gain valuable feedback about the client experience but also provide improved customer service.
Syndication sites are just another advertising channel, like door knocking, websites and marketing campaigns. If you choose to invest the money, make sure you invest the time to build the profile and track the results. While 50 percent of agents that spend on syndication sites don’t receive a positive ROI, it’s important to remember—50 percent do.