By David Etheredge, CEO, SavvyCard
Did you know your Home for Sale sign generates leads for companies like Zillow and Realtor.com, and for other Real Estate agents instead of just for you? Learn how to take back your leads and keep them from going elsewhere with GeoSmart technology.
One of the greatest marketing innovations in the Real Estate industry is the Home For Sale sign. In terms of return-on-investment (ROI), what’s not to like about Real Estate signs? For a small, one-time cost, you get a marketing vehicle that directly drives qualified buyer and seller leads and creates persistent brand awareness for you within a community. Best of all, it’s re-usable.
A $100 sign that generates an average commission of $7,648 (based on March 2018 average home sale value and commissions) will generate a return on investment of over 7000%! And that’s just for ONE converted lead. Typical signs generate more than one lead and can be re-used for dozens of homes.
As a Realtor, your $100 investment used to be worth tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.
Why USED TO BE?
Because, increasingly, the value of your real estate signs is going into someone else’s pockets.
According to a survey administered by SavvyCard®, younger buyers who see a Home For Sale sign and are interested in getting more information are 80% more likely to look the home up online instead of calling your phone number displayed on the sign. The majority of such inquiries go to Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com, companies that capture the lead and then sell that information back to Realtors.
In these cases, what used to be a “clean lead” that went to only a single Realtor (you, the listing agent), now becomes a “dirty lead” that goes to multiple agents, some of whom may not be familiar with the property or the neighborhood. As a listing agent, if you are not paying for leads from Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com, you can be cut out of the opportunity entirely. This seems hardly fair given that it was your sign that generated the lead in the first place!
Industry wide, this “disruption” is costing Realtors hundreds of millions of dollars in lost income annually. According to a report published by Inman, in 2014, 9% of buyers found the home they purchased through a Yard or Open House sign. That means about 400,000 leads generated by signs this year will turn into a closed transaction. Even if just one-third of those leads are captured and sold away by Zillow, listing agents like yourself stand to lose over $1 billion in combined commissions. Ouch.
Essentially, your Real Estate sign has now taken a part time job working for Zillow. Seriously, if your sign were an employee, you’d fire them, right? But even if you are losing leads to online portals, your sign is still an effective sales tool you don’t want to lose. So, what’s an honest hard-working Realtor to do?
The primary reason that young consumers prefer going to online portals for home information is convenience. For them, it’s easier to use a mobile tool to get information on a new home than to call or text a Realtor and wait for a response. To win back these leads from online portals, Realtors must provide potential buyers with a method of delivering home information that is faster and easier than using current real estate apps or searching online.
At SavvyCard®, we believe that “GeoSmart” services (services that match you with property info based on your location) are the answer. When a qualified lead is standing in front of your Home For Sale sign and is interested in seeing photos or a list of amenities for that home, the fastest and most convenient way to deliver that information is NOT through an app the lead must have already downloaded and installed or a site they must search, but through a Geo-Smart service like SavvyCard’s SavvySigns™.
With SavvySigns™, a sign rider instructs the prospect to “Text ‘Home’ to 72889 for more info”. When they do, they receive a web application for the home they’re standing in front of (this web app is called a “Property SavvyCard”). The Property SavvyCard includes photos, videos, features, amenities and school data which can be accessed by the buyer in less than 15 seconds without downloading or installing anything. It also includes a lead capture system that is respectful of the customer and helps separate “tire-kickers” from qualified leads.
Some businesses provide text enabled sign riders where each sign must be customized for the agent and the code on the sign must be linked to the listing each time it is moved to a new home. And, every time, the landing page content must be updated with new information appropriate to that property. Frankly, the entire process is a pain.
SavvySigns don’t require the Realtor to do any extra work. The same sign works for any of your listings for sale in the market, without any modification, because the service knows where the prospect is standing, and which home is nearest them.
Working in concert with the SavvySigns™ service, the SavvyCard for Real Estate platform automatically creates and maintains Property SavvyCards for each of your listings, so there’s no work to be done to update landing page content, either.
GeoSmart services, like SavvySigns, will enable the real estate industry to take back many of the buyer leads that are currently being poached by listing portals. That means Realtors like yourself will earn more revenue off your Real Estate signs.