This article just came out from paidContent.org, stating that Forrester has purchased their rival, Jupiter Research, for $23 million. Forrester stated it had $212M in revenue with over 1,000 employees. Reply! frequently interfaces with both companies and considers them very valuable sources of online information, market sizing, and research.
Home prices continue to fall. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index dropped 15.8% in May, a record decline since its inception in 2000. A subset, 10-city index dropped 16.9% , the biggest drop in its 21-year history. No city in the index saw a gain in May—the second consecutive month that has occurred. More importantly, Home Values have fallen 18.4% since the 20-city index hit its peak in July 2006—OUCH!!!
A potential bright spot for real estate lead generators: Reply! has noticed a significant increase in foreclosure leads being exchanged.
According to an article published in the New York Times today, GM is cutting back further on its production of SUVs and Trucks. “GM’s U.S. sales were down about 16 percent for the first half of this year, largely as a result of a plunge in truck sales…” The article goes on to say that record-high prices at the pump have consumers demanding fuel efficiency. In fact, Ford tallied the impact on falling sales from pickups and SUVs, and the results were the worst quarterly loss in Ford’s 105-year history. “So far this year, sales of large pickups are down 25 percent, and SUVs have fallen 32 percent,” according to the trade journal Ward’s Automotive Reports.
Toyota is shifting towards smaller vehicles and is shutting down truck and SUV production at plants in the U.S. Ford announced sweeping changes in its vehicle production plans to shift toward fuel-efficient cars, versus the more profitable trucks and SUVs. From our perspective, SMALL is the new BIG. We have seen substantial increases in performance from search keywords targeting small cars and fuel efficiency.
An article published today in Business Week states that the markets for new and used SUVs and Trucks is suffering, and the pain is growing as the cost of $4-a-gallon gasoline is sustained. For instance, according to Black Book data, the average trade-in value of a 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe, once one of General Motors’ (GM) top sellers, has fallen around 29%, or more than $6,000, since March. The Tahoe is a full-size SUV that also comes in a hybrid version. “ Owners of large SUVs and pickups are most likely to be feeling the negative impact, as shoppers look to swap poor fuel efficiency for vehicles that get better mileage. As the residual value of gas-guzzlers drops, so does the bargaining leverage of the seller. One benefit to lead generators is that dealers have a glut of inventory that has to be moved. Consumers seeking to buy new SUVs and trucks could be in high demand.
Reply! will be attending the Inman show this week, and you can find us at booth D-23. The show runs July 23-25. We will be demo’ing the Reply! Lead Marketplace and discussing why we believe Real Estate lead generation is dead.
Payam Zamani, Reply!’s CEO, will be interviewed by Inman TV.
TOP 10 REASONS TO RE CONNECT AT INMAN
(List courtesy of Geek Estate)
2. Zillow Beer For Bloggers
3. Bloggers Connect
4. The Trulia House Party
5. The ActiveRain Gathering
6. The Internet Marketing Workshop
7. The Main Conference
8. Makeover 2 Takeover Contest
9. Foreclosure Workshop
10. Innovator Awards
- The Real Estate Marketing Blog
- Interviews With Real Estate Experts Blog
- The Money Blogs
- Real Estate Houses
- Real Estate Geek Blog
- Lead Marketwatch
Lead Generation 1.0: Challenges with Lead Generation Today
The lead generation industry has been significantly impacted by legislation, a downturn in the economy, and tightening of consumer credit. In 2007 and 2008, several large lead generation companies went out of business or stopped generating leads (RealEstate.com, House.com, Loanweb, Loanpage). FTC investigations into lead generation incentive tactics cast a shadow over the industry, and ValueClick’s settlement marked the dawn of a new day where companies are forced to revamp acquisition methods to give consideration to the end-user experience. The result of this shake-up has been a focus on quality and control—not just raw volume.
Today, the lead generation market is highly fragmented into numerous vertical categories and companies. This fragmentation makes it expensive and complicated to profitably transact leads. Pricing is generally static and does not respond to changing market conditions in an efficient manner, and quality is not communicated effectively, delivered consistently, or reflected in the price paid for leads. Most importantly, unlike solutions provided in the CPC market by Google and Yahoo, the lead generation offerings lack controls over volume, price, quality, and ROI. This lack of ability to segment lead buys negatively impacts the size of the budgets businesses are willing to commit to lead generation opportunities
For most companies, a majority of leads are either purchased through lead providers or generated internally. However, both methods provide limited controls and cause companies to engage in tactics that are not beneficial to the entire lead generation value chain. Internal lead generation requires a significant investment in the right talent and infrastructure. Companies often find it difficult to optimize their advertising spend to acquire the right mix of quality, amount, price, and ROI of leads. The results are often a large number of unmonetized and under-monetized leads, requiring a network of retail and wholesale buyers to help offset acquisition costs.
Companies that purchase leads through lead providers often find it difficult to get to their desired ROI, and frequently switch between providers in search of that ever-elusive “profitable cost per sale.” Additionally, quality is not communicated effectively, delivered consistently, or reflected in price paid for leads, and there is limited incentive to improve quality. Stated differently, controls over volume, price, and quality are missing.
Lead Generation 2.0: The Opportunity to Leverage a Lead Marketplace
At any given moment, there are millions of consumers using the Internet to research real estate-related products and services, and there are countless businesses trying to reach those consumers. There is a multi-billion dollar opportunity to expand online advertising to provide access to businesses who need to speak with online consumers to close a deal. It is clear that clicks don’t walk into a real estate agency or call on the phone, particularly for important transactions such as the purchase of a home or an apartment. It is time that businesses move away from CPM and CPC marketing towards a more efficient CPL (Cost-Per-Lead) method.
Lead Generation 2.0 will be transacted in an exchange/marketplace, where market-driven pricing and dynamic distribution of leads are possible. The result is a powerful ecosystem that challenges the reigning cost-per-click Internet marketing model—dominated by Google and Yahoo!—with a cost-per-lead system that is targeted, efficient, and more manageable for businesses.
Using a lead exchange/marketplace, service-based businesses like mortgage brokers and real estate agents can easily access multiple sources of targeted consumer leads, purchase only the leads they want with easy-to-use filters, purchase the right quality, and set the price they will pay per lead. On the seller side, the lead generators and publishers increase the size of the network they access, tap into a highly liquid marketplace that maximizes yield-per-lead, and more efficiently liquidate undersold and unsold inventory of leads.
A lead marketplace provides local real estate businesses with an easy-to-use, geo-targeted, performance-based marketing solution. Marketplaces will greatly benefit from the millions of local businesses that, to-date, have not had a viable option for online marketing. As these local businesses shift their offline advertising budgets to capture online consumers, marketplaces are strategically positioned to capture a significant share of these advertising budgets.
A marketplace allows lead providers to grow revenue by instantly facilitating real-time trading of leads (arbitrage) among the existing lead generators in every category. This technology will allow companies to check a wide array of potential buyers and sellers simultaneously to obtain the highest value for a lead. Using an exchange, buyers and sellers will find maximum liquidity for every category and will allow those businesses to immediately tap into the broadest set of buyers and sellers.
Publisher networks can now flourish by offering lead generation tools. An approach similar to Google’s AdSense will allow businesses a way to increase their eCPM/revenue per page.
The opportunity for the growth of Lead Generation 2.0 is massive. We believe as lead generation becomes efficient, dollars will shift from CPC and classified advertising to cost-per-lead acquisition. The online advertising market is expected to continue its market share gains at the expense of traditional media—U.S. online advertising market is forecast to grow to $62.4 billion by 2012 (22.6% CAGR). Classified or Local search, print Yellow Pages, and Internet Yellow Pages is estimate to grow from $33.3 billion in 2007 to $41.4 billion globally in 2012 (4.5% CAGR).
As Lead Generation 2.0 continues to evolve, we expect to see a fundamental resurgence and revival of the lead business as more agents and providers tap into the vast benefits of the marketplace model to get the value, quality, and control they deserve and expect.
Reply! Chairman and CEO Payam Zamani was recently interviewed about the future of lead generation and the impact of the Reply! Lead Marketplace. Click here to download the interview, Or stream it on the Real Estate Experts and Marketing Blog.
Reply! was covered by LeadCritic in their “Partnering of a Lead Exchange” post. It was positive coverage for both Reply! and the concept of a lead marketplace. What I find interesting, is what is going on in the comment section. As blogs often do, it has taken on a life of its own with interesting perspective and compelling questions. If you get a chance, check it out.
Localism.com just launched from parent company ActiveRain. It is designed as a HYPER-LOCAL neighborhood portal. They refer to their business as the world’s most complete neighborpedia, where you can find articles, blogs, pictures, videos, maps and events for thoughts of neighborhoods across the country. As you will see when checking out the site, the primary people posting are real estate agents.
If they integrate in lead generation, this may be a helpful way to get targeted consumer leads in their primary target markets. Also, as these local destinations grow, there is an opportunity to integrate other local businesses like car dealers, dentists, etc and provide those service-based businesses a direct way to access consumer demand.