Buying Leads for Real Estate Agents: Comparing All the Options

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What You Should Know

  • Advertising is a highly effective strategy for generating real estate leads
  • Google AdWords targets keywords and phrases to generate leads
  • Facebook Ads allows real estate agents to custom their audiences and target them differently
  • Agents can choose among several subscription platforms to buy real estate leads. The subscription plans come with different features and prices
  • Lead generation is only the first step of landing a client, a lot of work must be put following up with these leads in order to achieve results

Where to Buy Real Estate Leads

Lead generation is the first step in landing a client. Often times, these leads are not easy to come by. A great amount of time and effort needs to be put in in order to generate this list of people who might or might not be interested in selling or buying a home. Then, even more time and resources need to be dedicated to follow-up with these leads, identify the prospects and finally convert them into clients. To speed up the long and dreadful process of lead generation, real estate agents can integrate several strategies into their marketing and lead generation efforts.

Real estate leads can be generated using different strategies. One of the most common lead generation techniques is advertising. Advertising puts your business out there, catches the audience’s attention, and makes them aware of you. You can generate leads using a pay-per-click advertising sales model or social media advertising. Two of the most popular advertising platforms are Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Through sophisticated algorithms, these two platforms offer real estate agents advanced targeting methods. While Google AdWords offers the benefit of targeting specific keywords and phrases, Facebook has other tools, such as categorizing audiences and choosing ads that tailor each one. A third alternative is using specifically real estate subscription platforms to buy real estate leads. These platforms come with a variety of features and offerings at different prices, where each real estate agent can choose the one that best suits them.

Google Ads

Google Ads has a pay-per-click sales model. By targeting search queries, your ad is displayed whenever someone, hopefully, a potential client, searches keywords or phrases on Google. Since the user has to intentionally search for these words related to your business, Google Ads offers leads with high buyer intent. You only pay for the ad once the person clicks on it. This might not sound too bad financially wise, however, Google AdWords can get quite pricey very fast.

Google AdWords offers real estate agents two main networks to target their users in - the search network and the display network. Each network has different features and prices per click. While the Google search network displays ads on top of the search engine results page whenever someone searches keywords or phrases, the Google display network lets real estate agents display their advertising banners on specific websites that are part of the Google network.

The table below compares Google networks by the prices they quote and their performance in the real estate industry.

Cost per Click (CPC)Cost per acquisition (CPA)Clickthrough Rate (CTR)Conversion Rate (CVR)
Google Search Network$2.37$116.613.71%2.47%
Google Display Network$0.75$74.791.08%0.80%

Cost per click → this is the price you will pay every time a user clicks on your ad

Cost per acquisition → the average cost of a user actually performing the action the ad directs him to do

Clickthrough rate → measures the % of users that click the ad out of all the users the ad is displayed to. CTR is found by dividing the number of times the ad gets clicked by the number of times the ad is shown.

Average Conversion Rate → measures the % of clicks that actually perform the action the ad intends to encourage out of all the users that click on the ad. CVR is calculated by dividing the number of people who perform the action by the number of clicks.


  • Targets specific keywords/phrases
  • High buyer intent


  • High cost per lead
  • Can generate leads with limited contact informations who are hard to track down

Facebook Ads

By displaying your ads on Facebook, you have the opportunity to reach out to a larger audience. This has its own implications. Since the ad appears to the user’s feed without them searching for something related to it, Facebook Ads offers leads with lower buyer intent. This means that most of the people who see the ad are not looking for a real estate agent immediately. On the other hand, Facebook advertising can be used to target users who are in their early stages of buying or selling a home. Although it will be a long way before this user needs a real estate agent, it is still a good idea to keep track of these users. Facebook Custom Audience is an important targeting tool to use when deciding which ad to show to which user depending on the relationship you have with them.

Facebook Ads also offers a more cost-effective strategy for lead generation. With a cost of $1.81 per click in the real estate industry, Facebook Ads are competitively cheaper than the Google Ads search network.

Cost per Click (CPC)Cost per acquisition (CPA)Clickthrough Rate (CTR)Conversion Rate (CVR)
Facebook Ads$1.81$16.920.99%10.68%

Comparing these measures to the Google ads, we can see that Facebook Ads are clearly more affordable. Moreover, they offer a much higher conversion rate of 10.68%. However, it is important to remember that the clickthrough rate is lower as well, which makes the CVR have a lower effect on actual clients brought in by Facebook Ads. Also, since the conversion rate is mainly the number of people who perform the action the ad directs them to, this doesn’t mean that these users are actively looking to buy or sell a home. Meanwhile, Google Ads offers hot leads, that in most cases have a very high probability of being converted into immediate clients.


  • Low cost per lead
  • Can target different audiences using different ads


  • Low buyer intent
  • Have to filter through for quality leads

Platform Leads

These are leads that come from real estate marketplaces such as Zillow, BoldLeads, and RedX. These platforms offer to advertise your business on their websites at a cost usually measured per lead, monthly subscription, or a combination of the two. The variety of such platforms in the US gives real estate agents from different niches targeting different audiences the chance to choose among the marketplace that best suits their needs. Among many, some of the most popular platforms are.

Zillow Premier AgentPros: Best for buyer leads for real estate agents Offers high Return on Investment Includes a CRM and an IDX website$250/month
Cons: Sells one lead to more than one agent Not all leads are real
BoldLedsPros: Offers managed ad service, easy-to-use CRM Limited number of agents for one ZIP code$649/month (includes a min ad spend of $250)
Cons: High cost of $399/month + $250 Min ad spend
REDXPros: Focuses on specific niches Can control how many leads you get$39.99 - $79.99/month
Cons: Doesn’t offer lead exclusivity
Market LeaderPros: Offers a guaranteed number of leads Offers ZIP code exclusivity to agents$99 + $20 to $30 per lead
Cons: Quality of leads deteriorates to meet the the guaranteed number of leads
OffrsPros: Predicts leads through its algorithm Offers optional lead exclusivity$200 - $500/ month
Cons: Lead inconsistency

Zillow Premier Agent

With millions of users visiting their website every day, Zillow is by far the most popular real estate platform out there. Zillow Premier Agent offers seller and buyer leads to agents who advertise on their platform, however, buyer leads have been the most common ones.

How does it work?

If you want to get started on Zillow, you would first need to decide on ZIP codes you are interested in, where you want your ad to be displayed and how long do you want the advertisement to stay up for. As with any ad pricing model, depending on how popular the area chosen is, it will decide how much your ad will cost. After users see your ad on the website and decide to contact you, they are required to fill in a contact information form, which is then sent to you.

Zillow is the perfect platform to gain exposure, however, there are a few downsides. Zillow Premier Agent can prove to be very expensive and even after getting the leads you are paying for, you will still have to compete with other agents who have chosen the same ZIP code as you.


BoldLeads is best known for integrating its marketing strategies in the lead generation system and nurturing those leads after providing them to you. BoldLeads has a monthly fee of $399/ month and a minimum ad spend of $250.

How does it work?

BoldLeads will create ads for you and advertise them on platforms such as Google and Facebook. After the users see and click on your ad, they will be directed to a custom page that is performing well. Then they have to give their contact information in order to gain access to exclusive information. Their contact information is then sent to you. The best part is that BoldLeads does not stop when they provide you with the lead. Through their advanced CRM software, they make sure your leads are nurtured by sending automated messages and emails.

Even though BoldLeads is quite costly compared to other platforms, its ad management, and customer relationship management system prove to justify the price. Moreover, since BoldLeads offers lead exclusivity, agents don’t have to compete with one another for leads.


REDX has put its grip on the industry of providing leads by focusing on specific niche categories of leads. REDX products include expired, FSBO, FRBO, Geo Leads, and Pre-foreclosure leads. The prices of these products range from $39.99/month to $79.99/month.

How does it work?

The system REDX uses involves gathering as much information as possible from all over the internet about potential clients and serving it to you, so that you can then decide which ones you want to contact. While with other platforms, most agents stay on their toes hoping someone will reach out to them, with REDX, the agent makes the first move. This means that you get to decide how many leads you get. The more leads you decide to contact, the lower your cost per lead will be.

Even though the amount of information that REDX provides makes the platform worth the price, there is still a certain element of cold-calling when using REDX. So for agents who want to avoid this process altogether and have the leads reach out to them, REDX might not be the right choice.


For agents who are still unsure about the results that these real estate platforms can provide in terms of leads generated every month, MarketLeader is the answer. MarketLeader promises to provide its clients with a guaranteed number of leads every month for a flat fee.

How does it work?

Just as BoldLeads, MarketLeader uses targeted advertising on Google and Facebook to attract users. Once the users click on the ad, they are taken to a landing page where their contact information is gathered. There are different landing pages for potential sellers and potential buyers, according to the specific interests of each category.

MarketLeader’s charges a flat fee of $99 and an additional fee for every lead, which can be anywhere from $20 to $30. Their promise of a guaranteed number of leads makes MarketLeader a very appealing option to many agents, however, the quality of the leads provided is in question.


Offrs is a platform with provides a unique approach to the lead generation system. The company aims to generate leads by predicting who will be likely to sell in the near future. So that when the identified individuals do end up selling, Offrs has already provided their customers with this information ahead of everyone else.

How does it work?

Offrs uses an advanced algorithm to analyze large amounts of data in order to determine which houses in the market are most likely to become more attractive and what characteristics these houses possess. The second step of their predictive model involves identifying individuals who will most likely want to sell their current properties. Putting it all together, Offrs provides its clients with the conclusions they make and offers them these leads before there is even a listing.

Offrs does really have something to offer to the diversity of real estate platforms. However, there are concerns that by focusing too much on future leads, there is a chance of missing out on obvious current opportunities.

Organic Leads

Organic leads come from people who find your content through your own network and outreach. These can be people you have cold-emailed on your own or who have stumbled upon your content in social media platforms. Organic leads are free, that is you do not have to pay anything to get them. However, you would have to put in the work to raise the public’s awareness of you and put your business out there. Agents can achieve this by constantly staying active on their websites, social media platforms and by doing some outreach work on their own. There are several things you can do to stay active. For example, you can start a daily blog or write articles continuously that get the audience to engage with your content. The more users interact with your posts, the more awareness you gain. Therefore, allocating some time to perfect your content clearly pays off in the long run.

Referral Leads

Referral leads come from people you have worked with in the past. These are usually your past clients or people in your own sphere of influence. Referrals from past clients are very valuable as they are a testimony of your work, skills, and abilities. In order to get referral leads, you need to be able to develop and maintain relationships with your current clients, offer them quality service, so that in the future, they can refer you to someone they know. What makes referral leads have such high quality is that people trust an agent that is recommended by a person they know more than an ad.

How to Make the Most Out of your Real Estate Leads

The leads that you get through different channels are worth little if you don’t take the time to nurture them. In order to make sure that most of your leads are ultimately converted into clients, there is a number of things you can do.

  1. Make sure you combine paid leads with free leads

    Even though buying real estate leads is done so you can have a steady flow of leads while saving time and resources, organic and referral leads are still an important source of clients. Since you have a competitive advantage over other agents with these leads, it is crucial that you follow up with them even when you have restored to a lead generation subscription program or advertising strategy. People tend to trust referrals from other people more than an online agency, thus, organic and referral leads should not be ignored either.

  2. Build relationships with your leads

    This is done by following up with the leads and sending customized messages or emails depending on what stage of the buying/selling process the lead is in. If the leads feel that they are being handled by computer automatic messages, it might be more difficult to land them as a client since there is no personal connection with the agent himself.

  3. Make sure you are easily reachable by your leads

    On the occasion when the website or contact information of the real estate agent is too difficult to find, most people will not bother to look too much into it and will immediately divert their attention elsewhere. To avoid this, you have to make sure that you have a strong online presence where the leads can learn all about your products and services and thus take the initial step towards building a relationship with you.

  4. Develop a system for managing leads

    Whether you are using Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Zillow to generate your leads, you need to create an efficient system of handling these leads no matter where they come from. Make sure that all of your leads gather to one destination, from where you can follow up with each one. Also, do not forget to create personalized automatic messages for each category of leads.

Keywords for Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents looking to put up real estate Facebook ads or real estate ads on Google will most likely target the following real estate keywords. These keywords are popular and have large traffic volumes, which means that securing an ad with these keywords can be competitive and costly. Here's how much it will cost to advertise for the following top real estate keywords:

1. Real Estate Agent

Generic keywords have a large reach and a broad audience, but it also means that it can be extremely competitive. According to SEMRush, the keyword "real estate agent" has 165,000 monthly searches on Google. How much will it cost to put your real estate ad at the top of Google’s search results for “real estate agent”?

Results of Spending $30/Day for “Real Estate Agent” for 1 Month

ClicksImpressionsCTRAverage CPCTop of Page Bid
Google Ads2,50070,0003.5%$0.37$4.20 - $15.00
Facebook Ads2,520 - 7,470117,000 - 330,0002.2%$0.12 - $0.36-

Source: Google Ads and Facebook Ads

According to Google Ads, if you spent $30 per day for one month, you can expect to get about 2,500 clicks on your ad. That works out to an average cost-per-click (CPC) of $0.37. You’ll also get 70,000 ad impressions, which is the number of views that your ad gets, which gives a click-through-rate (CTR) of 3.5%. While the average CPC is $0.37, you’ll need to pay more in order to appear at the very top of the search results. The top of page bid for Google ranged from $4.20 to $15.00 CPC. Facebook Ads had a lower estimated CTR, but a higher estimated number of clicks and impressions.

2. Top Real Estate Agent

Adding “top” to the keyword makes it slightly more specific and narrows the searches that the ad will appear for. According to SEMRush, this keyword gets just under 15,000 monthly searches. While the impressions will decrease, the CTR will most likely increase.

Results of Spending $30/Day for “Top Real Estate Agent” for 1 Month

ClicksImpressionsCTRAverage CPCTop of Page Bid
Google Ads57010,5005.4%$1.64$3.14 - $12.55

Source: Google Ads

3. Best Real Estate Agent Near Me

Long-tail keywords, such as "Best Real Estate Agent Near Me", are very specific. For this particular keyword, a user isn't searching just for the best real estate agent, but they are also looking for agents in their local area. Advertisers will compete fiercely for users searching for this high-intent keyword, as traffic from this keyword is more valuable compared to generic keywords. For example, the CPC for "Best Real Estate Agent Near Me" is $2.40, which is much higher than the $0.37 CPC for "Real Estate Agent".

Results of Spending $30/Day for “Best Real Estate Agent Near Me” for 1 Month

ClicksImpressionsCTRAverage CPCTop of Page Bid
Google Ads3904,0009.7%$2.40$7.48 - $19.65

Source: Google Ads

4. Realtors

“Realtors” is another example of a very generic keyword with high search volumes. How will ad performance vary if you slightly change the keyword to be more specific?

Results of Spending $30/Day for 1 Month

KeywordMonthly SearchesClicksImpressions
Realtor5 Million6,200126,000
Realtors Near Me135,00075014,000
Best Realtors Near Me8,1001372,800
Top Realtors8805059,000
KeywordCTRAverage CPCTop of Page Bid
Realtor4.9%$0.15$0.27 - $4.28
Realtors Near Me5.4%$1.25$6.28 - $15.03
Best Realtors Near Me4.9%$6.79$8.96 - $20.31
Top Realtors5.6%$1.84$3.43 - $12.11

Source: Google Ads and SEMRush

“Realtor” and the various variations have decreasing clicks and impressions as the keyword gets longer and more specific. The exception to this is “Top Realtors”. Why does that keyword have a very low number of monthly searches, at just 880 searches, but a higher number of clicks and impressions than “best realtors near me”? A clue can be seen in the keyword’s top of page bid range. This suggests that there aren’t many advertisers competing to be at the top of this keyword proportionate to the keyword’s search volume. While there’s less search traffic to go around, there’s possibly less competition from other advertisers too. This makes “top realtors” a hidden gem when targeting realtor keywords.

Keywords for Mortgage Brokers

There are many keyword choices for mortgage brokers and lenders looking for mortgage leads. Should you target keywords for people looking for mortgage brokers? Or perhaps keywords for mortgage rates might be a better choice? Here’s how mortgage keywords compare for Google Ads:

Results of Spending $30/Day for 1 Month

KeywordMonthly SearchesClicksImpressions
Mortgage Brokers40,50025210,800
Mortgage Brokers Near Me18,000532,100
Best Mortgage Brokers1,000502,000
Mortgage Rates550,00082341,000
Best Mortgage Rates27,00047414,500
Best Mortgage Refinance Rates6,6002708,200
Best Home Equity Loan Rates2,9001214,500
Lowest Mortgage Rates14,80040011,300
30 Year Mortgage Rates90,5003008,700
15 Year Mortgage Rates74,0002256,000
KeywordCTRAverage CPCTop of Page Bid
Mortgage Brokers2.3%$3.68$6.65 - $18.00
Mortgage Brokers Near Me2.6%$17.30$8.45 - $22.49
Best Mortgage Brokers2.5%$18.68$8.07 - $39.32
Mortgage Rates2.0%$1.13$3.55 - $12.70
Best Mortgage Rates3.3%$1.96$10.05 - $32.71
Best Mortgage Refinance Rates3.3%$3.43$20.73 - $66.70
Best Home Equity Loan Rates2.7%$7.64$8.56 - $23.03
Lowest Mortgage Rates3.5%$2.32$7.61 - $24.88
30 Year Mortgage Rates3.5%$3.08$3.15 - $10.77
15 Year Mortgage Rates3.8%$4.12$4.98 - $15.12

Source: Google Ads and SEMRush

Long-tail keywords related to mortgage brokers have a very high CPC, such as "best mortgage brokers" having an average CPC of $18.68. These keywords also have a relatively low CTR for a long-tail keyword, which suggests that users searching this keyword and clicking on your ad may have a lower chance of conversion. The high CPC might be due to high competition from advertisers for a disproportionately low search volume. This can be a very expensive way to generate real estate leads, especially if these clicks don’t convert to leads.

On the other hand, the variations of “mortgage rate” keywords have much better CPC and CTR numbers. You’ll be able to get a good volume of clicks for a lower average cost, and the higher CTR suggests a better chance of conversions. For mortgage brokers looking to utilize paid search ads to get mortgage leads, it might be a better option to advertise your mortgage rates. This targets those looking for the best mortgage rates, rather than those that might be generically looking for a mortgage broker. Users searching for rates have a better chance of converting, especially if they see that you are offering low rates.

Any calculators or content on this page is provided for general information purposes only. Casaplorer does not guarantee the accuracy of information shown and is not responsible for any consequences of its use.