We speak to Alfredo Bloy-Dawson about what it takes to run lead generation for extreme high ticket items. Alfredo consults for the marketing of Spanish property, running lead gen for mansions that sell for many, many millions. So, how does that impact the lead gen itself? Do the leads cost more? What are the conversion rates like? What can you do to be successful in this world? We get you the answers…
Alfredo, let’s begin with what you do and how Lead Gen fits into that world?
Alfredo Bloy-Dawson: I’m a marketing consultant for real estate agencies and property developers, primarily those that sell to foreign buyers. I consult on things related to lead gen, marketing strategy and really anything in between. My background is really in more pure lead gen for real estate agencies.
So there are a lot of huge properties to be sold in Spain and lead gen is massively important in selling them, right?
Exactly right. I don’t just work in luxury, I work in the mass market end, so I do have an insight into how both worlds operate. How both generate leads, how both make sales, how both convert (or don’t)!
Does the lead gen differ between the mass market and the extreme high ticket?
It differs in what works. It doesn’t necessarily differ in what people try and do. You know, you have someone at an agency on the mass market who moves up to a fancy agency somewhere and naturally they will try what worked at the previous agency, which typically means Google ads, Facebook ads, listings on the portals.
So to some degree, yes, probably heading more towards the property side of things. But the numbers in the high end are not pretty and it spooks most people before they get near to finding out whether it works or not.
So for example, just to put it in context, imagine a five million euro villa, a commission - if the agent sells it directly - the commission on that is 250k. So you’re not gonna spend 100 euros on Facebook and have a go and see if you get back a sale.
The other thing that affects it here is that on the coastal areas the agents share listings with other agents. Because the commissions are sufficiently high they will quite often generate most of the sales indirectly. So what you have is these fancy agencies with excellent reputations, quite often aligned with an international brand, and they are selling these high ticket items like they are hot cakes, but they are not actually generating the leads for them themselves. 70-80% of those sales are coming through other agents. That’s where it gets messy. Because those other agents, there’s like 2000 of them, all fishing in the same sea, and amongst all the sardines they are catching there’s the odd tuna pops out, and that becomes the buyer of that high ticket item.
Meanwhile, the posh agency is doing listings on property portals, maybe they do some exhibitions or offline stuff, maybe some Google ads, a little bit of re-marketing, some posts on social and stuff like that, and they put everything into the same pile and tend to take a very macro view on how successful things are. Things are very fuzzy.
What is the (approximate) CPL in this world? Can we get some rough numbers for context?
This is the fuzzy answer. Leads from Facebook? They get cheaper the bigger the house. But they also get more rubbish. The fancier the villa. The more Ferraris you see parked out front. The more helicopters with models coming out of it. The more of those leads you’re gonna get. And the more rubbish they’re gonna be. So bizarrely, they actually get cheaper than regular ones. But they are almost impossible to convert unless you have a really sophisticated process.
Google, it’s more normal terms. If you just go for the high ticket, you could get a lead for maybe £50. It’s not unusual. The problem lies in getting enough of those leads. If you say you need a hundred leads I say you have to wait seven months because their aren’t enough to be had.
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