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Case Study

Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage

How one Atlanta-based real estate team nearly tripled quality leads after switching to best-in-class websites and PPC campaign management. 

Three key challenges identified a clear need for change  

Generating billions in annual sales volume, Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage is one of the leading real estate firms in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Within the brokerage, Lorraine Danielson leads a six-person team where everyone operates as an agent.

As a veteran realtor, Danielson was no stranger to real estate lead generation software. She’d implemented a solution with the goal of increasing quality leads for her team. Though the solution delivered on lead quantity, it failed to produce quality or consistency. And, there were clear gaps in communities Danielson knew were producing leads in the market. Often, the generated leads required manual sorting to identify the few quality results from the poor ones, an effort which cost her lean team invaluable time and resources. To make matters worse, the software provided little in the way of reporting and the website solutions were difficult to maintain and update. 

“I didn’t have visibility into my PPC and everything was an add-on,” said Danielson. “Innovation and changes to the platform only occurred annually. If you didn’t like something, you went a whole year dealing with whatever it was; it was never going to get better.”

Danielson identified key pain points she needed help with: She needed a tool to support growing quality leads for less money. She needed a tool that could provide proactive campaign management. She needed a tool that was user-friendly, but delivered on analytical reporting. Sierra Interactive met those needs. So, Danielson made the switch to Sierra Interactive’s front-end website, backend CRM solution and pay-per-click (PPC) ad management. 

Growing quality leads for less money 

Sierra offered the PPC Google and Facebook ad management Danielson was looking for to help better position her business against competitors in the market. Since Sierra’s Google Ad management is offered at no extra cost for ad budgets under $1,000 per month, the value is almost immediate. Combined with proven PPC methodologies and Sierra’s expertise, clients often see far better performance and lower costs very quickly.

“Sierra’s transparency with campaign performance and campaign development is a characteristic that we are proud of. Supported by the professional guidance provided by our Digital Marketing Account Managers, our clients are able to understand how and why their campaigns are working. This enables them to make better, data driven decisions about their digital marketing strategies,” explained Sierra’s Digital Marketing Account Manager Lead Crystal Nosal. 

Sierra’s digital marketing team has managed more than $12 million in ad spend and relies on more than 20 years of combined experience to ensure customers are spending ad dollars as efficiently as possible. Plus, with no service fees, more of the ad spend goes toward ad performance. The industry standard is charging 20% of the ad budget for service fees, so other agencies have to perform 20% better than Sierra to compete. Average all-time conversion rate hovers around 11% with average cost-per-lead in the $8-$12 range in the U.S. ($4-$9 for buyer campaigns) and $3-$5 in Canada. Its cost-effective approach focuses on lead quality rather than quantity. (Low quality is a typical byproduct of some lead generation tactics, including lead purchasing.)

“Sierra Interactive’s PPC management delivers on value. Almost immediately we saw an increase in the number – and quality – of leads coming to the brokerage,” said Danielson. “Once I set up the campaigns, I don’t have to think about them again. They simply run successfully. It was an enormous, positive change from the results we’d seen using our previous solution.”

While the website and CRM ease of use was a clear incentive to switch, the quality of leads Sierra delivered solidified the decision. Since implementing Sierra, Danielson’s leads nearly tripled from the results they were seeing over the same time period from their previous software provider, growing from approximately 5,000 to more than 14,000. Her team was able to source leads across the metropolitan area and that included lead acquisitions from the target communities Danielson had been seeing zero leads from previously.

“Once it got set up, I instantly started getting leads from those communities I wasn’t before,” she noted. Whatever [the Sierra team] does, it works.”

Proactive campaign management led to improved cost-per-lead

The next clear evidence of success with Sierra came when Danielson measured her cost-per-lead (CPL) rate. Previously, she’d been investing over $5,000 per month on her software solution, with over $3,000 of that expense attributed solely to ineffective PPC methodologies. After switching to Sierra, her CPL was cut in half. Now, it averages between $7-8 compared to the previous range of $12-15 (not including the previous solution’s additional ad management fee). 

“Before, my team spent so much time on upkeep. Between the difficulties our former solution presented us with our website, SEO and PPC campaigns, it felt like we were working for our software solution, rather than having our software solution work for us,” said Danielson. “With Sierra, I get more results with less investment. I have more time and resources I can dedicate to activities I want to be doing, like turning buyer leads into seller leads and growing my organic audience.” 

Delivering detailed reporting while staying user-friendly

One of the biggest challenges Danielson faced prior to Sierra was the lack of information she was able to gain from her previous software provider.

“Before I make a business decision, I want to know I have information to support it. Before Sierra, the reporting I was able to pull to view my PPC campaigns and website engagement was linear, at best. It barely scratched the surface on cost-per-lead data and didn’t offer any real insight,” Danielson explained. In a competitive real estate market, surface-level information wasn’t enough to support informed decision making.

“The reporting capabilities of Sierra was one of the most immediate changes I experienced,” Danielson continued. “Now, I have true visibility into my comprehensive ad performance, while always knowing exactly how I’m tracking with my budget and knowing what’s working for us. Plus, if I ever need help interpreting our findings, Sierra offers a consultative service to help make our decision making that much stronger. It’s truly an easy, full-picture approach.”

That ease-of-use is a promise Sierra delivers across all products and services. Website templates, for example, are no-code and provide a backend CMS that real estate teams can easily manage themselves with little to no training.

“Everything Sierra provides is not only easy, it produces a real, tangible result,” said Danielson. “We’re spending less time building landing pages for the backend of our website, yet we’re seeing our site engagement grow through increased time-on-page and decreased bounce rates. Our indexing is better. Our SEO is performing, without requiring us to be experts in SEO.

“The tools Sierra provides are invaluable in supporting my team and contributing to the brokerage’s annual sales volume,” Danielson said. “Regardless of what solution you think might be working for you, Sierra is worth making the switch.”

Results Recap 

Before Sierra Interactive With Sierra Interactive What it means
5,000 leads 14,000 leads Danielson nearly tripled her leads. Plus, lead quality improved, meaning her team spent less resources manually sorting through fake leads. 
$14-15 cost-per-lead $7-8 cost-per-lead Danielson is gaining more quality leads at a lower per-lead investment. 
Surface-level reporting Comprehensive reporting Danielson can make informed decisions based on clicks, keyword performance, budget, lead generation and more.
High bounce rate, low visibility into website engagement Bounce rate cut in half, improved time-on-page and click analytics Danielson has a better understanding of website performance and how to keep her audience engaged. 


About

Sierra Interactive develops residential real estate software and services for agents, teams and brokers in the U.S. and Canada. Sierra’s proven lead generation and management solutions are trusted by top-performing teams and influential coaches in the real estate industry. Founded in 2007, Sierra is headquartered in Louisville, KY, but has a remote-first workforce across the U.S.

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