Provided you can work with the right provider serving you quality leads, the real estate leads pay-at-closing model can be a great way to get real estate leads without having to risk your money upfront.

However, there is another way to get the same benefits and often better leads.

It’s relocation deals.

Picture someone moving to a new city for a new job. They need a place and fast. 

That’s where these deals come in.

Now, you might wonder, which one’s better? Or are they just different? 

Let’s find out in today’s article.

Grasping the “Pay-at-Closing” Mechanism: A Brief Overview with Pros and Cons

Picture this: You’re at a carnival. There’s a game causing a buzz.

The twist?

You only cough up money if you snag a prize.

Sound appealing?

Now, transpose that scenario to real estate.

“Pay at closing” real estate leads resonate with this game’s logic.

Instead of upfront payments for a potentially fruitless lead campaign, you wait until the providers send you hopefully quality leads.

Cash only leaves your pocket when the deal is finalized and the property is officially transferred.

Seems straightforward, right?

Dive deeper into my article on pay-at-closing service providers, and you’ll realize that the process might not always be as smooth as imagined.


The Upside of “Pay at Closing”

Gentle on Your Cashflow: Hold Onto Your Money… for now. 

You only dip into your funds when there’s a tangible outcome: a sealed deal.

It’s akin to shopping but only forking out cash when you’re certain it’s the right purchase.

No more remorse about squandering money on unfruitful lead campaigns or leads you pay upfront.

More Bang for Your Buck: Ideally, since you’re paying later, there’s a shared incentive.

All stakeholders, particularly those pitching the leads, are honed in on quality.

Their vested interest in the sale’s success aligns with yours. 

But, as feedback from agents in my article linked earlier highlights, the actual experience can differ among providers.


The Downside of “Pay at Closing”

Hidden Costs Might Surprise You: Selling a premium property is exhilarating.

Yet, with the “pay at closing” blueprint, a substantial sale might equate to a heftier fee for the lead provider.

So, that invoice might cause a slight grimace.

Pressure’s On: Zero initial expenses sound freeing. But there’s a catch.

Every lead turns into a quest. 

The looming responsibility to ensure every potential client sees it through becomes palpable. 

Fall short, and your relationship with lead providers might turn sour. It’s a tad nerve-wracking.

Non-Exclusive Leads: Some providers might pitch the same leads to multiple agents.

Their logic? 

Higher competition amplifies the likelihood of a property transaction, optimizing their advertising ROI.

Quality Might Be Hit or Miss: Even if a lead is “exclusive,” it doesn’t vouch for its excellence.

Imagine seeking that perfect yacht your chihuahua (with those enviable abs) has been pining for.

You spot one in a brochure that’s just right. That’s effective marketing.

Yet, expecting pay-at-closing firms to tailor campaigns perfectly to your ideal target audience is wishful thinking. 

Their broad audience base can dilute individual lead quality.


What Are Relocation Deals, and Why Do They Matter?

When you hear “relocation,” what comes to mind? 

New job? 

Moving cities? 

New beginnings? 

Now, where do real estate agents fit into this puzzle? 

The answer: Relocation deals.

Imagine this scenario: Someone lands a dream job in a new city. Great news, right? 

But here’s the thing. They need a place to live and fast. 

On the flip side, they might need to sell their current property before they leave. 

That’s where you, the real estate agent, come into the picture.

So, What Exactly Are Relocation Deals?

In the simplest terms, relocation deals refer to real estate transactions that arise due to someone’s need to move, typically to a different city or country. 

The reasons can vary: a new job, family needs, or the desire for a fresh start. 

Relocation companies often play the matchmaker role here, connecting relocating individuals with savvy real estate agents.


Why Should Real Estate Agents Care for This Type of Lead Source?

Predictable Commissions: Unlike conventional real estate deals, where commissions can be a bit of a wild card, relocation deals, especially those funneled through relocation companies, often come with predefined commission structures. 

So, while the percentage might be set, knowing it upfront can be a relief.

Serious Clients: Think about it. Someone relocating for a job or family isn’t window shopping. 

They have a pressing need to buy or sell a property. 

For real estate agents, this translates to motivated clients who are more likely to close deals.

The Third-Party Advantage: Working with relocation companies can be a boon. 

They often shoulder the responsibility of qualifying clients, ensuring you’re not wasting time on tire kickers. 

But, Like Anything, There Are Two Sides to the Coin…

Third-Party Fees: Yes, relocation companies can be a huge help, but remember, they’re in it to turn a profit, too. 

While they connect you with potential clients, they’ll likely take a slice of your commission pie as their fee. It’s a trade-off.

Fierce Competition: Relocation deals can be lucrative, and where there’s money, there’s competition. 

Many real estate agents vie for the same leads, especially if the relocation company isn’t offering exclusive leads.

Not Always the Perfect Fit: While relocation deals can bring motivated clients, they may not always align with your ideal clients or, hence, your real estate niche

The client’s urgency might lead them to settle for properties that aren’t the best match.


Let’s Analyze Pay at Closing Leads and Relocation Deals Side-By-Side

Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of relocation deals and recapped the pros and cons of pay at closing leads, let’s compare them side-by-side.

To have a better overview, I prepared a table below.

CriteriaRelocation DealsPay at Closing
Cost Implications
- Upfront Costs vs Backend CostsBackend costs with shared commissions upon deal closure.Almost exclusively backend; payment after successful sale.
- Potential ROIPredictable but possibly reduced due to shared commissions.Varies based on lead quality; high ROI possible with quality leads (which is rare).
Timeframe and Urgency
- Speed of Lead ConversionTypically faster due to client urgency (higher customer awareness).Can vary; dependent on lead quality and readiness.
- Time-to-Close DifferencesFaster time-to-close due to urgency of relocating clients.Less predictable; can be longer if leads aren't immediately transaction-ready.
Choice for Your Business
- Business SizeSuitable for smaller businesses or individual agents due to predictability.Favors larger agencies and agents with a performance track record,.
- Available ResourcesIdeal for those seeking quicker turnarounds.Better for those with resources for longer lead nurturing.
- Target AudienceBest in areas with frequent relocations (e.g., cities with corporate headquarters).Universal; dependent on lead quality rather than location specifics (customer awarness is hard to predict).
Data-Driven Insights
- Historical DataCan indicate trend continuation if past success is noted.Important for gauging previous successes and refining approach.
- Future Performance PredictabilityAnticipate trends, like a corporation moving to your city, for potential upticks in business.Use insights and market analysis to predict potential future lead quality and conversion rates.

In conclusion, both relocation deals and pay at closing offer distinct advantages and challenges. 

Weighing them in the context of upfront costs, backend costs, ROI, lead conversion, time-to-close, business size, alignment with your real estate niche and thus ideal clients, and other factors can help you make an informed choice. 

However, I would go for relocation deals if I had to choose between the two.


It’s firstly hard to find a pay-at-closing provider that provides quality leads, and secondly, leads from relocation deals are significantly more aware.

As you may have read in this article, the more aware a potential client is, the closer they are to a transaction and the less time and money you have to invest in nurturing campaigns.

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher