As expected, the cost of real estate leads returned to normal in the 2nd quarter of 2021. The CPL is still better than it was pre-pandemic but it increased significantly from the 2nd quarter of 2020, which was by far the best of CINC's history.
The aggregate CPL in the 2nd quarter of 2021 (full report here) was $4.39, up substantially from the $3.11 of 2020. However, this was an improvement from $5.60 for the same period in 2019. This most likely reflects lead generation process improvements from CINC during the last two years, as well as that there are still lingering effects from the pandemic, such as more people working from home.
CINC is the leader in online real estate lead generation with more than 3,000 clients. The CINC client marketing team manages almost $30 million in search and social advertising spend annually.
Most markets had higher CPLs in 2021. Some of the outliers with better CPLs were New Haven, CT, Greenville, SC, Stockton, CA, Wichita, KS, and Augusta, GA, which all showed improvements year over year.
There was turnover in the big-market cities with the best CPL. The top cities are now Tampa, Houston, St. Louis, and Atlanta. Many of the cities that fell in the ranking were California cities - all of the four top 20 cities - Los Angeles, San Francisco, Riverside, and San Diego - had significant year-over-year increases.
We expect that the remainder of the year should be similar to the 2nd quarter. The CPL will not hit the record results of last year but should be better than historical standards.