Internet buyer leads? I learned 2 serious lessons with my team.

By
Real Estate Team Leader with Right Choice Realty
http://actvra.in/GDr

Internet leads can be hazardous to your health.

Between January and May 2012 I accumulated 685 internet leads from a push ad campaign targeting buyers from cities around the country that LOVE Lee County, Florida homes.  That was the easy part.  Now the fun part.

Jack Solloway, Blogger in Question

I assigned these leads to a group of ten agents with high hopes that we would close 1 out of 10 leads and whoopee, the money flows in.  The leads cost me roughly $14,000 in ad expenses and so my journey to recoup the initial investment began.  Or so I thought.  Most of my agents had very few positive experiences in performing follow-up on "internet leads".  They were pretty good at sign calls and such, but, internet leads pose several hurdles that many agents fail to recognize and adjust to.

Hurdle #1   -  Internet leads are clicking around faster than buyers in cars can drive around inquiring about homes.  you are not the only "lead gatherer".

Rule # 1    -   Get to the lead early!  Remember these are internet leads and the folks are clicking away on more than just your site.

Hurdle #2  -   Internet leads typically begin their search earlier in the "home shopping" process and may require a longer "cook time" than your average sign caller who is actually on the buying prowl so to speak.

Rule # 2   -   Don't leave the lead early.  Early termination of an internet lead can be costly to the purchaser of said lead and to the expectations of the lead agent.  Patience and diligence is key.  Not everyone is cut out for this type of lead.

In closing, setting the proper expectations on time to close with the responsible agents is critical.  Fail in this area and your team may fail at converting internet leads, period.  Take it from me.  I had to rework the entire lot of leads from scratch in June since I failed to train and set expectations properly the first time.  

The good news for me?  Internet leads typically begin their search earlier in the "home shopping" process and may require a longer cook time than your average sign caller who is actually on the prowl so to speak.  I actually was able to recover and get several more closed.  Also, I have about 45 buyers leads actively participating with one of my agents who were originally a part of the 685 leads.  Pheeew!

All-in-all it was a close call and a real lesson for me.  YTD I am several thousand dollars ahead of the game , but a few years older to be sure! I hope this blog helps those of you who are forming teams or achieving leads en masse.  They can be a bit tricky and you better understand the committment required.

 

Jack Solloway, Mng Mbr

Right Choice Realty, LLC

 

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Re-Bloggged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dan Rosenberger 08/21/2012 07:08 AM
  2. Nikesh Parekh 08/21/2012 09:10 AM
  3. Marte Cliff 08/21/2012 11:36 AM
  4. Dianna 201-895-1768 08/27/2012 08:32 AM
  5. Winston Heverly 01/09/2013 10:11 AM
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Topic:
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Comments 149 New Comment

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Rainmaker
570,044
Bill Gillhespy
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
16 Sunview Blvd

Hi Jack,  Great insight into the difference between the two types of buyers andalso the timeline.

September 01, 2012 12:45 PM
Rainmaker
92,990
Jack Solloway
Right Choice Realty
Right Choice Realty

thank you neighbor.

September 03, 2012 05:13 AM
Rainmaker
554,948
Chris Smith
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage

Jack, great information.  We need to adapt to the changing world.

September 04, 2012 05:06 AM
Rainer
2,981
Tom Minch
Follow Up Boss - Convert More Leads into Closings

Jack, thanks for sharing your story.

If you are a broker, training your agents to work with internet leads is the key. Internet leads are different from your "old school" leads and require somewhat different approach although many classic rules still apply, so here we go...

The most important thing - get your agents to call the leads as soon as they arrive. You actually need to call them, just emailing is not ok. Calling is important because:
1) agent can qualify the lead, are they serious?
2) find out what they are looking for and send relevant information
3) ignite a relationship, they'll remember the agent they talk to, not someone who just emailed them

For sure, you cannot call a lead if you don't know her phone number (and that's why leads with phones work much better). Sadly, we've seen too many agents not calling the leads even if the correct phone number is on file!

Having a system to have anything organized is important as well. Once you have more than a handful of leads, burring them in your inbox is not an option anymore! Get a proper lead management system and don't let them fall through the cracks.

September 21, 2012 05:35 AM
Rainmaker
260,268
Wayne B. Pruner
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Oregon First

Good post and good comments. You really put your money where your mouth is.

November 15, 2012 04:53 PM
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Rainmaker
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Jack Solloway

Right Choice Realty
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