Internet leads can be hazardous to your health and your wealth as I found out the hard way a few short years ago. Here's a quick recap of my story. 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, 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 over a year and 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 likely not the only "lead gatherer" who will be vying for the clients attention.
Rule # 1 - Get to the potential client FAST, FIRST and Friendly! Remember these are internet leads and the folks are clicking away on more than just your site. First come first serve.
Hurdle #2 - Internet leads typically begin their search earlier in the "home shopping" process and may require a longer "incubation period" than your average yard sign caller who is actually on the buying fast track in comparison.
Rule # 2 - Don't abandon the lead early. Early termination of working an internet lead can be costly to the purchaser of the lead and to the expectations of the Realtor assigned the lead. Patience and diligence is key. Not everyone is cut out for this type of lead as I certainly found out.
The good news for me? Internet leads typically begin their search earlier in the "home shopping" process and may require a longer maturation time than your average sign caller who has more immediate goals. I was actually able to recover and get several more closed. Also, I have about 45 buyer leads actively participating with one of my agents currently. This Realtor was originally a part of the initial experience. He is so loving life right now. As a matter of fact, he closed one this past month that was literally 20 months old.
In closing, I believe setting the proper expectations on time to close with the responsible agent(s) is crucial. Failure in this area may negatively impact your team's ability too convert internet leads or even want to try, period. Take it from me; "Inernet Leads are Tricky".
Best of Luck,
Jack Solloway, Mng Mbr
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