I want to say up front I am the #1 advocate for internet marketing and lead strategy. The most quoted statistic of "80%" of buyers start their search online for real estate, and i am a believer in this as well. The Internet and social media outlets need to be used advantageously in your real estate business if you are to be a continued success. You must be able to adapt and shift with technology and the marketing strategy that utilizes it if you are to make real estate sales you true career and profession. BUT...if we are going to argue statistics and data, let's not ignore a stat that has been overwhelmingly true since before the advent of the internet, and continues to prove true...
(this is where the "but" is inserted)
According to data from the CRB accreditation and NAR, we still see 74% of a REALTOR's business (that's closed transactions) come from 1. Referrals from past clients/friends/family & 2. Past clients themselves (selling or helping them buy). THIS IS HUGE! Do you realize that 3/4 of your business marketing should be focused on asking and receiving referrals from past clients and keeping in constant communication with past clients themselves. Now ironically, you can knock out 2 birds with one stone (proverbial marketing) since to ask for referrals from past clients, it means you need to stay in constant communication and good standing with them. Now, to support my first paragraph statement, the internet marketing and social media strategies can work wonders for keeping the lines of communication open with past clients and working to be first in line for referrals from past clients/friends/family, etc.
So here is the "timeout" moment...as you work on setting up lead generation and internet prospecting (the new "cold calling" - which is really more like "lukewarm calling") remember that if 75% of your business is derived from past clients and referrals, then maybe 75% of your marketing budget should be targeted as such.
(and here is another little tidbit...NAR ads an additional 6% of a REALTOR's sales derive from Open Houses, so that, plus the above mentioned, equals 80% of your business. Where are your marketing $$ going again?)