Hey, I have e-mail from someone in Germany. Is This An Internet Lead?

Real Estate Agent with Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate 303829;0225082372


Inspired by Barbara Todero's post describing her Internet marketing.  Barbara utilizes several advertising media; blogging, web site, direct mail and more. 

INTERNET ADVERTISING WORKS!  Back in July 1995, I received the first e-mail inquiry from my then new web page.  FINALLY, someone saw my new web page.  Hey, maybe this thing (Internet) works. 

The e-mail came from a lady who was employed by the U.S. Army in Germany.  She was relocating back to this area and planned to buy a home when she arrived.  We never spoke until she and her mother arrived in Maryland, checked into their temporary rental and I knocked on their door.  However, it was like we'd known each other all of our lives.  We had enjoyed a brisk e-mail relationship back and forth for a bit over a month.  They knew what they wanted (or thought they knew).  I had previewed everything well located for transportation to her job.  I was ready.

We toured all day and before the day was over, I knew what she liked and didn't like.  Clearly, she was a good candidate for new New Townhomes in Alexandriaconstruction since anything she saw with any wear and tear, a speck of dust, etc. was quickly rejected. 

It pays to do your homework.  The next day, I took them on a tour of new townhomes in MD and Northern VA.  "We're not interested in new construction, Lenn, we want something that we can move in quickly." 

YOU HAVE TO LOVE BUILDERS' MODEL HOMES.  I had 6 builders lined up who had homes in various stages of construction from a 30 day delivery to a 90 day delivery.  Once we toured the first builder's model home, they were convinced that new construction was what they wanted (after all). 

We closed on the new townhme in Kingstown, in Alexandria Virginia in November 1995.                                                                                                                              NEW TOWNHOMES


TODAY, when I open new e-mail, that Internet inquiry is just as exciting as it was in 1995.  The difference is that today, I don't have any doubts that, if they are serious, qualified buyers, either I or one of the agents in my network WILL SELL THEM A HOME.

Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, serving home buyers in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Lenn      search     

Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988


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Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

That's awesome Lenn!!  Good thing you were able to pick up on those cues she gave to know what she REALLY wanted in a home. :)  Yes, the internet works nicely for us!

Jun 16, 2012 08:22 AM #1
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Sonja.  Indeed.  I have found on so many occassions that when they say "I don't want new construction", they have not seen new construction. 

When they see, new, clean, and PRETTY, they smile, their eyes light up and they have found a HOME.

Jun 16, 2012 08:31 AM #2
Suzanne Strickler
Realty Mark Associates - Havertown, PA
School is never out for the Succesful.

Lenn - If you had a web page in 1995, you were cutting edge, Girlfriend!

Jun 16, 2012 08:46 AM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Lenn- I'm echoing what Suzanne said... you really were ahead of your time to have a website in 1995.  Thanks for not saying "Buyers are liars."  (I've had that said in front of me when I was a buyer)  What you did was what successful sales people do... you listened with your eyes and ears to what your clients truly wanted.  

Jun 16, 2012 09:01 AM #4
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Suzanne.  You bet.  I discovered the Internet in December 1994 and had my first web site up and running by June 1995. 

It was funny.  When agents asked me where I "got buyers", I said, "Internet".  Most were glassy eyed or said "What's the Internet".

Kathy.  I would NEVER say that about home buyers.   Buyers are not liars, merely uninformed in the beginning. 


Jun 16, 2012 09:55 AM #5
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Lenn - Remember when I did the "Active Rain Hall of Fame" post back in the day?  You were on it and rightfully so.  Time has made you right in this venture.  You weren't ahead of your time, you were on it when it began.  There is a difference.

And you smarter than the average bear.

I always liked that line ;)

Jun 16, 2012 02:31 PM #6
David Grbich
Realty One Group - www.FindCARealEstate.com - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

Thanks for sharing your success Lenn. I just got an internet lead from a buyer in Spain and will definitely explore it to the fullest. Regards, Dave

Jun 16, 2012 04:17 PM #7
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Jason.  Thanks for stopping by.   In reality, I'm not fond of animated film or cartoons, but some characters or their lines reach out to me. Yogi Bear of course.  Also Popeye, "I yam what I yam", speaks volumes.

David.  Good for you.  I have spoken with many agents and brokers who are very Cavalier about Internet inquiries.  Their loss. 

Jun 16, 2012 08:30 PM #8
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Lenn -- thanks for sharing this (very early) internet success story.   Are there phony or insincere internet leads or inquiries?  They can be weeded out just as leads from other sources are vetted accordingly.  You're absolutely correct internet leads should be treated fairly and with the proper attitude.   

Jun 17, 2012 12:25 AM #9
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Michael.  I have heard many agents Pooh-Pooh Internet leads for many years.

Fine with me. 

I remember a time when I literally owned the MD/Northern VA Internet market. 

It didn't last long enough.

Jun 17, 2012 12:38 AM #10
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It's funny to read about closing on a new townhome in Kingstowne.  Then I have to think back about all the growth in the last 20 years!

Jun 17, 2012 07:37 PM #11
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