Do You Know Who I Am? I am an Internet Lead!

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

Do You Know Who I Am? I am an Internet Lead!


There’s a lot of talk about me.


Do Internet Leads drive you crazy?And a lot of demand, if you pay attention to the real estate webinars, keynote speeches, and seminars at conventions and expos. But I am not just a statistic. But I am writing to educate you a bit, since some of you just don’t get it.


Heck, I know you are getting calls about the different ways to hook up with me…at your expense, of course. Interesting, coz I’m just out there looking and I won’t cost you a dime. Wish I could tap into that money the real estate portals (you KNOW who they are) charge agents by passing along my information. It’s like double dipping, IMO.


It’s quite the ego boost that I’m so popular these days. Jeez, there are zillions of places for me to lurk and lots of cool videos to watch. Billions of minutes. All this tuff for FREE! I can make rude comments if I choose, or do nothing at all except watch. You can tell I was there, and where I came from, along with lots of other folks, but you won’t know who I am.


What Do Internet Leads Want and Not Want?


Real estate professionals and Internet experts claim to know who I am, how to grab my interest, how I go about searching on-line, and ways to keep me poking around on their websites. I admit, I do get drawn in by certain techniques, like when I find exactly the information I am looking for, and not having to sacrifice my anonymity until I am ready. Most of all I don’t want to get a phone call or be bombarded with stupid drip emails unless I consent to them.


Some people just don’t realize I AM in control. I will search as many sites as I want, sign up for automated listings in a bunch of places, and not commit to anything or anyone until I am good and ready. Na na na na na, and you can’t make me!


Hah, it might be 6 – 12 months, or even longer. Some of my cohorts I know are just playing around and probably will never commit, but you will never be able to tell. They are just having fun and entertaining themselves I think. I personally think it’s a waste of time, but it’s free so who cares?


Funny, but we Internet leads are NOT all the sameInternet Leads are Not all the Same


I understand you believe we all think the same, search in the same way, and respond to the same enticements you throw out like free reports and market analyses. Hah. I’d be careful about making assumptions that we are all similar. We humans are complex creatures, especially on-line where we can be anonymous.


I have to share a quote I heard some time ago at the California Association of REALTORS Expo in Long Beach that really says it all – “real estate agents want to kiss on the first date and they ain’t giving that up.”


I admit I don’t always know what I am looking for. But I know what I don’t want, and that is to be hassled. When I figure out what I do want, or decide it’s time to talk to a live human, you will hear from me. Hopefully I will hear back, and right away. I might even contact several of you to see who is on the ball vs. the sluggards. I admit I am impatient. But you expect me to respond quickly, so why shouldn’t the same expectation work for me?


You know, we like to chat about you  agents at cocktail parties and barbecues. Quite frankly some of my friends’ experiences tell me all I need to know, and who to stay away from. Word of mouth still works well.


Look at it from my perspective. I am bombarded by thousands of bits of advertising every day. Between radio, TV, the Internet, telephone calls, billboards, signs, newspapers, magazines and such I am one big targeted visual, auditory, textural and tasty advertising sponge.  Do you blame me for tuning out after 2 milliseconds if I’m not interested?


You know you do the same darn thing, so how am I any different?


It's Hard to be an Internet Lead


To be completely honest, I am often overloaded by all this cyber-information. There are contradictions, charts and statistics everywhere. I feel like I have no real life because I am led to believe the answers to all my questions are buried somewhere in my computer. I can’t even make a decision until I have Googled my question.


I just want to be recognized for who I am…a real person, with dreams and a life to live, trying to balance work and relationships, and struggling to make sense of our crazy housing market.


Please just treat me as a person, not a statistic, or something to be caught like a fish in a net. I like conversation and engagement, compelling and accurate information, and learning about you and your real estate world. I want you to listen to me and really hear what I have to say. I know you need to make money…me too.  But is that all I am to you?


I am no longer ashamed to admit I am an Internet lead, although I was when I first wrote a similar post waaay back in 2008.  But I don’t think you understand me at all sometimes or believe the myths about on-line leads. But things seem to be changing, and from what I have seen SOME of you DO get it. Plus some of my friends HAVE already experienced the nirvana of an honest-to-goodness real estate professional who listened and heard, and helped them accomplish their goals with truth, honesty, and integrity. Maybe it will happen to me too.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Praful Thakkar 12/23/2012 11:48 AM
Real Estate Best Practices
Active Rain Newbies
Certified Residential Specialists
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internet leads

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Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

This is one of the greatest posts I have ever read Jeff.  Very well done and a very entertaining post.                                      

Dec 23, 2012 09:17 PM #22
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

Ah, the internet lead. So easy to shop, so easy to pretend to be able to buy. So easy to say "I can move tomorrow" the poor agent has no idea if I have two pennies to rub together or not!

Dec 23, 2012 09:24 PM #23
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

If you get a lead from the internet it means you could be one of mang agents this person is in contact with.  If you do not get a phone number it often means you are just being used for information.

Dec 23, 2012 09:51 PM #24
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

Hi Jeff,  Excellent blog!  Everyone wants to be treated as a person, an important person and if we make our prospects feel like that, they will indeed become our clients.

Dec 23, 2012 09:52 PM #25
Dave Sullivan
Real Estate One - Birmingham, MI
Michigan Realtor with an investor viewpoint


Great information and I will be passing it on thank you !!! 

Dec 23, 2012 10:05 PM #26
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

They are lottery tickets and everyone has a chance to win if you play your  cards right. . .

Dec 23, 2012 10:16 PM #27
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Congrats on another well-deserved feature. The Internet has certainly turned the tables on leads. But, as you state, engagement really makes a big difference.

Dec 23, 2012 10:29 PM #28
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jeff, I agree most people don't want to be bothered until they are ready to make a purchase. Great Pot!

Dec 23, 2012 10:38 PM #29
Corinne Guest
Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Lifestyles

Even over the last few years internet leads have changed, they are more savvy and being more pushy is the quickest pathway to failure. The best leads are when they are really ready and they pick up the phone!

Dec 23, 2012 11:02 PM #30
Jim Gilbert
Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway - Manassas, VA
The Gold Homes Team

Certain Internet leads are extremely well qualified, ready-to-act, sophisticated shoppers to whom all that matters are the numbers.  

You can find these people for free if you know the right places to look.  Unfortunately, however, it will cost you heavily to engage them. 

You see on the lead source I'm thinking about your entire proposal to a buyer consists of one number - the percentage of your commission you will give them.  And on the listing side your proposal is 100% bigger  - you get to provide only two numbers - total listing commission and how much of that total commission goes to the buyer's agent.

Not a lot of opportunity to explain, engage, dazzle them with your brilliance, show your track record, have them call your references, etc. in this particular reverse auction environment!

I continue to use this lead source as one of my Internet lead sources, but not the only one.  In fact I have closed a decent number of transactions from this lead source in the last several years.  

It's free, but it's for the purely, hardcore, transactional buyers/sellers and agents!

Dec 23, 2012 11:13 PM #31
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hannah - Agreed. I do reach out to people who are acting like they may be ready.

Grant - well I know how I felt when I was house hunting befiore I got into the business, and how I behave as a consumer on-line myself.

Chris Ann - you have to be prepared to act, and act quickly.

Mark - I suspect most of us who are here get that and act accordingly.

Jane - so true. It's not always easy to do.

Debe - thanks! And I take the same approach with calls. I think most people can respect that. I sometimes will send an auto-text response so they know I got the call.

Praful - ha ha!. I loved that quote when I first heard it back on 2008. Still true I think

Sonja - ditto. I always follow-up with people when they register on my site with some helpful information and am careful to not be a pest.

Cara - nice to hear from you! I bet you DO miss Carlsbad. It has grown up a lot since you lived hire but I think it still retains the feel of a small town.


Dec 24, 2012 03:55 AM #33
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Look at you a golden star on Christmas Eve!  Well deserved might I add. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas Jeff!

Dec 24, 2012 04:27 AM #34
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Wishing you and your entire family an absolutely wonderful Christmas Holiday! Blessings to you and yours!

Dec 24, 2012 04:32 AM #35
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Tammy - that's certainly true. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Gregory - no doubt there are some folks on the Internet who will only waste our time, treat us badly, and play games. Not for me, either. It seems, though, that these people just go away after a while.

Joel - definitely the right approach. I think we have to keep in mind how we want to be treated.


Dec 24, 2012 04:47 AM #36
Betty Knowles
Southwest Missouri Realty - - Springfield, MO
TeamKnowles REALTORS® - Springfield MO Real Estate

Jeff, its also amazing how many internet leads have the same phone number! 555-5555

Dec 24, 2012 08:42 AM #37
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Jeff - Hopefully the internet lead will find the right professional to help. You've done a great job of describing the lead.
Dec 24, 2012 01:53 PM #38
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Merry Christmas.
Dec 24, 2012 01:54 PM #39
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Jeff - I love the way you turned it around from being just another lead to their being bombarded with info and how they WANT to connect but it is up to us to properly engage them.. so true..

Dec 25, 2012 11:28 PM #40
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


I get many internet leads and they are hard to pigeon hole. They are all so different from one another. Some sophisticated, some not. Some want cheap, others want the best job. Only thing they have in common is online.

Dec 26, 2012 12:52 PM #41
Carol Semkew
HomeSmart - Goodyear, AZ
Phoenix West Valley Real Estate Agent

Very well written, informative and entertaining.  Thanks Jeff!

Dec 27, 2012 05:22 AM #42
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
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