I know that I am at risk of being "flogged" by my entire community with my next topic. But, here I go anyway. It seems that many of you are very negative about what you call "Buying Leads" and the "Tele-marketing" agents as you so lovingly refer to them. I have said many times in some responses that not all lead generation companies are created equal.
First let me begin with my personal story about my first year in real estate. My wife is the one who actually encouraged me to go into real estate. I was very against it because I said to her "how am I going to sell real estate, I don't really have a large circle of friends and neither of our families live here?" She quickly reminded me there are many ways to skin a cat. She had already been doing the research on how Realtors find clients. (Google is a wonderful thing, by the way.) Of course, as I noted in an earlier article, all the paid sites came up. There were many types of real estate lead generating ideas. She did her research and after a week or so decided which one we were going to subscribe to. This decision was the best decision we made! For a new Realtor it is a way to start right out of the gate getting leads from the Internet.
Second, I will say research, research, research. Do your due diligence on the company before you ever sign up with them. She actually got agents that were already enrolled in other states and called them off of their sites. She did not submit the form to get their attention. This is the worst thing you can do because you are costing your fellow Realtors money if it is a click or pay-per-lead service. Please don't do this to your fellow agents. (We're all in this together trying to make a little money.) You will find that if you can get the name and phone number of these agents they are usually very happy to share their experiences.
Lastly, I would like to say that I have built 98% of my business from Internet leads. It isn't much different then what you are doing using this network. I no longer use the first service that I subscribed with. My wife currently has learned how to reproduce the same result at a much lower price. She also does this for a couple of other Realtors in our office so they can get leads as well. I can tell you that the success from the Internet leads really depends on the person making the calls. It takes patience and determination to follow these leads. It is a well known fact that it can take six months to a year for some of the leads to come to completion. But, the other side of that is that I have had leads that took only weeks because they were pre-approved, ready and had to move because they were relocating! I sold $2.4 million in real estate in my first 6 months. I made the Million Dollar club for selling over a million in one month and was the number three agent in my office. I know that some of you from other areas (e.g. California) might not think that is a lot of volume but please remember we are in the MidWest. Our average sales are less than $250,000 each. I am now starting to reap the rewards of repeat clients and all of it because of the Internet and investing in myself.
My hope with this article is that a new agent reads this and sees that not all experiences using help is a waste of money. I have not wasted money buying leads, but instead look at is as I have invested in a "CLIENT BASE".
Of course, the old adage, you have to spend money to make money still holds true. I'm lucky in that I had a little bit of money to spend because my spouse has a steady paycheck. (Having some room on the credit cards never hurts either.) But I am still here after 3 years, still making money (this is probably going to be my best year ever even during the slow market). We have learned to diversify ourselves now into other real estate facets but I continue to get at least 1 high quality lead a week.
How many bonafide, have to buy within the next 6 months, leads do you get a week?