Realtors are supposed to sell, how come we get SOLD?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Client Hub

Homegain, Housevalues, RealtyTrac, Service Magic, Lending Tree, Homes.com, Realestate.com, Agent Connect, Realty Now, and hundreds more...

My question to you is simple:  "How do they get us to buy?"

  • You may have seen commercials on TV or an ad in your newspaper/magazine.
  • Have you seen them at trade shows swapping business cards?
  • Do you recieve phone calls? email solicitations?
  • Mailings and postcards?
  • Possibly a friend in the business referred you? maybe even an active rain blog got you interested? 

 

  • Google, Yahoo, and hundreds of affiliates: Obviously these companies pay to advertise on the internet for leads, both consumers and agents like us.  It seems reasonable to assume they are good at it.  If you click on a banner ad or sponsored link about the real estate business it's probably going to drop you on their system.  If you use a search engine to find real estate in your area you will often see a lead company listed in the top 10.  Are these search tems designed to attract buyers/sellers or simply showcased to us realtors?

In my case, I am responding to the hype that the realtor community creates.  My MLS board actually trains new realtors on these websites, and the literature is distributed everywhere via press release by public relations.

THE PITCH

It seems that the forumla is simple.  The initial pitch begins with a basic overview of the company as a reaferral or lead generating company.  The sales person will have a chance to dazzle you with the large marketing budget which allows top search engine placement, or primetime TV spots.  WOW!

It seems to me that a large portion if not the majority of this marketing budget must be used to generate new customers (agents) not consumer leads, but you wont hear about that. 

You will hear words like exclusive, real time, ROI, validate, traffic, conversion, SEO, PPC, etc.

Sounds good doesn't it!!!  Now close em...

Many of these companies have complaints against them for high pressure sales tactics.  You'll get the take away close, the Benjamin Franklin close (pros and cons), the impulse buyer will fall into the silent close, the today only price, etc.

THE NUMBERS

  • There is over a million of us realtors
  • over a third of us will go out of business within the first three years
  • 90% of the agents are fighting for 10% of the business, while 10% already does 90%
  • the offer is to outsource one of the most difficult and often least desirable aspects of real estate sales: prospecting
  • most importantly we are American's, and most of us either don't have a budget, or have one and don't follow it
  • We are businesses and we all get credit cards almost immediately upon getting licensed, or we have a commission check burning a hole in our pocket

I would like to hear from you:

How did they get your name? 

How did they contact you?

How did they get you interested?

How did they sell and close you?

 

David Brewer, Prudential Montana, 406.329.2060, david.brewer@prumt.com, www.daveknowshomes.com

Comments (7)

Naomi Streicher
Realty Teams - Pomona, NY
"Make a Smart Move"

David:

I get sold on ideas that I think would work for me. For example, I became a HouseValues agent in 2002. It is not only a lead generation system. It is also a contact management system which I use regularly. It has made me more money than it costs me, and I don't ever lose leads anymore.

I plan on being in business a LONG time. I have children to send to school and to soon marry off.

I a firm believer that you need to spend money to make money.

I track where my leads come from, and then I reassess every year.

For your Info: I am usually called on the phone for any of these type of things.

Naomi Streicher

Broker/Owner

Realty Teams

Rockland County NY

Oct 18, 2008 02:32 PM
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS

David - I fine that companies who have enough confidence in the quality of their leads are content with a referral fee for closed business. Those who want upfront or monthly fees to send you "leads" believe in the system rather than the results. Just my two cents.

Oct 21, 2008 11:18 AM
David Brewer
Client Hub - Missoula, MT

Naomi, I agree that leads cost money no matter how you pay for them, and it is very important to run stats on your lead sources.  I know HouseValues has a good CRM and they fill it with lots of potential leads.

Oct 22, 2008 11:37 AM
David Brewer
Client Hub - Missoula, MT

Sharon, I tend to agree with you, however I would guess that the system to refer clients on a referral fee is usually harder for both the recieving and sending side of the referral.  If there is an upfront fee involved, the system is much simpler for both sides.

Managers seem to take a lot ot time and energy into lead management and distribution techniques to try and maximize the use of the leads.  Managers are at least somewhat responsible for the results, it's harder for a copmany to take on that responsibility.

Oct 22, 2008 11:41 AM
Michael I. Pulskamp
Mainstreet Brokers - Jackson, CA
REALTOR, EcoBroker, GREEN Desingnee

I'm a bit old school when dealing with lead sales companies. "I offer referrals to licenced real estate agents. If you would like you can send me your form or we can work up an agreement on the C.A.R. form, but I don't pay finder's fees, and I don't pay before closing."

The harder the sale the harder I can push back. One of the lines I love is the SEO bit: "We place highly on google!" Well Ok, what search terms are the prospects you want to sell me searching for? because If they are looking for "Amador County Real Estate" They will find me before they find you. Why should I pay you again?

Nov 17, 2008 04:33 PM
Shawn Cochran
Branches PSP - Austin, TX
Principal & Creative Director

Just a few snippets from my perspective since I'm on the other side of the fence so to speak:

DAVID ASKED: "If you click on a banner ad or sponsored link about the real estate business it's probably going to drop you on their system.  If you use a search engine to find real estate in your area you will often see a lead company listed in the top 10.  Are these search tems designed to attract buyers/sellers or simply showcased to us realtors?"

-The Lead Generation Companies bid against each other to pay for ranking spots when those particular search terms are entered. They are targeting the potential home buyer, not a realtor. They want buyers to come to their site rather than someone else's.

SHARON SAID: "I fine that companies who have enough confidence in the quality of their leads are content with a referral fee for closed business."

-I think most companies that have been around for a while have a very good idea of the quality of the leads they generate (low, med, high-not that most would share that reality with you). It's not the quality of the leads. The potential client is the x-factor. Is the client going to follow up promptly? Is she going to utilize absolutely every avenue available to convert that lead? Is she going to pick and choose who she spends the most energy on? Is she any good at what she does? Think of all the great leads that could potentially be lost on so-so realtors. It just isn't sound business. I'm not saying that would be you. You sound lovely, and like you are used to closing homes. All I'm saying is that a lead generation company has no way of knowing.

MICHAEL SAID: "If they are looking for "Amador County Real Estate" They will find me before they find you."

-That's GREAT! You've designed your web presence to come up at the top of Google searches for that term! In your case, you would only want to use a company for leads if you wanted to expand your client base to include people who are looking to relocate, are interested in foreclosures, bargain homes, short sale homes, etc. That's where the "big company" marketing benefit comes in. They bid on all those search terms for you. They also pay for sponsored links for thousands of search terms (even misspelled), and cover the astronomical cost of pay-per-clicks. Sounds like you're comfortable with the traffic you get though. That's AWESOME! :)

Last, David: Thank you for putting up such a well-thought out post. I just joined and am having a little trouble getting my thoughts focused enoigh to post my first blog. I thought this post was professional, succinct, and thought provoking. THX!

Jen Russell

Jul 23, 2009 03:23 AM
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

Just checking out who from Montana is a member here at AR.  Seems like more and more of my clients are starting to look south for real estate bargains.  Feel free to visit or a leave a comment on my lethbridge real estate blog,

Robert May

Jul 28, 2010 05:21 PM