By Maria Patterson
Are you using multiple lead generation sources? Then you’re doing it wrong, according to Michael P. LaRocque, broker/owner of LaRocque & Co., REALTORS® Cocoa, Fla. Read on as LaRocque explains his winning lead generation method, and discusses the success of his company’s recent expansion.
Michael P. LaRocque
LaRocque & Co., REALTORS®
Region served: East Central Florida, Brevard, Indian River and St. Lucie counties; we also now have a referring position in Volusia County.
Years in real estate: 15
Number of offices: 2
Number of agents: 20
Current market conditions: Busier than I’ve ever seen. We definitely have an inventory problem—we need more of it.
Top market driver: Folks relocating here permanently.
When we interviewed you last year, you had mentioned possibly expanding to two offices to handle the volume of online leads coming in. How did that pan out?
We did expand to two offices. Our principle office is in Brevard County and we’ve opened a second office in Indian River. We also joined the Board in St. Lucie to work leads and have a referring agent in Volusia County.
What was the most challenging part of your expansion?
Plugging in competent buyers’ agents and people that have the capability and the constraint to work within the system we’ve put in place.
How has the expansion enabled you to increase business?
The ability to have all our lead acquisition and lead cultivation seamlessly integrated into one platform has been the key. By one platform, I mean everything under Move.com, from using realtor.com for lead capture to FiveStreet for lead follow-up and Top Producer for ongoing lead management. All I have to do is plug in the right person and I can repeat the system again and again.
As your business grows, how do you decide where to invest money in advertising?
The only advertising dollars I spend at this point are for realtor.com’s co-broker product. I am most interested in volume. All I want is the lead—the phone number and the email address. The rest is pretty much automated within the system.
How do you track where your leads are coming from?
The only other source of leads for me is my own website. In the emails sent through the Top Producer CRM platform, we encourage people to visit our website. This is not intended to supplant realtor.com but to complement it.
What would you say to brokers who use multiple lead-generating sources?
They’re doing it wrong. If you spread yourself too thin across too many lead-generation platforms, you’re not going to meet with success. The more leads I can push through my system, the more I can capture.
How do you attract and cultivate new agents? How do you keep them motivated and busy?
I’ve never really gone out and tried to attract agents—I’ve hand-picked the people I want around me. In terms of training, the system is basically in place and operational. It takes all of an hour to show new agents how we operate. My job is basically to play sweeper, ensuring that everything is done properly and taking the steps necessary to clean up and close.
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