Some say online leads are difficult to convert, while others seem to be building a business from them. In your opinion, why is there such disparity?
I believe the disparity in converting online leads stems from the fact that agents don’t truly understand the conversion process. When it comes to choosing a real estate agent, the No. 1 thing people are choosing is trust, yet most agents have so many rules and limitations in place that there’s no room to create a relationship.
My No. 1 priority is building a relationship because that’s what ultimately results in a home sale or purchase. The same holds true for online leads. You have to give something to get something. For me, it’s all about giving my time in order to build a solid foundation upon which to grow. By sharing my own story, I can connect with people on a deeper level, which is not only instrumental in building a relationship, but in establishing a level of trust and comfort. If your only objective is to make a sale, you won’t win.
For every 100 leads you receive, how many will convert to listings or sales over the next six months or so?
Anywhere between 10 and 15 is a good number. While most leads generally take between eight and nine months to purchase, it’s important to take the time to stay in touch and understand exactly what they’re looking for. If you’re following up and creating relationships, people will communicate back to you.
As a rule of thumb, what should an agent expect in terms of ROI?
I have found that certain websites are more expensive than others. For example, I know that online web companies say if you get three times your original investment, you’ve done well. But with realtor.com®, my acquisition cost has actually decreased to get the same return. I also like the fact that they guarantee you a certain number of leads per cost. When I first signed on, I began at a very low price point because I didn’t want to be paying out a lot of money. From that day on, I’ve simply reinvested the money I make through realtor.com to purchase more leads.
Are the leads you get from various sources all about the same?
While other sites may boast a higher number of visitors, those looking on realtor.com are on the site for a longer period of time. In addition, anytime I get a lead from realtor.com, I also get information related to how many days they’ve been searching on the site, what searches they’ve been doing and the results they’ve been getting. It’s also important to note that those looking on realtor.com are serious buyers who are not only interested in purchasing, but in making a move as quickly as possible. I have also found the people on realtor.com to be very loyal, something I attribute to the fact that the brand is very well-known and trusted.
Did you need any help getting started?
I’m the type of person that believes in taking the time to educate yourself, so I took copious notes during the initial call I had after signing on with realtor.com. In addition to doing exactly what they said to do, I’ve spoken with other experienced agents who are converting at a high level in order to gain insight into what they’re doing to create relationships. I’m not interested in trying to wing it, as I understand the importance of taking the time to get to know the system. If you lean in with your heart and then listen intentionally, you’ll be successful.
Do you still prospect, and how much of your new business comes from realtor.com?
In the past, I was using a number of different websites, thinking that realtor.com would be too expensive. But in the end, I found that realtor.com was the best. Not only do I get 100 percent of my business from realtor.com, but working with them has changed my financial future. The people I’ve connected with have truly changed my life. Working in real estate has opened my heart in ways I never thought possible, and learning about the clients that have come to me through realtor.com has changed my outlook in more ways than one.
For more information, please visit www.marketing.realtor.com.
Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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