For four years in a row, Samer Kuraishi and his team have been named the No. 1 real estate brokerage for units and volume sold in their area, according to The Wall Street Journal, and have consistently ranked in the top 50 top-producing brokerages in the country. Below, he lets us in on some of his secrets to success.
Name: Samer Kuraishi
Title: President & Founder, The ONE Street Company
Location: Greater Washington, D.C. area
Years in Real Estate: 19+
Tell me about your conversion rates—what do they look like, and why?
I receive roughly about 800-1,000 leads per month, and we convert roughly 2.5 percent from lead to closing. Our conversion has been pretty consistent due to an internal streamlined process of speed to lead, the right lead management systems, and, moreover some of the best brokers in the business handling our lead flow.
Some say the best way to increase conversion is to really qualify the buyer before suggesting an appointment, while others believe the odds are better if you set the appointment first. What is your opinion?
This varies depending on each and every contact. A good broker will use their better judgement to assess that. Customers/clients should not be looked at as dollar signs, but, more importantly, real people who have real estate goals, and we take pride in having a personal conversation with those folks, and, once we get to know them on a normal level, in turn, that dictates where things go. This is a contact sport and the more you contact and meet, the higher the probability is of making something happen.
Online leads can open doors for the independent broker. How has your lead program contributed to your growth? Is your team gaining marketshare?
I have been in the business now for over 19 years and counting, and in that time I have been blessed enough to see the massive shift in how business has gone from solely word of mouth to the internet taking over to help connect brokers with clients on a massive level. Since starting out in 2012 with the likes of realtor.com®, I have been able to not only sell over $1 billion in sales, but also have been able to work with some of the best talent in the business. We currently have over 35 brokers on our team, and have been able to put the client first and focus on their experience in a very rigorous real estate process. Who said we could not make this fun?
We understand you doubled down on your investment with realtor.com—is the quality of their lead program giving you a good return?
Realtor.com has continued to grow on many fronts, from lead quality to volume, and, more importantly to me, the one-on-one service I get from my rep with their firm. Companies that are successful have great staff to ensure they are the best ambassadors for that business. I see a continued partnership with realtor.com as they help me grow.
How responsive is the realtor.com team should you need assistance?
I work with some amazing realtor.com reps that are available at all times of the day and night when I need them. The lead game is always in real-time, and having that type of service is super important to our success.
When it comes to converting online leads with your team, are there any things you learned not to do?
We learned to always keep an open mind; never think that every lead you receive is always ready to buy and or sell. Nurturing leads is 95 percent of the business, as every contact is a buyer and or seller, just a matter of when. I always tell my staff you are a farmer planting seeds and watering them, more than you are a real estate broker!
What are three things one should always do to make sure that their realtor.com or other online leads convert?
1. Respond ASAP to any contact even if you don’t have the property they inquired about pulled up, as you have to always assume that same contact is speaking to three-plus other brokers at the same time.
2. Always remember first impressions are everything. People in any industry, whether face-to-face or via phone, will judge you in the first few seconds in order to make a decision if they want work with you or not.
3. Always know the market, especially when dealing with online leads as you deal with contacts from all over the world. The brokers who are multitalented and not living in a box will win!
For more information, please visit www.realtor.com/brokerwin.