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Part II of III

RISMEDIA, Feb. 27, 2007- The growing number of online articles and resources that seem to alleviate agents of responsibility for their own success was the concern of GetMyHomesValue.com co-founders Rory Wilfong and Dave Conklin in Part 1 of "Leads Are What You Make Them," which ran last week on RISMedia.com.

"Agents seem to give up after the third or fourth call if they can't get through," says Conklin, "and then they don't knock on that person's door. I've seen agents tell viable prospects they'll call back…then they never do. A couple of years ago, the president of NAR addressed the growing number of complaints from consumers about how agents were treating them…he was practically begging agents to call people back. We need to change that."

The most common complaint from agents about leads, even from their own open houses, is that they're "bad." Conklin & Wilfong, drawing on their own experience, take issue with that. "It's perception," says Conklin. "I've had leads from open houses that didn't come to fruition for a year or more. They listed or bought with me because I stayed in touch with them. It's really easy, but most agents don't or won't do it. If an agent thinks they'll list a house today, go to settlement tomorrow and get a check on Friday, they're in the wrong business."

When Wilfong hears of agents who complain about 'Mickey Mouse' leads, he laughs. "I got lots of those," he chuckles. "And I've sold 'Mickey Mouse's' house. I had an address with a fake name, so I brought an information packet to the house and asked for the fake person. It's a great ice breaker."

In their experience as agents and as owners of GetMyHomesValue.com, Conklin & Wilfong say they have seen agents talk themselves out of opportunities just because they get it in their head that Internet and other leads are awful. They both emphasize that it's a mindset.

"Is it a bad address? Because if you give me a phone number and a name I'm good to go," says Conklin. "Is it a bad phone number? Because if I've got an address I'm going to the property."

Wilfong relates his treatment of 'bad' leads. "If I got an address, '123 Main St.,' with no zip code and no phone number, guess what? I'm going to every 123 Main St. in every zip code in my county and knocking on every single one of those doors. Agents are afraid to do this because it might be the wrong house. You just say 'Oh, I thought you were the person who filled out the form. You're not? That's fine…may I take a look at your house?' One of those people or someone they know is going to have a real estate need."

"And if they don't, send them your business card on a magnet with a card that says 'Hey, sorry I bothered you the other day.'" laughs Conklin. "I did that all the time. Then a month later send them something else. Send them cookies for goodness sake! Send them something consistently, and they'll remember you when they have a need."

"Send them ear muffs. Say 'Here's a set of ear muffs. Sorry I kept you out in the cold when we talked the other day.' They will never forget you. Agents forget that this business is about never being forgotten."

Next week: Leads Are What You Make Them (pt. 3): Is This Your Job Or Your Career?

Together with partner Steve Young, Rory Wilfong and Dave Conklin co-founded GetMyHomesValue.com in 2003 to provide lead generation, coaching and other services for real estate professionals.

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