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Amanda_ToddIn this interview Amanda Todd, Founder & CEO, The Amanda Todd Group – Keller Williams Realty in Roseville, Calif., talks about how she grew her business from $15 to $50 million over the past year.

Years in real estate: 2
Number of offices: 1, while in the process of expanding to several more
Number of agents: 11
One thing people don’t know about you: I’m currently listing one of the most expensive homes that’s ever been built.

Your business is reported to be up significantly this past year, increasing from $15 million to $50 million. What is driving you to work this hard?
I started out as a single agent and was blessed with a tremendous amount of success, so I wanted to provide and facilitate a platform to help other agents achieve the level of success I’ve seen. This naturally morphed into me starting my own team.

What kind of prospecting and lead generation do you do to grow this quickly?
Achieving significant growth so quickly begins with training agents in a small group setting so that they can learn to do the business well. I also encourage agents to shadow others who have had success with contacting and converting leads. In the end though, it all comes down to hiring the right people. The right people will not only be motivated and driven to do well, they’ll also do more and be better at it.

How does your branding and social marketing fit into your lead generation and success?
Branding and social marketing play a large role, and because of that, we do social marketing for each of our listings to truly create brand recognition. We create the materials for our agents and also take advantage of Facebook’s targeted ads to get our properties in front of the right people. Social marketing is a key part of our strategy for our team listings that I generate, as well.

Are the leads you have coming in typically ready to hear from a real estate professional as soon as they’re received?
I have used multiple lead-generation platforms, including Zillow, Trulia, Facebook, etc., but the leads I get from realtor.com® are hands down the highest quality leads I get. And for the most part, the leads from realtor.com® are ready to hear from a real estate professional. While many think we’re the listing agent once we begin communicating, we’re happy to explain that we’re not the listing agent, but we can get them into the property just like a listing agent can.

How do you convert the ‘stranger’ who submits a lead into a customer who trusts you and will work with you?
The key here is to respond quickly. Once you’ve done that, it’s all about getting face-to-face with them as soon as possible. Then you’re able to build rapport and turn them into your client.

Is it hard to start up a lead-oriented business? How many leads should you be looking to get to make a successful program?
It all depends on how much marketing capital you have. It’s also critical that you have the infrastructure in place to support the leads coming in, or you’ll be wasting money because you won’t be able to respond in the manner that you should be. As far as how many leads you need to find success, there’s no magic number. While most real estate professionals aim for a 3 – 5 percent conversion rate, you’ll want to determine how many leads you want to be closing per month. Once you’ve figured this out, work backwards to determine how many leads you need to get there.

What kind of support do you get once you start a program with realtor.com®? What was the follow-up like?
The team at realtor.com® has been wonderful. Bill, my account rep, is very aware of the areas where I want leads, and as more leads open up in those areas, he’s on top of getting me into the areas where I want to be. They have also been extremely responsive any time I’ve had a question.

Any additional thoughts for someone considering making internet leads a big part of their growth?
Make sure you have the infrastructure in place to support those leads.

For more information, visit www.realtor.com.

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