Are you wondering how top producers are utilizing lead generation and other online tools? In the following interview, Thomas Brown of The Agency Texas, a rapidly-growing boutique agency, talks about implementing a lead program that works.
Name: Thomas Brown, The Agency Texas
Official Title: Founder/Owner
Region Served: State of Texas
Years in Real Estate: 20 years
Number of Offices: 2, with one more in the works
Number of Agents: 50
You have defined your team as “boutique” in that you offer specialized and personal service, but you are also growing rapidly. Tell us: How are you expanding, and what is fueling this?
We like to call ourselves a “boutique” firm due to the hands-on approach our team has with every client. We not only help them locate their home specific to their needs and wants through traditional methods, we also forward-face market to the community and our network to find their home that may not be available to the public just yet.
Our expansion over the last few years, and most specifically this past year, can be attributed to our lead generation. We’re flooding our agents with quality leads with consumers who are ready to purchase or sell their home quickly. We have a 24-hour concierge service that ensures that every consumer is communicated with via text, email and phone within minutes of contacting us. In today’s world, everyone wants instant gratification in all aspects of their life; real estate is no different. People want their questions answered immediately.
Online lead generation is instrumental in our growth; frankly, it’s the driving force, especially when expanding into different markets. To put things into perspective, we have an agent on our San Antonio team that closed 12 transactions last month all from our online lead generation. This was his fourth month on our team. Our minimum expectation is three transactions per month per team member from our lead generation. This agent far surpassed that goal and has seven transactions scheduled to close this month.
We started with realtor.com®, went to a different lead source and returned to realtor.com about a year and a half ago. It has grown tremendously. We started with the handful of areas we were marketing to, and now we are in markets from the Austin area to San Antonio and Houston. The growth has been tremendous since we came back to realtor.com.
Are your online leads ready to go? Do your agents have a good plan to make sure nothing falls through the cracks?
Regardless of the type of lead, the behavior of the consumer will vary. Some are ready to purchase or sell a home today, some in 30 days, and some are a few months or years out. We have a comprehensive follow-up plan built into our CRM that helps automate that process. Also, as mentioned, we have a full-time concierge service that assists our team in follow-up, as well. Communication is the most important aspect in real estate.
Is your lead program something you recruit with?
We do. Our primary source of business is from our lead generation, so that is our main recruiting tool. We only hire full-time agents that understand the difference between an online lead and a referral. We ensure that every person on our team has the ability to close three plus transactions each month. Our commitment to our team is the leads; their commitment to us is their time.
What about the leads that just don’t seem ready—are you able to do anything with them?
Our internal training coaches the team on how to build specific drip campaigns to consumers that are not ready to purchase or sell today. We constantly touch every single consumer that inquires with us, and frequency is determined by their timeline. We consult with every potential client; they know that we can work as quickly as they need or as slow as they need.
Is realtor.com involved in helping you strategize with you on your growth plan?
We’ve been blessed to work with some great partners at realtor.com, Kelly Evans and Bill Sperry. They not only have helped us with strategizing on where to spend our marketing budget in our current markets, but also where to spend in our expanding markets.
For more information, please visit hub.realtor.com/team.