In the following interview, Matt Delhougne, broker/owner of RE/MAX Vision in Chesterfield, Mo., discusses generating leads, operating a team, and more.
Region Served: St. Louis Metro area
Years in Real Estate: 19
No. of Team Members: 41 agents, 14 support staff
2017 Closed Transactions: 671
Goal for 2018 Closed Transactions: 1,000
You grew your team relatively fast. Tell us when you formed the team, and what the build-up has been like as you get closer to 1,000 transaction sides.
I served for 10 years as a St. Louis County police officer and began selling real estate in 1999 before eventually leaving the police force to sell real estate full-time. In 2013, I founded The Delhougne Team with just two agents and one transaction coordinator. In its first year, The Delhougne Team closed 73 transactions, 67 of which were the result of my personal production. The team doubled its production in 2014 and has been in a consistent growth mode since then. We closed 671 transactions in 2017 and will hit 1,000 this year.
What advice would you offer to other real estate professionals who are thinking of forming a team?
If you aren’t a data-driven thinker, become one. Refine your lead strategy and know what ROI each lead source generates. Mentor with other successful team leaders and be coachable.
How significant are online leads to your growth?
Online leads are extremely significant because statistics show that homebuyers are searching online first. Because of the investment we make in generating leads, our growth is directly tied to quality lead availability.
How do the leads you get from realtor.com® perform? Are they viable enough to use as a means to recruit good agents?
Because we have the systems and infrastructure to quickly respond to realtor.com leads, we’re successful at converting them. They’re generally high-quality. Of course, with any lead gen opportunity, there are leads that come through as unavailable (already have an agent, just looking, not able to purchase at the time). We expect a small percentage of those and consistently work to improve conversions on all viable leads. That being said, the leads we get from realtor.com are absolutely viable enough to recruit good agents. Our team wouldn’t be as successful as it is without quality leads and high-quality agents. Once works hand-in-hand with the other.
If you’re using leads as a way to build a team, how deliberate do you have to be in your planning?
Since our agents are geographically specialized, we will always make sure we have the appropriate lead flow before hiring a new agent for a particular area.
What mistakes should you watch out for when putting together a team that can convert leads?
First and foremost, don’t hire without having adequate lead flow. You must also avoid hiring agents that can’t be coached, as well as those who aren’t tech-savvy. And, never invest in leads without identifying what the optimal lead funnel looks like.
What should you always do to make sure your team is successful with the leads you’re getting?
Speed to lead is the most important factor in lead generation from realtor.com. The faster we can connect with that lead, the higher the possibility we have to convert that lead and turn it into a bona fide client.
For more information, please visit hub.realtor.com/team.