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In the following interview, Lynne Gewant, broker associate at Coldwell Banker Beach and Resort in Boca Raton, Fla., discusses handling leads, from how to convert to her most profitable sources. 

Region Served: South Florida/Palm Beach County to Miami
Years in Real Estate: 18
Number of Offices: 2, as well as the use of other NRT offices throughout the counties
Number of Agents: 4
Top Tip for Heightened Productivity: Answer your phone!

Everyone knows that being first to respond is critical with online shoppers. Is there a way to start making a brand impression on them even before they start to send in lead forms?
I’ve been using Local Expert from realtor.com® from its inception, and I’ve found that the buyers who are online are amazed at how often they see my name. This is exactly why I use Local Expert—and why I’ll continue using it. 

Is there a reason for directing more of your marketing to realtor.com vs. other sites?
I prefer realtor.com because it’s updated more frequently than other sites, you can see what the customer has been looking at and when, and, most importantly, the number has been verified. 

Do you ever get people who are ready to make a move right away?
Yes; in fact, one of my largest transactions took place in less than three weeks. I showed them one property that they had inquired about, and we were in contract within 36 hours—and, yes, there were two commas in the price.

Once you’ve made contact with someone who shows buying intent, how persistently do you follow up?
I’m like a Doberman; I don’t let go until told to do so. In addition to speaking with clients a minimum of two times a week, I continue to send appropriate properties and try to lock down a day and time to show them their favorites.

Can an online combination of branding and lead generation become more productive than having your team focus on prospecting?
I believe both are a must. In today’s market, we as REALTORS® need to do everything in our wheelhouse, from the old-school to the highly technical, to get our names and brands out there. You never know who your buyer is and where they may come from.

What are the top things you always do to make online marketing work?
Not to be repetitive, but answer the phone. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s amazing how many people tell me I was the only person that answered the phone or returned their call. Also, make sure to clean out your voicemail so that it isn’t full, and ensure that it’s date-appropriate. It doesn’t look good when you state that you will be out of the office from X to Y and that was weeks ago. Another tip is to get a CRM. No matter how brilliant you are, you’re eventually going to forget to send that email, make that call or do the necessary follow-up.

For more information, please visit hub.realtor.com/team.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

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