I have the opportunity to talk to many agents all over the country and boy oh boy are a lot of them angry. They are ticked that Zillow changed the way they distribute their leads and all this time, they’ve been throwing money at Zillow, Realtor.com and all the other “lead gen” companies thinking it was a great way to get sales. They are irate and they feel scammed….they are blaming the lag in their business right now on these companies. By the way, we never refer to these “Lead generator companies” as real estate companies however, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, that’s really what they are.
We knew this day was coming folks, and guess what? It’s going to get worse. These companies are out to make money…they don’t care about you, they don’t know you, they just want to grow their business and it doesn’t matter to them if your on board or not. They are going to do it with or without you. Some are switching to a referral fee vs a monthly fee. Some agents think this is great – what happens when you are totally reliant on them and then they say they are only going to give you a small fee to open the door?There are two topics here: 1) Relying on leads from other sources and 2) Technology is changing the way we do business. In this article, I’m going to focus on relying on leads from other sources.
Many agents chose real estate as a career because they wanted “to be rewarded for their hard work and have flexibility.” With most of you, I just hit a chord. The biggest problem for agents is that many still have an employee mindset. They don’t want to put in the hard work. Let’s face it, this is a tough business and those of us who have been around for a long time know that leads don’t fall out of the sky! What real estate agents forget is they WANTED TO GET REWARDED FOR THEIR HARD WORK….instead they chose the employee mindset when they had to dig in and they wanted to “LEAD RECEIVE” instead of “LEAD GENERATE”. Let’s face it, isn’t it easier to sit and wait for the leads or just buy them so we can just run them? Many agents either buy into a lead gen system, often costing them thousands of dollars per month, or they rely on their brokerage to hand them out. Well, either way, they are in an employee position. As a business owner, you control your business….when you are in a “lead receiving” position – you are allowing someone else to control your business.
Let’s imagine, as a real estate agent, your sales are great, life is good. You are buying leads from a third party company and your numbers are through the roof! Life is really good….then something happens, just like one large company did recently. They changed the game, now your leads are drying up, you’re not getting as many and they are selling you on the fact that they are screening them and giving you “better leads.” All you know is your sales are suffering. This isn’t the first time these companies have done this…before, it was they changed the areas, they added shares, they did this, they did that. The big difference is they are doing it over and over, and we aren’t learning our lesson! They are sucking us in deeper and deeper. Now let’s say the same thing with your brokerage, you receive leads from them….most likely, so do some others in your brokerage. You like making the money, it’s good…it’s so much easier then lead generating. What happens if your relationship goes south, or someone else comes along and they need more leads, or the market SHIFTS and they have less leads to go around and maybe they need them first? Again, your business starts suffering.
The point is this: if you really want to reap the rewards of your work and have control of your business, “You should be lead generating, not lead receiving.” If you talk to the top producers, they are more successful because they are controlling their business and using support systems and they have a strong foundation to their business because they can move it, control it and build it. Don’t forget that you need to protect it….always important. Read your independent contractor agreement so you don’t lose your database or your listings (yes in many states, Florida included, the broker owns the listings, however that doesn’t mean they can’t willingly give them back to you if you decide to leave – it’s a great negotiation point). If you would like to learn how to MOVE AWAY FROM BEING A LEAD RECEIVER TO A LEAD GENERATOR, I’m happy to help. We’ll also teach you how to foster the relationships and build your business so you reap the rewards! Feel free to reach out to me directly for a free business consultation. I can be reached at (772)643-6104