This might come as a surprise to those who know me.
After all, I literally wrote the book on technology in Real Estate. I speak, nationally, on Lead Generation. To say that I do not believe in Lead Generation is nearly heresy.
But I don’t.
At least, not as my industry wants to use lead generation.
Sales is hard. Many real estate professionals will do anything to avoid the daily rejection that comes with prospecting. In fact, I believe this is why the average agent makes 4 sales, or less, per year. They fear rejection, they don’t prospect, and they just take the 4 deals they manage to bump in to, in spite of themselves.
Internet leads, however, offer a very enticing fantasy. People who are interested in real estate will contact YOU! Just pay $149.00/month to this internet portal and people will give you their contact information and wait for your call. No prospecting! No rejection, HUZZAH!
But, here is the thing. The people who gave up their contact information to the internet portal? They do not think of themselves as “leads”. They are not expecting to get “sold”. Most are just looking for a single bit of information- “Does the home have a view?” “Is the home still for sale?” “Is this home in foreclosure?”. They are people who are hoping for a quick and useful answer. A few are hoping for someone who is truly interested in helping them- but they want help, they don’t want to get sold.
Leads are nothing more than a numbers game, they are not human beings. And, because agents are looking for leads, they use internet lead generation portals like a slot machine in Vegas; blindly feeding it a steady stream of money with the hope that luck will deliver the jackpot of a sale.
I do not believe in that.
I believe in connecting people with opportunity. I believe in actively seeking out people who want my help, need my help and are willing to let me help them. I do this by being connected, uniquely and individually, with my neighbors, my friends, my community and my city. I do this by talking with people, not at them. I do this by finding out where their life and my opportunities intersect. I do this by being willing to connect people to one another, and not always to something that brings me profit.
So, why do I continue to invest so much into the internet?
The usefulness of the internet to the person interested in real estate is undeniable. For most, the process of buying or selling starts on the internet. If that is where the people are, I need to be there, too. My goal is to find these people, find out what information they need and give it to them. I expect this exchange of information will allow me to find out, “do you want my help, do you need my help and will you let me help?” The sale will only happen If I engage that internet inquiry like a human being.
When I treat these inquiries like human beings, I find there are lots of people who do not need my help right now, lots of people who don’t want ME to help them. This feels like rejection.
It is all good. I believe the effort of making the connection, with my neighbor or with an internet inquiry, leads to more chances to help than not.
So, what do I believe in?
I believe in the connection between two human beings. The internet simply allows me more chances to make that connection.