In the following interview, Robert Dekanski of the Robert Dekanski Team with RE/MAX 1st Advantage in Clark, N.J., discusses the group’s growth through leads.
Number of Offices: 1
Number of Agents: 45
Years in Real Estate: 7
How heavily do you lean on buying leads versus having your agents prospect?
Buying leads is about half of our business, with the other half marketing and prospecting. I lean on buying leads because it’s an easy way to know your scale, and I can turn it on and off and use it as much or as little as I need, when I need, whereas prospecting is very dependent on agents wanting to do it, and marketing can be a lot of trial and error. Buying leads is a more predictable way to do business year-round.
In terms of buyers being receptive to your agents, have you noticed a difference in lead sources?
Buyers are very receptive to realtor.com® because with realtor.com leads, buyers are expecting REALTORS® to reach out to them. Some of the other sites don’t exactly work that way, but with realtor.com, not only are your leads expecting you to reach out to them; they are looking forward to it.
Have you reinvested in your lead program, and how has it contributed to your growth?
Absolutely. I started with realtor.com a few years ago, and since then my budget has gone up five-fold from my original budget. Moving from last year to this year, we’re up over 50 percent in sales, so there’s definitely a direct correlation to buying leads from realtor.com.
What did you learn about how best to make a connection with realtor.com shoppers so they stay with you?
When it comes to building a good rapport with online leads, speed to lead is critical. Getting in touch as soon as possible is really where the money is made. The faster you get to the client, the better the chance you’ll reach them before someone else, and the better chance you’ll book an appointment. After you’ve booked an appointment, more important than the basics like showing up on time is knowing your product inside and out—meaning know your market inside and out so you are the expert. At the end of the day, a client will only meet a few agents in person, so you have to be a little better than everyone else.
How would you recommend someone new to the game ramp up with buying leads?
I would say start with buying what you can afford in areas you know well and want more business in. As your business grows and you want to reinvest in more leads, I suggest go a mile deep, not a mile wide—meaning buy more in the areas you know and are already doing well in before you spread out to avoid spreading yourself thin. Reinvest until you get to a level you’re comfortable with.
For more information, please visit industry.realtor.com/team.
Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at email@example.com.