As the business continues to change and consumers demand a different type of interaction between themselves and the real estate professional the techniques and responsibilities of lead generation will also continue to evolve.

Seth Godin recently predicted that by 2011, 90% of all sales would be sourced from word of mouth and online promotion.

  • What does the future of online lead generation in real estate look like?
  • Who should be responsible for generating online leads: the broker, the agent or both?
  • Should the next generation brokerage consider directing more attention to generating online leads for their agents? After all, when you ask agents what they want from their broker isn’t leads near the top of the list?
  • Should broker/owners offer and manage robust lead management and follow up systems on their agent’s behalf? It is likely that consumers will research for longer periods of time before making the buying or selling decision so offering value during that long term relationship will be important.
  • Is there enough trust between broker/owners and agents to allow these types of systems to work?
  • Do real estate professionals (whether broker/owner or agent) have the expertise required to execute effectively online?

We are presently seeing examples of brokerages across the country that are surviving and even thriving on broker driven online lead generation models. These companies have taken on the responsibility of generating online leads for their agents. In return, they hold their agents accountable for response time, customer service and follow up. This is a fundamental shift in how most brokerages are operating today.

You might argue that the party who has the ability to generate the most qualified leads has the biggest advantage with the gen web consumer. One thing is certain, online promotion that turns to lead generation will be a huge part of our industry in the years to come.

As for word of mouth lead generation, you’d be hard pressed to hear a real estate speaker today who doesn’t somewhere in their training or presentation throw out the term “back to basics.” These basics of prospecting, follow up, customer service and relationship building are all important components that result in that word of mouth business. The tools and methods may have changed with the introduction of the Internet, but the concepts are still the same. Make connections with people who know, like and trust you. These people will then become advocates for you.

Combining tech and touch in lead generation will prove to a winning combination. 2011 is not that far away, will Seth be right?

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