In the following interview, Greg Drake, broker of Realty Professionals, LLC in Lakewood, Colo., discusses his lead strategy, including how to leverage online ratings and reviews.
Region Served: Denver metro market
Years in Real Estate: 16
Number of Offices: 1
Number of Agents: 9
What is your favorite thing about working in real estate?
The constant challenge. We’re working with different personality types and styles, while managing the various changes in technology that are constantly occurring in our industry to stay ahead. I also love the competition. We have to focus on how we can provide value to our clients, especially when it comes to online leads. Since they’re interviewing multiple brokers before they make a decision, we have to serve their needs better than the competition. That constant challenge is what gets us up in the morning.
How are you utilizing online leads?
I’ve been working with realtor.com® for online leads since I began working in real estate. When their Connections lead generation platform came out, I was one of the first people in. Now, I’ve been using Local Expert since it came out last fall. One of the first in upon the launch of Local Expert, we basically bought into the whole west side of Denver.
While it’s great to have positive reviews on sites like Yelp and realtor.com, have these reviews ever led to tangible results?
Absolutely. I recently closed a deal with a client who called me up and said, “Greg, I’d love for you to help me buy a home.” As I was going through the typical intake process, I asked how he was introduced to me and he said, “You have fantastic online reviews. That’s why I chose you to be my broker.” He was reading reviews on realtor.com, Facebook and Google—and even went to my LinkedIn page. One of the things that popped up was my Local Expert branding on realtor.com, which caused him to look at me as an expert in this area. This got him on the track to go in and research me in more depth.
Is this a stand-alone incident, or have there been other times when your branding and reviews have had a direct impact on a lead?
I can directly trace three other recent transactions where a consumer saw my profile on Local Expert and then reached out to me to sell their home. They checked my online reviews secondarily, but the initial reach-out came from the Local Expert ad and my realtor.com profile.
How do you find out if your branding and reviews were the source of these leads?
I ask all of my clients why they ultimately chose me after interviewing other agents. Again and again, they point to realtor.com Connections and Local Expert.
Do you use your Local Expert branding and reviews in listing presentations?
Yes, I use my reach with Local Expert in my presentations and clients think this is a huge resource other brokers don’t have. They love seeing that they’re using the top person in the area. In fact, I’ve had clients tell family members about who they’re working with, and when the family member Googles me, they’re impressed when they learn that I’m the Local Expert in the area. It raises their overall level of comfort. The bottom line is that realtor.com produces results. It’s the highest-quality lead source we have, bar none. While we spend money on them all, in terms of generating online leads, realtor.com is my team’s bread and butter.
For more information, please visit www.hub.realtor.com/team.
Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.