George C. Wallace
Coldwell Banker Wallace
Region Served: Knoxville and surrounding counties
Years in Real Estate: 37
Number of Offices: 6
Number of Agents: 350
Having administered your own lead program, what can you point to as some of the biggest challenges?
We spent two years wandering in the wilderness with a lead program that we administered ourselves, so we had a team in place to handle the process involved with incubating the leads we received and then handing them out. We were constantly being challenged; however, due to the fact that we set our own rules, it was easy to modify those rules and make exceptions. This led to the process not being managed as fairly as possible, which was one of the main factors that led us to realtor.com®.
Why else was realtor.com® under consideration?
Our agents were demanding more leads, so we brought realtor.com®’s lead program initiative in to generate leads after hearing about it through some of our fellow Coldwell Banker broker/owners. We’ve now been using the program for 1.5 years, including the bundled concierge-type services. We piloted it loosely at two offices to see how it would perform in two different markets, and after a few months, we saw that it had potential. With the realtor.com® initiative, we’re playing by their rules—and their rules are firm. It’s working out really well for us.
How did you get your agents on board and productive?
After kicking off the program company-wide, realtor.com® provided training to get our agents on the right track. We have also dedicated our own resources to making sure agents are being trained effectively. In fact, one of our full-time employees spends half her time training agents, implementing rules and getting agents on board. Those who aren’t seeing success with the program have access to a lot of one-on-one, hands-on training. We’re constantly working on educating our agents as to the importance of responding to leads in a timely fashion, while making sure they’re communicating the status of the lead.
How did the changeover impact the buy-in and conversion?
We knew that our agents were hungry for leads, and what we said was going to happen upon adding the realtor.com® program to the mix is actually coming to fruition. That being said, the realtor.com® initiative can be credited for resurrecting and sustaining a number of our agents’ careers, as a good segment of our agents are good at working in their business, not necessarily on their business. I believe that a lot of our success in getting agents to buy in can be attributed to word of mouth, as well as the fact that realtor.com® is a trusted name in the industry.
Does this help you recruit and retain?
This initiative has been a great arrow in our quiver of tools and services that we can offer our agents to help them succeed. The fact that we have a full-time person dedicated to support, training and development has also been huge for us, as it’s allowed us to stand out from the competition and recruit and retain agents.
For more information, please visit realtor.com/sales.
Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.