For those who aren’t agents let me explain how many of the larger brokerages (eg., in this area – Windermere, John L. Scott, Coldwell Banker Bain, etc) operate. As an agent you are an independent sub-contractor usually paying a monthly desk fee to associate with a particular company, plus variations of splitting your commissions with the broker. For that you get office space, administrative support, access to training etc.
What you do NOT get is client leads from the company. (except for Relo clients if you last long enough). For that you do your own marketing and/or sink to using the sourcing companies like house values, home gain and others of those ilk whose business model Ardell summed up so well long ago.
So here’s the part that I just don’t get. As an agent, there is no way I can come up with the marketing dollars to compete against House Values online. But my brokerage (Coldwell Banker Bain) spends millions in advertising, development of their website and overall branding. Yet for all of that they have no pro-active lead capture system or method of distributing leads to field agents. Certainly any of the larger brokers could compete better for the internet business and yet they don’t. Plus, if there are agents willing to pay for lead sources why not capture that revenue back into their own company.
It seems to me that the logical thing to do would be develop a virtual brokerage office.
- Create a staff of salaried agents for an inside sales team
- Implement a product like LivePerson to monitor web traffice and engage potentinal clients online
- Capture those leads and turn them to field agents in the local office for a percentage of the commission (you have to pay for that inside sales team somehow)
- Quit making your agents rely on 3rd parties for additional lead source generation
I’m going to propose this idea to my company but thought I’d run this by everyone for some feedback.