I was searching "the net" this evening and stumbled on another real estate blog serving the Seattle area. The post I started reading discussed the business model of some companies that specialize in lead generation from the internet.
That article reminded me of another article I read on Realty Times in regards to Referral and Lead Generating companies.
What I found humerous is that right as I finished reading the articles I checked my email and this is an email I had received from a company that I know nothing about..
I am a consultant with AgentConnect, a division of Reply Inc. We connect homebuyers and sellers with qualified agents. I am trying to reach you because I have a number of clients in your area looking to be put in touch with a qualified agent. If you are open to accepting new clients please give me a call back,or email me with the zip codes you service, so I can discuss the specifics with you.
As for the cost, we do not take a percentage of the closing. Instead, we charge a flat monthly rate with a guaranteed number of prescreened buyers/sellers per month who have requested to be put in touch with an agent in the area.
Keep in mind that these leads will go to one exclusive agent, so they are time sensitive and I’m trying to lock down the territories very soon.
Obviously, this is an email (a.k.a. SPAM) sent to their database of agent emails they have accumulated by scouring the internet. What makes an agent "qualified" in their eyes? Just responding and paying their fee?
By the earnings discussed in the Realty Times article linked above it is blatantly obvious that a very large number of agents, brokers, and consumers are using these services. Agents and brokers who pay for these services are increasing the cost of doing business, which in turn gets passed on to their clients. I don't see how any type of "savings" can exist for real estate consumers within business models such as these.
Added (as I thought more about it ):
I'd like to know if anyone has used any services like this and what were your results? Were you happy with the agent provided? Did you have a successful transaction? Did you view them as "qualified" and competent? Would you prefer a company that offered a selection of agents to choose from or a company such as the one who emailed above that has territories "locked in" by certain agents?
I haven't done much research into comapnies like these. I receive those emails quite often though, usually multiple times a day. All from companies I've never heard of before nor had prior discussions with. I can tell you however that the cost of having a custom built website is cheaper, by far, then what some of these companies charge for participation.
For more information on Lead Generating companies, check out what this agent says about Home Gain Leads