By Mike Parker

RISMEDIA, March 3, 2010—Everyone wants to somehow profit from the Internet. These days – with 80+% of all homes sales beginning on the Internet, the ‘wants’ has changed into ‘must.’ Any agent who is not making a significant percentage of their sales from Internet activity is missing out on more commissions than they can imagine as well as continuing up that traditional methods trail that surely is becoming a dead end.

That’s part of the reason so many methods of trying to succeed online are out there: everyone is looking for the ‘Silver Bullet’: the one thing that will make them successful.

You remember Silver Bullets (before they referred to Coors beer cans), don’t you? In ancient days, silver bullets were believed to be the only effective way to kill werewolves and witches. More recently, the Lone Ranger (a mythical ex-Texas Ranger who rode the range righting wrongs and dispensing justice with his faithful sidekick, Tonto) used silver bullets as his calling cards, using them as a symbol for justice done. Although witches and werewolves are making a comeback in the movies, no one seems to have actually encountered one of late and the demand is also down for an ex-ranger and his loyal companion who ride around the West righting wrongs. There are over one million agents who would like to crack the Internet, however, and it appears that a Silver Bullet might be just what they need.

Today, anything referenced as a Silver Bullet possesses near-magical qualities that allow the user to overpower difficult problems. Efficient air conditioning, for example, was the “silver bullet’ to developing the humid climes of Florida into one of our most populous states. Penicillin was the ‘silver bullet’ that finally allowed physicians to conquer dreaded bacterial infections. And so on. The term has been adopted into a general metaphor, where “silver bullet” refers to any straightforward solution perceived to have extreme effectiveness. The phrase typically appears with an expectation that some new technology or practice will easily cure a major prevailing problem. Thus, the problem would be that most agents can’t seem to make the Internet produce for them, and the technology (“the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area” and “a capability given by the practical application of knowledge”) has not improved much in five or more years, until now.

This Silver Bullet delivers buyers to agents

It finally appears that the Silver Bullet has been invented that enables almost any agent* to generate real leads and sales from online buyers without breaking the budget. Consider these examples:

1. An agent in Windsor, Ontario, acquired the technology in December 2009. In January 2010, the technology brought the agent $1.4 million in residential house sales in a market where the average home price is $150,000—so far. The technology has also brought the agent 57 quality leads from only 600 total visitors to his website, so far.

2. An agent in Hilton Head, SC sold a condo to the very first lead the technology brought her—29 days after she acquired the new technology. She also has received 55 additional quality leads that she is continuing to work with, so far.

3. An agent in Wasilla, AK, acquired the technology in August of 2009. The technology has delivered over 120 quality leads to him from which multiple sales have closed. He states that his investment has already been returned 10 times or more, so far.

4. An agent in Etobicoke, ON, is negotiating a $600,000 sale two weeks after acquiring the technology.

5. The technology produced a request from an elderly couple who live in a two-story home in an exclusive neighborhood to a Southern California agent: the couple finds stairs increasingly difficult. They love where they live, however, so they asked the agent to sell their $1.2 million home for them and find them one of same value in a one-story in the same neighborhood. The elderly couple was attracted by the agent’s simple message: “Tell me what you want.” They wanted to sell and they wanted to buy.

These are but a few of hundreds of examples we could list.

Clearly, something unusual is going on when agents from anywhere can start receiving high quality leads and making sales from Internet buyers almost immediately simply by switching this technology on.

Since this technology became available about six months ago after a four month beta test period, hundreds of agents have adopted it and—far more often than not—their results mirror those above. There are exceptions, of course.

Technology can’t make up for poor sales follow-up or an inability to engage clients and develop relationships with them. (Occasionally, the leads don’t come as often as they should. At least if that happens, a client will get their money back, pro-rata!) More than 80% of those who use the technology succeed right out of the box, however.

*Who will accept proper training and follow practices taught in that training.

This Silver Bullet hits the target without you having to be a ‘crack shot’

Here’s just a few of the ways this technology makes online success possible for any agent—regardless of technical skill level:

• The technology requires no work by the agent to implement—everything is done for them; it does require work by the agent to sell to the customers that the technology delivers to the agents.

• The technology combines a super-streamlined and branded personal website with the best in organic and intelligent paid search and limited content that out performs any traditional website in terms of converting visitors to registrations; resulting in an average 8 out of every 100 visitors to such sites signing in and asking for more information from the agent; all inclusive and with no extra cost options or charges; all professionally managed by the host for you exclusively at a fixed cost. The agent has no further tasks to perform after choosing the color and specialties they want to attack and providing a photo of themselves and a copy of their logo; the agent simply must follow up on the leads. This technology is provided on a limited distribution basis. That is, each marketplace may only support a finite number of agents and the money-back guarantee means that the vendor cannot exceed the natural ability of the market to satisfy a proper amount of clients. A small town—or two small towns— may only support one such site with demographics determining the scalable density allowable in any city or town. (The proprietary knowledge of the vendor regulates against over- selling territories or specialties).

• The technology starts bringing real leads to the agent within weeks; real people signing in with their name, phone and/or email address are contacting you about receiving further information about something they saw on your personal site. Over time, the agent is guaranteed 100+ such leads at minimum. (These are not the lead aggregator type of lead, where someone applied for a mortgage, checked a home’s value, or filled out a form somewhere and where they may have no interest in real estate. These are real leads from real people who have looked at your personal site and want more information).

In sum, the technology represents turn-key Internet prospecting, effective anywhere for any market, at a fixed price and with a money back guarantee. Nothing like this has been offered before now.

The future of online marketing for real estate professionals

There’s no argument that the Internet is a large part of the future for real estate professionals; with 80+% of home sales beginning there today, it’s clear that for the buyer, the Internet is the future. They are never going back to having no information available to them and having to go into an office to look at an MLS book.

In the final analysis, it is that truth which explains the success of these Professionally Managed Lead Sites that embody the technology referred to throughout this article: the public wants help choosing their home and they want it from a knowledgeable professional. They do not want to be left to themselves trying to finalize what they are dreaming of buying. They’ll go so far as to go online and look at homes to narrow things down, but when it comes to the next step, they want a real estate professional on their side. That’s why this technology is so right for these times: it re-establishes the agent as the source of information and convinces the Internet visitor to ask the agent for exactly what they want.

That is where all this is going: use technology to find the area of interest and use the agent to bring the sale home. The agent returns to being the authority source and uses the tools available to them to give the client what they want. Technology is making that future happen today for several hundred agents who have embraced this technology, early. It will take a few years to determine whether this trend is permanent or fleeting, but for the foreseeable future, those embracing the technology are doing far better than others at finding online buyers. This Silver Bullet may go the way of the Lone Ranger and Tonto, but today, it’s dominating online prospecting. Cue up “the William Tell Overture “and make hay while the sun shines.

Mike Parker (mparker@theblackwatercg.com) is a well known authority on the subject of online marketing services for Realtors® and other real estate professionals. If you’d like a demonstration of this powerful new technology known as a professionally managed lead site that is managed exclusively for you, click here and we’ll be happy to provide it for you at no cost or obligation.

http://rismedia.com/2010-03-02/44600/