How the Internet Killed the Hustle

    Full disclosure — I started my Real Estate career in 2013, so not exactly the dark ages, and the Internet was definitely a thing throughout all of my career. So why am I knocking it?

    I moved to Louisville in 2012 with a career I thought I’d have forever. I had few friends from college in town, and some family within a short day’s drive, and other than that, it was just me and my [then] boyfriend (now husband).

    Life took a drastic turn, and we both left the jobs we had, deciding to start our own businesses. He opened a dog training franchise, and I started my career as a Realtor. In hindsight, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to do them both simultaneously, however, that is the hand we were dealt [chose], so we had to sleep in the bed we made. And let me tell you… that bed was uncomfortable. That bed sometimes didn’t have a comforter. That bed sometimes had holy sheets. That bed sometimes felt more like a box spring than a mattress. But we got out of that unpleasant bed every morning and worked our tails off. Why?

    Because failure was not an option.

    I started my career at a traditional brokerage that firmly believed that having a referral based business was all you needed to have a long, sustainable career in Real Estate. That sounds amazing, right? — working with people that know, like, and trust me; warm leads. Slight problem. I didn’t know many people. I made a list of everyone that I knew in or around my city (which, admittedly, was a pretty short list), and contacted them all. Fifteen minutes later, I was out of people to call to ask for the business.

    So how did I pay the bills? Where did my business come from?

    If I didn’t have the business at my fingertips, I went out and created it.

    I did open houses. I shadowed seasoned agents and gained their trust, so if they had too many clients, I would be the one to whom they referred. I worked with the relocation department to learn how to list bank-owned property. I leveraged social media to show what I was doing (or what the market was doing) and gained people’s trust as their Realtor of choice. I formed meaningful relationships with everyone I met. I volunteered to work the phones and receive incoming calls to the office. I took classes to enhance my skillset because I knew every person I talked to could lead to a closing.

    You may have caught the “social media” bit above and thought, “Wait a minute…didn’t she say the Internet was killing this ambition?” Through all those sources up above, what you didn’t see, is what are called Internet Leads, or web leads.

    Web leads are all the rage right now for Realtors, and have been for a while, because they’re “live” and actively seeking information. They have a perceived immediate need, and it feels easy.

    It’s not.

    Sure, there’s some low hanging fruit there, however, the majority of the web leads take time. Like lots of time. Like almost 2 years time. Statistically, from the time someone looking to buy a home begins their process, maybe even register on a web site to conduct home searches; it could be 18 months. Understandably, this can be tough for a new agent who needs immediate opportunities in order to pay the bills.

    The Catch 22 is the more money you can pour into your website to generate leads, the more names/numbers you get. However, without proper systems to follow up with these people, and nurture them to be ready, willing, and able buyers, you lose the opportunity you spent the money on to have in the first place.

    In the age of the Real Estate team, one of the biggest questions we are asked by potential team members is how many leads they can expect to receive as new agents. With a click of a button, we can control how many dollars get spent on marketing, and therefore can predict about how many leads we can get through our website every month. Yes, some of those leads will call you before you have a chance to call them and say, “Do you also list property, because I have a house to sell first,” or “I just met with a lender and we are pre-approved, so what are the next steps to getting into a home?”. And yes, that will feel easy.

    But what happens when the leads stop coming in?

    Do you know how to host an open house? Do you know how to talk to someone thinking of selling their home on their own (For Sale by Owner)? Do you know how to ask for referrals?

    So who do we look for at Bello Dimora Network of Keller Williams Realty? Well, we can hire anyone to chase web leads, but we don’t want just anyone. We want someone who will work like they don’t have it handed to them on a silver platter — someone who can’t afford to fail — because that person will never feel like this job is too easy or get complacent. That person will continue to learn and grow and seek more knowledge to sharpen their skill set. That person isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty and sleep in an uncomfortable bed for a few months, knowing that on the other side of their hard work, is the best night’s sleep they’ve ever had.


    I LOVE my Real Estate Career! If you have been considering jumping into this exciting, and ever changing industry; or if you have just begun thinking about gathering some more information, please contact me if you have questions! I would be happy to help you figure out if a career in real estate might be right for you. We can discuss how it might impact your future, both in your personal, as well as your business life.

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