Relational vs. Online Leads

April Vermillion, Get Real Marketing

get real marketing, april vermillion*Shiny Object Syndrome: The chronic pursuit of the latest and greatest at the detriment of tried and true practices.

When it comes to online marketing, I think many brokers struggle with this. How could they not considering all the statistics like:

– Zillow had 50 million viewers per month this spring (Inman News).

– 90% of home buyers searched the internet during the process (NAR Research).

– Real estate related searches on have grown 253% over the past 4 years (NAR Research).

Technology Doesn’t Trump Relationships

So of course brokers are being flooded with promotions from programs focused on capturing online leads. Talk about overwhelming! When I go into a meeting with brokers, I can get bombarded with questions about them. There’s an eagerness, a hunger in their voice, like an explorer in search of the Fountain of Youth. “Surely there’s a program which provides me a steady stream of high-quality leads!”

Are investing in online lead programs worth it? Absolutely. But it’s important to remember real estate is primarily a referral business. Even NAR’s recent findings show younger, internet-savvy buyers “were predominately referred to their agent through a friend, neighbor, or relative….” Why? Because relationships still trump technology when it comes to building buyer and seller trust and confidence. 

Invest 80% of your marketing into relational leads and 20% in online lead programs. 

The good news is you can nurture both types of leads with self-branded, online marketing!

Online Marketing Connects To Both

Show your local expertise: As most home buyers search MLS listings and research market data on their own, brokers need to figure out new ways they can be of assistance. Specializing in home ownership concerns, being able to provide local referrals to contractors, cleaners, and other services, and becoming a local expert are all ways to be useful to your connections.

Be where your connections are: And don’t overlook the obvious — with so much information about prospective clients already out there on social media, you can learn what the client needs and tailor your approach accordingly by connecting with them through Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms.

Share useful information: If you’re not using your website, email and social media platforms to get your story out, you are overlooking the best way to solidify your client base and get the new referrals that will expand your business.

  • Use blogs to increase your search engine ranking and provide information that will both entertain and help your connections make decisions.
  • Provide testimonies so that prospective clients know what you can do.
  • Present accurate and timely information about local markets to establish trust.

So be sure you are spending your precious time, energy and money in the right ways. Online marketing is always evolving, but will always remain a tool for connection!

Interested in connecting with your client base online?

Check out our Get Real Marketing plans and consultations.

Or contact April Vermillion for a free consultation.


*Shiny object syndrome is a brilliant concept from the great business teacher, Chuck Blakeman. Follow his blog for more tips on building a business that works for you (instead of you working for it!).


Get Real Marketing

April Vermillion