Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part guest perspective series focusing on online lead generation. Part 1 explores the difference between a contact and a lead, and Part 2 discusses how to implement a long-term strategy for Internet-generated contacts and leads. The Internet has influenced a structural shift in most real estate professionals' marketing mix. Whether you work for an independent or branded residential agency, it is becoming increasingly difficult -- and painful -- to ignore marketing your firm or yourself on the Web. From personal Web sites to sophisticated search-engine marketing programs, the sourcing of new business and clients is increasingly an online proposition. What events are influencing this structural marketing shift? Fueled by the average American's thirs...
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