Not long ago, Internet lead-generation companies were the hottest, most innovative and most controversial new idea in real estate. Today, this business model appears to be more than passé and faces significant threats in the marketplace. That's by no means a death knell for the companies that created or copied the model, but surely, the time has come for some new thinking about lead-generation's benefits and opportunities. The most significant threat is that brokerage companies and individual agents now have their own Web sites, which can generate plenty of leads for practitioners, who consequently have a less-compelling need for an independent lead-generation service. Add blogs and social networking sites to the mix, and again, brokers and salespeople now have other demonstrably effective and efficient ways to generate their own leads online without the cost of a separate service. A crop of new "free" listing Web sites also offers brokers and salespeople a potential alternative ...
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