HouseValues Inc., which offers lead generation and lead management services and products for real estate agents, today announced the formal launch of similar tools for real estate brokerages.
A group of brokerages began testing the new offering, BrokerSelect Lead Network, in mid-2004, and the group of brokers using the product includes Coldwell Banker United, Prudential Fox & Roach, Coldwell Banker Canada, ZipRealty and Weichert Realtors, among a list of about 20 large brokerages.
Ian Morris, HouseValues CEO, said, “More and more brokerage companies were starting to use the service that was designed for real estate agents and were having some success,” and the company decided to tailor an offering for the brokerage community.
As with the HouseValues offering now in use by about 10,000 agents, the brokerage tools are based on a flat-fee model in which brokers pay a flat amount to receive referrals. Morris said the BrokerSelect program will not interfere with the referrals given to existing agents in the HouseValues network.
“Just like in the agent (offering), brokers are assigned a certain number of leads based on a geographic area. It in no way affects any of the existing agent relationships,” Morris said.
In addition to offering brokers leads for new business, HouseValues also offers assistance in managing those leads, Morris said, such as training, coaching and account management.
While the individual leads are exclusive, the territory in which leads are given out is not necessarily exclusive to a brokerage, he said. It all depends on the volume of leads generated in a given market. “A broker may take on a lot or all of the leads in that market, beyond what we are providing to those agents. It’s a big continent. There’s a lot of room there.”
Real estate professionals can customize the areas from which they wish to receive leads, down to the zip code and neighborhood level. “Brokers can select or deselect counties and zip codes — tell us where they want and don’t want business,” Morris said.
The company had earlier offered agents exclusive leads by zip code but has since divvied up some geographic areas among several agents.
Bret Violette, president of Weichert Lead Network, said of the BrokerSelect network, “In addition to the exclusive buyer and seller leads we receive, we have also uploaded tens of thousands of prospects from a segment of our own database to take advantage of the automated and customized marketing campaigns in the BrokerSelect lead management system.”
BrokerSelect includes tools that enable brokers and agents to integrate leads from their Web sites and systems directly into the lead management system.
HouseValues makes the new product announcement after emerging from a quiet period that accompanied the company’s public offering. HouseValues has a market capitalization of about $367 million. The company generated revenues of $25.1 million for 2003, and $33.3 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2004.
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