HouseValues puts agents on long-term lead plan

Part 1: Inside story on real estate lead machines

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Editor's note: There are dozens of online lead services in real estate and brokers and agents are still sorting out what's what and which works best for their budget and needs. This three-part series examines the nuts and bolts of three major companies in the space, including HouseValues, Move Inc. (formerly Homestore) and HomeGain. (See Part 2 and Part 3.) For Central Florida-based real estate agent Linda Harper, using an online lead generation service means not having to knock on doors or cold call prospective clients. "This Realtor does no more cold calling, no FSBO calling and I make a really nice living," said Harper, who's been using HouseValues' online marketing and lead services for well over a year. Harper purchases 30-40 leads per month from Kirkland, Wash.-based HouseValues and estimates that she has about a 28 percent-30 percent closing rate. She said she's built up enough business that now she shares her leads with two of her associates. The Realtor couldn'...