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Internet leads can come from many places

Experts offer tips on generating, buying sales leads at Connect

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Generate them yourself, buy them from aggregators, or hire somebody to drum them up for you. If you're in the real estate or home lending business, you need sales leads. Experts with companies that do all of the above were at Real Estate Connect San Francisco Wednesday to offer advice. With more people shopping for mortgages online, lenders who want to generate their own leads can try optimizing their Web sites or paying fees to make sure they are featured prominently in search-engine results. Every month, 9.4 million people get on the Internet to shop for a mortgage, said media analyst Greg Sterling, citing research by Compete Inc. Sterling, the moderator of the panel, "Top of the Funnel: Search Engine and Portal Marketing," said one in four consumers find their way to lenders' Web portals through links from other real estate sites. Search engines drive about the same percentage of traffic to mortgage lenders.  Search engines like Google, Yahoo! and MSN use f...