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When is a lead a lead?

Guest perspective: Distinguishing 'contacts' from 'leads' (Part 1 of 2)

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

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 thirst for information and scarcity of time, the Internet is where the action is today -- in real time. According to "Search Engine Marketing, Inc.," by Moran & Hunt, total Web users surpassed the 300...