How to beat portals at the lead game

There's a weakness in their Web strategy that you can exploit

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Leads are life to Realtors. That's obvious. Yet to anyone who's looked to buy, sell or rent online, it's pretty obvious Zillow and Trulia own leads online. Seriously, is there a major market in the United States where these two are not on the first page of Google? (If there is, let me know in the comments below.) Portal dominance may seem like a pretty bleak situation to the agent who doesn't want to pay these giants for leads. And I get that. But there is a weakness in the Web strategy that these Web giants have adopted. That weakness lies in information that isn't database. What do I mean by that? Well, Zillow and Trulia are good at displaying a complete Internet data exchange. And they are also good at squeezing contact information out of prospective sellers. Plus, they have an excellent system for comparing schools. But at the end of the day, no one wants to look at data. Think about it. Would you rather have a conversation with someone who's lived in an area or look...