Watson Realty ERA President and CEO Ken Carter and BHGRE Company Lead Generation Director Jason Oberman shared what broker-owners can do to receive a better return on lead generation investments onstage at Inman Connect New York.

As a broker-owner, it can be tempting to simply shell out thousands of dollars per month on online leads in the hopes it will make a measurable difference in sales. However, it takes much more than a large budget to experience a return on investment that’s worthwhile.

Watson Realty ERA President and CEO Ken Carter and Better Homes and Gardens Company Lead Generation Director Jason Oberman shared the steps to creating a robust lead generation program during the “Not Just About the Funnel: Smart Ways to Generate Leads” panel at Inman Connect New York.

Jason Oberman

Both men have both placed their bets on Zillow’s lead generation program, with Watson Realty becoming one of the company’s top-producing brokerages in the West.

Carter said Watson doesn’t provide leads to every agent — instead his leadership team handpicked a select group of agents who’d proven themselves to be effective at lead conversion.

Those agents are required to attend twice-monthly lead generation meetings where leaders provide training tips and metric updates.

“It’s not for everybody,” Carter told the Broker Connect crowd. “But for the people who succeed in that, they don’t mind the extra accountability.”

Oberman echoed Carter’s sentiments saying that broker-owners must take a hands-on approach to creating and maintaining their brokerage’s lead generation program and strategy.

“We call the agents in our leads program our special forces,” Oberman said. “If you’re going to be spending money on [leads], you want to make sure the accountability is there.”

Ken Carter

Much like Carter, Oberman said he has twice-monthly lead generation meetings, one-on-one agent training, provides feedback on agents’ texts and calls with potential clients, and painstakingly tracks lead generation and conversions.

Although metrics and goal planning are important, both men agreed a collaborative spirit and dedication to top-notch customer service are the true game-changers.

“It’s about providing more in service than you expect to receive in compensation,” Carter said. “When you implement those principles in people and the transaction, you’ll experience success.”

For Carter, that includes not only building a solid client database, but teaching agents how to engage clients through “thank you” notes and other forms of communication.

“You want to think about what you receive at the Ritz Carlton when you show up,” Oberman added. “That’s what you want to give clients.”

Lastly, Carter and Oberman said broker-owners and other leaders must begin to model what great customer service, collaboration and attention to detail looks like.

“It starts with leadership,” Oberman said. “If you model it, it participates as you go.”

Watch the full Inman Connect New York session video here. 

Email Marian McPherson

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