The matchmaking lead service does a good job at overlapping buyers and sellers with the best agents, but it doesn’t come cheap.
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LemonBrew is an online platform for buyers and sellers to find real estate agents.
Ideal for: Buyers, sellers, new and mid-level agents
Top selling points
- Higher quality lead
- Fees paid at closing
- Location, property-specific
- Licensed in 16 states
Agents are paying a typical referral fee of 25 percent on gross commission to LemonBrew. But there’s a buyer rebate program of varying percentage based on quality of lead, which could lead to as much as 35 percent off of the top, before brokerage fees.
What You Should Know
In essence, LemonBrew is a lead generator for real estate agents.
The company advertises itself as a matchmaker, helping buyers and sellers swipe left or right. It does a solid job of ensuring the pairing is a good one by getting very specific on a the consumer’s location goals, property type (condo, townhouse, urban, suburban), budget, and so forth.
It also assigns them a lead score based on a number of factors that most proven agents understand already, such as down payment capability, overall financial standing, previous ownership, any contingent sales and most other factors that determine a good lead.
Those metrics lead to the BrewScore, which starts at 80 and can run to 100.
The higher LemondBrew rates the lead, the more an agent gets squeezed. Rebates could be more than $2,000.
In our demo, LemonBrew’s co-founder told me that the rebate stems from the fact that consumers are so much more informed these days. In other words, your clients are doing your job for you. In the company’s defense, he also said that the agent’s role is changing and becoming more advisory in nature.
LemonBrew’s process is pretty slick. Through a single browser window, consumers answer a series of questions about their needs, wants, budget, languages and estimated credit score.
In essence, the lead profile process is tantamount to a mortgage pre-approval. It’s likely very helpful for most agents, as buyers don’t always come prepared to share this kind of information off the bat; it’s usually gleaned from them over time, no matter how hard an agent works at it.
Upon acceptance, the consumer is presented a slick spreadsheet of potential agent matches. Each shows a headshot and contact data, regional specializations (only those who match the buyer’s location needs), number of homes sold, years in the business, certifications and, most prominently, how much rebate they’re willing to offer.
Once selected, agents can review the lead for acceptance or denial. The buyer can also seek a new list of candidates.
LemonBrew encourages agents to complete video introductions. In its backend, agents are prompted by a list of random, rotating questions to spur commentary.
The company also benchmarks each agent’s sales history against her or his multiple listing service ID.
Agents will find that LemonBrew hasn’t neglected their safety, as each profile sign-up requires email and text verification.
The company is active primarily in North Carolina and Florida, but it has a growing list of agent profiles in a number of states, closing in on 3,000.
LemonBrew’s user experience and overall sharp approach to selling leads to agents will appeal to those who depend on paid sources and those willing to sacrifice money for experience.
I think this company is asking a lot of agents.
I was told LemonBrew doesn’t track the close rate of its matches, meaning once they happen, the company is hands-off until it’s time for palms to be greased.
A lack of some form of transaction facilitator, or deal coaching mechanism, seems to me to be a serious financial risk for LemonBrew. If it needs deals to close to get paid, it needs to help deals get closed.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman. He lives near Lake Tahoe in the northern Sierra Nevada of California.