I travel across the U.S. and Canada talking to real estate agents on a regular basis. Recently, I had what I would call a "very spirited" debate with an agent who, although he acknowledged that his advertising in The Real Estate Book had generated a significant number of phone calls on his listings, felt these leads were of no use if the buyer did not want to purchase the specific listing on which they called. He was adamant that he did not want to sell any one else's listings - only his own.
Of course you want to sell your listings, but if that home does not fit the buyer's needs, then by all means, sell them one that does. Seems like common sense to me. The advertising generated a phone call from a potential client. That was the intention.
The 2009 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was just released. In that survey, home buyers were asked where they found their home. Not surprisingly, 36% found the home they ultimately purchased through a real estate agent.
Of course they did. A smart, top agent knows how to create a volume of leads through a smart marketing program and convert those leads to closed transactions.
Another 36% found the home they ultimately purchased on the Internet. Of course they did. Listing data is rampant and home buyers search every available media outlet for information. Hopefully, they found their home online, called the agent or drove by (12% said they found their home on a yard sign), and then called the agent with whom they were working and began to negotiate the purchase.
The advertising in which this agent had invested was working. He just didn't know how to work it.