Friday Flash: I am not a lead

Way back, sometime in 2008, about a year after starting 1000WATT, Marc and I made a video to make a point.

It was scripted. The production values were terrible (in our defense, it was 13 years ago!). Marc’s mother-in-law was the star of the show; other folks were just snagged around town. 

We called the video “I am not a lead” and our point was this: the dehumanizing, narrowly transactional view of consumers — more helpfully known as “people” — as leads to be captured, converted, and dripped on was woefully short-sighted. 

It’s about the only thing we’ve ever done that went viral. 

Here it is:

Dated as it may be, I believe the underlying point is more relevant than ever. 

Churning and burning leads and working deal-to-deal is dangerous living in a time of rapid change, consolidating production and regulatory and legal challenges that threaten to crumble the foundation of our industry.

Those agents, teams and brokers who stay close to their clients and earn their loyalty over time will win the future. Those who do not, will not. 

As I have said for a decade: an online lead is usually just a client some other agent abandoned. 

This profligacy was never smart. Now, it’s self-destructive. 

We know lots of people who have built their business off leads from Zillow, or other sources. That’s fantastic. We know fewer people who actually make a long-term investment in relationships with the people who they convert into business. That’s a problem. 

The greatest protection against disruption lies in your relationships. Not your “sphere,” not your “farm,” certainly not in leads. 

It’s the people, people. 

Need to know

Offerpad is going public. This now makes three publicly traded ibuyers with massive war chests (Offerpad anticipates hundreds of millions in proceeds), which means we’re going to find out sooner rather than later just how big this new way to sell can get. Offerpad’s plan includes the now customary “ancillary services” mousetrap.

Bright MLS launched a “Home Demand Index” with T3. Bright is taking the lead on something important: leveraging the singular position of the MLS to create new and valuable tools for brokers and agents beyond basic market metrics. I hope we see more of this.

Discount broker REX launched another torpedo toward the organized real estate armada by suing Zillow for segmenting MLS listings from non-MLS listings. The REX folks are serious and well-connected politically. Zillow is now IDX-based, a fully licensed broker, and deeply invested in the MLS. We’re going to see many strange alliances in the coming years. 

OK, last thing: 1000WATT is gonna test the waters on Clubhouse. 

Join Valerie Garcia and me next Friday at Noon Pacific as we unpack some of the stuff we’ve been writing about recently. 

Follow me at @bboero and Marc at @marcldavison and Valerie at @valeriegarcia, and you’ll be notified when we go live – or join using this link

Hope to talk with you then.

Have a great weekend.