In the following interview, Robert Slack, broker/owner of Robert Slack Fine Houses in Ocala, Fla., goes over the company’s growth, leads and recruiting.

Area Served: Ocala, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Miami, Sarasota
Next Move: Naples
Native of: Cumbria, England
2017 Deals: Simply over 1,000; anticipating to do 3,000 in 2018
Inventory Status: There’s not as drastic a scarcity as there remains in other areas, but there is a bit of a multiple-offer scenario. We’re training our representatives to handle these situations to make sure they get the winning bid.
The future is …rosy. Business is fantastic, and representatives are doing an excellent job. The market will be going up for a while. I do not believe we’ll see a big rise in rates of interest.

Robert, we ® leads. How did this exercise?
We’ve continued to offer the value proposition of providing representatives 40 realtor.com leads a month, with no regular monthly fees and no joining charges. We’re now as much as 206 agents and still getting 10 applications a day from representatives who want to join our company. Since the last time we spoke, company has actually expanded. The majority of months are a record over the previous. We’re going to close 230 deals this month (at press time) for about $50 million. Life’s really good!

How has the business managed to grow a lot because timeframe?
About a year earlier, I invited in a rival of mine, and he’s now the COO and runs his part of the company out of the Orlando office. We just recently opened an office in Land of Lakes, north of Tampa, and we’re aiming to open additional offices this year, concentrating on Miami. Our next workplace will be in Naples.

You were at 500 annual closings each year and now you’ve shot past 1,000. What does it cost? of your growth and growth originated from the leads?
The web is absolutely driving business with all our leads coming from realtor.com. We get a great deal of leads from them. Eighty percent of our closings this past year came from leads through realtor.com. There’s no concern that the quality of the leads has a lot to do with it.

Do you take on new representatives, or do they need to have remained in the business a while to be able to succeed with online leads?
We have a great deal of new agents. We have to get them onboarded and skilled, however two weeks after they get their license, they can be seeing instantaneous cash flow.

What do you believe makes your business successful with the opportunities you obtain from realtor.com?
We do not do anything else. We don’t call expireds or FSBOs. We do not stuff mailboxes. We have a call center in Ocala that operates from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 365 days a year. We have a group of individuals there that call back every lead in 20 seconds. The five-minute [response time] of 2-3 years ago doesn’t work any longer. Our call center individuals don’t try to preapprove individuals over the phone, however rather, they attempt to set consultations on behalf of the representatives because 92 percent of purchasers will go with the first individual they speak to. We buy shared leads from realtor.com, which implies we have to be. We have to beat the other individual to the lead.

We’ve offered numerous multimillion-dollar residential or commercial properties in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale locations this year, and we were able to show one $36 million property that originated from a realtor.com lead.

For those who have been having a hard time in the service, is it far too late to make the switch to online leads?
Among the primary issues in this market is the quantity of agent turnover. That’s because at a lot of companies, they get the agents in then say, “Now go sell something,” and don’t offer them any help. We have hardly any turnover of representatives because if someone is devoted to working, they’re going to do really well with the online leads we offer.

Would you state your success has more to do with your investment in online leads or your strategy for transforming those leads?
I would state it’s a little bit of both. Our approach certainly works, and people really like the realtor.com leads. Their info is more accurate and more updated than a few of the other huge websites. The leads seem to be genuine purchasers.

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