RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

AUG 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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68 August 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE Creating a Competitive Edge and Mastering Marketing HOMES.COM CHANGES THE GAME FOR ONE NEW JERSEY REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Liz Dominguez W hat will real estate agents do for leads? Accord- ing to Jacqueline Balza, broker salesperson with United Real Estate in New Jersey, everything under the sun, from door-knocking to signing up with marketing and lead generation services. However, not all companies are cre- ated equal. When Balza started her career nearly 10 years ago to pursue her love for being a real estate matchmaker, she became frustrated with companies who promised leads that never came, and who provided nonexistent customer service. After much trial and error, she found what she was looking for with Homes.com. "With other companies, I was never able to get anyone on the phone. My representative at Homes.com, however, listens to my needs. It's priceless. We have such a great relationship because he understands what makes my business run," says Balza. Through Local Connect—a Homes.com service that allows agents to attract leads in the local markets they wish to pursue—Balza has converted and closed six, going on seven, leads in just a year. "I was waiting for a specific zip code to open up for a year, and when it freed up, my representative, Thomas, called me to tell me he already sent the sign-up email so that I could lock it in," says Balza. "It makes me feel like I'm working with a company that really cares." Even when she decided to expand her business into uncharted territory, Balza used Homes.com to help create a presence in markets that were largely unclaimed by franchises and other big-name brokerages, giving her the competitive edge she needed. "I was predominantly working three counties in the past and was getting bored. I don't like to limit myself, and my brokerage doesn't limit me, so I was able to branch out into cities in which I had never sold a house," says Balza. "I went from nothing in that area to selling homes because of Homes.com." The quality leads received have been a game changer for Balza's business. "You need to market, and if you're not marketing in the right spot, you're just wasting money," says Balza. "I'm not marketing in vain. The leads are real, and you can actually talk to real people. I'm never afraid that I'm wasting my time." Balza also uses Preferred Listings by Homes.com to market her business. "When other agents show up on the site, it makes sure that I'm the listing agent being displayed for my personal listings. With other companies, they have other agents' contact information rotating through your listing, but with Homes. com, they make sure that it's your face in front of everyone," says Balza. One of the biggest benefits? According to Balza, be- ing able to rely on the proactive customer service and incoming profitable leads while she continues to focus on building her business and closing deals. "I'm looking to hit $3 million in sales this year. I'm already halfway there and there's still half the year to "With other companies, I was never able to get anyone on the phone. My representative at Homes.com, however, listens to my needs. It's priceless. We have such a great relationship because he understands what makes my business run." - JACQUELINE BALZA Broker Salesperson, United Real Estate

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