The idea of exclusive leads is close to the concept of unicorns flying over rainbows that lead to pots of gold. Does anyone really think that a home buyer goes online and contacts a single real estate agent or lender. The truth is that when someone goes online to find information or contact an agent, they reach out to as many different professionals until their needs are met. Because there is a small disconnect between consumers and professionals created by the internet it is important that we understand this and we appeal to the people that we do connect with in the most powerful way possible. There are no exclusive leads. If our mother is shopping for a new home it is a guarantee that she is going online and looking at homes when you are not with her. She thinks she is doing us a favor and helping you do our job, she is not trying to cut us out of the transaction. So if our mother is doing this, do we really think that someone who we are not related to is going to stop doing what they feel is going to help them get the home of their dreams?
This is why the NAR kept such a tight rein on the MLS information for so long. Were they wrong to hold the MLS information offline for so long? It depends on who you talk to and if they are a listing agent or a selling agent. Either way we have all lost a degree of control with the freedom of information and sometimes misinformation that is rampant on the internet.
The best we can do to combat this lack of exclusivity is to provide the best service possible. By always providing better service than is expected we are assured to create the types of relationships that stand the tests that we will face when a client turned good Samaritan goes online and creates a lead for another real estate professional and complicates our lives more than they intended. The worst thing we can do is expect loyalty and obedience from another person that is trying to have their needs met. We just need to make sure that we are the ones that can meet their needs. Present ourselves as the answer to their questions. As the salvation to their problem and then provide that promised service to the best of our abilities. There is no such thing as an exclusive lead and there is no buyer that has unreasonable expectations. There is only “us” to provide the best service and educate the consumer to the best of our ability by using our skills to the fullest as the professional communicators that we are.