In the following interview, Toby Lim, CEO of Treasury Homes with Keller Williams Realty in Vienna, Va., discusses the firm’s growth, and how leads have played a role.
Region Served: Arlington, Fairfax, McLean and Tysons, Va., Northern Bethesda and Silver Spring, Md., as well as all of Washington, D.C.
Years in Real Estate: 4
Number of Offices: 1
Number of Team Members: 7
You and your wife Rachel received the Rookie of the Year award in your very first year in the business and are now No. 1 in your Market Center. How quickly did this all occur?
Prior to getting into real estate, I worked in the dental industry, and my wife in IT recruiting. When she announced that she wanted to get into real estate, I decided to get my license, as well. At the time, close friends of ours were looking to purchase their first home, so we helped them through the home-buying process and landed the opportunity with the listing. From there, I made the decision to take the proceeds from that transaction and invest it back into ourselves via marketing/advertising, which has gone a long way toward helping us get to where we are today. While I got my license in 2015, by the time 2016 rolled around, my time was needed more in real estate than my full-time job, so I made the transition.
How did leads fit into the mix as you began to grow your business?
We have doubled our production every year from the very beginning. In 2015, as a team, we closed $1 million, which led to us closing $8 million in 2016, $16-$17 million in 2017 and close to $30-$40 million last year. Our goal this year is to be around $100 million.
That being said, I attribute all of our success to leads and referrals. While we invest heavily on realtor.com®, Zillow and Homes.com, when it comes to volume, our primary source of leads is realtor.com.
What makes the leads you get from realtor.com different?
The sheer number of leads we receive from realtor.com alone sets us up to get more business from them over the other portals we use. While other portals may be more hit or miss, the leads we receive from realtor.com are all hot prospects looking for homes, which means that it’s just a matter of converting them. As a real estate professional, it’s critical to adapt to what’s going on in the market and how people are searching for homes. The decision to begin working with realtor.com one year ago has caused our business to double.
What makes you successful with the lead program?
First and foremost, it’s all about understanding the market. I’m a numbers guy, so I advertise solely based on statistics, which allows me to go where the market is going. As far as the leads that are coming in, we have a 97 percent pick-up rate. By bringing on an admin to handle all the things that go on behind the scenes, we’re able to respond to leads within less than 30 seconds.
Can you give me an example of how this works?
While the process varies for each client, what it all boils down to is being knowledgeable about each area of the market in order to show value to your clients. Otherwise, you’re just another agent. Now more than ever, real estate professionals across the board are simply looking for numbers, while valuable agents are looking out for the client’s best interest. At Treasury Homes, we’re all about the five-star service.
Would you recommend a program like this to agents just getting started?
For brand-new agents just getting their feet wet with leads, it’s important to master the process of getting leads and converting them in order to position yourself as a valuable agent in your marketplace. If you’re not sure where to start, look into mentoring or training or joining a team that has been successful in this endeavor.
For more information, please visit www.hub.realtor.com/team.