How Florida’s fastest-growing, most-reviewed real estate brokerage transformed their business with Realtor.com PRO – Realtor.com News

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Expanding your business as a brokerage comes with plenty of unique challenges. Beyond simply securing a flow of leads, you also need to attract top talent and position your brokerage for expansion and growth in the long run.

DJ and Lindsey DellaSalla, Owners of DJ and Lindsey Real Estate in St. Augustine, Florida, decided to take the plunge and become early adopters of online leads back in 2008. Little did they know the tremendous impact this investment would have as they embarked on founding their own brokerage, and its impact for years to come, when they jumped at this new lead source.


Buy/sell, rent/lease residential &
commercials real estate properties.

By partnering with Realtor.com® for their lead generation and advertising efforts, DJ and Lindsey have expanded their brokerage beyond a single market, drove serious results for their business, and leveraged a powerful — and surprising — recruiting tool.

“Being associated with Realtor.com adds credibility to our brokerage. Clients often trust platforms with a reputable brand, which can positively impact our business reputation and attract more quality clients.”

Humble beginnings: Breaking the real estate mold

Every real estate pro knows the tried-and-true methods to get your business rolling. Things like cold-calling, door-knocking, and hosting open houses are classics for a reason — they lay the foundation for building a sphere of influence, especially as agents are just starting out. New agents know how critical it is to spin up a variety of lead sources to start fueling their business with clients at every stage. Still, the traditional, much-used, and well-loved real estate tactics can be daunting.

When DJ and Lindsey founded their boutique brokerage in 2013, they initially started with a mindset of reinventing the been-there, done-that tactics commonly seen in the real estate industry to serve their local market in St. Augustine, Florida. Unafraid to challenge tradition and hungry to scale and expand, DJ invested in online leads. Noticing a consistent influx of people relocating to Florida, DJ wanted to jump on the potential offered by online leads early on.

It quickly proved to be more than just another way of lead generation.

Expanding up and out

Having a strong network for your real estate business extends far beyond simply needing a pipeline of leads and having a rockstar team of agents. To build a brokerage that lasts, having strong, supportive partnerships with the services you work with is crucial. Realtor.com’s commitment to providing quality leads and aiding in the success of its agents and brokers shines through in the face of any challenge.

When DJ and Lindsey were ready to expand from St. Augustine to Palm Beach County, they were able to hire 15 agents with the power of their Realtor.com partnership. The two were able to “rinse and repeat” the business model of providing their agents with leads from consumers down-funnel, who were specifically raising their hands on properties, an exciting prospect for these new team members.

As they expanded throughout other markets, they’ve continued providing quality online leads at the forefront of their team recruitment efforts. With their brokerage booming, DJ and Lindsey were ready and well-positioned to build on the momentum of expanding beyond one market.

Before DJ and Lindsey knew it, working with Realtor.com would prove more impactful to elevating their business than ever.

A successful business plan needs to grow and scale over time and always needs a backup plan when things out of one’s hands happen. In real estate, you can only prepare so much for things like market shifts, disasters, or other external or macroeconomic events — which all impact the industry.

In 2016, Hurricane Matthew hit DJ and Lindsey’s hub in the St. Augustine area, devastating the town and surrounding county. When DJ and Lindsey learned the extent of the damage to their local area, they understood the gravity of the situation not only as community members, but its threat to their business. The two were able to work with Realtor.com to move their advertising spend from St. Augustine to Jacksonville. Because homes in Jacksonville weren’t damaged, moving ad spend with help from Realtor.com, Lindsey shared, effectively saved their business.

“The leadership and staff are second to none at Realtor.com. Genuine people who truly want to help the industry as a whole. They feel like they’re an extended part of our staff. They’re just as responsive as our staff. They’re very solution-based and very attentive.” 

Any broker knows how important recruiting and retaining top real estate talent is. The agents hired by brokers serve as the face of the brokerage, strengthening the brand, and ensuring its values, quality, and service are represented well.

As their brokerage’s success continued to compound with help from online leads, DJ and Lindsey were quickly ready to also grow their team. These same online leads from Realtor.com ended up bringing one unexpected benefit: they were able to recruit top talent who were also eager to work with smart consumers.

Because they initially embarked on doing things “backwards” and breaking out of the traditional real estate box, DJ and Lindsey unlocked a new angle of attracting and recruiting skilled, talented real estate agents. Instead of just relying on more traditional methods, the two brought in a team of agents by offering them the prospect of a business backed by quality online leads.

“If you’re able to show someone before you recruit them ‘I have quality leads’, you’re more likely to have a quality agent.”

Adding a new layer of lead generation to their business with Market VIP

Any broker knows finding and providing quality leads for their team is a must in ensuring the success and longevity of their business. Still, it’s not rare to wrestle with inconsistent lead quality, conversion rates swinging in all directions, managing budget, and trying to stay on top of recruiting top talent to your brokerage.

Rather than shying away from this challenge and always seeking new opportunities, when Realtor.com started rolling out Market VIP in 2020, DJ jumped at the new product and became an early adopter once more. With Market VIP, DJ and Lindsey were able to provide their brokerage with a steady pipeline full of access to exclusive, active, and motivated consumers in their local area.

The exclusivity offered by the product, coupled with predictable lead flow and support from Realtor.com, effectively took their online lead generation to a new level.

“Our favorite product is Market VIP. We love it because it enables us to ‘dig a moat’ around our business and our brokerage by allowing us to have that exclusivity. It also helps us to recruit experienced agents that want to work with smart consumers that search on Realtor.com.”

By building this powerful moat around their brokerage, DJ and Lindsey Real Estate positioned themselves as market leaders to Florida consumers. Within their brokerage, they’ve uncovered a powerful, unique opportunity to tap into experienced agents who are eager to work with quality online leads. After all, agents want to join a brokerage with a high volume of leads.

It’s not enough to simply secure a pipeline packed with potential customers. You also have to know how to win them over, especially when they’re sourced online.

Real leads driving real results with an 11% conversion rate

Nailing consistent, impactful conversion rates for any real estate pro can feel like an uphill battle. And once you add leads from online consumers to this mix, getting your conversion rate right can seem like it gets even tougher. Typical reports for online leads in real estate estimate a 2 to 3% conversion rate; meanwhile, some sources claim as low as 1.2%. A multitude of factors impact real estate lead conversion rates, namely the quality of the leads, the approach to follow-up, and the period of time the leads are nurtured.

DJ and Lindsey Real Estate don’t just rest on their laurels when it comes to securing quality leads from Realtor.com. “Our claim to fame is we do a ton of follow-up,” DJ shared. “We’re staying in front of the customers and meeting them where they are. A lot of [agents] are looking for leads that are ready now, but you have to understand what they’re looking for and really get to know them. We train our agents on that: meeting the customer where they are.”

When they combined the power of their online leads, advertising across Realtor.com, securing exclusivity with Market VIP, and intelligent follow-up, the team achieved a whopping 11% conversion rate.

“11% is a really good and accurate conversion rate, which speaks to when consumers are super serious about buying a home — or even selling a home — a lot of people search Realtor.com. That’s why it’s so important we’re on there. ”

Whether you’re a broker building your dream team, a solo agent ready to embark on a new path, or somewhere in between, it’s pivotal you don’t go it alone. To set a foundation of long-lasting success and scalability, it’s important you pick the right partnerships as you charter a path forward on your real estate journey. Your network, the colleagues you work alongside, the team you build, and the clientele you forge connections with are all building blocks on this path.

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It can be a lot to manage, so selecting the right service is important. Partnering with Realtor.com started as a way for DJ and Lindsey Real Estate to explore a new source and format of leads, but quickly grew into something more. In one word, Lindsey describes her experience working with Realtor.com as “transformative”.

“It’s changed our business. Smart consumers search on Realtor.com, so we know we need to be very present on the Realtor.com platforms. We have doubled our business almost each year, [advertising] with Realtor.com since 2014.”

From gaining more visibility on a real estate portal visited by millions of buyers and sellers every month, DJ and Lindsey solved their pain points around lead generation and brand visibility. By having exposure on Realtor.com, they strengthened their brokerage’s credibility and brand recognition with countless consumers and prospective real estate agents.

They’ve also seen success with the data and insights Realtor.com provides, which empowers their brokerage to make smart, informed decisions leveraging capabilities like market trends, consumer behavior, and more valuable information. Each of these components offered by Realtor.com has proven crucial for DJ and Lindsey’s ability to strategize and stay competitive in their market.

“Realtor.com is one of the most visited real estate websites attracting millions of potential buyers and sellers every single month. Partnering with them gives us increased visibility and exposure to a wide audience of high quality, educated real estate customers.”

Growing your business and ensuring it’s scalable, especially when building up a brokerage, isn’t immune to unique roadblocks and hurdles to overcome. In addition to securing a volume of quality leads, you also have to recruit and retain top talent, grow your brokerage’s brand, and forge smart connections and partnerships.

DJ and Lindsey transformed their small, boutique brokerage into Florida’s fastest-growing, most-reviewed real estate brokerage. With leveraging online leads beyond simple follow-up, they blew their humble beginnings out of the water. As their partnership with Realtor.com evolved and grew, their lead generation and advertising efforts followed suit with impressive results. This gave DJ and Lindsey Real Estate a boost to help their brokerage grow beyond the St. Augustine market and adapt to serving more consumers. The pair, and their powerhouse team, show no signs of slowing down and are excited to continue to lean into their relationship with Realtor.com. “Realtor.com is real,” Lindsey shared. “It’s not a random machine, learning and making decisions. It’s real people who listen to you and honestly want to help and find solutions to make your business better.”

*All case studies include real customers but are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results from using our products.

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