Cole Information’s local focus and depth of data put real estate professionals where they want to be If there’s anything better than selling a home, it’s picking up a listing five doors away before the ink has dried on the contract—and agents have a better shot at doing just that, thanks to the marriage of grassroots data and hyper-local marketing technology. Enter Cole Information, a proven leader in marketing solutions, whose innovative Realty Resource service gives busy agents instant access to the names and contact information of the homeowners they most want to reach. “We’re here to help agents amp up the power of their Just Listed and Just Sold campaigns,” says Cole Information CEO Jim Eggleston, the force behind Realty Resource. “Waiting for referrals is just too slow. The rainmakers in this business don’t wait for clients to come to them. Our product helps get your name out quickly, positioning you as the local real estate expert. It can literally help you sell the neighborhood.” Armed with a valued mix of current contact data and local market experience, Eggleston notes that agents can provide neighbors of a Just Sold residence with a thoughtful, detailed analysis of current market activity, buyer interest, and smart pricing strategies, establishing themselves as the agent to keep in mind. Prospecting strategies don’t stop there. Cole’s Google® map applications, developed specifically for real estate professionals, enable agents to target a specific street or get a bird’s eye view of any neighborhood they’re interested in farming, along with the ownership details they need to start generating listings. Additionally, with a large percentage of the population still renting, the Realty Resource search engine can help agents generate potential homebuyer leads by browsing the market and collecting data on renters they can contact. “We didn’t just dream up these kinds of applications,” says Eggleston. “We went to the agent community and asked them what was missing in their prospecting toolkit, then put our minds to creating the means to those ends.” Collecting information used by sales professionals is not new for Cole Information. Founded in 1947 by entrepreneur Jack Cole, the Omaha, Neb.-based company launched the Cole Directory, a revolutionary reverse directory product that made it possible to locate and market to specific individuals. But by 2003, database technology was fast making print directories obsolete. Eggleston and his partners bought the failing company with the express purpose of moving its vast stores of collated contact information into the 21st century. “We did that by seamlessly integrating our information with online technology that makes the data actionable—and invaluable—to real estate professionals, creating instantly accessible marketing databases tailored to the user’s specific needs,” says Eggleston. Don Bass, associate broker with Bellabay Realty in Grand Rapids, Mich., has been a Premier subscriber since 2014. “I can tell you it works for me,” he says. “In my experience, Cole Realty Resource has the best, most accurate, most accessible contact data, including cells and emails, in the industry.” The company has grown exponentially, today serving more than 33,000 agent subscribers and brokers, many of whom, Eggleston notes, use the Realty Resource product as a recruiting tool by providing their agents with free access to the prospecting data. The flat-rate yearly subscription provides unlimited access to the data, giving agents the confidence they need to optimize their prospecting strategies by providing timely and useful information to targeted homeowners. “The fact is, there are other companies out there selling marketing lists. But we’re the only one with the power to help agents define precisely who they want to market to and where—right down to zip code, neighborhood and house,” says Eggleston. “We don’t sell leads,” emphasizes Eggleston. “We aren’t a lead producer or appointment setter. Cole Realty Resource is a hyper-local marketing service that empowers agents, teams and brokers to pinpoint target areas and take their marketing skills to the next level.”
Many wedding planners start out with the most obvious gig: their own wedding. A bride spends months orchestrating the largest, most expensive event she has ever managed, and after it is all over, she has these skills she never had before. She reaches out to friends and family to plan birthday parties, graduation open houses, and then weddings. All of a sudden, she has a growing small business. For many of us in the real estate community, our journey started similarly: selling Grandma’s house, helping mom and dad relocate to a retirement community, or protecting an aunt or uncle’s property investment. It’s close and personal, but it gives you the bug. Then come the classes, the tests, and the license. Like that, you’re a shiny new real estate agent. Unfortunately, the reality is that 87% of new agents fail in the first five years. They hound their friends on Facebook. They hand out business cards at baby showers and weddings, but business is slow if it comes in at all. Let’s face it: your social circle might be big enough to sell makeup, shampoo, or essential oils that all run out in a month or two, but it’s not big enough to keep a steady stream of home sales coming your way. People are staying in their homes longer than they used to, almost 9 years according to recent data, so you’d need hundreds or thousands of friends to survive off of your social circle’s sales alone. So how do you break outside of your social circle?