Lead Machine: When he started his real estate career in 2006, Hergenrother knew he had to put his scarce capital to maximum use. "I put all the money I could afford into developing an Internet marketing plan that would differentiate my team from our competitors," he explains. Today, Hergenrother and his wife and partner Sarah have five Web sites to generate leads and build their brand. They’ve generated a 2,000-name database.
Stealth attack: Hergenrother’s most effective tool is a $2,500-per-month "stealth" Web site. The pay-per-click site nearly always appears first when consumers type in any combination of words relating to Vermont and homes, yet it mentions almost nothing about Hergenrother’s team. The site amasses a vast amount of visitor data, including where visitors to the site live, what listings they view, and how many times they log in. All the data goes to Hergenrother’s phone. "It’s kind of scary," he admits about the site’s capabilities. "But it generates more than 100 quality leads per month." In fact, Hergenrother generates so many Internet leads, he says, that he refers some to another team in his office.