Perfectly Legal Real Estate Scam ~ Lead Generation Internet Companies

lw4n6581.jpg(Nov. 2006) To the Editor:

LEGAL REAL ESTATE SCAM

Whoever titled Sue McAllister’s Cover Story 10/28 titled “Real Estate industry reaping cash from online house-hunting” misled the public.

The realty industry pays the often unlicensed and/or out-of-state “internet lead-generation industry” for leads. Their industry’s phenomenal marketing is two fold: 1) TV, Print, Radio & Internet ads enticing the public to find out values in a chosen neighborhood & 2) Then sell each lead collected to up to three of the highest bidding licensed agents (often on a first-come, first-serve basis) by phone, emails and snail mail. One quoted Internet Company CEO went as far to boast of providing the public with “someone who can be the best advocate.” Mr. CEO, are you telling the public with a straight face that the “highest bidder” is the consumer’s best advocate? Irrefutably, consumers can easily bypass this informal rip-off with their own research.

Odds-on, the results will be qualified agents with valid advice to help them in their decision making process.

Pat Kapowich