Episode 279: Building an Effective Digital Leads Team in 2021

Episode Timeline

In the 279th episode of the Mail-Right Show, Robert and John featured Chris Anuszewski. He has an extensive history of experience in operations that totals 13 years. All of his past professional expertise helped him achieve his current success. The main reason for his high success in Real Estate is his ability to use his technical background as leverage. It gave him the chance to offer a more detailed analysis, identify several ways of trailblazing numerous business operations, and a whole lot more. He used to be the Figueroa Team’s vice president, a giant real estate firm in Orlando, Florida. But he recently ventured out and decided to build a team that he can call his own. 

Chris recalls that in his previous job, he and his team were in collaboration with Zillow. They had an exclusive partnership, and their company tested out several pilots for Zillow’s website. What separates Chris from other agents is that he knows its technical side and the real estate side. He does an excellent job at piloting programs, utilizing several digital marketing methods, explored using CRMs, and has had a partnership with substantial marketing companies – all of which aren’t usually done by an agent. By knowing the industry’s ins and outs and how his business works, Chris has a significant advantage to excel in the field.

Technical Access

As a real estate enthusiast, Chris noted that he is most excited about the accessibility that real estate agents have over the technical stuff. Unlike before, agents have the chance to use various technologies for their advantage as they make their way along the rough roads of the real estate industry. In the 21st century, tech-savvy real estate agents can teach a standard line-level agent regarding taking videos, editing, generating leads, and other technical aspects of the business. 

John also emphasizes that there is no specific platform that will work for every single one of the real estate agents in the world. There is a constant shift in the ideology of where to get leads, how to communicate with clients, and how to find buyers. And when it comes to CRMs, there isn’t a perfect list. John emphasized that your CRM mainly depends on what type of agent you are, where you are located, and your targets. 

Have a Clear Goal

Chris is also a mentor, so he is well-versed in terms of helping agents with their businesses. For starters, he needs to figure out whether an agent wants to be a stand-alone broker or if they want to form a team. Next, they need to know if they’re going to rely on sphere leads solely, or do they also want to utilize the internet to generate new leads? By having a full grasp of the agent’s goal, their CRM will provide an enormous difference regarding whatever type of platform they choose to go with. Along with their CRM’s change, the agent’s technical skill level will increase as well.


As mentioned, he and his previous team used to pilot for Zillow plenty of times. He recalls that one of the most extensive pilots they’ve done for Zillow is their iBuyer program. They test marketed it for at least three years before its launch in Orlando and another two years before it launched in other places. Another program that they piloted for Zillow is now known as the Zillow Flex. It is a referral-based lead-generating program, unlike different pay-per-lead types of systems. It took The Figueroa team four to five years before finally allowing the app to hit the market, and until now, it is still in its starting phase. He emphasized that not every program they test market was released, but they all helped them formulate a better program to pilot.

When asked about his thoughts on Zillow as a company, he immediately answered that, at first, they were mainly focused on generating leads. But now, they have been shifting towards being more customer-centric, in the sense that they started to match customers with agents that will assist them to the best of their abilities. Zillow used to ask for every lead payment, but now they offer an entire list of leads for free. However, they utilize Zillow Flex to get a referral fee for every deal that their customers close using their leads. So in a way, the customers are assured that they get excellent service while Zillow still makes a lot of money for every referral. 

Chris notes that although it is essential to have a steady lead source, you can’t just keep focusing on one. For example, his previous company got most of its leads from Zillow, but they still had other sources. Because of their various lead sources, they had highly diverse leads, which means that they can access multiple people.