In today's marketing environment, consumers increasingly begin their purchases by gathering information. They feel more comfortable arming themselves before speaking with a salesperson. One of the first places they go to do this is the Internet. In fact, studies published by the Direct Marketer's Association have found that 92% of people shopping for real estate services will begin their search on the Internet. Because we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year optimizing our search engine rankings, our lead generation sites are very likely to come up when a consumer makes a request. Because we are positioned as an intermediary, someone not directly selling to the consumers, their resistance is lowered when we speak to them during our verification process. Consumers prefer working with a referred agent rather than one they reach blindly by calling on an advertisement. Then when they speak to us, they are informed that they will be referred to a specialist in their area. An interesting psychological fact occurs when the consumer is referred. In their mind, a professional, not a salesperson, is now serving them.