(0:03) - Introducing Drew Warmington
(CEO of iLeads.com
) and the topic of LEADS. Jason starts by saying, “People call me all the time because they want ‘SEO’ – but what they actually want is leads.” And “the guy I know that knows more about leads than anyone I’ve met is Drew Warmington, CEO of iLeads.”
(:55) - The journey starts in 1996. Drew was “dead broke” with a pregnant wife and a father-in-law that was really urging him to “get a job.” It so happens that Drew was in the lobby of a life insurance broker (life insurance is something expecting fathers sign up for) and while he was looking through a magazine he saw a strange ad that said “$25 leads.” And that’s when the light went on.
(1:42) - I asked him, “What’s a lead?” And he said, “Somebody that I can talk to and sell (insurance to).” Drew, a computer enthusiast, figured he could *find* leads on the Internet. Keep watching…
(2:00) - Circa 1996 (Prodigy, AOL and Netcom days) Drew noticed in the classified section of a life insurance magazine that he could leverage the Internet to find and sell leads – and 30+ years later, he’s still doing it.
(3:33) - So, “What do leads look like in 1997-98?” Believe it or not, leads in the 90’s were mostly done via chat. Internet privacy wasn’t a thing in those days. Everyone’s business and personal information was displayed for all to see. Drew took advantage and used his computer skills to create a bot that automated his outreach. He would then fax his leads to his clients during the day.
(4:54) - Word got out that “This guy’s got the leads…” Drew would run his computer scripts all day, put in WordPerfect and fax out all night. Drew found a niche in mortgage.
(5:36) - Fast forward to year 2023 and the current state of interest rates. Interest Rates Hit High Water Mark (early Aug 2023) and have not seen rates this high since 2002. Drew puts the convergence of high interest rates and an appreciation of real estate and what that means to a first-time buyer. Drew discusses where the lending industry is at with the struggling economy and how iLeads continues to survive hardship.
(9:20) - Drew explains, ‘I’ve seen this movie a few times…” for instance the 2008 crash. However, the 2008 crisis was a different kind of lending crisis than today. Drew explains how mortgages are written and why the 2008 Great Financial Crisis happened.
(10:34) - Lessons learned and “the key” with running a lead generation business. “You Can’t Be A One Trick Pony” - Andy Grove, who used to run Intel wrote a book that Drew likes to quote: “Only the paranoid survive.” Preparation and awareness help companies grow. Drew makes sure to diversify within his business to ensure iLeads survive.
(12:45) - “What makes a good lead?” Drew breaks down what a good lead is and how to tell when the odds of closing are high. Intent + Financial Capability + Someone who can close deal = MAGIC
(15:49) - It turns out there are other revenue streams (not just selling leads) in the lead business. A really good story is how iLeads helped Quicken Loans optimize their sales process and ultimately helped get them to an IPO. Drew shares the story of how he helped Quicken Loans go from around 12% to a 33% funding rate.
(18:57) - What an enjoyable conversation.
Drew will be keeping an eye on interest rates and watch the shift in our culture and we’ll for sure have him back as this was a very enlightening podcast – thank you, Drew Warmington!
(20:10) - To be continued….
Thank you for watching this conversation and for more information on Drew’s company visit iLeads.com.