How To Make 18 Million Dollars With A Simple Real Estate Site.
Steve Weber always wanted to be part of something big, but he repeatedly saw opportunities, like the fax and PC markets, pass him by. "I told myself, 'I'm going to get on the front end of one of these market waves,'" says Weber, 42. "When the internet came, I knew that was it. I didn't want to miss out on the biggest opportunity in the history of business."
In 1998, Weber left his job as director of sales at a website provider to start Z57.com. With $2,000, a desk and a computer, he and one of his former co-workers, David Baird, 30, launched the internet marketing company out of a small office. They roughed it in the beginning, sitting on metal folding chairs, using a dial-up internet connection and having college interns help with cold calling. "It was duct tape and Band-Aids for the first year," Weber says, "but I wasn't worried. It was clear every business would need some sort of web presence."
A year after launching, Z57 narrowed its marketing services to the real estate industry. That same year, the company had its first $50,000 month; sales have increased every quarter since. Even during the dotcom crash, Z57, which remained privately funded and owned, managed to thrived.
Today, Z57 has four offices, 225 employees and 2006 projected sales of $18 million. The company offers website design, e-mail marketing and personal coaching to real estate agents nationwide.
Though home sales have recently slowed, Weber sees no end in sight to Z57's potential growth. "We've reached less than 2 percent of the real estate market," he explains. "There's tremendous opportunity to move forward."
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