Real estate leads are money. As a real estate agent, you live off real estate leads. They are the stuff that puts food on the table, pays the bills, pays the mortgage, and helps you sleep better at night. To some agents, finding leads compares to the pursuit of the Holy Grail in medieval times. Here I describe things you can do to help your website generate more real estate leads.
You finally got a decent real estate website. This is very good because in this day and age most people will go to Google or any other search engine of their choice and search for your name. Even referral leads will look you up (e.g., your friendly neighbor gives your name and phone number to a friend or family member who is planning on selling their home).
What specifically are people looking for? They might not consciously know it, but they are looking to see if you are authoritative and trustworthy. They want to know if you can be trusted and are reliable in what you do for a living. First and foremost, when they find your website those qualities should be apparent, obvious. Unfortunately, for a lot of agents their website is not more than a digital brochure or an electronic business card and that doesn’t cut it anymore.
So, you have a decent website and now you want to know how you can get real estate leads from it. You are faced with a two-step process: a) get a potential prospect to go to your website, and b) get the prospect to give you their name, email address, and/or phone number.
The first step is relatively easy but could cost you money, and I will discuss it briefly at the end of the article. The second step is about converting a website visitor into a lead. Here are four things that will help your website generate more leads.
1. You need a real estate leads capture website.
A website that can capture a lead and inform you immediately about the lead, so you can follow through. You probably know that real estate leads (or any leads for that matter) don’t stay warm very long. The lead quickly forgets they visited your website or, more likely, they get contacted first by an agent from another website they visited. Most prospects visit more than one agent website when searching so it is critical to contact the lead immediately to get ahead of anybody else. If you get a website from Agents Press, you already have a lead capture website.
2. You need a lead magnet.
What is a lead magnet? Ryan Deiss at DigitalMarketer defines a lead magnet as an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information. Sounds kind of complicated, but he further adds that a lead magnet does not have to be lengthy, but it must be specific. You simply need to solve a specific problem with a specific solution for a specific segment of your market.
The first thing that comes to mind for most agents is to write and offer a guide. Don’t fall for guides that are omnipresent, such as “How to buy a house.” If you google that phrase you’ll see that major real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, Bankrate and many others already offer those guides (maybe with slightly different titles). You cannot compete with that.
However, you can write that same guide making it more specific. How about “How to buy a condo (or new construction homes, or whatever) in Montgomery County, Maryland.” Now you have a specific magnet that you probably could not find anywhere.
Other ideas for lead magnets:
Many agents are good at making videos themselves showing their listed properties, so making a video instead of writing an article would be your cup of tea. Studies show that since 2011 video engagement has increased 9X while text has gone obsolete.
If you enjoy making videos and are good at it, you should go this route. Video is also easier to browse on a mobile device and don’t forget that most of your visitors are going to come from phones and tablets.
Lists and cheat sheets.
People love lists. You see them on the web all the time: “3 simple ways to shed 10 pounds in 30 days.” You’ve probably clicked on those stories yourself a lot. They are click magnets.
So why not use lists as other marketers do so successfully. Be creative and specific and write useful content in a list form, something such as, “5 things to successfully buy a home in the Washington DC area,” or “30 things to ask your home inspector when buying a home without public water/sewer.”
A cheat sheet is also a list but is more concise and less comprehensive than a list, for example, “Shopping for a home in Silver Spring cheat sheet.” Something that prospects can print on a single piece of paper and carry with them, so you may want to put it in PDF format.
Remember to put your name and contact numbers on the cheat sheet so they remember who you are and where they got it from.
Home lists and subscriptions.
These are quite standard and never really get old. Even though people can set up searches in real estate sites such as Zillow, they appreciate tailor-made search subscriptions to the MLS set up by a human with whom they can interact directly.
You can also offer specific searches difficult to get from the national sites. For example, offer prospects information on coming soon properties in a sought-after area.
3. Have adequate copy or content.
This is where people usually get nervous or anxious. Most agents think that writing good content takes a long time and you need a degree in English to do it right. While it may help, it isn’t true.
There’s much to say about ‘content writing for the web,’ so I’m not going to say much about it. If you google the phrase you will find much helpful information.
4. Place the lead magnet in the right place.
I you are using pay-per-click advertising such as Google Ads (previously Google Adwords effective on July 24, 2018) or Facebook Ads, then you want to use a landing page with the lead magnet to link to in those ads.
You never want to send people who click on an ad to your homepage. They will be lost there and wonder how they got there. Your landing page or ‘squeeze page’ is designed to capture names and email addresses and/or phone numbers from prospects. The landing page addresses the offer, the lead magnet that was made in the advertisement.
Place the lead magnet in the sidebars of your website so that people will see them when they read your pages or blog posts.
As I mentioned at the top of the article, getting real estate leads from your website is a two-step process.
The first step is to get a potential prospect to go to your website. That is, you need to increase the traffic. The fastest and easiest way to accomplish this is paid advertisement.
On a long-term strategy, you need to use search engine optimization (SEO) to increasing the organic traffic to your website by making sure your site ranks high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Read my articles on the subject, “Real estate website SEO common sense tips” and ‘Get Google to index your website quickly.”
The second step is about converting a website visitor into a lead. The four things that you need to help your website generate more leads are, 1) a lead capture website, 2) a lead magnet, 3) have adequate copy or content, and 4) place the lead magnet in the right places on your website.