Whether it’s offline or online, your competition to capture leads in your market will require you to work smarter. Hard work without strategy is not going to get you as far ahead of the competition as you need to be. As a realtor, the online world, technology, and even content may seem like foreign territories, so we simplified a plan to teach you the 5 steps needed to build your pipeline by capturing online leads.
“Only 1% of buyers find their home through print advertisement.”
Before we get into the how of capturing leads, it’s important to highlight the why part of your strategy and how it should focus on online lead generation. Statistics taken from the Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics, breaks down how homebuyers are finding their properties. Buyers found their home through online methods more than any other resource combined. According to the statistics, 51% of buyers found their home online.
The full set of stats as to how buyers found their home, includes:
- 51% Online
- 34% Real Estate Agent
- 8% Yard Sign
- 4%, Friend or Family
- 2% Home Builder
- 1% Directly from Seller
- 1% Print Advertisement
For agents who are more focused on sellers, online advertisement should also be part of your marketing campaign. Sharing these statistics with your sellers, and outlining how you will advertise their home online is a great way to demonstrate your value.
Building your pipeline, however, can be directed towards the specific clientele you are targeting. Although the strategy would remain the same with the 5 ways to generate online leads, what would change, would be the content. Your content should always be directed towards the audience you want to attract. The more specific you are about the vision of your business, the better.
For example, if you decide that you would like to work with buyers, you can narrow down your target audience even further to master a niche market. Are you looking to work with buyers in a specific group, such as first time home buyers or seniors?
The first place we are going to start is your online office, your website. The value of your website should be much more than just promoting your listings or providing an IDX for buyers to search for properties. There are plenty of websites that offer search results for home hunters. An effective website is a combination of a few things:
- Call to Action
Ensure your website is optimized for your local market. Using keywords such as your city or the community name will help you with your SEO and it will feel more relevant to your online visitors.
Your website should be easy for your online visitors to follow, with a layout that clearly demonstrates where they can get information. Don’t be afraid to offer too much information on your website, such as your marketing strategies, market updates and more. Be sure, however, to add a call to action on each page of your website.
Capturing Seller Leads
You can capture sellers leads from your website by offering a free home evaluation for interested sellers in your area. This can be your CTA on your Sellers Information page, asking online visitors to ‘call now’ or to sign up with their name, email and phone number.
Capturing Buyer Leads
One way to capture leads from your website is by asking visitors to subscribe to alerts when a new listing in the area is available. You can ask for their name, email and area(s) of interest. You can ask for further details with 2-3 more questions to get a better understanding of the type of home they are looking to buy. This can include price range and the number of bedrooms.
When capturing leads, the more questions required to fill out by online visitors, the less likely it is that they will complete the form, regardless of whether or not they are buyers or sellers. By adding the form to the correct page (for example free evaluation on seller’s page) you are already filtering the type of client they are, and the type of information they are seeking.
Typically, some lead capturing forms ask for the name and email as a required field, and a space for their phone number as an optional field. Remember to keep your website clean, don’t over clutter it with multiple messages on the home page. Have your full contact information visible and easily accessible and make it easy for users to quickly find information.
You may be surprised about how blogs can greatly contribute to your real estate business. There are two main ways that blogs will be able to help your real estate business.
- Increase SEO
- Capture Leads
One of your objectives for your website is to increase its ranking within search engines. For example, if you’re an agent in Charlottetown, you want your website to be one of the top results when someone in your city searches for a Real Estate Agent. The reason why blogs have an impact on your website, is by the keywords you use in your blogs, so there will be a little research required to maximize your return on blogs. Stuffing your blog will keywords over and over, however, is not the strategy you want.
Value will be your main strategy. By offering genuine content that actually helps individuals will reflect positively on your website’s SEO. Now, as a real estate agent, you may not have enough time, experience or patience to write blogs. In this case, you can hire blog writers. The price of blogs can vary between $10-$50 per blog, depending on who you hire. The more blogs you post, the better your SEO, however, you can start off with a strategy of 2 blogs a week. Each blog should be a minimum of 750 words. We must caution that quality will always triumph over quantity. Publishing 5 blogs a week that are not valuable, helpful or engaging is not a better strategy than publishing 2 quality blogs a week that actually engage and provide valuable content.
You can capture leads from your blogs by providing a CTA for visitors to subscribe to your blogs. If your blogs add value to visitors, even after they have bought or sold a home, then you have an effective platform for building your database. There is no shortage of blog topics, as topics can be a mixture of information about buying, selling, investing, mortgage rates, any new laws that are passed, new community centers or businesses being built and much more. Remember to have your CTA at the bottom of each blog. In addition to subscribing to your blogs, you can specify CTA’s depending on the blog. For example, if your blog is about first time buyers, you can include a CTA such as “If you’re a first-time buyer is Charlottetown, contact us for a list of some of the best properties we recommend. Contact us Now”.
3. Facebook Lead Capturing Form
Social media platforms are a terrific way to promote your blogs, websites and listings. In addition to advertising on Facebook and boosting posts, Facebook offers a lead capturing form to help you build your database. Of course, with all things, you need to offer value in order for someone to provide you with their information. To access the lead capturing form, you will need to have a business profile on Facebook. Once you have this, you can simply follow these steps to utilize the lead capturing form.
Step 1. Create an Ad
Step 2. Select Lead Generation
Step 3. Select your audience
Step 4. Set your budget
Step 5. Select your ad format
Step 6. Complete Information & CTA
Step 7. Fill out Lead Form Details.
4. Landing Pages
Landing pages are a simple website (or page) for the purposes of capturing leads. For example, if you were offering the Free Staging Guide for sellers on your landing page, the entire page would be dedicated to the value proposition. There is very little content on a landing page, offering the value proposition of what you are offering (in this example a staging guide) and a lead capturing form. You will need to set up your landing page to automatically send an email with the content being offered as soon as someone signs up. You can have multiple landing pages dedicated to different markets. For example, a landing page dedicated to capturing sellers, buyers, first-time buyers and more. You can promote the link to your landing pages using social media or Google AdWords.
5. Google Adwords
The price for Google AdWords will depend on the bidding price of the keywords. For example, you can use this to capture leads by having your landing page (or website) show as a result to the searcher. Taking the staging guide landing page as an example, if a seller searched the term “how to stage my home for selling” then your landing page can show up as a result. Of course, you will have to bid on the keywords such as ‘stage’ or ‘selling homes’, for example, to show up as the result.
When I search for this on Google, here is an example ad I see as my search results:
With this particular example, this link sends me to a blog outlining different staging tips.
To begin with Google AdWords, you can visit adwords.google.com and walk through the steps. Whether you are sending visitors to a landing page or your website, ensure that you have a clear CTA and a lead capturing form. You need to be very clear what the user signing up will receive, and deliver on your promise.
Regardless of the strategy you use, if you decide to spend money on marketing, you want to ensure your ROI is worth your efforts and budget. This means that you will need to have clear objectives to put your plan into action. Monitor and measure which source is providing you the best results, and the type of content that is capturing attention. Valuable content will always be your best strategy. Realtors who have taken the Certified Online Real Estate Expert designation are aware that the main theme of the designation for online marketing comes down to value.
Realtors who find that they may not have the time or the knowledge to create and implement an online strategy can train their assistants to do so. The Online Marketing for Real Estate Assistant is a real estate designation teaching assistants the specifics about social media, online marketing, website content, landing pages, email marketing and more to allow agents focus on their business without losing the potential online marketing offers.