Together with referrals, a real estate website is the most effective marketing channel for agents. Indeed, 98% of people start their home search online. So a real estate website is not only a good way to build a meaningful digital presence for your brokerage, but also to capture a great deal of real estate leads online. So how to get them, exactly?
Only 2% of your website visitors convert on a first visit. It’s fair to say then, that 98% leave without showing an interest in what you have to offer. So instead of expecting people to sign up right away, try capturing leads (or, rather, emails) first.
With a few simple techniques, you can make tweaks to your real estate website and start offering people incentives to contact you. Let’s take a closer look.
How to get real estate leads on your website
1) Property search
Of course, the most important content on your website is listings. Your home page may showcase a few featured properties but you need to help people narrow down their search easily. To do so, build a simple property search and make sure it’s displayed on every page of your website.
An important thing to remember is you need to convince people why it’s better to use your property search and not the one on large property portals or competitors’ website. Add a great headline explaining what’s in it for them that you can offer: exclusive properties, listings in particular a neighborhood, various property types, local coverage and so on.
Like them or not, popups do work. Most of us think of popups as somewhat annoying but stats prove that people engage with them eagerly. Companies see an average of 86% increase in email subscriptions after incorporating popups.
So the question is not whether you should implement this tool to get real estate leads. The question is how you implement it. Make your popups nimble and easy to close. Above all, offer a real value in a message you want the popup to display.
Important: Google is profoundly changing its attitude towards mobile popups. Starting from January 2017, websites that use large, screen-wide popups will see their mobile rankings drop. This is essentially a penalty for using intrusive interstitial which interferes with the user experience.
This doesn’t mean you can no longer use popups for mobile devices. When deploying them, make sure they’re properly optimized and comply with Google’s requirements. If you did so, no reason to worry.
3) Blog opt-in form
The importance of blogging can’t be stressed enough. From growing SEO and traffic to your site, to capturing more online leads, blogs prove once again that in a digital landscape content really is king. According to Tech Client’s survey, 70% of consumers learn about a company through content rather than ads.
A blog is an essential part of your online marketing strategy. In a nutshell, you should post everything that addresses your audience’s key pains and problems. Next, you should provide an easy way to opt-in for updates. Basically, there are two ways to do this:
- place a subscription form on a sidebar (e.g., AgentDrive.com uses the right sidebar for this);
- set up a pop up inviting visitors to sign up for your blog updates or a newsletter.
That’s about all you need. Keep things simple and uncluttered and you’ll see a spike in the number of your contacts.
4) Free estimate
If you work with sellers, there’s no better way to encourage people to opt-in than offering a free estimate. Every seller is interested in how much their homes are worth. Should they be really looking to sell their properties, of course they’d sign up for a free estimate.
Create a dedicated landing page, place a ‘Free estimate’ button on other pages of you real estate website and blog. A signup form should be spotted easily.
5) Content offer
A blog may be the groundwork for your online marketing strategy but it’s not the only tool you’ve got at your disposal. You can offer your visitors a piece of content to download in exchange for their email address. This could be an eBook, an Infographic, or a monthly/quarterly market report. Just make sure the information is really valuable and helpful and addresses the key problems and interests of your audience. Otherwise, people won’t be motivated to download it.
As a busy real estate professional, you might not have the time to produce new content consistently. For this reason, you can re-purpose your existing content. Compile a few of related blog posts into an eBook and offer it as a download to your website visitors. A good way to save some time and maximize the value of existing content.
6) Online chat
Should you have an opportunity to talk to your website visitors directly, chances are big they’d agree to arrange a viewing, free estimate or a meeting. You can do so by using an online chat system on your website. Install the chat plugin and a nice popup will prompt people to ask their questions in real time.
P.S. Be sure, however, that you’ve got enough resources to support this feature. Ideally, there should always be someone available to chat during your working hours. Otherwise, there’s no need to deploy this functionality. If you can’t spare enough time and people for a live chat, it’s better to use contact forms and emails and don’t run the risk of not living up to people’s expectations.
7) Social sharing
To expand your content’s reach, add social sharing plugins to your blog posts (not the best idea to add them to your landing pages since you want people to focus directly on your offering). Make sure they don’t clutter with the text, yet are visible and easy to click anywhere on the page.
95% of people search their agent on Facebook before contacting them and 45% of viewings are arranged for homes found on social media. In other words, these small sharing buttons are really powerful.
Well done if you already have these lead capturing features on your real estate website. If you haven’t, here’s a good chance to go give them a try.