Before doing any ads or SEO, you need to make sure your website is built to capture those leads. Want to know how? I'm going to give you the keys to creating a real estate website optimized for lead generation.
Before doing any ads or SEO (search engine optimization), you need to make sure your website is built to attract quality leads. Want to know how? Let’s look at a few keys to creating a website optimized for real estate lead generation.
Have you ever asked yourself: “How do I generate more leads with my real estate website?”. If so, you’re not the only one. After all, the main reason you have a real estate website is to capture potential clients. It’s a question that should be easy to answer.
And yet, the majority of real estate agents complain that their website just won’t generate leads at the rate they expected.
That’s the very reason why we wrote this article. We want to give you a concise guide that explains what exactly you should be doing to have your website generate leads and which tools you should use to make it happen.
Why Isn’t My Website Generating Leads?
First of all, let’s address the big question: “If I have such a wonderful and professional-looking site, why isn’t it generating new leads?”.
Having a beautiful real estate website with IDX property search functions is only one part of the equation. Constructing a website that generates online leads is a multi-step process. And this shouldn’t surprise you.
Think about it: selling a home is also a multi-stage process. To sell a home, it’s not enough to just get a signed listing agreement. You also need to price the property to sell, take beautiful pictures, create a virtual tour, market the home to your sphere of influence, place a sign, etc.
You get the picture.
All too often we see real estate agents that approach their real estate website as a “push button, receive leads” solution.
“If I pay for a website with IDX, then throw a bunch of money at ads, then surely the leads will come rolling in. I mean, that’s how digital marketing works, right?”
The agent then sits and waits for the leads to come rolling in, thinking he has done everything he can to make his website work.
…One week goes by. Two weeks go by. Nothing happens.
At this point, the agent is both confused, angry at his website developer, and frustrated that he threw so much money at the problem, and has nothing to show for it.
But why does this scenario play out so often?
Because the agent doesn’t yet have all the pieces of the puzzle and doesn’t know how those pieces fit together.
Three Barriers to Lead Generation on Your Real Estate Website
Unethical And Incompetent Service Providers
There are tons of companies and so-called experts that promise to deliver you plenty of buyer and seller leads, either directly for a flat fee, or by doing SEO on your website. Many times they overpromise, use tricky legal terms to avoid liability, or simply take advantage of real estate agents who aren’t tech-savvy. Your website designer should offer an SEO addon with a focus on local SEO; similar to Yoast, the integrated, premium SEO addon that we offer all of our clients. Adding an SEO addon is one of the best lead generation strategies you can use. Take a look at what you’re missing here.
Many real estate agents have incomplete knowledge about digital marketing best practices. Yes, throwing money at the problem of advertising can work. But you need to know where to throw that money in order to get actual results. Take the time to build a full real estate marketing plan, starting with your website.
A weak foundation
Your website is the foundation of all of your digital marketing efforts. But if it isn’t properly set up, nor has the right marketing tools to draw in and nurture your leads, it won’t generate any. AgentFire offers three premium, full-customizable, and easy-to-set-up web design plans for leading real estate agents and brokerages. For $4 a day, you could exponentially improve your rate of buyer and seller leads. Why not try it out for 10 days risk-free?
Of course, identifying the problem is only the first step. Now let’s take a look at the solution.
How Can Your Website Become Your Lead Generation Solution?
Let’s start with the actual structure of your real estate website and the tools you can use to attract the most amount of leads from your website as possible.
Customized Real Estate Website Design
Looks matter in a real estate website. But there is one item you should worry about first and foremost: user experience (UX).
User experience can be defined as “how a person feels when using a program, app, or website.” If a website is easy to use, loads quickly, and the user finds what they’re looking for right away, we can say that it has good UX.
On the other hand, even if your website looks like it was created by Michaelangelo, but your visitors can’t find what they are looking for, we can say it has bad UX. A website with bad UX causes visitors to flee in a hurry and never come back.
There are tons of factors that influence UX, but we’ll focus on three of the most important ones: accessibility, feel, and loading speed.
The Accessibility of Your Website
Is your website optimized for mobile and tablet browsers? Is it easy to navigate? Can your visitors find what they’re looking for right away?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions (or simply don’t know), start by addressing those issues.
Mobile phone and tablet optimization is one of the biggest factors of improving your website’s ranking on Google. That’s because more and more people start their property search right on their phones.
It’s also why we put an enormous emphasis on mobile optimization with every real estate website we build at AgentFire – and you should too. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’re going to miss out on a ton of traffic and new leads.
Navigating your website should be easy. Don’t reinvent the wheel; study what the pros do. Stick to a time-tested website navigation bar that clearly shows potential clients where to go.
Also, keep in mind that the most common tool home buyers are looking for is the property listings search. Make sure you feature it front and center on your website.
Clients want to know who you are and why they should trust you. That’s why your “About Me” and “Buyer and Seller Services” should be easy to find as well.
The Feel of Your Real Estate Website
Does your website look and feel professional?
To quote Steve Young, “Perception is reality. If you are perceived to be something, you might as well be it because that’s the truth in people’s minds.”
If your website looks professional, you will be perceived as a professional. Of course, we all have our personal tastes when it comes to design choices. But what we like may not reflect what your target demographic is looking for.
That’s why you need to test the look of your website and get a professional opinion about its design and layout. Make sure you also get some feedback from clients, coworkers, and people in your sphere of influence about your website’s appearance. Most people that come to see your site won’t be graphic design professionals.
The Speed of Your Site
The faster your website loads, the better. That’s not just a benefit to users with a low attention spans, but also with how well your site ranks on Google and other search engines.
Your website loading speed has very little to do with your personal computer or device. It’s a combination of how your website was coded, which addons are currently running, the size of images you use, as well as your website hosting provider.
At AgentFire, (as well as on the websites we build for our clients) we always try to minimize the number of addons running.
That’s because addons on WordPress websites play a large part in how fast a website is. We control this by creating optimized addons in-house.
As for hosting, we use RackSpace. It’s one of the best hosting solutions available. It ensures our sites are always fast and our servers won’t be hacked – like the hundreds of thousands that are each day.
The Digital Tools You Need to Generate Real Estate Leads
Once your website has the user experience covered, you can move onto the tools that will allow you to capture more leads.
At AgentFire, we’re data people. We like to let the numbers tell us what works and what doesn’t. In our experience, some of our top producing lead capture tools we use are:
We’re not talking about those dreaded, flashing pop-up ads from the late ’90s and early 2000s.
We’re talking about tasteful, nonintrusive pop-ups that anticipate what the user needs, and can be closed any time the user wants.
In the picture above, you can see how this pop-up looks on a custom property webpage.
Slide-ins are calls-to-action (CTAs) that slide into your users’ view when they scroll down your page. With our AgentFire marketing tools, you can choose how far down the viewer has to scroll before the slide-in shows up.
Click magnets are pieces of content that offer a huge amount of value to your readers. In order to access them, those readers need to provide some personal details such as their full name and email and agree to sign up for your newsletter.
Your newsletter will then provide you with opportunities to keep your subscribers in your sphere of influence, and you’ll be able to market your services to them in the future.
With your AgentFire website, you have the easy solution of automated Mailchimp newsletters. With this addon, your new blog posts are automatically aggregated, customized with your brand, and sent out in a newsletter to your email list. Plus, social shares are included.
You can offer all kinds of content as a click magnet. In fact, if you need some ideas, we have 72 here that you can use as a reference.
If you don’t know where to start, we’ve found buyer and seller guides to be one of the most powerful lead magnets for real estate websites.
Your buyer’s guide could cover topics such as how to choose the right buyer, how to find the right neighborhood and property type, which mortgages are available, what the entire buying process looks like, and a short glossary of real estate business terms they will encounter.
Here’s an example of a good buyer’s guide you can use as inspiration for yours.
Your seller’s guide could cover reasons why they should use a realtor, what a listing agreement is, how to handle offers, your marketing plan, and what they can expect from the selling process.
Here’s another seller’s guide you can use as a reference.
Re-market With a Facebook Pixel
A Facebook pixel is a piece of computer code that allows you to track who is coming from Facebook to your website and the details of that demographic. This way, you can better understand the needs of your audience.
You can also use this information to re-market to your visitors. In other words, Facebook Pixel lets you get in front of the same people again and again, and tailor your message so it will be more appealing to them (You’ve probably seen this before too. Ever seen an ad and said, “Hey, I was just on their website!” ?).
Delayed Forced Registration (DFR)
If you have an IDX powered property listing search set up on your real estate website, you can use DFRs. DFRs help capture leads by only allowing your visitors to use your website’s property search tool a number of times (for example, 5 times a day).
After that, if they wish to keep using it, they would need to register and agree to subscribe to your newsletter. Just like with click magnets, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to market directly to those that join your newsletter.
A quick note: Not every IDX solution is as good as the next. Some solutions only broadcast MLS data directly to your website, but don’t create a webpage for each property. These solutions offer zero SEO value for your website, meaning that they do nothing to help your Google ranking.
This is why we only work with specific IDX providers, like Showcase IDX.
Use Interactive Survey Tools
It’s common to get so caught-up in the functionality of digital marketing tools that we forget our overall business goal. Here it is: you want to position yourself as master of your hyperlocal area and property market know-it-all. A great way to do this is by emphasizing your vast knowledge of the industry. Try creating a quiz on commonly-challenging concepts. This is a great way to engage your client, give free real estate advice, and prove your expertise in your area. E.g. Depending on the client’s quiz results, either confirm how much your help is needed or suggest that you are on the same page with a pop-up CTA to capture their contact information. Voila!
In your AgentFire website, you can easily embed 3rd party form-builders such as Jotform or Typeform with a simple widget. Ready to attract leads with a unique and optimized website? Book a free demo and walk-through with our designers.
Subscriptions and Social Media Marketing
As a real estate agent, your success depends on the strength of your network of contacts and staying on their radar until they need your services. A good way to continue to grow this network is to add social media share buttons on your content, property pages, and your newsletter.
Also, make sure you update your social media channels often and interact with your followers directly.
This is a great way to generate leads, and build your list of followers (potential leads) so you can continue to market to them either directly, or indirectly.
This additional exposure will help you build trust and brand recognition in your community with potential home buyers and sellers.
Schedule a Call & Click To Call
The majority of your website visitors will not be ready to buy or sell a home right away. But some will.
One of the best ways to get those clients to contact you right away is to have a clearly visible call to action (CTA) in the form of a “Schedule a call” or “Call now” button.
That way, you make it easy for those truly serious about buying a home to reach out to you and get the process started right away.
Conditional Call to Actions (CTAs)
You can dramatically increase your opt-in rates by ensuring your call-to-actions are relevant to your visitors.
Start with using CTAs targeting sellers on seller related pages and CTAs targeting buyers on buyer related pages and blogs. Simple but effective (versus using one generic CTA across the whole site).
Use those buyer and seller guides to improve opt-in rates. You can also create even more specific CTA’s based on the content in your blog posts. This is something we’ll look deeper into going forward.
|“How To Know When It’s Time To Sell Your Home”||“Still not sure about selling? Let’s talk to see if the time is right for you”|
|“Where In [City] Should I Invest?”||“Interested in finding out the best investment opportunities? Let’s talk!”|
|“Why Should I Use a Realtor?”||“Still not convinced? Let’s talk about how I can help you get the most money for your home.”|
While we love the organic traffic that a good content marketing campaign brings you (in fact, most of the traffic that we get at AgentFire is organic), it takes a while to get that traffic momentum going.
If you need traffic right away, you need to pay for advertising. And yes, that means paid ads.
Some visitors might want to get in touch with you, but don’t want the commitment of making a call or scheduling one for the future.
Setting up live-chat on your website is a simple way to boost your credibility and convert visitors to someone you get the chance to talk to.
That way whenever they visit your website, they can talk to someone right away if they have any questions.
With Intercom we can be logged into our desktop or mobile phone and answer questions wherever we go. We’ve made many sales as a result of being immediately available using our live chat.
This is a feature that senses when visitors are about to leave your site. Basically, it tracks their mouse movement and when it looks like they are going to switch tabs on exit out, the CTA pops up.
You can use this feature to pull out the last-ditch efforts and capture leads before they leave. Try hitting them up with a “Wait, before you go!” message.
Website Details That Make All the Difference
Landing pages are purpose-made web pages meant to welcome visitors that are directed from offers, ads, social media, etc.
A popular kind of landing page is a comparative market analysis (CMAs).
Home sellers want to get as much as possible for their home. That’s why they are so keen on finding out how much they can get for their home.
Offer your visitors a free home evaluation in exchange for their contact information. Our AgentFire Home Value valuation tool quickly provides results that are modern, clear and accurate. Plus, the tool is customized to match the style of your site. Curious to see how it works?
Split Test Your CTA’s
You can try your luck and hope that whatever CTA you’re using succeeds. Or you can test different ones out with small groups and use the ones that work best. This is called A/B testing or split testing.
Split testing lets the data direct your design decisions and choose only what works.
Testimonials on Your Home Page
Feature a juicy testimonial right on your homepage so that visitors see it right away. Any business that’s been slammed by Google Reviews will tell you: positive reviews are powerful. As humans, we naturally trust something more when we know that other people have already benefited from it. Playing on this “herd mentality” is one of the most tried-and-true psychological marketing tactics in the book. It’s simple: positive reviews lead to increased credibility and personal connection, thus reducing the hesitation people would normally have before subscribing to your email list for the first time.
Looking for the easiest way to integrate testimonials into your website? Learn more about our Zillow testimonials integration that easily pulls in and organizes your reviews on any page you’d like. Book a demo here.
I hope this article has given you a better understanding of why so many real estate websites aren’t generating leads as efficiently as they should and what you can do to fix that problem.
Building a real estate website that drives consistent leads isn’t difficult once you figure out the process – but you do need to understand the keys and what tools are available for you.
If you want to stay up to date on all of our free and valuable content, subscribe to our newsletter. We publish valuable articles and guides such as this one regularly. Constantly improve your marketing skills and become a more effective real estate marketing leader!
And if you’re ready to easily to dominate your hyperlocal real estate market and have a website that makes it happen using all the tools we’ve talked about in this article, check out AgentFire’s Websites, #1 rated for several years in a row.
And the best part? You can try out all of AgentFire’s amazing features for free with our 10-day trial.
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