If you’re in real estate, you know that curb appeal is a crucial part of attracting home buyers.
But, in a looser sense, it’s also important in attracting sellers.
If a nicely staged home invites buyers to see themselves ensconced cozily in the living room, a beautifully designed web presence invites sellers to see themselves working with you. (And of course, the same goes for anyone looking to find clients online—so even if you’re not a real-estate agent, you may want to read on . . .)
While you’re never going to rely on one channel alone to build a strong list of prospective sellers, we’ve just created one more easy way for you to attract more of them with an impressive first impression. You may have seen larger real-estate companies and listing sites use this tactic before, and our newest template helps you make it your own.
The strategy is simple. Offer sellers something that they need to know and you’re trained to calculate—how much they can get for their home—in exchange for their email address.
The Home Value Landing Page helps you do just that. Here’s an example of this elegant page:
This page can be customized with your logo and other details and you can promote it in many different ways.
Here are just a few examples:
- Link to it in email messages and newsletters
- Publish it as a custom tab directly to your business’s Facebook page
- Include a short URL in traditional advertising media such as newspaper ads
- Use it as a landing page for paid Facebook and Google ad traffic
- Send people to it from Craigs List
- Send people to it from LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc
When a prospect clicks the call-to-action button, you can ask them to fill in any information you need with a Lead Popup:
As soon as prospective sellers opt in, you’ll be notified that they’ve requested a home value estimate. Then, you can follow up with them via phone and/or email to demonstrate why they should work with you.
For an even better user experience and follow-up experience, when the landing page visitors clicks the call-to-action button and enters their contact information, redirect them to a thank-you page where you can get a little personal, showcasing a photo and message of the person that will be following up with them. Here’s an example:
The Home Page Value Landing Page’s chief power is in its focus and simplicity. Every element guides visitors toward taking the one action the page is designed for. For that reason, it’s also an excellent page for any kind of opt-in or lead magnet.
Your Online Real Estate Strategy
A good digital marketing plan today requires more than a website and a Facebook page. While those things can certainly be helpful, you need to set up a system that doesn’t just sit there and look pretty. You need to put together a self-sustaining marketing plan that continually attracts new potential buyers into your sales funnel.
Define Your Goals
Before you can launch your digital marketing plan, it’s important to figure out what your goals are for your business. Picture yourself this time next year. What do you want?
“I want to increase sales next year” is a good start . . . but it’s not specific enough. Having goals is smart, but having SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound—means that you might actually achieve them.
To create SMART goals, you’ll want to sit down and ask yourself some tough questions. Who will make up the majority of the sales—home buyers or sellers? Where will you find prospects? What methods will you use to convert prospects into clients? When will you know that you’ve reached your goals? What’s your timeframe for achieving each goal?
Each goal needs a concrete “accomplish by” date to instill a sense of urgency. Breaking down your yearly goals into quarterly goals can help you stay on track.
Define Your Target Market
Think about your ideal client. It’s important that you understand their wants, needs, and desires as fully as you possibly can so that you are prepared to wow them. The more clear you are about who you want to reach and what their needs are, the more effective you will be at landing their business.
That doesn’t mean you won’t work with other types of people, too. It just means that your sales and marketing efforts will focus on your ideal target. It’s a time-honored truth of marketing that the best way to market to a lot of people is to address them as though you were speaking to one person at a time.
Here are a few things you’ll want to know about your ideal customers:
- What are their demographics? (i.e., gender, income level, age, marital status, etc.)
- What are their goals?
- Who influences their purchases?
- How do they want to interact with you and your company (or competitors)?
- What do they want from you?
- What problem do you solve for them?
- What additional services will interest them during the selling/buying experience?
Determine Where You Will Market Your Business
From banner ads to Facebook posts, you can build your digital presence in so many ways. So, what’s the best place to start?
You can create a polished and professional online presence for your business, if that’s all you’re after. But I wouldn’t recommend that you stop there—especially given the results you can achieve with just a little extra effort.
The following tactics will help you see a tremendous boost in your business. Real-estate professionals who are using these strategies are finding great success, but I suspect they’re still in the minority for the time being. That’s exactly why the time to jump on this is now.
Massive real-estate listing sites can be fun to browse for home buyers, but they pose a couple of problems for sellers and for you as an agent.
For one thing, when you’re trying to market a property, you want to eliminate distractions—and sites like these are nearly all distraction. You’re competing with hundreds of other nearby property listings and agents, with few tools at your disposal to make your listings stand out. When you’re working within some other company’s framework, it’s hard to control your message.
For another thing, these sites can make it tough to attach your name to a property (and make it stick). In fact, agents who have paid to advertise may appear more prominently around your listings than you do, depending on the site. Even if a visitor can easily find you, the information you’re able to provide about yourself right there is likely to be very limited.
To get around this and create property listings that pop and publish them directly to your website.
Here’s an example of a real-estate landing-page template:
Pages like this allow your potential buyers to dive into the details of the listing without being distracted on a multiple-listing site. You control the information, messaging, images, and colors, while working within a template that’s been specifically designed to maximize conversion (that is, the point at which people contact you for more information and transform from a prospect into a lead).
Here’s another example of a real-estate listing landing page:
There’s another bonus to this approach. Imagine you’re a seller and you’re considering working with several different real estate professionals. One simply uploads your listing to the usual sites, while the other can show you examples of beautifully designed, individual listing pages. Which agent would you rather to work with?
“If only my real-estate website got more traffic . . .”
It’s easy to think that if you were able to ensure a steady flow of visitors to your homepage, you’d be set. While you do need to think about how you’ll drive traffic to your site, focusing on this aspect misses a very important part of the equation: what happens when people get there.
Whether you’re running ads or paying an SEO consultant, there is a cost to getting traffic to your website, so it’s critical that you don’t let that investment slip away through insufficient attention to how visitors will interact with your site. And the sad truth is that once you do get people to your website, most of them leave without interacting with you in any way.
When that happens, you have no idea who your visitors are or why they visited your site. Many of these people might have been hot leads for your business—and yet you’ll have no way of contacting them.
What do you do to prevent them from drifting off and taking all their information with them? The answer is not to double down on your efforts to get something from them. Instead, you need to make sure theydon’t walk away empty-handed.
In the content-marketing world, this is called a “lead magnet” or an “opt-in bribe.” The strategy is simple: you offer something of value to potential clients, and they give you their contact information (usually their email address) in order to receive it. Thus, you have new hot prospects you can add to your email list—and, ultimately, provide the high-value service that lands customers for life.
This tactic is surprisingly easy to employ. You just need to think about two things: what you’ll offer and where you’ll offer it.
Your lead magnet could be a simple report, a short guide, an e-book, a live webinar, or another device of your choosing that answers questions and provides solutions to pressing issues your target audience faces.
If it’s a text-based info resource, creating it can be as simple as preparing the document in a word-processing or desktop-publishing program and then saving it as a PDF file.
So what will get your ideal client’s attention? It’ll depend on your own area of expertise and your client base, but here are some sample titles:
- Think You’re Cut Out for Being a First-Time Home Buyer? Take This Quiz
- 14 Common Misconceptions About Buying Your First Home
- The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Buying Your First Home
- What You Can and Can’t Expect a Home Inspection to Do for You
- Expensive Traps that Could Cost You Big When Negotiating
- How to Save Money When Selling Your Home
Once you’ve created your lead magnet, you need to make it accessible to site visitors. One way to do this is to have a Lead Popup. A Lead Popup is a pop-up window that appears when your site visitors click on a designated page, link, image, button or line of text. A Lead Popup can also be set to appear after a designated amount of time or when a visitor is about to leave your site. Here’s an example of one real-estate professional using a Lead Popup to offer prospective sellers a free home-value analysis (another, very common, form of lead magnet):
You can put a Lead Popup anywhere on your website. You can even put a link in a Facebook or Twitter post and offer your lead magnet directly from there. (We’ll be covering one other powerful spot for a Lead Popup below.)
One natural spot, of course, is on your website’s home page. You can make your Lead Popup the first thing someone sees when they visit your site, or present it after you’ve introduced yourself. The important thing is that you’re offering them something, not just asking for their contact information in a form embedded directly on their page. We call those kinds of pages “taking pages,” and they’re typically far less effective.
You can also create custom landing pages just to offer your lead magnet. These tend to be highly effective because they don’t need to focus on anything but giving away your valuable resource. Here’s an example of how one real-estate professional is using a landing page just for his lead magnet:
The big orange button triggers a Lead Popup where the customer enters their information in order to download the guide.
When they’re considering a decision as big as buying or selling a home, people naturally tend to do lots of research in advance. By creating a page and a lead magnet that answers their questions, you’re pulling off a triple win: helping leads feel more confident in their decision, helping boost your image as a real-estate authority, and getting new leads onto your list.
One of the most overlooked sources of leads for any small business is the rich pool of non-competing businesses that serve the same target market. Reaching out to your network and asking people with complementary products and services to co-market your business is a great way to gain momentum.
Let’s say you know a home stager who is also looking to increase her business. You ask her to help promote an upcoming home-selling webinar, and in exchange you send her referrals. Or, maybe you are setting up an event for first-time condo buyers. You could partner with a pre-qual lender to mention your services on a “recommended partner” page or in their email newsletter.
When you’re asking anyone to help promote your business, of course, you increase your chances of getting a yes if you make it as easy for them as possible. That’s why, again, I’d recommend you use a Lead Popup in scenarios like this. Your partners can simply drop a link to your Lead Popup wherever they mention you, whether that’s in a website sidebar, in an email newsletter, on a partner-offer page, or anywhere else.
The anchor can be as eye-catching as a fully designed small ad, or as simple as a text link to your name, but either way, when someone clicks, your Lead Popup will pop up so visitors to the partner site can get onto your email list. To make it more likely that they’ll do that, I’d recommend offering a lead magnet here as well. If you can make any small changes to that lead magnet so that it’ll be specially targeted to the partner business’s audience, even better!
This can be an especially effective marketing channel because you’re combining the power of LeadPopup with the power of referrals. Study after study has proven that referral marketing, or word of mouth, is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Assuming that your partner’s audience knows and trusts that partner business, a recommendation from them will carry much more weight than a random ad somewhere out there in the world.
The custom listing-page and landing-page strategies I mentioned earlier become much more powerful when you combine them with Facebook.
Why Facebook, among the many social networks with marketing capabilities out there?
Because its audience is both very large and very local—and that audience can be reached very economically.
By “very local,” I mean a couple of things. For one thing, a majority of U.S. internet users in just about every setting have Facebook profiles, and they typically indicate (at the least) their hometown.
Now, that’s not unique. Most digital advertising platforms offer targeting by location. But Facebook goes further. Among the dozens of ways you can create a custom audience for your ads, Facebook actually identifies users based on their behavior as “likely to move.”
That means you’re not just tossing ads in front of everyone in the zip codes where you work, you’re finding people who are actually extremely likely to be interested in your services. Which in turn means you spend less to get better-quality leads. And you can drill down even further than that, tailoring your audience by estimated household income, age, and more.
Where should the links in those ads lead? Depending on your goals, you could send them to a lead-magnet opt-in landing page or a multi-listing landing page you’ve created. If you made your audience narrow enough, you could even show an individual property to the demographic who’d be most likely to want to buy!
You can also apply the lead-magnet strategy we discussed earlier right inside Facebook. Make sure your landing page is 100% compatible with Facebook, which means you can use any page as a custom tab. Plus, if you’re running Facebook ads, you’ll generally get a higher percentage of your ads approved if the ads lead to a page within Facebook.
As we’ve already discussed, building an email list of potential clients is critical to your ongoing success. Combining Lead SMS (text messages) gives you an upper hand to reach your customers and collect their email addresses in a new and exciting way.
To use Lead SMS, you ask your potential customers to text a specific word to a designated phone number or short code. When they do this, they’ll automatically get a text asking for their email address so that they can receive the information you’re offering them. Email addresses and phone numbers are automatically added to the list you choose from your integrated email service provider.
People are using Lead SMS in a wide variety of industries, but this tool is an especially natural fit in real estate because it lets you reach people when they’re nowhere near a computer—such as when they’re walking past one of your property-listing signs.
Real-estate professionals often try to achieve similar results by posting QR codes on their property signs, but the reality is that these typically don’t work. Studies have repeatedly found that only a small percentage of people have ever even scanned one, while plenty of people don’t even know what they are. Plus, you have to open a QR code reader, take a steady shot . . . it’s not exactly intuitive.
Sending a text, however, is something that most of us do every day. Lead SMS is so easy to use, 98% of all people who text a Lead SMS follow through and reply with their email address. That’s a success rate that’s hard to beat.
How are you going to get more real estate leads?
Some of these tactics may work better than others depending on the idiosyncrasies of your own business and market. It’s important to track and review analytics for each landing page, Lead Popup, and Lead SMS and track exactly how each campaing is doing over time. In a future article this area will be covered in more detail.