The world’s greatest real estate website will make it more likely for you to convert a visitor into a lead.
Unfortunately, even the best REALTOR® website alone doesn’t have the power to convert a prospect into a visitor.
1. Prospect > 2. Website Visitor > 3. Active Lead > 4. Customer
Prospects are people in your target audience who don’t even know about your website yet and who’ve probably never been there. Once they visit your website, some of these people can be converted into active leads by interacting with forms, calls to action, contact info, etc. From there it’s up to you to contact them and convert them into a customer.
However, your website itself is not calling out to them, nor are they Googling you by name. In other words, they have no way of finding your site if you don’t lead them there.
It’s your job to send as many prospects to your website as you can, and to make sure the website is armed with powerful real estate lead-capture functions.
Imagine this: You’re hosting an open house but not inviting any prospects or promoting it anywhere, not even on MLS®. You’re also not going to attend the open house yourself or leave any business cards… You’d be lucky if one person showed up or stuck around.
Your open house is one tool in your toolbelt, and so is your real estate website. The more relevant prospects you invite to it, the higher possibility that your site will convert them into active leads, and eventually customers..
We want you to embrace one fact today: Your real estate website will work for you when you begin putting it to work for you. With that said, here are 19 ways you can put it to work for you this month.
*Note, some of these tactics may be too time consuming or outside of your wheelhouse – always consider hiring a 3rd party local marketing expert or designer who has experience working with REALTORS®. (We do websites, not marketing.)
1. Email Signature
An email signature is the predefined signoff you created that shows at the footer of all your emails. Make sure your website is accessible through your email signature. You could simply type out your website domain, or you could get a bit creative and use a call to action that links to your website. For example, “Find out what your home is worth for free here.” It’s not going to be your most powerful marketing channel by any stretch. And still, prospects who visit your website through your email signature are always there for a reason.
2. For Sale & Open House Signs
Make sure your latest for sale signs and open house signs include a URL to check out your website. People see dozens of real estate signs out on yards every week so make yours stand out somehow. Include a phrase like “View this property online” or “Video tour on our website” to increase your prospect to visitor conversions. A website link is good, but a good reason to go to your website is better.
3. Outdoor Advertisements
When you place your real estate website on an outdoor advertisement (ie. bus shelter, bike rack, billboard, etc.,) be sure that it’s clear and legible even if your prospect is driving by. But keep in mind who will predominantly be seeing your website displayed on the bus shelter ad. Mainly people who are at the bus stop, on the bus, or walking by. Most of these people have a web-ready mobile device with them. How can you convince them to load your website right then and there?
Sure a phone number is necessary, but there should be another call to action available for people who aren’t ready to contact you just yet… “Meet the team on our website” or “View upcoming open houses online” are a couple of idea starters for your outdoor advertising calls to action that might help convert prospects into visitors. What are some others?
4. Newspaper Ads
Newspaper ads or community paper ads are common marketing channels for real estate agents and they should always include your website URL. Although newspapers aren’t exactly the sexiest or most modern publications anymore, they still increase brand awareness and convert leads – and they can be paired with modern tools to convert even more.1
Make sure your newspaper ad isn’t where the reader’s journey with you ends that day. Send them from your ad to your website – turn them from a prospect into a visitor. And don’t be afraid to try different call to actions to test the effectiveness of, for instance, “View colour photos of these listings at…” vs. “View drone videos of these listings at…”.
5. PPC Campaigns
PPC (or Pay Per Click) is arguably one of the best and fastest ways to drive relevant prospects to your real estate website. The only downside is that it costs money, and it can cost a lot of money (and produce few results) if you’re not doing it right. Hire a local expert if you’re not knowledgeable in PPC advertising. When it comes to PPC ads, this Red Adair quote rings true: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”
Launch multiple PPC campaigns at one time and see which ad turns more prospects into visitors, and which landing page turns more visitors into leads. Tweak and repeat. Make sure your keywords and demographic targeting is correctly adjusted to reach your prospects. Always match your ad copy with what’s on the landing page you’re sending prospects to. Make sure your objective is clear and obvious all the way through your PPC campaign, from start to finish. Regardless of what that objective may be (increasing mailing list subscribers, sending eyes to a blog post, promoting a listing, etc.)
6. Quality Content
Exclusive Content is why you go to the cinema, pay $50 for 2 tickets and a bag of popcorn, and sit with hundreds to watch a 2 hour movie. Content is why you fill your bookshelves with books. It’s why you listen to that radio station during the day. Content is why you’re reading our blog right now. Quality content moves people and can drive prospects to your website.
At the beginning of this article I mentioned that prospects aren’t Googling you by name, and that your website wasn’t calling out to them on it’s own. If you create quality content your website can call out to them – it can provide what they’re searching for. Create infographics, produce videos, compile industry whitepapers, take great photos, write awesome blogs…
If you’re not sure what you should create, try asking a sample of your prospects what type of content they engage with online. Use that as a starting point. Produce high quality content specifically for your prospects, host it on your website, do it regularly, and once in awhile don’t let them have it without sharing their email address with you.
To blog is to produce content and to produce content is to lure prospects to your business. An active blog is better than an inactive blog, but it’s not 2008 anymore. These days it takes more effort to make your blog posts unique, timely and engaging. I know some REALTORS® whose sole strategy is to share local events and real estate statistics on their blog. While local events and statistics are interesting to the right crowd, there are entire websites that are dedicated to those things. You can not compete with those websites – you can accent your other blog articles with some stats or events, but those alone won’t be enough to convert your prospects into visitors. Have a strategy written down or at least in your mind, start small if need be, and be consistent. Blogging is like gardening – it takes time to produce a rich harvest. But you must keep tending your garden regularly if you plan to grow any fruits and vegetables. Take it seriously and it will produce traffic for you on a consistent and ongoing basis once published.
8. Business Cards & Stationary
If your website is not clearly listed on your business cards, please make it so on your next reprint. Real estate business cards get handed out and exchanged all the time, so fast that you hardly understand how 500 are gone all of a sudden. And although most of them get lost, tossed, or otherwise used in an incorrect manner, some of them do send prospects to your website. Same goes for envelopes, letterheads, and those awesome notepads REALTORS® send out via direct mail (love those.) Always include a path to your website on your stationary. Again, this is not going to be your primary website marketing channel but it’s easy to do and it does make a difference.
9. Company Vehicles
If your team has a branded company vehicle, be sure to include your website there. Some agents might wrap an entire vehicle with a design, others might simply include a window decal. Either way, if you decide that your company vehicle will be somehow branded, be sure to include a link to your website. Here’s a branded real estate vehicle that you might see if you live in North or West Vancouver like me…
10. Open House Literature
When someone arrives at your open house, they have already shown interest in your listing. Now is a great time to invite them to visit your website on their mobile device. Printed out feature sheets are a great place to clearly display your website URL. You could also leave a sign or verbally mention a digital feature sheet available on your website to each visitor. Let visitors to get to know you better on your /about-me page, or tell them to download the free “PDF Buyer’s Guide” on your site. If you collect your open house visitors’ contact info, use the top of that form to mention your blog. However you do it, make sure your physical open house visitors become your digital web visitors soon.
11. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
One way to promote your real estate website is by optimizing it to rank higher on search engines. Blogging is one way to optimize your website. Having other reputable sites link to yours is another. Updating your site with fresh content regularly is yet another. There are dozens of other tactics that can benefit your SEO but we’re not going to cover them all at length here. A RealtyNinja website is armed to the teeth with micro-optimizations that improve your SEO rank by default. We are your foundation. How you build and maintain the rest is up to you. Effective search engine optimization will make it easier for more of your prospects to find you online, and it will make your online brand a reputable one in the process. Contact a 3rd party local SEO specialist for assistance.
12. Social Media Marketing
Websites predate social media by roughly two decades. Today, they are still the crux of our online marketing efforts. Your social media marketing should, at least in part, aim to send prospects to your website. Social Media Marketing pairs really well with point 7. Quality Content… if you’re hosting quality content on your website, share it through social media!
Share your blog articles on your Facebook Page and Profile. Tweet your listings and make sure to include a photo (Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without – HubSpot.) Publish your aerial tours on YouTube and Vimeo. Have the link in your instagram bio direct people to your website. Use Pinterest to Pin the photos from your website to your boards. Make it one of your primary objectives on social media to convert prospects into website visitors.
13. Open House Invitations
If you’re a real estate agent who regularly sends e-vites and physical invitations out to their prospects when hosting an open house, you should heed this advice. Anybody who receives your open house invitation should also be directed to your website to check out more information about the listing before attending. If you have a virtual tour, photos and videos, drone content, floor plans or generally more info about the listing, make sure prospects can access it through your open house invitation. Obviously the main call to action for the invitation is for them to attend your open house, so careful not to dilute that message. But do include a note about where they can get more information before they RSVP.
14. Write Guest Articles
When you write a guest piece for a popular blog, you generally get a link back to your website at the top or bottom of the article. You can even link some of the text in your article body back to your website. I write real estate marketing articles for REW.ca‘s Agent Resources section. Every so often when I include the words “lead generating real estate websites” in my article, I make sure to highlight it and link it to RealtyNinja.com (as I’ve done in this paragraph.) This helps search engines connect our website with the phrase “lead generating real estate websites”.
It’s generally a great idea to have one or more connections between your site and other popular sites online. Not only does it earn you more trust as an expert and more relevant traffic, but also backlinks tell search engines that your website is being endorsed by reputable online publications. Search engines like this a lot!
15. Feature Sheets
Earlier in point 10. Open House Literature, we touched briefly on Feature Sheets. Sometimes feature sheets are picked up or downloaded from places independant of your website. In these cases, you want to make sure the prospect has a clear next step when reviewing one of your feature sheets.
If you think of the feature sheet as an advertisement, then it should have a call to action. Obviously you want people to contact you about the property, but a feature sheet only highlights the ‘features’ and can’t always tell the story like your website can. Also, your feature sheet does not contain lead-capture functions like forms or clickable buttons. Include a call to action on your feature sheet that reads something like, “View more beautiful photos and a breathtaking drone video tour of this property on our website: www.mysite.com/listingxyz” and let your website do the rest of the work.
16. Remarketing Campaigns
Remarketing is not so much a method of attracting new visitors to your site, more so a way of reminding your past visitors to come back. Prospects who have visited your site but ‘bounced‘ without taking action. In other words, they converted to Website Visitors at some point, but left without converting to an Active Lead. Using targeted text and visual ads, you can essentially stalk your past visitors around the internet, attempting to invite them back (until they catch on and clear their cookies).
Ever see an ad for something show up on Facebook and you’re thinking “I was JUST looking at those on Amazon!”?? That’s no fluke, it’s Amazon‘s remarketing campaigns at work! You can do this to, but consider what it would take to draw someone back to your website. REALTORS® don’t sell products the same way that Amazon does. Sometimes just a photo of you and your tagline isn’t going to be enough… get creative and formulate a solid remarketing campaign to make your past site visitors want to come back.
17. Listing Descriptions
Once your listing goes live on MLS® it’s going to appear all over the internet really quickly. Some of the websites it will appear on will show more information than others. One component that is always included however, is the listing description. Make sure that you include a link to your website (and a reason to go there) at the end of all your listing descriptions.
You could use this tactic to promote your “About Me” page, you could invite people to read your testimonials, or you could invite them to see more media (video/photo/PDF) – all on your website. Adding your website to your next listing description might send you only a few extra visits to your website this month, but those few visitors might be the difference you needed. Make it easy for people to access your website by adding it to your listing descriptions!
Do you update your voicemail regularly? Next time you’re changing it try including a call to action to send the caller to your website while they await your callback. Update the call to action regularly so that prospects who reach your voicemail once a month aren’t always hearing the same thing. You could use your voicemail to announce a brand new listing on your website or to mention your latest blog post. Sometimes when I call Rogers support, the automated phone line announces their MyRogers website where I can make changes to my account and my plan on my own. They give me a good reason to go to their website, they don’t just say “Visit us online!” Make sure you give prospects a good website call to action on your voicemail.
19. Press Release
Sometimes your real estate business is part of a story, other times you create the story with your real estate business. Either way, if something newsworthy is happening surrounding your business, be sure to submit a press release to your local online and print news networks. When you do, don’t forget to send people to your website either through creative keyword links (online publications) or at the end of the story (online and print publications).
News articles typically receive many more views than regular articles on REALTOR® blogs, as news channels usually have a large, established readership and huge social media followings. And more views on your article could mean more clicks to your website. We touched on “backlinks” a bit in point 14. Write Guest Articles – press releases give you the opportunity to earn even more of those. A link to your website from the Vancouver Sun or Daily Hive Vancouver websites would be looked upon by the “Google Gods” in a positive light.
Some of the 19 tactics above are going to produce better results than others. Some of them require more effort, time and money than others. For instance, a fine tuned PPC Campaign is going to drive more traffic to your website than adding your website to your next listing description. I can practically guarantee that. Sometimes though, a series of tiny micro-optimizations can work together to produce real, measurable results.
Today we focused mainly on converting prospects into website visitors, but that’s not the only important part of the funnel. Parts we didn’t discuss as much in this article are the 2. Website Visitor > 3. Active Lead and 3. Active Lead > 4. Customer components.
In a nutshell, clear call to actions and lead capture functions on your website and listings will greatly increase the chance of converting a website visitor into an active lead. Turning an active lead into a customer, however, is all a matter of your relationship building and sales approach. Both big topics we’ll cover another time.
If you have any questions, leave us a comment below or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk soon, Ninjas [-_-]~~~