How many of you reading this have ever heard the phrase “Lead Generating Website”?
I speak to dozens of REALTORS® over the phone every month. One common comment that I hear is that they want a website that generates leads for their business.
Of course they do… why would anybody want a site that DIDN’T?
But what does it really mean to “Generate Leads?”
This term has been misused so much in our industry. Today I want to set the record straight about what Lead Gen really means, then explain the multiple reasons you need your own real estate website, beyond just leads.
Let’s break down a few terms (humour me here:)
- Generate: to bring into existence; cause to be; produce.
- Lead: Someone or something that may be useful, especially a potential customer or business opportunity.
- Website: Location connected to the Internet that maintains one or more pages on the World Wide Web.
Based on the definitions above, Lead Generation technically means “Produce a potential customer.” Furthermore, a website is a location on the web – in your case it’s a tool for helping you run business.
Now that we’re all on the same page regarding definitions, let me ask you this:
When you purchased your smartphone and set up a line for your real estate business, did you ask the cell service provider if the monthly fee includes lead generation?
Why? Because cell phone companies don’t do your real estate marketing for you.
They provide you with a tool that will enable your marketing (the phone and phone plan) but they do not guarantee that your new tech is going to “Produce a potential customer” for you.
Producing potential customers has always and will always require the art of HUSTLE. There is no website, smartphone or any other tool that will replace good old fashioned hustle.
Real estate websites like the ones we provide, can absolutely generate leads for you… but the quality and quantity of those leads are in direct relation to the amount of effort you put into your site.
For example, if you’ve got yourself a beautiful website with all the bells and whistles, you’re already ahead of most agents to begin with. You can expect to generate some organic buzz around it, but a website is like most things: You get out of it what you’re willing to put in!
We do our best to build websites that capture contact info (and we’re developing even better/smarter tools to help you do that) but if you want to generate new traffic for your site – and ultimately leads – you’ll still have to hustle.
Either by producing great content that your target audience wants to consume, or by advertising and marketing your website properly.
Frankly, it’s nobody’s job but YOURS to produce a potential customer for your business. There are tons of tools out there to HELP you — to assist your hustle. But none can replace it.
Other Reasons Why REALTORS® Need Their Own Website
To recap, lead generation only works as hard as you do. Tools such as your website can increase and amplify your conversion rate.
Having said that, there are tons of agents reading this who have all the leads they will need for the next year. They don’t need further lead generation help… so they don’t need a website then…. right?
Wrong. ABSOLUTELY wrong.
Every REALTOR® in 2017 should have a website. If you don’t, here’s where you can get one right now!!!!!
A website is many things… a multi-tool if you will. Here are 5 reasons why real estate agents NEED to have THEIR OWN website before the end of this year… no excuses:
1.) Increasing Your Brand Awareness
When agents invest in outdoor advertising on bus benches, bike racks, local events and more, they are investing in local brand awareness.
The same can be done on a website, in a more modern way. Only difference is that your website isn’t a physical part of the community that people walk or drive past.
Then how do you get your real estate website in front of the local community?
Social media and your blog are an awesome place to start. Write blog articles that are relevant to your ideal target audience. These articles will organically attract search traffic from Google, etc.
Once your blog posts are published, go out and share those posts with your community on social media.
2.) Showcasing Your Current & Sold Listings
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, your listings are the lifeblood of your business. Without listings you make no commission.
It is incredibly important to have a website that showcases not just your current listings, but also your sold listings, your office listings, open houses, and even some niche listing search pages. (What’s that?)
Also, on your RealtyNinja real estate website you have the ability to further customize your own listings with PDF’s, virtual tours, HD photos, embedded videos and more.
I highly recommend making YOUR listings on YOUR website unique from the hundreds of versions out there on the web, due to reciprocity.
Having your listings showcased all around the web via reciprocity is awesome… more eyeballs, more exposure. Still, it doesn’t replace the experience of viewing a specific agent’s listings on their own site.
3.) Promoting YOU And Your Business Offering
For a lot of agents, a website is basically just a brochure. A handout that lives online and represents them 24/7 — even while they are sleeping.
If this is the case for you, be sure to set up your “brochure” for success. It should clearly include a few essential components, such as:
- A bio write up or video
- The community or area you serve
- Your real estate marketing strategy
- Your unique selling proposition
- Your contact information and photo
Usually, a brochure comes fully equipped with an action at the end. Be sure to include this call to action on your site as well… whether it’s “Call Me” or “Subscribe to my Mailing List” or whatever else.
Even if you’re not actively promoting your website, those visitors who find it should have a clear path or “funnel” to follow.
After creating their “Brochure” website, and identifying their call to actions, some REALTORS then decide to invest $$$ on paid ads to send traffic to it.
This tactic can produce leads for you. However, the leads will typically be lower in quality than if you invested time into becoming a valuable online resource for your clients.
Both sides have their merits, just depends on your business objectives and strategy.
4.) Earning Trust & Building Credibility In Your Market
Trust and credibility are immensely important to people when it comes to transacting their home. Your website should help build trust with your visitors, the same way you would in person.
Let me paint a picture for you: Let’s say you meet a potential client at an event, and you have a great conversation about real estate and the current state of the market. The potential client finds you to be full of great information.
You made an impression!
After the event, the prospect looks you up online, finds your website, and is confused. There is no original content or information on the site… nothing about you, no testimonials, no services, no social media links… nothing!
Just the basic out-of-the-box website you signed up for then ignored for three years. Your personable, professional demeanour is not nearly translated through this website. Boooo.
Don’t let this happen to you. Be sure that your website accurately depicts the caliber of your business interactions.
Include your high quality testimonials, any awards or accolades that you have earned in your career, any community or charitable contributions!
Heck, even sharing your personal and professional beliefs through a brief write up or video can align people with your brand. Get on it!
5.) Engaging With & Capturing Potential Leads
I saved this for last on purpose. To bring things full circle before wrapping up this article… let’s talk about engaging and capturing potential leads.
This is a different activity than generating leads. Lead Generation would be your top-level strategy, whereas Engagement + Lead Capture would be tactics you use to accomplish that strategy.
As we already deciphered, the term “generating” means “to produce,” whereas the term Capturing means “to take into one’s possession.”
That being said, before you can capture a lead’s contact info using a form or feature on your website, you must connect with them on some level, and massage their interests.
Here’s a classic example of engaging a lead and then capturing their info:
Someone visits your website and falls in love with one of your Featured Listings. They checked out the HD listing photos, watched the video, read the extremely well written listing description.
You finish your awesome listing description with a call to action that says “Use the form below to request a private showing of this property.”
So the user scrolls down, and submits their information in the Lead Capture fields, just like you asked!
Boom, a new lead appears in your inbox. Time to get your HUSTLE ON!
[-_-]~~~ Ninja Tip: Remember, no tool – website, phone, CRM, social media – nothing will ever replace your professional hustle.)
Real Estate Sales = Marketing + Hustle
Ultimately, pretty much every sales based business model out there requires leads in order to survive.
Even though the five website uses I’ve listed in this article aren’t all directly involved with lead generation, they all play their role in the overall marketing strategy.
Branding yourself over time will produce leads, growing your credibility and trust will too. So will advertising yourself and promoting your listings.
It all adds up to a stronger real estate brand for you, and more leads wanting to interact with that brand consistently.
So next time you hear the words “Lead Generating,” remember this article. Remember that no tool will generate leads for you unless you put hustle into it. And finally, remember that ALL the marketing you do is ultimately to generate leads!
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Your friendly neighbourhood marketing ninja