If lead generation is your website’s focus, you likely have two goals: increase the volume of your leads and increase the quality of your leads. While much material and discussion revolves around the goal of increasing volume of leads, not much has been written or discussed about how to increase the quality of your real estate leads.
Utilizing IDX for Lead Generation
We often discuss with our clients that IDX is one of the most effective methods of lead conversion for your website. The lead generation tools that come packaged with IDX solutions make generating a consistent stream of leads fairly straightforward. But what about the quality? Like any online lead generation source, the quality of leads will typically be mixed. Some of the leads will be good, and some will be bad. Later on in this article, we will discuss specific strategies to improve the quality of these leads.
Third-Party Lead Generation Services
The real estate industry is filled with online marketing programs and lead generation tools that promise a steady stream of leads for a fee each month. While some of these options may work, most of these systems have the reputation that the lead quality is quite low. Does this mean that these services are not worth it? Not necessarily, but if you aren’t monitoring quality and implementing other strategies to increase lead quality over time, then you might be wasting your money with these services.
Tips for Getting Quality Real Estate Leads Online
Regardless of the service or technology used to generate the lead online, here are some tips and things to keep in mind as you work to increase the number of quality real estate leads generated from your digital marketing program.
Understanding the Relationship Between Traffic Source and Lead Quality
A number of lead generation tools utilize some sort of opt-in or forced registration in order to get a lead’s contact information. It’s a common technique for IDX as well. Here’s how it works: A visitor comes to your website or targeted landing page and clicks on a listing that interests them. After the click, the website prompts the user that in order to continue, they need to enter their contact information. Once they’ve done this, they are forwarded to the listing that they clicked on. The owner of the website is notified with the new lead and the contact information.
This strategy works. We have a number of clients utilizing this technique (some better than others depending on the overall implementation). But, obviously with such a strategy, some of the leads are going to be pretty low quality. Some of these leads simply entered the information just to see the next screen, but have no intention of buying or selling a property either now or in the future.
So, how can we improve the quality of leads generated this way? The source of the traffic is a major variable with regards to the quality of the potential lead. If you keep the lead generation technique the same, but monitor the difference in lead quality between the various traffic sources coming through this technique, you will likely notice some trends. Typically the traffic that is either direct traffic or organic traffic will result in higher lead quality when compared to, say, traffic from paid ads such as Google Adwords or Facebook Ads.
Why would this be? One way to think about this is that the traffic coming directly to your site or via organic search traffic often already has some sort of trust towards you and/or your website. A previous relationship obviously increases trust, but so does finding your website via high quality content indexed in Google’s organic results.
Grow your organic search traffic by crafting high quality content that targets the topics and keywords relevant to your business. If you’ve never done any content marketing before, perhaps start with the common questions that your customers ask you. Turn these common questions into in-depth, quality articles on your website.
You might be asking if relationship between traffic source and lead quality means we do not recommend utilizing paid traffic sources such as Google Adwords. Actually, we do. Google Adwords can be a great resource for an immediate traffic boost, but it’s also easy to waste money on paid traffic that does not convert to good leads. Setting up the correct targeting and landing pages for your Adwords traffic is key to ensuring a return on your investment.
Implementing an Automated Follow-up or DRIP Campaign
When it comes to increasing the number of quality real estate leads, some leads are perceived as low quality simply because they may not be ready to talk to a real estate professional or ready to pull the trigger on a transaction. They may be a year away from making a move. But if you’ve gotten their contact information, how can you ensure you’re the person or company that this person comes to a year later when they are ready to buy or sell a property?
In all likelihood, the percentage of leads that you generate that are ready for an immediate transaction is going to be quite low. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the leads are worthless. You need a system in place that ensures you turn a percentage of those remaining leads into real business. This is key to increasing the quality of your lead generation and increasing the overall return on your digital marketing efforts.
An automated DRIP campaign via an email marketing tool can be extremely effective at staying in front of your leads over time. If you’ve never implemented any sort of email marketing, Mailchimp can be a great place to start. They have a free option until you reach a certain number of subscribers, then your costs simply grow as your email list grows. Regardless of which third-party platform you use, you’ll want to setup an automation or DRIP sequence that sends out content to your email list at regular intervals. If you have very little content produced, you might start with one email and piece of content per month. If your volume of content is fairly large, you might send one out every week. The important element is to ensure the content is of high quality. The content should serve to build trust. If a lead trusts you, then you’re increasing the likelihood that you are the person they turn to when it’s time to buy or sell.
Implementing Automated Listing Updates
For the same reasons as implementing a DRIP campaign, utilizing automated listing update emails can be an effective tool for staying in front of your leads. Many IDX integration options come with functionality that can handle this for you. This can be especially effective for leads that are generated via IDX since you can typically deduce the search parameters that would apply for automated listing alerts based on the landing page and listings that generated the lead in the first place.
If you have the time and/or resources, you might also consider crafting more personalized emails with suggested listings. After all, in today’s world of online real estate browsing, many of your leads are likely used to automated listing alerts. Finding ways to differentiate yourself even with regards to email listing alerts can be a nice way to impress potential leads.
How is your lead generation for your existing website? How is the volume? What percentage of your leads are turning into real customers? If you’re interested in a free consultation at any time or simply asking questions regarding quality real estate leads, please contact us today.