November 8, 2007
Generating real estate leads through the Internet is an excellent tool for expanding your business, eliminating geographical barriers and increasing sales.
But how do we create leads from cyber space? After all, the information highway is infinite with no boundaries. How can a small business owner, you the real estate agent, create qualified traffic?
Imagine your web site is a small store on a busy street and you are surrounded by large corporate department stores. Outside your store window are pedestrians, bicyclists and automobiles passing by. This is traffic. And, in this traffic are people interested in your product. These are prospects. Of these prospects, some will come in the store and make inquiries. These are contacts. Some of these contacts will start to shop. These are leads. Some of these shoppers will make a purchase. These are clients.
Your web site is no different. The keys to successful Internet marketing are the THREE C’s:
- Create – create traffic
- Capture- capture prospects, thus creating contacts
- Cultivate – cultivate contacts into leads, then into clients
Create – the first step in generating real estate leads through your web site is to CREATE traffic. Creating traffic for your web site is done using three primary approaches:
Search Engine Site Rankings – the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN etc.) rank your web site based on a number of factors including age, popularity, content, link-ins, etc., and list your site accordingly in the directory. This can be a long process, as a couple of major contributing factors are age and traffic. Thus, if you have a new site or a rarely used site, your ranking remains low, and because your ranking remains low, your traffic remains low. Because your traffic remains low, your ranking remains low, and so on. You can see the cycle.
Keywords Pay-Per-Clicks – you, the web site owner, bid on keywords with the search engines, and the search engines list your site in the Sponsored Links section of the directory. This can be an efficient way to drive traffic to your site, but it does come with a cost.
Owner Driven Traffic – you, the web site owner, drive traffic to your web site via electronic articles, emails, signs, print media etc. This can be very costly, as it is difficult to generate enough traffic to capture leads.
So how do you Create enough traffic to generate quality prospects? Well it’s not as difficult as it seems. First create a quality keyword driven web site, and then use all three methods until your site is ranked high enough to maintain an adequate stream of prospects through the search engine directories.
Capture – the second step in generating leads through your web site is to CAPTURE the traffic. Capturing traffic for your web site is done using tools such as guest books or registration forms with bait. Capture the user’s information; do not give away free information. Example: a user is searching the Internet for the MESA MLS. Now, the user has found our site, so do not give the information away for free. Searching the MLS is our bait, and a registration form is our capture tool. More often than not, an agent will allow the user to use the MLS without registering, and the rationalization is that users do not want to provide the info or the info is faulty. No problem, this is the first filter. We are trying to find out who is serious and who isn’t. Utilize the registration form as a filter. If you don’t, they won’t be back… what do you have to lose?
Cultivate – the final step in generating prospects through your web site is to Cultivate the leads. Cultivate leads with DRIP CAMPAIGNS. A Drip Campaign is a series of content driven messages sent over time. Preferably this system is automated:
In our example: the keyword was Mesa MLS, and a user found our site and signed up on our registration form. Now what? Implement “The Drip Campaign” – an automated series of messages delivering content that differentiates you the agent. Cultivate the prospect and convert them into a lead, then into a sale.
A great drip campaign is the MLS search provided by ARMLS. On your registration form, request information relating to their home search, then set up an automated search on the MLS that sends them listings.
Be careful, don’t send the user into information overload, and only send a couple of listings at a time.
Many real estate agents have decided to concentrate their efforts on cultivation. Therefore, a quality lead generating company may be an effective way of advertising.
Author: To find out more about generating real estate leads through the internet, go to http://www.pro-onlineagent.com.