Real estate marketing is no longer as simple as putting up yard signs, running newspaper ads, and networking with prospective clients. But if today’s digital landscape doesn’t necessarily make selling real estate easier, it does present some unique opportunities for real-estate agents who keep their eyes open.
Today, we’re hearing from five of those savvy real estate pros. Each of them encountered at least one major roadblock when they first set out to get more leads online. But when they combined their deep knowledge of their market with Leadpages lead-gen tools, they didn’t just fix those problems—they opened up entirely new sources of sales.
Read on to find out what tactics they used to get more hot leads with less work.
Problem #1: Plenty of Site Visitors, No Way to Follow Up with Them
The Real Estate Pro
Alex Larson, Webster Team, Kansas City, MO
His Marketing Problem
Alex Larson and his team started off with an asset that many real-estate agents would envy: an attractive website that attracted plenty of traffic.
So what was wrong with that? “We were getting traffic, but people were not taking the time to sign up so we could help them,” Alex explained. Many of his site’s visitors were passing through without leaving any more trace than a pageview count. The site allowed them to leave a message for Alex, but very few people were using that feature. (In our research at LeadPages®, we’ve seen the same thing: typically, only a tiny percentage of a page’s visitors are willing to submit form fields embedded directly on the page.)
Now, Alex prides himself on his team’s hands-on service, but if prospective clients never got into the hands of his team, that wouldn’t matter.
After doing some research, Alex realized where the problem lay: “Our main website had to capture leads for every type of client, which is really not very effective.”
This isn’t a rookie mistake. Many, many companies—including even huge corporations—target different parts of their online audience with slightly different messaging to reflect the different goals those customers want to achieve . . .
And then dump all those prospects out at the same spot: their homepage.
It doesn’t really make sense when you think about it. And it doesn’t make for a great user experience. But most importantly for people like Alex, it means you lose the chance to learn more about your visitors so you can follow up with them and serve them better.
Fortunately, once Alex realized the problem with this approach, he moved fast to correct it.
How He Solved It
Today, Alex is using Leadpages to create new landing pages that speak to the specific challenges of home ownership for the different demographics he serves, and sending traffic to those pages whenever possible. Here’s one example, with the opt-in form popped up in front:
These landing pages don’t simply speak more directly to the people who view them. They also offer them valuable resources, in exchange for something that’s very valuable for Alex: their contact information. To get one of Alex’s giveaways, such as the e-book above, they simply enter an email address (and any other information Alex needs to collect) in the pop-up that appears when they click. Then, the e-book is automatically sent to their email.
Plus, when someone responds to an offer like this, Alex knows that person isn’t just window shopping. They’re likely ready to move soon:
“Leadpages has given us the ability to put a laser focus on our target market and address specific issues they face when buying a home, resulting in an increase in qualified subscribers that will lead to more listings.”
It’s a virtuous cycle. And it’s especially efficient because Alex can create new landing pages within minutes as soon as he identifies a new market segment or devises a new lead magnet. Often, it’s as easy as typing in his text and uploading his images. After signing up for LeadPages® and attending a free training webinar, Alex found he had all the tools he needed to turn out landing pages with ease. He told us:
“The fact that it’s super-easy to use and offers so many templates made the decision to go with Leadpages a no-brainer. . . I’m too busy to deal with anything other than drag-and-drop and a simple interface. And those Leadpages templates spark creativity and help me see what my page could look like.”
He was also inspired to set up thank-you pages that did two smart things:
1. Invite leads to browse homes right away with the click of a button
2. Ask them to share his resources with their networks.
It’s a good bet that many of your real-estate leads will have friends who are in the same area and same stage of life as them, so this can be an especially effective way to expand your reach.
Here’s one lovely thank-you page Alex created:
If you’re not seeing great conversion results from your homepage, Alex’s strategy may be worth trying for your business.
Problem #2: High-Value Content That Nobody’s Finding
The Real Estate Pro
When he began trying to collect leads online, Ian Bush started off well aware that content marketing was one of the most effective strategies out there. But while his team was working hard to create high-value content, it wasn’t getting the number of new leads Ian wanted—perhaps not even enough to justify the time spent creating it.
Rather than drop the whole idea, Ian began examining each piece of the puzzle. And when he did, he developed a hunch that it wasn’t his team’s content that was hurting their results—it was their technology. “I was using the most basic email forms and simple lead-capture tools,” he said. “This resulted in insufficient customer information and inadequate tracking.”
From poor-quality info to lack of automatic follow-up, there were just too many holes in the top of Ian’s funnel.
How He Solved It
“Within a few minutes of purchasing Leadpages, I was able to create my first squeeze page,” Ian said. Not only did that page look better than the forms Ian had been using so far, it was already optimized for conversion and ready to serve his team’s needs. Using pop-ups, he was able to control exactly which information he wanted to collect and where he wanted to send it to trigger follow-up actions. And adding tracking code to Leadpages landing pages is as simple as clicking a button and pasting a line of code into a box.
Now Ian’s lead-gen efforts have become much more reliable. He’s able to understand how his content-marketing campaigns are doing with a glance at his LeadPages dashboard. He’s also getting more leads, period. He said:
“I have captured leads from organic searches that I probably wouldn’t have using the other tools in the past, and those leads have turned into transactions. I am also getting a good picture of the engagement of visitors.”
That reliability has freed him up to start testing new tactics. Among them: opt-in texts, our mobile-marketing tool that lets leads opt in via text message when they’re nowhere near a computer. It’s especially useful if you’re a real-estate pro since you can place your text code directly on your property signs. (Click here to get a closer look at opt-in texts and see how you can get this tool.)
The lesson: while it’s always good to assess your content with a critical eye, make sure the technology supporting that content is sound, too.
Problem #3: Trouble Tapping into New Sources of Leads
The Real Estate Pro
Lisa Nettley, C&A Realty Investments, Houston
No matter what your business is, when you want more leads, you can do two things:
1. Convert more of your existing audience, and/or
2. Seek out a new audience.
When it came time for the latter, Lisa Nettley was at a bit of a loss. She knew she could be doing more with paid media, but wasn’t sure where any paid traffic should end up. She had a fully functioning website built with Weebly, but that platform was too limited to build the channel-specific landing pages Lisa needed: “Setting up the landing pages and the overall look of the page proved to be frustrating,” she said.
How She Solved It
Yes, there’s a pattern emerging here—Lisa decided to build her paid-media landing pages with Leadpages after finding that “Leadpages offers a lot more options at a reasonable price.”
She got good results from one campaign in particular. She created a landing page that wasn’t designed to be promoted or surfaced through any organic traffic source—it was simply designed to receive traffic from a Facebook ad and collect leads from those who clicked through. Because this landing page was only surfaced as an ad, she was able to use it to track exactly how effective this campaign was.
Lisa spent $850 to run her Facebook ad. From that ad, she got four new buyers and sellers (and more than 10 times as many leads) within a few months—which meant that Leadpages had shortened her typical sales cycle considerably.
When you’re talking big-ticket sales like real estate, a paid-media strategy like Lisa’s adds up to an excellent return on investment.
Problem #4: Struggling Against Software That’s Supposed to Help You
The Real Estate Pro
Steve Trang, Stunning Homes Realty, Phoenix, AZ
Short-sale specialist Steve Trang was doing everything right in theory. He had a sound online lead-gen strategy and a good follow-up sequence in place. But in practice, it was a struggle to build and maintain an effective online presence.
Part of that was because his landing-page software, a now-obsolete WordPress plugin, made customization a major hassle. It was clunky, confusing, and ineffective. “We had to learn CSS just to get the page to look good,” said Steve. Worse, “the conversion rate was low.“
He didn’t have much better luck creating opt-in forms. He tried to use the lead-capture tools that came with his email service provider, but they just didn’t look good.
Steve is in the real estate business, not the web design business. He shouldn’t have had to learn an entirely new job just to promote his services. So after fighting an uphill battle with his software, he made a change.
How He Solved It
When Steve encountered Leadpages, he saw right away “how easy and fast it was to put a good-looking page together. I have been using WordPress for years. This is a walk in the park in comparison.” So that’s exactly what he did.
Steve used Leadpages to create clear and concise landing pages explaining exactly how Stunning Homes could help visitors with a short sale and the benefits they’d get from working with Steve’s team.
When page visitors clicked the call-to-action button and entered their contact information, they landed on a thank-you page that let Steve’s team get a little personal, showcasing a photo and message from the agent who’d be following up with them.
In creating these pages, Steve liked that he was able to start ahead of the game, noting, “I could use landing pages that other successful people were using.” Leadpages allows you to select templates based on their known conversion success, drawing from conversion results across many industries and thousands of actual customers. This can significantly cut down the trial-and-error phase of any marketing campaign.
Steve is also finding major value in one other Leadpages feature: A/B testing.
I can A/B test just about anything. I get the most for my marketing dollar. . . A/B split testing helped us boost conversions. It’s been a key to our success!”
Though he starts with historically high-converting landing-page templates, Steve doesn’t stop there. He uses our simple split-testing tool to try different variations of his pages to discover what connects best with his audience. For example, after testing several headline and call-to-action strategies, he found a winning combo in “Get $3000 When You Short Sale Your Home” and “Please Help Me Short Sale.”
Problem #5: No Insight into Your Website’s Impact
The Real Estate Pro
Joe Bauer, Seattle Real Estate Investing
You gotta have a website. Right?
Right. Almost always. But too many small-business owners stop there. They put up a website as sort of a big digital business card and then go on their way, hoping that somehow clients will be inspired to call or email them.
Joe Bauer knew better. He knew that if he was going to invest in his web presence, he should be certain that it was having a real impact on his business, rather than simply taking up server space and looking pretty.
Achieving that certainty, however, wasn’t easy. At first he tried to use the opt-in forms that came with his email service provider, but, he said, “it was hard to make the forms look nice and they were not easy to build.” Which meant he was less likely to build them, which meant it was hard to track the impact any of his online resources were having.
How He Solved It
When Joe adopted Leadpages and began setting up simple pop-up opt-in forms and elegantly designed email-capture pages, he was able to create many more conversion points that were much more effective than before. Here are two high-performing opt-in forms he created:
A few clicks, and Joe was able to customize Leadpages templates with his brand colors and fonts. A few more, and he’d integrated his opt-in form with his existing email service provider.
“You can have a pop up or email capture page done in minutes. It just makes my life easier. I like the pop ups because they look great, and make it easy to get my name in front of people on my site. If someone is on my site, they should be on my buyers list, and LeadPages® makes it easy.”
Let me repeat that last part, because it’s a smart principle to keep in mind when you’re optimizing your own web presence: if someone is on your site, they should be on your contact list.
These days, Joe isn’t just able to measure his online marketing results—he’s finding that those results are spectacular.
“With Leadpages, capturing new buyers is very easy. I didn’t really measure before Leadpages, but with Leadpages we are getting [up to] a 33% conversion rate on our site.”
What’s been your toughest online marketing problem? Did you figure out a solution, or are you still looking? Tell us in the comments!