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Why You’re Not Generating Real Estate Leads Online: A 5-point Troubleshooting Guide

August 27 2015

lwolf lead troubleshooting guideIt takes a lot of work to build and support a digital lead generation strategy. There are certain mandatory components of your online presence that must be fulfilled in order to effectively attract potential clients and capture their information. The worst thing you can do is to undermine the cumulative effect of your efforts by making one crucial omission in your online strategy.

The following is a 5 point troubleshooting guide for real estate professionals who aren't satisfied with the volume of leads they are capturing online.

1. Weak or Nonexistent Calls to Action (CTAs)

Your IDX enabled website offers a good description of who you are and the services you offer, and it even is equipped with MLS search functionality. However, this functionality is not being advertised as effectively as it should be in order to encourage engagement. Scrap the generic language such as "home search" and "property locater" and insert a more personalized statement such as "Find the home of your dreams" or "Learn what [your market] has to offer!"

You can try a similar approach elsewhere, such as on "request a showing" CTAs within listings, and for any other scenario in which you are trying to collect a potential client's information. If your site is equipped with analytics tracking, it is strongly recommended that you monitor and compare the effectiveness of various CTAs on your site.

Remember that online consumers become quickly immune to the words they are exposed to most frequently. These subtle nuances in the way you communicate with potential clients can act as a pivotal first step in gaining their trust and having them engage with your services.

2. No Value Proposition

Your website is clean and professional, yet it isn't generating leads. A potential client may visit a multitude of sources in their online home search and you may only have their attention for a few seconds. With this kind of competition, your chances of winning the client are greatly improved when you offer a value proposition that is catered to their needs.

Real estate is a large, diverse and highly competitive industry in which you typically can't set your sights on 100% of the market. With a generic approach, you may only capture 1% of the potential homebuyers and sellers in your market. However, if you specially target a smaller portion of the market, you will likely realize a greater overall return.

For example, let's say you specialize in downtown condos, and downtown condos represent 20% of your city's market. Making an effort to brand yourself as the go-to condo expert will greatly improve consumer trust and the consistency of leads you acquire. Capturing even ¼ of the condo market, or 5% of the overall market, is a far greater return than the 1% from the generic approach mentioned above.

3. You Look Unprofessional

A professional web presence is a major investment of time and money. You must have an aesthetically pleasing website, professional headshotsconsistent branding, thoughtful copy, all to give a clear impression of why you are somebody potential clients can trust.

In other words, when you enter the digital world, you must enter it entirely. A half-hearted attempt at a web presence will make it very easy for potential clients to decide not to hire you. It doesn't matter how professional you are in person, if any of the elements mentioned above are not executed properly, you will look unprofessional and you won't earn the trust of homebuyers and sellers.

A good way to approach this is to identify a few real estate professionals whose websites you enjoy, who – if you were a potential homebuyer – would likely gain you as a client. Work with a trusted real estate website provider to emulate the basic elements of their site that appeal to you, while inserting your own unique voice and branding.

4. Not Showing Up in Search Results

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means creating web content that can be discovered by major search engines, namely Google, and it's an elusive and untameable beast. Getting discovered by potential clients who search things like "homes for sale in [your market]" is absolutely vital to the success of your real estate business.

Assuming that you are too preoccupied serving clients to become a full time SEO expert, there are three things you can do to gain visibility on search engines.

The first relates to your value proposition. Your value proposition must be focused enough to be unsaturated on the web. If "homes for sale in [your market]" returns hundreds of results from qualified agents, it will be extremely difficult to rank on the front page of search engines. Narrowing your focus narrows your competition and gives you a higher chance of ranking high on search engines.

The second is to produce a lot of content about your value proposition. Search engines want to deliver the best possible results to their users, so they prioritize sites that deliver the most value. Having a website full of content about your focus will catch the attention of search engine crawlers and make you more likely to rank.

The third is to outsource SEO. SEO is very difficult and is always evolving. Hiring an expert consultantexpert consultant to optimize your website will almost always produce a better ROI than committing your own time to trying to master SEO by yourself.

5. Not Marketing Effectively

Marketing isn't one size fits all. Your marketing methods need to suit your brand, your preference and style, and your circle of competence. That being said, once you've selected your go-to marketing channels, you need to own them.

For example, you should probably be using social media to promote your real estate business. However, joining every single social network could pose a far greater liability to your business than not joining any. Do you enjoy writing? Focus on maintaining a blog and promoting your content through channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Are you a visual person with a skill for photography? You could maintain a beautiful Instagram and Pinterest presence.

The point is not to exhaust your efforts trying to employ multiple methods of marketing. Identify your target audience and provide them with content they enjoy in the format they prefer. As with focusing your value proposition, you must focus your marketing efforts on capturing the majority of potential clients who are interested in what you have to say and share.

And don't be afraid to get creative. In a competitive marketplace such as real estate, it's often better to try to be different rather than trying to be the best.

Conclusion:

There are many possible reasons for failing to generate leads online. The most vital step in correcting the issue is to establish the core tenets of your brand and marketing strategy and execute them thoroughly. Pursue what comes naturally to you, emulate those who have a great online presence, and hire trusted consultants to aid you in areas outside your scope of expertise.

To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blogLone Wolf blog.