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9 Principles for Capturing More Leads from Your Broker Website

January 06 2015

house mouse saleSuccessfully capturing website leads is part art, part science. Any design decisions you make (the art) should be backed up by well-established principles and rigorously tested (the science). Below, we've rounded up nine ways--from design tips to psychological tricks--to capture more leads from your brokerage's website.

1. Provide value - Put yourself in the consumer's shoes and think about what's in it for them. Provide site functionality that helps, not hinders, consumers.

2. Ask for only what you need - Speaking of hindering consumers, website contact forms that request too much information are less likely to get leads. Visitors see too many as questions as invasive and shy away. On the flip side, the less fields you have, the more leads you're likely to get. However, asking for more information makes it easier for you to qualify leads. Brokers have to figure out what the sweet spot between too much information and too little is for their company.

3. Keep your form above the fold - Forms need to be placed where consumers can actually see it. "Above the Fold" is an old newspaper term where the most important stories are placed on the front page, above where the newspaper is physically folded. This placement means that stories are more likely to be seen. In website terms, "above the fold" means your forms (or other important items) should be viewable without users having to scroll down the page.

4. Don't "submit" - Here's a psychological trick to optimize your lead forms--don't use the word "submit" on your form's button. Why? It's because consumers perceive "submit" to require more commitment from them. Instead, use words like "Go," "Send," or "Register" to net more conversions.

5. Provide clear instructions - Consumers need to be told what to do on your site, so make sure your call-to-action is clear. Also, make sure that the copy on your site speaks as the inner voice of consumers. Use words like "my" instead of "your," e.g., "Calculate my mortgage payments."

6. Apply principles of Conversion-Centered Design (CCD) - Use design cues to drive web visitors to take the actions you want. Use visual techniques like encapsulation (like placing a border around a web form to draw attention to it), color contrast, and directional cues to achieve this.

7. Do A/B testing - When introducing new design, use A/B testing to gauge its effectiveness. If it boosts conversions, keep it. If not, that's a sign to back to the drawing board. For more on A/B testing, see this series of articles:

8. Use technology to learn more about your prospect - Use the Internet to learn more about your leads. If, for example, your research on social media reveals that a prospect is married with two kids, you know that a home near good schools and a yard are probably important to them. You may even discover that you and a lead share mutual friends. This makes the connection easier. The more information you have, the easier it is to create a connection.

9. Have a system to follow-up - Having a system in place makes it easier to follow up. Have a call sequence outlined for your agents that aims to make contact within the first 24 hours. Have a set follow-up date. Before your agents call, be sure they know what kind of homes, price ranges, and neighborhoods the prospect has been searching for on your site. Make it a guideline that agents should always attempt to make an appointment on that first contact.