Disclaimer: This has post has nothing to do with web-designers or developer quality.
Which site would you think gets more traffic and generates more leads (this isn’t an optical illusion)?
Answer: Ugly Betty, hands down (you’ll have to trust me, I’ve seen both sites traffic metrics). Why/ How?? It’s easier to locate Ugly Betty’s listings than Pretty Womans. I don’t believe this to be by (intelligent) design, which makes the point of this post…it’s all about the listings. So much so, I’d lay a healthy bet (if I were a betting man) that a blog-site that only had the following text on it’s home page:
AREA OF CHOICE LISTINGS
When potential consumers go to the web in search of real estate, they’re looking for listings. They don’t care who’s providing them, they just want to see them, all of them, and everything about them. Whoever provides easiest access to listings (on purpose or not) is most likely to get the lead and the client. Go get a text based listing manager, plug it into your well populated, properly configured blogsite, make it the center of attention, and watch the people stream in on purpose and by accident.
In my opinion this is why Redfin has maintained through the ‘Another Discount Broker’ smear campaign, where so many others have failed. This is no small task; they are persevering in an industry that has been almost impenetrable to new business models. Why? It’s more than their rebate.
You are only 2-3 clicks away from listing nirvana, no name or phone number required. After the initial buzz wears off you find yourself engaged by the fact they’re also willing to rebate you some commission, akin to a sale…everyone loves a deal and most everyone outside the industry thinks Realtors are way overpaid. Their leads are being converted to clients and no one has even spoken to them yet.
It’s rather ominous (to the naysayer) that Redfin and ‘Discount Brokerage’ are less and less mentioned in the same sentence and even more so that it’s main detractors are almost solely other real estate professionals. I actually saw a blog post the other day solely about Redfin losing a listing…one listing. You could create a whole social network around lost listings for any other broker house, yet Redfin gets tagged for losing one…My dream job would have been to be their Chief of Marketing, but I digress
Maybe one day soon, more real estate professionals will see this is a highly preferred way of doing business. Give them listings, appeal to their consumerism, and let them contact us…on purpose or not, it’s (very) simply brilliant. This company plays in fine tune with the psychology of the status quo; there are lessons to be learned here for those willing to listen.
The same is true in the mortgage industry. Consumers want rates…rates, rates, rates. Whoever makes it easiest to find rates, usually gets the lead and the client. Television demonstrates the power of the rate. DiTech, CountryWide and every other lender with enough cash to produce a commercial sells a rate. Never mind that a majority of the people who actually respond to this advertising will never qualify for the advertised rate, they showed a rate. Mortgage brokers should do the same, give consumers easy easy access to rates, the real rates, true wholesale rates and require little more than an email address in return.
So whats the psychological play for the mortgage pro? Pricing. Show clients pricing, 10 levels deep in both directions if that’s what it takes. Don’t manipulate the pricing, or you will lose all credibility in this increasingly transparent marketplace. Professionals say that too much information actually hurts the consumer. Guess who doesn’t care what you think? The consumer. They’re gonna look until they find rate nirvana and there isn’t a thing a mortgage pro can do about it, except adapt
It’s long tail consumerism, a paradigm shift away from the less is more marketing philosophies.