Make More & Work Less With Smart Lead Generation & Development -- Part II

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Real Estate Agent with Silicon Beach Properties • KW CalBRE #01712960

Yesterday, we talked about the importance of keeping your business pipeline full, even when you're busy handling "life."  Today, it's the branding dance.

May I Have This Dance?

Your best strategy for doing business with today's online real estate consumers is to engage in a subtle branding dance, with you taking the lead.  What is the "brand?"  First and foremost, it's you as respectful, helpful, resourceful, knowledgeable and responsive.  Secondarily, it's you as an expert in whatever neighborhood, property type or other niche you enjoy or advocate.  This is the type of service professional that consumers universally want to work with.  If you perfect the primary brand, you might even be able to get away without having a secondary brand, although I don't recommend it.

How do you perfect this primary brand?  As a real estate professional, you provide listings, listings and more listings to your consumers.  Isn't this what you did before the advent of web marketing?  Listings information is what real estate consumers demand!  Don't make your potential client beg, work hard to find or pre-register to get this sought after information.  These consumers don't generally have a relationship with you yet, and they are only one back-click away from being gone forever when they first land on your homepage.

Bonus tip!  Forget the free reports and community "information."  Consumers don't want this fluff and it distracts from your real value proposition.  The free report concept was thought up by the web vendors who don't have a strong listings technology to offer you.  It amazes me that these vendors have so successfully sold this as "lead generating" to the real estate community.

Once you provide lots of listings information (making access as simple as possible), only then do you start to think about asking for anything in return from your budding client (hint:  this means you absolutely do not even consider asking visitors to pre-register for access to listings).  Even at this point, any request for identifying information from your visitor should be intertwined with additional value to your consumer, such as requesting registration in exchange for seeing a listing's complete address or setting up a private watchlist.  A strong, effective, interactive IDX product is designed with exactly these objectives in mind.  Weak IDX solutions will not support your branding dance, as I've previously written.

Keep Dancing

Please keep in mind that many visitors will be reluctant to register on your website (i.e., give up contact information) under any circumstances on their first visit to your site.  This does not make them bad leads!  They are "early" leads with a longer time horizon.  If your lead incubation tools are automated, you can fill an entire pipeline with these early leads, and retire happy as early lead after early lead matures.  But you have to keep these early leads with you, instead of roaming the Internet looking for additional information.

 For these reluctant consumers, your goal is to make your site a "safe," non-threatening place to return to, and you want to further employ tools that encourage return visits.  Prominently advertise that your listings "inventory" is updated daily or encourage visitors to register for daily new listing updates by email.  These emails should then have ample links back to your site where visitors can view the details of the listing(s) and save them to their private watchlist.  Again, strong IDX solution is an invaluable tool for advancing this goal.

None of the foregoing tools would be available to real estate professionals marketing online, however, if they did not have web-ready databases of listings available.  It cannot be over-emphasized that this is a unique marketing opportunity for real estate professionals.  It makes me absolutely crazy that agents and brokers fail to recognize and capitalize on this exceptional opportunity.  But although there are no better strategies and tools available for converting leads to clients than those described in this post, did you notice that a critical assumption is being made?  Yes, you need visitors to your site, if you want to use my strategies to grow your real estate business.

The strategies and tools above assume that you have visitors to your website!  Tomorrow, in Make More & Work Less With Smart Lead Generation & Development -- Part III, we'll discuss how to bring more visitors to your site.

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Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW, CalBRE #01712960
m: 424.272.1339 | w: www.SiliconBeach.properties

buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.

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Rainmaker
123,467
Rebecca Savitski
BSR Real Estate Group - Cary, NC
NC Real Estate Listings
This is my business plan. SHHHH!!! I have one website based with all of the free reports -no success-. But I have another website that works and gets the buyers to actually call me. What a concept I have always insisted on being helpful even if they are working with another agent.
Aug 10, 2007 02:34 AM #1
Rainer
24,462
Nora Adkins
Realty Executives - Tucson, AZ
Great post.  Thanks!
Aug 10, 2007 02:38 AM #2
Rainer
22,469
Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW - Venice, CA
buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.

Thank you, Rebecca, for confirming my free report premise.  Let me guess -- is your free report site tied to a particular guru in the industry that we won't mention by name???

 And thank you to you, Nora, for your kind words.

Aug 10, 2007 02:48 AM #3
Rainer
60,650
Dan Homan
Coldwell Banker Ellison Realty, Inc - Ocala, FL
Great thoughts on marketing.  It is a shame that so many agents do things the same old tired way, never realizing that this isn't the 1920's.  Besides, what is free about something I download that I have to pay for the ink and paper to print?  The reality is that most consumers have had their email, cell phone number and even credit cards dinged in exchange for so called free items and having learned the hard way are a lot less likely to give up any personal information until they are ready to do it on their own.  Great post.
Aug 10, 2007 04:36 AM #4
Rainer
22,469
Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW - Venice, CA
buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.
Thank you, Dan!
Aug 12, 2007 09:05 AM #5
Rainer
62,245
Alix Pinzon
Open Mortgage, LLC NMLS # 2975 - Downey, CA
(562)743-6086
Hi Tracy, As you know, the spirit of Active Rain is to help each other.  The best way that I've found is by hitting each others' website, to improve internet search rankings.  I checked out your website, and I liked the light blue background, and the IDX direct slide show.  If you have a second, please reciprocate the favor by checking out my website at http://www.southerncaliforniaappraisers.net/
Jan 22, 2008 11:21 AM #6
Rainmaker
189,705
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT
Thank you Dan!!!  And thank you Tracy!  What a great post....I am looking forward to the rest of the series.  (hint hint)        Patient agents are rich agents!!  Work your leads...and be patient.  They will turn into contracts if you do your job right! 
Jan 23, 2008 05:26 AM #7
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Rainer
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Tracy Thrower Conyers

buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.
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