Generating leads through the internet is an excellent tool for expanding your business, eliminating geographical barriers and increasing sales.
But how do we create leads from cyber space? After all, the information highway is infinite with no boundaries. How can a small business owner, you the real estate agent, create qualified traffic?
The keys to successful internet marketing are the THREE C's:
- Create - create traffic
- Capture - capture prospects, thus creating contacts
- Cultivate - cultivate contacts into leads, then into clients
The first step in generating leads through your website is to CREATE traffic. Let's explore three approaches for Creating traffic:
- Organic Search Engine Site Rankings - the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN etc.) rank your website based on a number of factors including age, popularity, content, link-ins, etc., and list your site accordingly in the directory. This can be a long process, as a couple of major contributing factors are age and traffic. Thus, if you have a new site or a rarely used site, the ranking remains low, and because the ranking remains low, traffic remains low. Because traffic remains low, the ranking remains low, and so on. You can see the cycle.
- Keywords Pay-Per-Clicks - you, the website owner, bid on keywords with the search engines pay per click programs, and the search engines list your site in the Sponsored Links section of the directory. This can be an efficient way to drive traffic to your site, but it does come with a cost.
- Owner Driven Traffic - you, the website owner, drive traffic to your website via electronic articles, emails, signs, print media etc. This can be very costly, as it is difficult to generate enough traffic to capture leads.
So how do you create enough traffic to create quality prospects? Well it's not as difficult as it seems. First create a quality keyword driven website; then use all three methods until your site is ranked high enough to maintain an adequate stream of prospects through the search engine directories.
The second step in generating leads through your website is to CAPTURE the traffic. Capturing traffic for your website is done using tools such as guest books or registration forms with bait. Capture the user's information by offering something of value; do not give away free information.
- For example: a user is searching the internet for the local MLS. Now, the user has found our site, so do not give the information away for free. Searching the MLS is our bait, and a registration form is our capture tool.
On the capture form ask for the property info first, then personal info such as name, email and phone. By structuring your form this way, a lead is more likely to give accurate info.
The final step in Turning Technology into Sales is cultivation. Once traffic has been driven to your site, and a lead is captured via your form, you must create perceived value. A great cultivation tool is an automated MLS search. Property information was captured via our lead capture form, therefore, you the agent can set up an automated MLS search for the lead in your MLS prospect database. Don't stop there, once the MLS search is set up and the listings are sent, follow-up, send periodic personal emails to ensure the lead is receiving the info sent.
Managing all the aspects of internet marketing can be a full time job. Many agents choose to enlist lead generation companies to create traffic and capture leads. By doing so, the agent is able to concentrate on cultivation. The internet has become an integral part of the real estate business. Studies in 2005, show 77% of homebuyers researched their purchase via the internet. Utilize the Three C's in your internet marketing plan, so you too can Turn Technology into Sales.
Go to Pro Online Agent to find out if internet real estate leads can enhance your business http://www.pro-online-agent.com/