More listings, less painDecember 11, 2014
At WFG National Title we’re obsessed with providing our clients real value that can help grow their businesses in various ways.
We recently created a program called “The Modern Day Agent” which combines a consultative approach to helping our clients, with an analytical process aimed at identifying pain points, where we can make product recommendations based on their actual needs instead of pushing “solutions” at problems that may not even exist.
Now, without getting into too much detail about the process (feel free to contact your WFG rep for more info), one of the coolest parts is that I get to analyze stats and results from our clients all across the country as our team makes these recommendations.
For example, in the survey we ask clients what their biggest pain point in their business is. Below are the results from our Seattle market (and all markets are nearly identical):
You can pretty clearly see that needing more seller leads is by far the biggest pain point our clients and potential clients face in their businesses. So, since I’m constantly looking for ways to help clients with their goals and provide solutions to “alleviate the pain”… that got me thinking (I know, that’s dangerous, right?) that I should write an article on how to go about doing this.
Since the beginning of the internet
It’s always been pretty easy to get buyers from online lead sources. You just setup a website, add an IDX feed, some local neighborhood content and wait for the dollars to fall from the sky. OK, I may be over simplifying it a little… but not by much.
The fact is, buyers search for homes online. If you have a decent web presence, you can still capture buyer leads. But how do you get seller leads and convert them to listing appointments, and new listings? It’s actually pretty easy too! Your first step is to setup a lead capture landing page.
What is a landing page (otherwise known as a lead capture page, squeeze page, etc)?
Unbounce has a pretty good definition of what a landing page is on their site. They say:
In the purest sense, a landing page is any web page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on. However, when discussing landing pages within the realm of marketing and advertising, it’s more common to refer to a landing page as being a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective.
This means that your landing page should have no global navigation to tie it to your primary website. The main reason for this is to limit the options available to your visitors, helping to guide them toward your intended conversion goal.
There are dozens of landing page platforms out there to choose from. You can create your own, using tools like LeadPages and Unbounce, you can pay for a pre-built solution like Home Value Leads and we’re now seeing some of the larger website providers like RealGeeks and several others offer them as an add on page to their website products.
Which platform should I choose?
My personal favorite at this point is Home Value Leads (shown in the screenshot above). It’s easy to setup, mobile friendly, inexpensive, built specifically for real estate and has a lead management system built into it. Plus the owner/developer is just a good dude. If you tell him you heard about them from Jeff at WFG he’ll make sure you get everything setup and add you to a super special Facebook group with clients from all over the country that are great about sharing ideas and what’s working to get business using the HVL system. (Thanks Eric!)
Driving traffic to your landing pages:
Speaking of Facebook… a big part of the success that comes from a good lead capture platform stems from the source of the traffic that lands there. Facebook ads have proven to be a REALLY good source of traffic that actually converts into leads, so I reached out to a friend (Chris Smith) that I knew had a ton of experience in helping people setup these types of campaigns to give our readers some advice.
Chris is one of the founders of Curaytor, a company that handles lead generation, conversion and follow up activities for Realtors. Through this last year, they’ve spent nearly a million dollars (WOW!) on Facebook ad campaigns for their clients, so he’s definitely got some oomph behind his advice.
The first thing people usually ask is if it’s possible to do this themselves. Here was Chris’s response to that question:
You can 100% do it yourself, BUT getting it right is a combination of factors like; targeting the right demographic, using the right copy in the ad, using an image that grabs attention, having a compelling call to action and of course having a landing page that converts well.
The problem is, when you start adding in the more advanced options like targeting a custom audience, and newsfeed re-targeting… things can start to get overwhelming. This is especially true considering that even if you absolutely NAIL an ad in the beginning, it won’t have an eternal shelf life (you can see how many times ads are viewed through the platforms frequency data).
The other thing I see that goes wrong when people do this themselves is that they aren’t patient enough. You can’t effectively gauge a campaign or strategy after spending $20. My advice is to pick a monthly budget and stick to it every month. If it’s going well, make small tweaks and monitor results. If it’s going poorly, make larger changes.
If you want to see some results that can be directly attributed to Chris and the Curator team’s in depth knowledge of lead capture and conversion techniques, check out their recent client case study here.
Converting the leads:
This is actually the hardest part for most agents for some reason. My best advice here is to simply be helpful and not be too “salesy”. Consumers are hip to that game these days.
The beauty of the landing page lead capture platforms is that they’ve actually requested something from you. So it really boils down to you giving them what they’re after which is generally home valuation info, (using a built in CMA tool, CloudCMA or even RPR), asking what their plans are, and then following up with them appropriately.
I’m sure some will think I’m over-simplifying things again… but I’m really not in this case. If they’re ready to list their home, and you’ve given them the info they want and a warm fuzzy feeling while doing it… they’ll generally let you schedule an appointment to at least discuss listing the home. If they’re not ready to list, they’ll let you know, and then it’s up to you to stay in touch until they’re ready. Of course, if that sounds like too much work for you, you can always talk to the guys at Curaytor. I’m sure they’d be happy to charge you to get the desired results!
So, hopefully that paints a little better picture of how to go about getting seller leads and more listings using a good landing page and Facebook’s ad platform. If you have specific questions, feel free to connect with me on Facebook, as I’d be happy to help.