So now that we have covered what doesn’t work….selling homes online. What does work is generating leads and turning those leads into sales. So lets discuss how to create a lead online. And I don’t mean a lead every now and then I mean consistent leads each and every day. Knowing that you will have homebuyers to work with every day and not waiting for the rainbow carrying the one lead that has found the perfect house on your site and decided to buy it with his leprechaun pot of gold.
First find a great URL. How to find homebuyers is really how they find you. If your URL is Yourname.com or Yournamesellshomes.com you are going to lose in the battle of getting people to click on to your site.
A great URL is more generic than that. A URL that tells what you do and where you do it is a good place to start. I have not checked for these but I think they are good examples:
Even the dot nets of these URL’s are better than using your name. no one cares what you name is except you and chances are they are not going to remember it. by using a generic easy to remember URL you can count on getting some return traffic. The best part of return traffic is that it is free. And this also breeds more return traffic and then they go there because they know the second step that we have to consider in order for your site to get close to being great. How to find homebuyers is less important than what you do with them once you have found them. This means navigation.
Navigation is the key to get people to rely on your site for information. The easier you can make it for them the better. So we will focus on navigation in our next post in the series of how to find homebuyers.
Once you get the URL, there are a number of free ways to get it out there. One of the best is Google Local. Think of when you go to Google to search for pizza. You will of course get the big boys such as Papa John’s and Pizza Hut, but you will also get some smaller guys with no marketing to speak of. This is Google Local. The same free service can be used in real estate. Having a URL does nothing for you without traffic. It’s up to you to go out and get it.
It seems to me that you will have to do more than just one thing as the person stated above. Google Local is a good resource. There are a number of other methods you can use. In fact, in today’s competitive market, I would think your approach would have to be somewhat eclectic to reaching your market.
I agree with your assessment. The idea of using one form of advertisement has gone the way of print media. The problem is finding the right mix for you, your clients and your technical ability. I suggest using a mixture of coat tailing on Zillow, Trulia or Ushud and then doing some lead searches on Qazzoo (shameless I know) but we would not have built it if we didn’t believe it was the best way of generating real estate leads.
How long do you suggest trying a new marketing strategy before making a decision on whether it works or not? I have tried a couple of real estate marketing websites before and got nothing but dead ends in the first week or so.
The rule of thumb I like to use is that if the system isn’t meeting your expectations, you need to contact them ASAP and alert them to your situation. Allow them to rectify the situation or tell you why your expectations were too high to begin with.
If you have given something 90 days you should have enough time to jell with it and make sure that it is workable system for you.
On the subject of internet leads; in my experience if 1 out of 10 online leads becomes a potential deal you are batting about average. This percentage can be positively effected or negatively effected by the individual real estate pro.
Quick suggestion: Never email someone whose phone number you have. Call them first and you can always follow up with an email and then another call, but make the call first!