I often hear from agents, "I have a brokerage website, why would I want to create my own?" This is a great question. Think of your brokerage website as a business card...what your website should be is a one-stop-shop for leads.
On August 8th, I'll be hosting a webinar that will teach you:
- To understand the online habits of today's buyers and seller
- What your website must have to generate more leads each month
- How to keep leads coming back to your website daily
- How to brand yourself as the local expert
Until then, here's a sneak peek and 3 reasons why your real estate website is the most important tool you have.
1. Fish Where the Fish are Biting
For any small business, your earnings are directly influenced by the traffic your business is receiving. This holds true whether you are running a coffee shop, a deli or dry-cleaning business. Obviously, the more people who walk past your business, the more likely you are to get new customers. If you are in a low-traffic section of your town, your business is going to suffer.
The same rings true for you real estate website, but instead of consumers walking by a physical building, you rely on virtual traffic. What remains the same however, is that you should consider your website to be store. An online one-stop-shop of sorts.
Today, more than 90% of consumers are actively online which means having a strong website presence is more important than ever. The difference between successful websites and those that see few leads is that they create a diverse path for being found online. I believe that agents should use 3 to 4 sources to drive traffic. It helps you cast a wider net. In order to shine, you will need to put in energy, money and time but how much of these you invest is totally up to you!
2. Stop Letting Your Leads Meet Other Agents
I see this mistake happen over and over again. Agents spend time or money (or both) to capture new leads but they inadvertently allow them to go and meet other agents. How? By stopping the consumer's search. Consider this: the average consumer today visits between 8 and 10 websites before actually speaking with an agent. Consumers have no reason to be loyal at this phase of their search. So how do you stop them? Eliminate the need for search engines, offer everything the consumer needs on your website.
I could go online today and gather as much content as I want on any product or service. I have no obligation to speak to someone until I decide I am totally ready. If I'm a consumer looking to buy a home, I'm searching for pictures of available homes, listing details, school date and neighborhood ratings, neighborhood highlights and home values. For these type of topics, Google searches have increased more than 200%!
What are real estate consumers NOT searching for? Agents! If you are marketing yourself entirely on your capabilities as an agent, your traffic and lead generation is going to suffer. What you need to do is create a library of resources, allowing yourself to be an "online store," that will supply useful information for each phase of the consumer process. Make the resources on your website so useful that the consumer has no reason to search elsewhere for the information they need.
Think about it this way, let's say you get a lead by using a third-party website. Would you really want that lead to keep returning to that site each day? No, of course not. You would rather have them looking for new listings on your own website. Once you provide everything your consumer needs on your own website, you are going to see engagement increase.
Believe it or not, the average industry lead response time is more than 4 hours. Your website must have a way to instantly notify you as new leads come in. This gives you the ability to beat that industry average and be the first of perhaps many agents to respond.
3. Influence the Traditional Consumer Timeline (Nurture, Don't Accelerate it)
The timeline for consumers in the industry is broken into three distinct phases.
Phase 1: Pre-purchase
Phase 2: Active research
Phase 3: Buying or selling process
More than 60% of leads generated take place in phase 1. Two-thirds of these leads don't list a phone number but this doesn't make the leads "bad." These leads are only bad if the agent doesn't take the time to recognize and understand that these consumers are in the very first phase.
Agents naturally qualify leads to better evaluate how their time should be allocated - that's natural. Keep this in mind - when you disqualify a lead they disqualify you as their agent.
A staggering 70% of consumers use the first agent that provided them the content they were searching for and 60% of these people do this in just one day.
So what does this mean for you? Take these leads for where they are in the process. Don't try to push them instantly from phase 1 to phase 3. Nurture the phase they are in and provide them with all the content they need to research as part of their pre-purchase process. The more relevant content you provide, you will naturally be paving the way for them to go from phase 1 to phase 3, it's just not going to happen overnight.
How many times have you been browsing at a mall or your favorite store and ended up walking out empty handed. This doesn't mean you aren't going to go back later and buy! What if the sales person continued to pressure you to buy even though you were simply exploring your options and weren't ready to commit or you returned and they ignored you. Instant turnoff. Keep this in mind when you are nurturing you own leads.
Do you know the difference between relevant content and value proposition? Consider your typical response when a lead first reaches out to you. Are you giving them relevant content to help nurture them in phase 1 or are you telling them why they should be picking us as their agent?
The average consumer's needs are simple in real estate. They need two things from their agents:
1. The keys to view homes they are interested in
2. Someone to represent them when they find their ideal house
That's pretty simple. Until they are ready to do these things, they don't really need you as an agent, the need you as a resource to gather information, narrow their online home search and help them progress through the home buying/selling phases.
Want to learn about the 5 elements that make a real estate website successful?
Join me on August 8th at 10 AM PST as I share these insider tips. Make sure you register quickly, there are limited seats available!