By Amy Chorew
The Internet has transformed the way real estate professionals conduct business. It is now possible to use your website as a powerful lead generation system that can produce highly targeted prospects if worked correctly.
According to a recent survey by the National Association of REALTORS®, the typical homebuyer spends 12 weeks researching homes with 63 percent of that time spent online. The question is then, how can your website employ relevant content, tools and features that address the most pressing needs of consumers?
How to Turn Online Visitors into Homebuyers
In order to gain the attention of today’s savvy online consumer, it is essential that you produce a well-designed and maintained site. Basic features should allow a consumer to:
• Search for all local marketplace inventory
• View multiple photos and videos for listings
• Contact an agent, broker or mortgage professional
• Learn “basic” information about the real estate process
Beyond the aesthetic features of your website, there are many additional elements that should be incorporated into your overall online strategy.
1. SEO: Let Consumers Find You
Reliable search engine optimization is critical to the visibility of your website. In order to drive leads to your website, you must understand what keywords buyers and sellers will be researching as they look for property online.
The keywords that they type in to popular search engines like Google are related to what they are seeking. For example, they might type “Buy a home in Parsippany, NJ” or “Top real estate professionals in Parsippany, N.J.” It’s important that you identify what these keywords are and ensure that your website pops up on the first page of those results.
A few items that should be done to your website now:
• Install Google Analytics on your website to establish baseline data on traffic
• Create a keyword list based on relevance
• Adjust your page title to include important keywords
• Infuse keywords strategically on site
• Build links via directories and industry organizations
2. Provide Valuable Content
Another important aspect of lead generation is to provide valuable content that addresses some of the most frequently asked buyer and seller questions. This is an effective technique that can build the credibility of your website while turning those prospects into leads.
The magic behind quality content is its ability to shine a spotlight on your knowledge and expertise as well as enable you to earn the trust of potential clients. Once your content is created, you can then distribute that article to popular, high traffic bookmarking websites that allow you to cast an even larger marketing net. This is an important step in the content creation process and very effective in generating qualified leads.
3. Stay in Touch
Design a “keep-in-touch” strategy and regularly send out tips and resources to prospects and clients. This should include those subscribers that have opted in to your website list. Your emails can contain links back to recent blog articles, videos, tutorials or even your current newsletter.
Offering consistent information through a drip email campaign will keep your business top of mind; a vital piece of the lead generation process.
4. Consistent Strategy
While there is a science to successful lead generation, there is also an art to it. The art is in your ability to blend online and offline marketing together in to one seamless and coherent strategy that captures and engages potential clients. It is also in your ability to create a consistent and systematic approach to follow up.
Whether it is your sales, customer service or lead generation strategy, building your business on a firm foundation will give you the freedom and direction to grow.
Amy Chorew is the Vice President of Platform Development at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate.
Click here to view this article on the Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate blog.
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