If your optimized website and social media presence are not generating any leads, you are not alone. Numerous real estate businesses fail to generate leads because they buy into some common myths. It’s also essential to note that lead generation and lead management are two completely different beasts. Potential clients may be coming out of the woodwork (Internet), but if your lead management tactics were flawed from the beginning, you’ll have a difficult time keeping them interested in your real estate business. Understanding some of these myths will put you on the right course for successful lead management.
1. Organic Traffic Converts Better Than Paid Traffic
Organic traffic is generated by people finding your website from a search engine such as Google. Basically, a search engine gathers information about your website and determines what it’s about, so people searching for keywords can find the most relevant website. In a nutshell, most people who find websites by searching keywords are window-shopping. The keywords you used on your website matched whatever they were looking for online.
Paid traffic comes from someone seeing your ad and coming to your website for a particular product or service from your real estate business.
“In my experience paid search traffic converts at twice the rate of organic traffic. People who click on the Google Ads are in more of a transactional mode. They are ‘shoppers.’ People who click on organic search results are usually in more of a research mode. They are more like ‘browsers,’” says Jun Choo, general manager of advertising for Market Leader.
“Browsers” are more likely to peruse your website, sign up for a newsletter and read your blog than they are to purchase a home. That doesn’t mean you should abandon organic traffic – it is also essential to attract people in their initial stages of buying a home.
2. Focus On People Who Want to Buy Now
Developing a marketing campaign around people who want to buy a property now will not produce enough leads to keep you afloat. Consumers who know they are ready to buy are usually already working with an agent, according to Choo. Because people don’t buy homes every day or every year, it is important to catch (market to) people in the early stages of buying a home. The typical homebuyer starts looking for homes nine months before they actually make a purchase.
Using a lead management system will help you keep in touch with customers until they are ready. A lead management system allows you to manage your automated emails, contacts and properties in one system. By staying in the forefront of customers’ minds, you are more likely to be the agent they choose when they finally decide to buy or sell a home.
3. SEO is Free
While you don’t need to pay Google to show up in their rankings, it doesn’t mean SEO is free. It especially doesn’t mean that it will generate free leads. SEO strategies cost money.
“In order for SEO to work for you, you need to create unique content, optimize your on-page SEO factors, build backlinks to your site, build a social media presence and optimize your website for keywords,” says Choo. Unless you are an SEO expert, web developer and social media specialist, you will not slide by without paying someone to help you with your SEO.
4. People Care Who You Are
Customers want exactly what they are looking for online – it’s not you.
“If customers found your website on the Internet, they did not find it by doing a search for real estate agents, they did it by doing a search for home listings or home values or something similar,” says Choo.
Spending too much time showcasing who you are (your hobbies, interests in food, who you’re going to root for in the next Super Bowl) on your website will not benefit you. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create a bio page. Your bio page should be about appealing to your target market. If you are targeting people buying luxury lofts, express how you are an expert in that market.
5. Lead Generation is Simple
Everyone would be making ungodly amounts of money if lead generation was easy. Lead generation costs your real estate business time and money. Even if you try to cut corners by doing some of the grunt work (blog writing, SEO, PPC management, social media strategies, etc.), your efforts may not generate leads and there’s no guarantee that you can retain leads. Retaining leads alone is a full-time job, so it’s important to be strategic with your time.
Hiring someone, breaking down all of the steps to generate leads, or using lead management systems can help carry the lead generation load. But one of the most important steps that you can do is to understand the myths associated with lead generation and strategize your marketing campaign.