All too often we see real estate agents approach their real estate website with a “have website, get leads” mentality. They put some money behind ads, get a branded, professional looking site with IDX, and wait for the leads to start pouring in.
One week passes, then two weeks. Their excitement quickly turns to disappointment when they hear nothing but crickets. At this point, the agent is angry at their website developer, and confused that they didn’t get a single new lead, despite having invested a lot of money into their site.
Does this scenario sound all too familiar? You’re not alone! One of the main reasons you have a branded real estate website IS to attract more leads, and yet 68% of real estate agents say their website doesn’t generate any leads for them.
What exactly is a lead generating website?
Lead generation is a marketing term that describes the process of attracting and converting a prospect into someone who’s interested in your services. For a real estate business, that would be someone who’s interested in using your services to buy or sell their home.
Nowadays, many agents have their own website – but not every site has the same purpose! Some provide real estate resources or listing information for people who are already leads, while others act as a lead generation tool.
Your area might be saturated with other agents who are vying for more buyer and seller leads. So you’ll want a lead generating site to set you apart from the competition and maximize the chances of turning that generic web visitor into your lead.
This all might sound straightforward – and to an extent, it is – but lead generation is a multi-step process. To put it simply, the way to get leads with your website is by having all the pieces of the puzzle working together: a website with landing pages that’s built to convert, a well-thought out marketing strategy that attracts high-quality traffic, and valuable content that encourages visitors to get in touch.
Lead generation can take up a lot of your time, so it’s not unusual for agents to outsource the task to a lead generation company. It’s important to remember that not all lead generation companies are the same. Some will simply compile a list of potential leads and leave the nurturing to you, while others will warm them up for you and pass them over when they’re inquiring about your services. When researching lead generation companies, be sure their services align with your own business goals!
Now that you have a better understanding of what a lead-gen website is, let’s take a look at why your website isn’t generating leads.
Your website is missing key elements
Just like with homes, there’s no point in painting the walls if it’s built on quicksand. Your website is the foundation of your marketing efforts and should be built to convert. In other words, you won’t get any leads if visitors exit your site within seconds!
If you want to know why your real estate website isn’t generating leads, the following elements could be missing.
Professional, branded design
If you owned a brick and mortar business, you wouldn’t let a novice paint your storefront. It’s too important—you’d want to make sure it was done right. Well, your website needs a professional coat of paint too! Remember, you won’t get a second chance to create a great first impression!
In saturated markets, you definitely don’t want to risk making an okay first impression. You want your site to effectively communicate who you are so you can establish yourself as the go-to agent. After all, you want potential clients to feel confident working with you!
You can have the most stunning website but if visitors can’t find the information they’re looking for, they’ll leave without a second thought. Imagine going to IKEA without the floor map to tell you where to find things – sounds like a complete nightmare, right?
It’s easy to get caught up in the details of running your business, rather than focusing on where your visitors are coming from and what information they’re looking for. At the end of the day, an effective real estate website is there to give your customer the information they’re looking for. If visitors can’t find your featured listings page, they’ll get frustrated and go find a different site.
A conversion-focused design
People come to your landing page and read the copy. Then what? If you don't give visitors a clear idea of what you want them to do – aka a strong call to action – they won’t stay on your site for very long.
Your website exists to help you attract buyer and seller leads, whether that’s getting them to sign up for your newsletter, leaving their contact information on a specific listing, or filling out a general contact form.
Trying to attract more newsletter subscribers? Tell them to “subscribe now.” Want to help buyers find their next home? Tell them to “arrange a showing” or “request more information.” Be explicit with what you want them to do!
You only have a few seconds to make a strong first impression. For the most part, visitors on your site are trying to get a sense of whether or not they want to work with you. It’s important to build trust with your site visitors, and also give them a sense of what you’re like as a person and an agent.
Too many agents use cookie cutter bios and rely on outdated testimonials. But all that says to a potential new client is: “I’m not really taking this seriously.” Your testimonials should be recent, detailed, and (ideally) glowing. When describing who you are and your services on your About page, talk about it as a solution to the problem prospects are facing. When content resonates with people, they feel more engaged with the business and, as a result, are more likely to want to learn more.
Strong design and site performance
Real estate is all about sales and marketing. If your real estate website looks like it hasn’t been updated in 10 years, that doesn’t speak very highly of your ability to market or sell someone’s home!
Your site also needs to be fast. Users lose interest very quickly if the site they land on doesn't load fast enough. This can lead to a high bounce rate and can explain why you’re not seeing a lot of lead traffic. To increase load speed, avoid bulky video headers and large images. And by that, we don't mean size, we mean file size. Images on your site shouldn't be bigger than around 700kb to ensure a quick page load time.
A website is never truly complete. There’s always an opportunity to experiment and improve with optimizations. However, it’s easy to get sucked into a rabbit hole of making never-ending tweaks that won’t make a major impact on your business goals. Take an objective look at what’s getting in your way of working with clients: is it that your website isn’t attracting enough leads, or is there something missing from your marketing or follow-up strategy?
Next, choose one element to change, and give it time to play out before making another modification. From this list, we recommend making sure your website has a professional, branded design to start!
Before you know it, you’ll have a site that leads to working with more buyers and sellers!
Next up: read our article on why your leads aren’t turning into clients.