Converting Leads a Top Priority for All Realtors
It may be true that real estate sales is a game of numbers, however that doesn’t really account for a vital component of successful real estate sales – improving conversion rates. And today, with competition from FSBO and discount brokers drying up a small portion of sales, market demographics being so fragmented, and top agents/brokers grabbing up a bigger portion of sales, any agent wanting to move up the income ladder needs to convert at a higher rate.
A few agents believe that all you need to do to raise conversions is appear to be friendly, helpful, provide good service, and appeal to the buyer’s emotional side. There is a belief that conversion is an art rather than a science. Why don’t agents break selling down into a science? The world’s top sales gurus do. They get analytical because they have to.
It’s amazing that the searches on Google for real estate lead conversion are relatively low, so you’d surmise that all agents are doing very well and convert their leads exceedingly well. Apparently they’ve got all the sales they want and don’t need to improve!
I know that in working with agents and brokers that all need to improve lead conversion. However, they are uneasy about what’s needed to improve conversions and increase sales. It’s a game of increasing the quantity and quality of leads that’s for sure, but lead conversion inevitably relates to effective strategies – beginning with being customer oriented. Break down your target audience into identifiable groups and build your strategy to serve them well.
From high search engine rankings, to adwords campaigns, great web design, valuable content, powerful brand image, to a top notch lead conversion funnel, it’s an endless stream of expense to increase lead conversion.
Do the general principles of lead conversion apply to real estate or this is industry too different? Is there a simple solution to converting your website visitors and increasing closed transactions? If you believe in mathematics, there is a simple equation for everything. Realistically though, the number of variables is vast which is why we can’t command any kind of lead conversion equation. And can we realistically foresee or control any variable such as the visitor’s gender, income, time of day, prospect distractions, geolocation, nationality, budget, mortgage financing, competition, previous experience and prejudices, expectations, or economic conditions? We’re lucky to get any web visits let alone the exact type of buyer/seller we want (Actually SEO can help a little). Each of the thousands of visitors we see at our website every month is unique so how can serve them all?
Buyer and Seller Segmentation
Using segmentation is one way to improve lead conversion. You need to understand, identify and target these niche segments. It’s wise to segment or divide up your potential visitors into categories or niches. By segmenting effectively, you’re giving key groups of prospects what they’re interested in.You’ve probably already segmented via your navigation links: homes for sale, condos for sale, foreclosures, neighbourhoods, etc. as you can see in the typical real estate picture above.
That’s a good general approach but today with consumers seeing so much generality on the web, they don’t want to waste their time. They want to know that your site and you as an agent aren’t a waste of time. They want to know that you are relevant to them.On your website, you demonstrate that relevance by delivering the focus, style, language and content they want.
People want action. So think about what action they want to take and build your content to fulfill it. Easier said than done.The action they want is a quick view of a home they’re interested in, with details, followed by contacting a helpful agent about seeing that home. So that’s your strategy.Now you have to figure out how to get each type of prospect into their own conversion funnel.
It requires a lot of thought, unique content for them, and the right calls to action. If you fail at any point in the lead funnel, you fail. They could abandon their shopping cart at any time for any reason which you won’t know. Maybe their kid just threw up on the carpet, and they’ll have to start their Google search all over again tomorrow.
What are the Major Real Estate Prospect Segments?
The hard part is that segments overlap, so work on your major basic segments first:
Nationality (Mexican, Indian, Chinese, American)
Language (Spanish, English, Chinese, Hindu)
Home Searcher – Window Shopper
Low End Market
Mid Market Buyer
High End Market Buyer
Family Home Buyer
Maximum Price Seller
Low Commission Seller
If you have other segments or niches you’ve learned from your own experience and sales training, please let me know. The basics are easy. In practical application you see that every buyer/seller is in several categories. You have to make up your mind what your own designer segments will be. Is it a babyboomer retiree looking for a new condo or investment property? Is it a Chinese investor looking for condos in the city? How about a male with a family of 3 kids looking to upgrade?
If these are your real segments, you have to begin to redesign your web site content and lead funnel to serve them. I don’t think there’s any reason why you can’t serve ten, twenty or thirty unique types of buyers and sellers. However, it might be wise to have several websites to cover the ground, if you can afford it. On your site, you might want to narrow it down to 5 or 6 major types of buyers. When you try to hard to serve too many, you come out looking unfocused and a lot of these segments are incompatible such as divorce sellers and family buyers, luxury homes and mortgage financing, or too many different nationalities.
Lead conversion is affected by selection and focus, and understanding what each group wants to see and doesn’t want to see. You might as well give up on standard website templates and platforms as the ultimate solution because as you now know, people want to know you’re focused on them. You show your focus and compatibility by delivering the style and content they expect.
Read up on a Keller Williams sponsored research paper with a very different look on realtor sales strategy.
A wordpress idx plugin is an exciting new product that you should be aware of.
WordPress sites are well respected by Google and they offer excellent content management for the do-it-yourself agent who is able to generate fresh content on a frequent basis. Canadian agents and home sellers should read up on realtor.ca and download the realtor.ca app. US home searchers, download the realtor.com app. Find out more about the Seattle MLS, San Diego MLS, Los Angeles MLS, Houston MLS, Vancouver MLS, Edmonton MLS, and San Jose MLS associations. See homes for sale on the MLS Mississauga system.