For some real estate businesses and individual agents, their website is a lead generating machine. For others, their website is more like a static online brochure that yields little to no results.
Some treat their website as the most important digital platform for their business, while others have a website because they were told they needed one and they treat it much like a business card, logo or letterhead.
New business opportunities that are generated via your own website is often the cheapest form of lead generation – especially if it has resulted from a Google search. Generating leads from social media, online display advertising or the major portals almost always comes at a much higher cost.
In our consulting work recently, we’ve found three types of real estate businesses:
- Those who generate a tonne of vendor and buyer leads from their website
- Those who don’t, and…
- Those who generate a tonne of vendor and buyer leads from their website BUT didn’t know
One business we met with recently had received 40 new listing opportunities since launching a new website a few months ago – 40 people went to their website and filled in a form to say “I’m thinking of selling, please call me!”.
For a relatively small business, this is an outstanding result. Especially considering these leads had resulted purely from organic traffic and their email marketing – no paid ads.
The problem, however, is that the leads were being directed to an email inbox that no-one monitored.
Upon checking the addresses that were entered by the prospective vendors, we could find 15 properties that were listed with other agents. With an average GCI of $16,000, this equates to $240,000 in lost commission.
Imagine that… your website is generating tonnes of listing opportunities for your business but you had no idea.
I could try and describe the look on the face of the business owner when we discovered their website was leaking opportunities, but I wouldn’t do it justice. It was a truly sobering experience.
Quite frankly, it’s not their fault. Their web developer had failed to ask one of the most important questions when launching a website – “who in your business would you like to receive alerts of new leads that are received?”.
In this case, we were able to redirect all of the forms on their website to the best person in the office to act on new business quickly.
If you are serious about generating more revenue, reducing your advertising costs, and you want to rely less on third-party websites and “lead generators”, then it’s time to get serious about plugging the holes and wastage in your business. On the digital side, it starts with your website.
There is a growing chorus of agents lately who are concerned with the tactics of the major portals and their efforts to sell leads to them. But what we’ve failed to realise as an industry is that we probably had these leads in our CRM or website forms before the portals tried selling them back to us. We just chose not to do anything with it, or worse, we didn’t know what data we had in the first place.