The primary function of most real estate broker websites is pretty obvious: provide information to and hopefully capture prospective buyers. That’s why the home search function is usually front an center and why IDX is so important. This is certainly true of Help-U-Sell Broker websites with their scrolling ‘Featured Listings’ and nearly dominant search field.
It makes sense too: almost every bit of advertising we do, from For Sale signs with URLs to flyers with QR codes, is intended – at least as a secondary function – to drive buyer traffic to the website where quality information and powerful search tools deliver value that makes buyer lead capture more possible.
But what about Help-U-Sell? Our whole marketing thrust for 36 years has been to target Sellers, take more than our share of listings and let the listings create Buyer Leads. Since the lion’s share of real estate marketing has gone online – and since a major portion of that online presence centers on the office website – isn’t there a disconnect between the heavy Buyer orientation of Help-U-Sell Broker websites and our own ‘Secret Sauce?’ Maybe.
I’m not suggesting that our Broker sites shouldn’t LEAD with tools and tips for Buyers. As I said, almost all of our advertising is designed to drive buyers to the website where a value experience makes them ‘capturable.’ In fact, I want our guys to be pulling Buyer leads OFF Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and a dozen other online sources and offering them a better experience on their own Broker sites with language like:
Have you noticed that a lot of the listings you’re seeing on XXXXX.com are already sold? Have you seen duplicates and inaccuracies? That’s because that’s a National website trying to do a Local job. They receive data from dozens of different sources and sometimes their machines have difficulty telling what is true and most recent. How would you like to get up-t0-date access to the data in our Local MLS? There is no better data anywhere for a home search here in Anytown. You’ll be searching for homes just like I do, with the same information I use; it’s free and easy to use. Great – let me get your email address and I’ll set you up an account.
So, Buyer orientation and tools prominent on the first page: YES!
But, are you also using your website to attract Sellers, to educate them about your program, to do the job so much of our marketing did in years gone by? There are ways to do this you know. Step one is to create a page (or pages) that provides the kind of information that caused Sellers to contact you in the past:
- Sold and Saves
- Easy Way/Smarter Way
- Seller Savings Comparison
- Brief Description of your program
Take out an old paper ETM – the one we delivered in thousands of mailboxes each month. Can you build a page on your website with the same elements, presented in the same powerful way? (By the way, the answer is ‘Yes.’ The tools are there and they are easy to use, especially when you have the Sarasota Tech Team standing by to help every step of the way). The Sellers Savings Comparison has been up and operational for several months, and Robbie just introduced the new Sold And Saved banners (thanks to input from the great Brokers who attended this year’s Success Summit).
Step two is to start driving Seller traffic to this page, just like you drive Buyer traffic to page one of your Website. That means first, buying an easy to remember URL for the new page, something like: www.sell-and-save.com, and pointing it at the Seller page. Then include it in every bit of advertising your do that may be seen by Sellers. It also means taking advantage of new marketing opportunities to drive traffic: QR codes on postcards that tease: Find out how you can sell your home fast and save thousands.
I’m glossing over Step two rather quickly because it’s more about a way of thinking than anything else. Attracting the Seller Inquiry has been so much a part of who we are that it is like breathing. It’s automatic. It’s a lifestyle. But the real estate ditch of the last six years had us scrambling for Buyer Leads and Institutional Sellers, not genuine Seller Leads because they were (alas) non-existent. It’s time to take the new seller tools we have for Broker Websites and become just as obsessed with exploiting them as we once were with our next ETM.
Step three is to build Landing Pages for your targeted call to action advertising. These are simple fill-in web forms for gathering contact information on a potential client after an offer of something of value in return. Here’s an example from the fine folks in Waynesboro, VA, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate: LINK. This one is for a Market Analysis, something of great value to today’s homeowners. You’d drive traffic to this landing page with postcards, flyers and other advertising, teasing: Find out what your home is worth TODAY!
You might build similar landing pages for ‘Find out how you can save thousands when selling your home‘, or ‘Free E-Book: How to Save Thousands When Selling Your Home.’ And so on.
Once again, when Boo probably would have been sufficient, I’ve said Boo-H00-Hoo. Forgive me: I’m on vacation (Ole!). But I hope you will take my enthusiasm for this topic and the new tools available to you to get back to doing what we have always been about: Attracting inquiries from Sellers with our Superior Offer, Converting those Inquiries into Listings most of the time, and Letting the Marketing of those Listings drive a steady stream of Buyer Leads into our offices.