Online Lead Generation and Listings are two sides of the same coin. Your listings can help you develop a stronger online lead generation program and having a strong online lead generation program can help you get more listings.
How? It starts with your listings.
According to Google, your listings are what online consumers search for when they go on the Internet searching for real estate. The most common real estate related search terms on the Internet are "Homes for Sale" and the location or "Real Estate for Sale" and the location. In both cases people are searching for LISTINGS!!! Your listings!!
This means that listings are the number one online marketing asset that you have as a Realtor or Broker. And they are also the most cost effective online marketing asset you have.
Most real estate related websites are popular in part because they centralize a lot of listings from all over the country. These websites benefit by getting as many listings as they possibly can on their websites to drive traffic from people searching real estate online. But these websites do not benefit by just showing people your listings, they benefit by providing online consumers links to other tools and information that they (the online consumers) are looking for like mortgage information, relocation information, community information, etc.
By consolidating as many listings as possible from Realtors and Brokers throughout the country and then providing these value added tools and information, real estate related websites make money by directing online consumers to OTHER agents, brokers and service providers that pay to be featured or otherwise highlighted and linked to. What does this mean to the Realtor and Broker whose listings are attracting the online consumers to these websites in the first place? It means they are losing a large percentage of the traffic and leads that they could be getting if they were the one providing the other information that they want.
Of all the websites on the Internet, only Craigslist allows you to post your listing (what the online consumers are searching for) along with a links to the tools and information online consumers also want at YOUR website vs. sending them somewhere else and to someone else!
By providing links to the tools and information that online consumers want around your listing that the online consumer is searching for, you create a funnel that will bring the online consumer to you vs. sending them to someone else like a sieve. Surround your listing with the tools and information at your website and leverage online consumer interest and generate both website traffic and leads! Create your funnel!
Marketing Funnel Results
What kind of results can you expect with a strong marketing funnel? The results of brokers that have used this approach tell will give you the answer:
A medium sized broker in New Jersey sees the results in the traffic to their website as follows:
- Craigslist (Listings-to-Leads) - 50.4%
- Google - 29.4%
- Yahoo Search - 3.35%
- Trulia - 3.29%
A small broker in South Carolina see the results of their website traffic explode by using the principal of the online marketing funnel too.
- Craigslist (Listings-to-Leads) - 47.7%
- Yahoo! Real Estate - 29.4%
- Trulia - 8.3%
Brokers that utilize an online marketing funnel vs. a sieve can expect similar results!
Marketing Funnels and Sellers
The more online leads that you funnel to you by providing the listing information they are searching for along with the other tools and information they want, means the more people you communicate with and talk to. And the more buyers you talk to, the more buyers you get to talk to about your listings!! If you are not the one talking to the online consumer, then you are obviously not going to be able to talk to them about your listings. This directly impacts the seller and the ability for them to get their property sold!!
First, educate the seller about the fact that it is their property, the listing, that buyers are searching for online. Then show the seller how you are going to surround their listing with links to the tools and information at your website that will not only generate leads to you from people who want more information about real estate in general, but also allow you the ability to talk to more people about the sellers property! So remember it is your listings that people are searching for on the Internet!
Put the tools and information around them that people also want that link back to YOUR website and create an online marketing machine that will help you get more leads and more closings this year! And the more buyers you talk to, the more buyers you get to talk to about your listings!! If you are not the one talking to the online consumer, then you are obviously not going to be able to talk to them about your listings.