Can real estate websites generate leads?

Yes they can - IF they are designed to attract visitors and capture leads. 
That's a big "IF".

The "experts" will tell you that your real estate web site must be full of content in order to attract visitors. You've seen the sites with report after report, local school and community information, and links to various community sites, such as the chamber of commerce, the visitors' bureau, local hotels and restaurants, financial information and mortgage calculators. The idea is that potential home buyers and sellers will keep coming back to your website to browse through and read all the information, reports, and use the links.

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Typical real estate websites are loaded with content.

These content loaded websites typically have a capture rate of less than 1%! Capture rate is the number of unique visitors to your site that actually fill in a form with their contact information and become a valid lead. Of all the different types of commercial websites, real estate websites have the worst capture rate.

It's been shown that websites with a more simple and straightforward design that have exactly what web surfers are looking for, have a much better capture rate.

So, ask yourself, "What are they looking for?"

These content loaded websites typically have a capture rate of less than 1%!

We've found that home buyers are looking for a quick and easy way to search for homes. They may also like to have property information sent to them via email to keep up with new listings on the market. Home sellers are interested in their home's market value. They want a quick CMA.

So, a real estate web site with these three things: MLS search, Email Listings, CMA, is really all that is needed. Well, you would also have your contact information there.

Sites that follow this simple approach have a capture rate of up to 30%!

Home buyers are looking for a quick and easy way to search for homes.

 

Sites that follow this simple approach have a capture rate of up to 30%!

A well designed website that answers the basic needs of your target audience coupled with a few traffic generating techniques will have a capture rate well above the standard business to customer (B2C) sites.

Traffic generating techniques include search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click advertising.

SEO involves designing your website to be search-engine friendly, coupled with several technical tricks such as link farms, multiple mirrored pages, keyword spamming, and more. There are SEO companies that charge corporate websites thousands of dollars a month to keep up with the changes in the search engine methods that rank a web page's relevance to the search.

We certainly make our websites search-engine friendly. They are easy to find, easy to search, and easy to index.

We have had the best success at generating traffic using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Google is one of the best sources for this. By setting up keywords and search strings, Google will display your website at the top of the page or in the right-hand column of paid results. This display costs nothing. You only get charged when someone clicks on the link and goes to your website. And, once they're there, if your website is simple and easy to use and has exactly what they are looking for, they will fill in the form and you have a new lead!

A well designed website that answers the basic needs of your target audience coupled with a few traffic generating techniques will have a capture rate well above the standard business to customer (B2C) sites.

 

Michael Allen

Michael Allen

Broker Associate
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