How to Generate More Real Estate Leads With a Blog
A lot of real estate agents have taken up blogging as an online marketing strategy. The primary benefit of using a blog is that it simplifies the publishing process. Even a complete novice can learn how to blog in less than a day's time.
Blogging is also a good way to generate more real estate leads online. And that's what we will focus on in this lesson. Specifically, I'll explain how to improve your lead-generation program by making small changes to your blog.
Note: This article assumes that you already have a blog with a decent amount of traffic. If you're new to the idea of blogging and haven't yet begun, you might want to see our services page. We can help you get started.
How to Generate More Leads Through Your Blog
Sometimes, a series of minor adjustments can make a big difference. This is true for real estate lead generation as well. By making some minor adjustments to your existing blog, you could easily double the number of leads you receive through the site. I know this for a fact, because I've seen it happen on a client's blog. And I'm going to tell you exactly what we did to make it happen...
Case Study: A Real Estate Blog "Makeover"
I once worked with a client who was an agent in the Raleigh area. She initially contacted me about my real estate SEO services. But after a brief conversation, we realized that what she really needed was a way to produce more leads through her website.
She was averaging more than 1,000 visitors per week, mostly through the blog that was attached to her site. This is more than enough traffic for an agent's website. The problem was she wasn't converting many of these visitors into real estate leads.
So here's what we did to correct the deficiency:
First, I reviewed her blog for usability issues. These are problems that prevent people from using a website -- broken links, navigation problems, etc. Everything was in working order. The blog was clean and easy to read. Everything worked properly.
Next, I tried to figure out how she was currently generating real estate leads through the blog. This was the "aha" moment. I could not find any lead-generation strategies employed on the site. Sure, you could hunt for the agent's contact information, if you were so inclined. But this is a passive approach to generating real estate leads. If you want to get more people to contact you through your site, you have to be more proactive about it.
The Before Photo - Without Lead Generators
This is what her blog looked like before we made any adjustments. I've changed the logo and name of the site, because my former client did not want to be personally named in the article. Aside from the generic name I've created, this is exactly what the blog looked like. It's nice and neat, but it doesn't do much to produce real estate leads.
I recommended three specific strategies to my client. She was willing to try anything. So I helped her implement these changes on her blog. Here's what we did to beef up the lead-generation potential:
- We made the agent's phone number more visible by putting it in the header of the blog (opposite from the logo). She actually had a toll-free number, which is great for encouraging calls from out-of-towners who are moving to the area.
- We added a box at the top of each page that allows readers to ask questions. The blogging program made this easy. We just created the coding for the Q&A box and then placed it within the template so it would appear at the top of every blog post.
- We added a chat button to the sidebar on the right side of the blog.
All of these strategies were used to achieve a common goal -- to produce more real estate leads through the site!
The After Photo - With Lead Generators
This is how it looked after we made the changes listed above. The overall design looks the same. But there are three new strategies in place for lead generation:
Sound complicated? It wasn't. We made these changes in less than two days. The first two items were easy. We modified the header area to include her phone number, and we added a simple HTML form to encourage readers to ask questions. We had to look at a couple of different chat tools to find one that would work. Once we selected a tool, it only took about an hour to put it on the blog.
The Reader Q&A Box
Making the phone number more prominent is self-explanatory. It doesn't require much discussion. If your contact information is easier to spot, people will be more inclined to use it. Enough said.
The reader Q&A tool does require some discussion. This technique generates real estate leads through the blog by encouraging readers to ask questions about something they are reading at the moment. Again, they could hunt for your contact information if they wanted to ask you a question. But by putting the Q&A box right there in the article, you are engaging the spontaneous nature of your visitors.
Many people will read your articles and then leave your site. Later, they might tell a friend about something they read online, "on some real estate agent's website." But which agent? They've probably already forgotten. They call it web surfing for a reason.
The Q&A strategy is meant to evoke the all-important first contact from a visitor who might not have contacted you otherwise. It's a simple prompt: "Do you have a question about this article?" But you'll be surprised how it can help you generate more real estate leads through your blog or website.
The Chat Tool
You've probably visited a website in the past that had a button encouraging you to "Get live help" or "Click to chat." These tools are a great way to get a spur-of-the-moment response from your website visitors, the kind of response that could eventually turn into a business relationship. It's an effective way to get more real estate leads online.
The key here, of course, is to have somebody on the other end of the chat during business hours. Most of the chat programs I've seen will also let you create a default welcome message, which you can use to show your business hours and chat availability.
When used properly, this technique can help you breathe life into your website. Instead of sending an email and waiting for a response, people can click the chat button and have a dialogue with a live person. But this technique is not for everyone. As I said, you'll need somebody near a computer during regular business hours, like a full-time customer service person or an office manager. If you don't have such a person, it's best to file this one away for future reference.
Results: Twice as Many Real Estate Leads
These simple changes more than doubled the number of real estate leads my client got through her website. I'm not saying you'll have the exact same results. It might not work as well for you -- or it might work even better. The point is that you have to be willing to experiment. If your website has a steady stream of traffic, but you don't get very many leads, something is wrong. This is a disconnect that must be addressed.
Another common problem is when a real estate website lacks quality content. This can hurt you in several ways, actually. It can hamper your lead-generation efforts as well as your search engine rankings. And it's the subject of my next tutorial...
Real Estate SEO in the Post-Panda World
Do you have questions about any of the topics discussed in this article? If so, you might want to schedule a consultation call. I would be happy to help you implement these strategies on your own real estate blog.