Over-Qualifying of Website Visitors Can Cut Your Leads

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27 Nov 2018

There should be little or no argument that the primary purpose of a real estate website is real estate lead generation.  No matter which niche markets you serve or what customer types you prefer, the website must generate real estate leads, or it’s just a billboard to look at on the way past it.

Every visitor to your site for the first time is an unknown suspect.  They could be tire-kickers, the competition, or serious buyers and sellers.  You don’t know, so the logical goal is to qualify them and get the best leads.  Many lead generation call-to-action forms ask the suspects questions that are supposed to help the site owner to qualify them before working with them as a known prospect.

There is no reliable reported data, but most marketers will admit that every question you ask a suspect beyond name and email address cuts the form submission responses.  Even if it’s a conservative 10% of visitors who decide not to submit the form for each question, add up and the result could be cutting responses by half if you’re asking five or more questions.

Use Logic - Not Questions

What questions are sites asking?  The can be anything from “Are you interested in buying or selling,” to “what is your time frame for listing or buying.”  People have been bombarded with spam for so long that they are resistant to giving personal information to someone they do not know.  You need to be more creative so that you can assume a qualifying factor.

Action: Strategically Placed Forms

You may have the same or very similar lead forms all over your site to generate real estate leads.  There isn’t anything wrong with a simple form for more information or special reports that only asks for name and email address.  However, having a way to differentiate your form submissions when they come to you is critical. Examples:

  • Form Title “Buyer Negotiation Tips Report” with a call to action to submit the form for a report of negotiation strategies to get the best deal on a home.
  • Form Title “Home Seller Listing Checklist” with a call to action to get a detailed checklist of what to do to prepare your home for listing before you talk to a Realtor.
  • Form Title “Buyer Report of Previously Sold Homes in xxxxx Area” with a call to action for buyers who want to see recently sold home prices in their neighborhood of interest.

What you’re doing is creating a form and call to action that tells you where their interest lies, and you find out without asking any questions.  You know from the form they submit whether they’re a potential buyer or seller, and if you work the neighborhoods you can even find out their approximate price range, and you haven’t asked them anything.

You also get a hint from these form submissions as to what followup you need to do to work them from prospect to customer.  You can create a short drip email series for each form that is tailored to their interest as you know it based on that form.  All buyer email series should offer linking to an IDX search page, even focused on a neighborhood if you want.  Seller email series can offer a report of homes recently sold to give the seller an idea of sold prices for homes in their area.

Why risk turning off future prospects with questions they’re not ready to answer?  Use your website real estate lead generation tools to funnel them by the type of information they’re seeking.