by Scott Davis | 0 comments | Posted Thu, 2012-03-22 15:35
Throughout my career, I’ve seen the same mistake over and over again regarding real estate leads. People become merchandise. Real world, warm-blooded folks - with all the furrowed brows, foibles and ulcers as us - visit internet real estate sites to embark on a search to find a home for their families. Too often, in our hyper efficiency to capture their essential data and sell them (multiple times) to highest bidders – we reduce these people to numbers and commodities.
Successful, real world lead generation goes beyond the initial hook. It’s not dependent on a momentary smash-and-grab approach of hoping someone clicks our widget, banner, or other ephemeral marketing front-end. It’s about value. And nurture. It’s about customizing an offer to that person that they find valuable today. And tomorrow. It’s about giving them something they really value – and inviting them to come back for more. And when they do – they learn to trust. In their eyes, you move from “faceless drone” to a friend. Friends ask something of you after they give something to you. Exploiters ask for something from you immediately and (maybe) return the favor.
In this age of the commercial internet acting proxy for human social interaction – it’s vital to think about lead gathering in terms of a nursery. Invite “friends” (not prospects) into your site to consume something they value. And, one day (maybe even the first day), they reward you with their information and a raised hand to serve them further.
Sure, your website has been engineered to be a sticky place. There are useful tools that make home search easier. People may register to receive an email when a new listing matches their search criteria. They may register to save their property search, or tag a favorite listing to look at later. For sure, they did not register to your site to hear your sales pitch, or your listing presentation.
Nurture the new relationship when someone registers to your site. Avoid any type of sales qualification. Offering to keep an eye out for a specific home type, or offering to help them refine their search are nice things to do. Tell them that you are more than willing to preview homes or take some additional photos for them before they start driving all over town. Be gentle, and be helpful.
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