At first it might seem like two websites is overkill. Why would we ever do that? The answers are in this paragraphs below. In short, one is public and the other is private. Your new private website replaces the marketing brochure you turned into a PDF for emailing. That PDF strategy is old, not useful and a waste of money for many reasons, let’s dive in.
There is information about your real estate offering that prospective buyers should receive for free, but there should also be info that they must pay for. The form of payment is their name, email, phone number and acknowledgement that, more than likely, “someone is going to call me and try to sell me something.”
People on your website who succumb to the fear of a stranger calling them to try and sell them something are what we call leads or prospects. If they request information it’s the same thing as waving their arms and shouting, “I have an advanced level of interest and I’m willing to talk to a salesperson, something I’m quite uncomfortable with. So please call me!”
So what do we do after someone waives their arms and requests additional information?
How you deliver additional information is more critical
When a lead submits a contact form on your site they expect to receive engaging information they have not yet seen and they want it fast. We are talking about a potential real estate purchase here, something very exciting to the buyer. This is relatable to buying a new car, very exciting and a big deal because it’s expensive. Imagine if a salesman approached you on the car lot and said, “Hello, my name is Daryl, gimme a couple days and we’ll take it for a spin.” When you go to a car lot you expect to test drive something now, not in a few hours, days or weeks.
However, too often we see automated email messages with the promise to “be in touch soon.” Then, prospects are contacted a few days later with another boring email with a PDF brochure attached that contains the same exact information – pictures and all – that was already presented on the pubic site! The same information that the new lead saw right before waving their hands! So here we go…
Six reasons your real estate development needs a second website
Turn your PDF brochure into a web based real estate presentation with additional “next level” information. This is no longer difficult or expensive and has six distinct advantages:
1. You can know who’s viewing your presentation, when, how often and what information they look at most. Why this is important.
2. The presentation can be easily updated if there’s an inventory or price change and everyone who’s ever received it will automatically see the updated information.
3. Visually, the web based real estate presentation is immensely better. Even the simplest of website templates look impressive, clean, professional and, most importantly, far better than your competitors.
4. PDFs are not responsive. This is a fancy word for “looks good on mobile screens”. I don’t need to go into how fast mobile use in real estate is exploding, there are a million others that can do this for me. Simply stated: ever try reading a PDF on your iPhone? Good luck.
5. Web presentations can be made private. Simply put the URL anywhere. Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn? A new lead generation avenue.
6. Your web based real estate presentation can contain items that PDFs cannot. Items that buyers are looking for like these:
Courtesy of Properties Online Inc. 2014
The table above represents what real estate buyers say they are most interested in. How can you deliver virtual tours, interactive maps and videos in a PDF? You can’t!
Virtual Tours today are growing up. There’s a company called Matterport that does some really impressive stuff. Consumers can now literally walk through a home. Interactive Maps have come a long way as well and they’re easy with Google.
Now that we’ve covered a few key reasons to implement a public and private website, let’s talk about how to use them.
The problem – lead conversion
The majority of real estate developments either present very little information on the public website or an abundance of it. Too little information means those who view it are not able to build an appetite for what you’re selling – they drop out quickly. Too much information and there’s nothing left to entice people to wave their arms and ask for more information.
Today we can’t expect everyone to just pick up the phone. Sure, some will, and those leads sit near the top of your Priority Plan. But most leads are just not comfortable calling a stranger to talk about real estate. They will submit their contact info however, if it means quickly receiving more information that they can review on their own. Insidesales.com and Marketo did a nice study on this.
Conversion Carrots are those items that you leave off the public website. Publicly give people a taste of something great like a 3D Tour, but save more of them for the second, “next level”, website that requires submission of contact information to read.
The balance of what information to include on your public website and what to hold back is delicate. Here’s the golden rule: earmark two or three specific items that consumers will want to see if they are truly interested in your real estate development. Approximate annual HOA fees? Taxes? More 3D Tours? 20 more hi-res photos?
Once you have them, make sure to mention them throughout your public site and accompany them with a quick and easy form. You can keep it very simple, just three fields: Name, Email, Phone. Make those three fields mandatory. Yes, once in a while you’ll get a fake phone number but you’d be surprised how rarely this actually happens overall.
The name of the game is converting web traffic from “merely interested” to “truly engaged.” This is best accomplished with an impressive, professional, responsive and private, “next level” website that sets your real estate development apart from the rest.
This is professional lead response management and will greatly improve your marketing ROI and install a strong competitive advantage in your market.
Clearview Elite creates custom, web-based presentations for real estate sales teams and sends notifications as to which prospects are reading them, when and how often. Watch our video!
About Eric: Real Estate Sales & Marketing veteran. Driven to make life easier for real estate salespeople. Senior Vice President at Peter Kempf International Real Estate and Creator of Clearview Elite. Very lucky husband and Dad, slightly above average golfer, food and wine fan (as long as it’s good). Live in Boise, Idaho with wife Julie and kids Nicholas and Grace.
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