Real estate agents are always taught to offer value to their prospects and clients. When it comes to a real estate website, that value is usually conveyed via MLS search tools, free buyer or seller reports, exclusive market data, compelling offers, etc. Here is the reality – you must show value FIRST. Only then can you ask for a site visitor’s information. That is because the Internet Empowered Consumer (IEC) has to first see the value (in your time saving property organizer, exclusive online content, etc.) before they will give up their personal information. Yet so many real estate agents force the user to provide personal information before the visitor obtains the valuable information or access to special tools. This “cart before the horse” concept simply goes against the grain of a successful website.
Are you holding your site visitor hostage?
Most website visitors operate with this understanding. The World Wide Web is seen as a tremendous free-access information portal offering site visitors many choices where to secure valuable information. The IEC is leery to give away personal information or sign ‘user agreements’ to a salesperson they have never met – And rightly so. After all, they can simply leave the website and find someone else who is willing to offer the information on another website without obligation or fear of harassment. So – are you forcing your visitors to sign-in to access a search tool, holding them hostage in exchange for their contact information?
Â Practical examples:
- MLS Search
At Dakno Marketing, we recommend you show value first by giving the site visitor easy, “no-strings-attached” access to the MLS search. You should clearly communicate how much more they can get out of searching if they signup to save listings, create favorite property searches and receive the latest “feed” of new listings the moment they hit the market via “instant” email updates.
- Calls to action
If it’s a request for a free report, offer the site visitor a “taste” of the information to show them how they will “benefit” by gaining access to the full report. This way they can tell that the information isn’t the same old fluff offered freely everywhere. Allow them to read the first page but then request the full report.
- Form pages
Always clearly explain on your form page what the user is going to receive and what the “BENEFIT” is going to be by gaining access to the tool or resource.
Do you set proper expectations?
Much like we must educate our clients to the benefits of a specific marketing strategy like “Search Engine Optimization“, you must educate the internet consumer to the value and subsequent benefits to a specific tool or resource. Some site visitors may first need to be educated as to “WHY” they need the valuable information. Plus, site visitors should be given the “WHEN” they can expect to receive the information or have access to the offer. It boils down to setting proper expectations for your site visitors.
Be a Giver!
So do you want less email from “Mickey Mouse” (quantity) and more “quality” leads to your real estate website? Why not be have your website be viewed as the “giver” of desirable information. By providing great information first, you’ll gain the respect of your site visitors. Plus you will be viewed as the non-threatening provider of desirable tools and valuable information. You win by gaining instant creditability and your site visitors are highly educated and know exactly what they want.