In the classic movie Glengarry Glen Ross, a young Alec Baldwin plays a fire-breathing real estate salesman who is brought in to help a group of struggling salesmen. In the middle of a profanity-laced speech that would make your mother blush (unless she happens to be a sailor), he says to the group:
...we're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, c is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. Get the picture? You laughing now? You got leads. Mitch and Murray paid good money, get their names to sell them…
In addition to being one of the great movie lines of all time (along with, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat,”), it highlights one of the biggest challenges for realtors: getting leads.
If you don’t have leads, you can’t sell homes. If you can’t sell homes, you don’t make money. And if you don’t make money, you end up sitting on a street corner, playing a terrible rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin’” on a beat up guitar, and hoping someone gives you some spare change. Okay, that may be a bit overstated, but you get the point.
Bottom line: you gotta get leads.
But it’s not like you can go down to the local gas station and buy a box full of leads, along with a six-pack of beer and sushi that will soon make you wish for the sweet embrace of death.
The solution? Real estate landing pages.
Landing pages are one of the most effective ways to get inbound leads. In other words, the leads come to you rather than you having to hunt for them.
So what are the best practices for creating real estate landing pages?
Here are five.
We realize that, as a realtor, you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about landing pages. Heck, you might not even know what one is, and that’s completely understandable. You spend your days dealing with home inspections and open houses and homeowners who think their house is worth twice what it actually is.
So let’s make sure we’re all on the same page regarding landing pages.
A landing page (sometimes called “squeeze page”) is a single web page that is designed to capture someone’s contact information.
You send web traffic to landing pages from a variety of sources, such as Google search, Facebook, emails, Pinterest, etc.
There are a number of different types of real estate landing pages, including:
When someone intends sell their house, they want to know what it’s worth. A home value landing page has a prospective seller enter various information about their home and then calculates the estimated value. To see the estimate, they need to enter their contact information. And that, ladies and gentleman, is a lead.
Another effective way to generate both buyer and seller leads is to offer free content in exchange for contact information. For example, you could give away a free eBook that helps sellers prepare their home to sell. Or you could offer a series of short videos that provide potential buyers with tips for getting the best price.
It’s important that the free content be truly valuable or people won’t be willing to give you their contact info. An eBook full of pictures of cute cats sitting atop “For Sale” signs probably won’t generate too many leads.
A home search landing page allows prospective buyers to search your site for homes in a specific area. For example, if you’re a realtor in the Queensland area, buyers can type in a specific postal code and see all of your listings in that area. If they want more information on a particular listing, they enter their contact information.
It’s important to note that each of these landing pages sits at a different point in your real estate marketing funnel. Generally speaking, home search landing pages are going to be near the top, directed to people who are just starting to research.
Free content, especially if it’s in-depth, will sit more toward the middle of the funnel, directed to those who are actively exploring their options.
Home value landing pages will probably be even further down the funnel, geared toward those who are actively looking to sell their home and will need a realtor.
While landing pages are excellent tools for collecting leads, it’s not enough to simply slap one together and assume that the masses will come running. Unlike Field of Dreams, in which Kevin Costner is told, “If you build it, they will come,” landing pages need to follow specific guidelines in order to effectively capture leads.
Here are five best practices for creating landing pages that convert visitors to leads.
The most effective landing pages are simple and to the point. If you overload people with information and options, it creates cognitive friction, which often leads to no action at all. Use simple, clear, compelling copy and images.
Simplicity is especially important when it comes to the number of fields required. As Allison Woodbury of the Precision Marketing Group notes:
How many fields are shown on your landing page form? Know that the best practice is between 3-5 fields. Anything beyond that could negatively impact your conversion rate. In fact, extensive research from Formstack shows that reducing the number of form fields to four or less can increase conversions by up to 160 percent. Additionally, conversions can potentially increase 50 percent when you reduce the number of fields from four to three.
If you want more conversions and lead, keep your forms simple.
When it comes to capturing people’s attention, you have an extremely limited window. The human attention span, which has been shrinking at a rapid rate over the last 20 years, is now at around eight seconds. That is literally shorter than the attention span of a goldfish (seriously).
This means that if you want people to read the content of your landing page, you need to have a compelling headline that pulls people in immediately.
Some simple ways to make your headline compelling are:
Your headline is the entry point for the rest of your page. Create one that compels people to read the rest of the form.
When talking about real estate, it’s easy to focus almost exclusively on features, like square footage, the age of the roof, the number of bathrooms, etc. And while these things are certainly important, it’s critical to focus even more on benefits. In other words, you want to help potential leads understand how their life will improve if they opt into your offer.
For example, if your landing page features a home value calculator, talk about how the seller can get more money if they know what their home is worth. If you’re giving away a free eBook about preparing a home for sale, explain how the tips in the book will help them sell their home faster.
Your goal is to help the potential lead envision all the value they’ll receive if they give you their contact info.
Real estate, more than most other industries, is highly visual. The saying that, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is usually false (I challenge you to summarize this article in a picture), but in the case of real estate, it’s true.
Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer or seller. If you came to a landing page with a grainy picture of a house that looked like it might be haunted, would you enter your contact information? To quote the great philosopher Simon Cowell, “It’s a no.”
If you want someone to trust you enough to give you their contact information, use high-quality images. Consider testing two versions of the same page, one with a photo of yourself and one with a photo of one of your properties. Some companies have found that photos with people tend to convert more effectively.
When I say, “Intent specific,” I mean landing pages that are only geared toward one specific audience. If you’re trying to attract renters who might want to buy, create a landing page that speaks specifically to that audience in a language that will resonate with them. If you’re targeting older individuals who want to downsize, speak in ways that address the challenges they face and the potential solutions you offer.
The beauty of intent specific landing pages is how well they pair with online advertising. Platforms like Facebook and Google let you get ultra-specific with who sees your ad. This lets you create both ads and landing pages that will attract your ideal customer.
Forrest Gump put it well when he said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You can’t sell homes if you don’t have any leads.” Actually, that may have been in a deleted scene in the Ultimate Director’s Cut 20th Anniversary Extended Criterion Edition.
The point remains, however, that you need solid leads if you want to sell more homes. Landing pages are a highly effective way to capture leads and begin moving potential buyers through your marketing funnel.
And the good news is that Paperform makes creating a landing page as easily as creating a doc.
So start building those landing pages and collecting leads.