I am serious, real estate websites do not generate leads. Traffic via calls to action(CTA’s) and lead capture tools do. Real estate websites are just containers that represent your branding and hopefully have a good IDX and other CTA’s that convert the traffic into a lead. If you don’t have traffic, you just have a website.
Cinc and Boomtown, both great companies, are PPC driven to get traffic to a website that they provide you, and which converts via CTA’s. On the other hand, Zillow, Realtor.com and others are providing their own branded home search engine sites, wherein the home shoppers find a house and are motivated to reach out to one of their Premier Agents or possibly the listing agent. These companies deliver leads to you. But again, the sites themselves do not generate leads without traffic.
So why am I writing this post? There are real estate website development companies that are marketing their sites as lead generation websites which is simply not true. I am not going to name them, but this is pure misrepresentation. This really pisses me off. As a former business fraud investigator, I get riled up when companies are taking creative liberty within their marketing.
Remember the story by Hans Christian Anderson, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”? The king is swindled into thinking he has this fine new suit and he parades through the village until a child says the king is naked. I am that kid. I call it the way I see it, and real estate website design companies are using deceptive marketing practices on a daily basis.
So how do you get traffic to your website? For the past 5 years organics for real estate agents and brokerages has died off. Most of the top-ten positions are taken by the Zillows of the world and the national brokerages. Unless you have an SEO optimized website with tactical blogging in place, do not expect to rank high. If you want to improve your organics, blog and focus on building longtail micro communities.
You can also pay to send traffic to your site. You can choose Google Adwords, but realize you are not only competing with your peers but with PPC companies as well. Facebook ads have also worked. We have a banner system to generate more traffic which has had great results.
So at the end of the day, TRAFFIC to a site with lead capture tools and CTA’s is what generates leads, and we do that well!