How to Land your Leads Effectively
The most tried and tested method of generating fresh leads for new business is through the creation of a great landing page. However, the concepts that produce an effective landing page are always changing and as estate agents get used to established tactics, new data and approaches are uncovered in the search for the highest conversion rates.
More real estate marketers than ever are creating landing pages, which means yours has to stand out to stand a chance. A whopping 1,100 landing pages are designed every single day using the tools provided by landing page creation service Instapage alone - and this number keeps going up.
Hiten Shah, co-founder of optimisation and analytics firms Crazyegg and Kissmetrics commented in his newsletter SaaS that marketers are now creating landing pages for new feature releases, different product descriptions and to target different audiences.
In other words, marketers are beginning to understand the importance of creating multiple landing pages across a range of properties on offer to extend reach and generate leads from a broader demographic. A single page is insufficient and outdated and optimisation is the only way to stay at the front of the pack when the trends are changing so quickly.
Here are some landing page trends that have emerged in 2015 that maximise your chances of converting prospects to new business, keeping you one step ahead of the competition.
Showcasing Associates Logos
If you have developed associate relationships with financial advisers, mortgage providers or legal services firms, display their logos on your landing page as a simple way to borrow credibility. A visitor on the brink of making a decision about a real estate transaction can be convinced into clicking the call to action (CTA) button after they see you offer the full range of professional and financial services they are going to require.
This is referred to in marketing terms as the 'halo effect'. Visitors are judging your landing page from the moment they arrive and when they see that others in your field have aligned themselves with your estate agency, the halo appears on your landing page and increases conversion rates.
Use Detailed and Relevant Testimonials
Testimonials help implement the principle of social proof on your landing pages. However, not all testimonials are equal and they should be more than a line or two proclaiming how amazing your estate agency is. Testimonials need to tell your prospects how your existing clients were able to solve a particular problem or meet specific criteria through using your services.
In the property market, this is easily achievable because you work in an arena that involves massive lifestyle and financial decisions, where trust and developing solid relationships is crucial to your success as an agent. Provide testimonials from happily settled home buyers that detail the smooth transition into their properties, using your firm as agent, and how their families have been positively impacted by the move.
Testimonials that best-resonate with your landing page audience will be ones that directly address the issues and concerns at the forefront of a prospect's mind when considering a home purchase or sale. By reading about true cases where your agency has facilitated great deals for your existing clients, you are more likely to get a higher conversion rate from your landing page.
Give your Landing Pages Headlines that Answer the Question "I Want…."
Your landing page headline needs to have an immediate impact on your visitors – if it doesn't, they'll just abandon your landing page and move on to something else. The perfect landing page headline shouldn't just proclaim that you are great estate agents; it should tell your visitors what solutions you can offer them.
A visitor clicks on to your page because they want something. They may be searching for their dream home in your area or they may have a property they want to list on the market. Either way, your landing page should logically provide the answer to the service they're looking for.
Imagery that Promotes Quality of Life in your Area
Showcasing your listings with contextual imagery on your landing page increases conversions because it helps the lead visualise what it would be like to live in your community. Don't just concentrate on the properties but extend the vision to the wider area and include images of local schools, leisure and entertainment amenities or any local events that have currently taken place.
Think about including pictures of open house events that illustrate how you effectively generate interest in the properties you list, so that if a visitor to your landing page is considering selling their home, they feel more confident about your ability as an estate agent to get the deal done.
Use a Two-Step Opt-In Process
A two-step opt-in process does as the name suggests and requires the visitor to go through two steps rather than one to sign up. The purpose? To split the process up into bite-size chunks. Visitors are likely to be deterred from signing up if they are presented with a daunting form, asking everything down to their shoe size on the landing page.
But split that opt-in process over two pages and visitors are presented with a shorter, more digestible form on the landing page and are therefore more likely to complete it.
The trick here is to include the most crucial information you need on the first page, along with a sign up button. Then, once they have signed up, on the second page you seek to gain further information that will help you to understand your new lead: the geographical location they are searching in or the property types they are looking for perhaps.
Importantly, as you have split the process in two and your visitor has opted in on the first page, you've still secured your new lead and you've still gained the crucial information you need, even if they drop out and fail to complete your second form on the second page.
Common Mistakes to Avoid with your Landing Pages
The main principle of a landing page should be simplicity. It should quickly and effectively connect with the visitor and provide them with a click-through opportunity that addresses their needs, wants and desires, resulting in them confidently completing the forms and passing you their data for onward conversion.
Try to avoid falling into the following traps:
Ensure that your headline and call to action are singing from the same song sheet. There's nothing worse for a visitor to a landing page to click-through on the promise of one thing, only to find out the deal consists of something completely different.
For example, if your estate agency lists investment properties, make sure your landing page is angled towards investors and not principal home buyers. Investing in property is a totally different ball game to buying a principal residence and marketing efforts need to reflect and appeal to the differing requirements of the two groups.
A property investor is going to investigate further when their questions relating to yield and capital growth are answered on the landing page and they'll want to click-through to request more information. A home buyer on the other hand, is less concerned with the dynamics of your local property market than they are about finding out more about your community and what it's like to live in it.
That's why it's important to create landing pages for each category of client you have - home buyers, sellers and property investors – and then you not only have all angles covered but you have implemented effective funnelling of your prospects.
Overcrowding Your Landing page with Too Many Form Fields
When using the two-step signup process or introducing forms as a method of capturing personal data on your landing pages, it's important not to go overboard and alienate your visitors with too many personal questions. Several form fields confronting your visitors will cause them to leave out of frustration or they may provide you with false information instead.
It's important to remember that most visitors don't know your estate agency yet. When asking complete strangers for personal data, you should only request information you genuinely need. A one-to-one consultation may warrant full names and a phone number whereas your email newsletter signup or white paper download probably doesn't.
How to Fix It: Whittle your forms down to as few fields as possible and then, as prospects get to know you through email and social media, you can slowly ask for more data.
Pay Attention to Your Form Design
It's commonly known that landing page design affects conversions but forms are often an afterthought. Marketers will A/B test every last detail of a webpage without ever considering that a lack of form design could be killing conversions.
Forms without even just a little styling may be overlooked. This is especially true if your button is tiny and grey or your fields include hard-to-read fonts. A lack of branding, header images and descriptions will keep your forms unnoticed.
Another common mistake is to overlook the mobile responsiveness of your form. Remember a large proportion of your visitors will be viewing your website on their mobile, so it's key that your form is mobile friendly.
How to Fix It: Customize your form buttons, make sure your fonts are easy to read and your form headers and footers are branded, clearly indicating the type of form being completed. Then double check it all looks good on PCs, laptops, tablets and smart phones of various sizes.