It all starts with a registration.
Driving lots of traffic to your web site is the minimum requirement for successful lead generation. You could accomplish this with AdWords, or if you’re really good, patient and lucky, you could accomplish this organically with SEO.
Regardless of how people find your site, visitors can’t turn into customers unless they eventually decide to either contact you or fill in one of your forms. Here are some hooks I regularily see out there:
- send me a some kind of report or a CMA
- send me a boiler plate article about real estate (“10 tips for ….” )
- please allow me to search homes on your IDX
Notwithstanding the very lame boiler plate articles and usually weak “reports,” it’s really going to come down to your IDX to capture that lead. This is where the rubber meets the road for your website, and unfortunatley you have limited control.
You get what you get with your IDX provider.
Like it or not, this is what many IDX providers typically offer you:
- a standard look, or choice of a few similar looks
- something that typically gets framed into a page (complete with old timey scrollbars)
- a few different clever ways to require registration (take ’em or leave ’em)
- either NO control or some control over the initial outgoing email (I have none)
Given this, chances are that your IDX is exactly like a hundred other agents’ IDX in your area. There are only so many IDX providers and for a given MLS, even a smaller subset.
Check out these two uninteresting looking IDX interfaces. I rate them as POOR, which I can do because they are mine:
I’m really surprised I get ANY registrations at all from these two and over the coming weeks, they will be evolving.
Ok, so what can we do about it?
Good question. For starters, I think you really have to do your homework and choose the best IDX you can find. Or at least try to go unique for your area. Then, integrate this into your site in a very easy to find, pleasing and simple fashion to your visitors.
I think to hit all level of users, there needs to be a super simple search, a more complex search, and a map search. Yes, all three, there are fans of each.
I’ve also seen a couple of decent attempts to include a video or two on the site explaining how to use the search interface. Great idea – This is definitely something I will be doing in the future.
Also, try to come up with some other high quality methods to lure your visitors into engaging. My guess is the “10 Tips to Selling Your Home Quickly” articles are not going to cut it.
Let’s see what we can learn from a discussion of the following:
- What IDX features do you like or dislike?
- What registration requirements do you employ?
- What other non-IDX methods do you use to capture lead registrations?