In the fast-paced world of internet technology, techniques and strategies are constantly being declared “dead,” and that’s probably more true in real estate than any other industry.
Right now, one of the most-targeted tactics for the “dead” list is the real estate landing page.
Although real estate landing pages are abused and used in misguided ways, they still represent a useful, relevant method for agents to capture client information — and they’re very far indeed from pushing up daisies.
So why do some real estate agents insist that the landing page has gone the way of the dinosaur? Most likely because they’re making some kind of mistake and not following the basic rules on how to build a high-converting real estate landing page.
Before you declare your landing page strategy bereft of life, check to make sure your complaints don’t fall into one of these categories — and that you’re not guilty of the real problem in any case.
You set up a landing page and were expecting a flood of leads from it — instead, you got Mickey Mouse (or maybe Mantle) registering with an firstname.lastname@example.org address and a fake mobile phone number. What gives?
Maybe all your visitors are pranksters — or maybe the real problem is that your landing page isn’t offering the visitors something valuable in exchange for their actual information.
Here is some real talk you might not want to hear: You aren’t going to get a real name and email address if you’re forcing visitors through a landing page and lead capture form so they can do something like … search for homes for sale.
You might not like it, but those visitors can very easily hop off to Zillow or realtor.com instead — or find another real estate agent’s website with IDX search and no registration requirement.
So consider your lead magnet — the piece of content or information that you’re offering visitors in exchange for their email address. If it’s a checklist, guide or other PDF or printable material, then set up your landing page so that the item gets delivered via email (and therefore the visitor won’t receive it if they enter a fake address).
If you don’t have a lead magnet, then you need to seriously reconsider your entire landing page strategy (and frankly, we’re not all that surprised it’s not working out well for you). Maybe you’re the kind of consumer who happily gives out accurate email addresses and phone numbers left and right without expecting any reward or compensation — if so, know that you are rare and becoming increasingly rarer.
And if this is your biggest complaint about landing pages, then a simple adjustment to your lead magnet delivery should get you back on course without having to abandon ship entirely.
So … exactly how long is this form that nobody seems to be able to finish?
It’s really tempting to try to gather all of the information about your leads in the initial capture form. After all, the lead is there and answering your questions. Why not ask a few more?
Because it’s annoying as all get-out for your prospects, is why. Be honest, real estate agents: What do you need with a cell phone number when a curious potential buyer only wants access to your “Moving To My City Guide”?
That curious potential buyer knows the possible repercussions of being too generous with a phone number. He or she has probably given a real estate agent a real number in complete innocence and lived to regret it when that agent wouldn’t quit calling.
Ask for a name — first and maybe last. Ask for an email address (and take steps to make sure it’s real — see above).
Beyond that? Consider the prospect’s personal information “none of my business” and leave it alone until he or she takes the next step in the sales journey.
“But don’t I need to ask if the prospect is a buyer or seller and where they are in the sales journey?”
Oh dear. If you’re using the same landing page for buyers and sellers — and the same landing page for buyers at the beginning of the sales journey as buyers in the middle or at the end — then you need to revisit the real estate landing page drawing board again and refine your technique.
If this is your complaint, then the odds are strong that you’re giving the prospect too many options.
An ideal landing page is simplicity in website form. You shouldn’t have your website’s menu bar at the top of the page so visitors can see what else your site has to offer, or try to shoehorn more than one lead opportunity onto each landing page.
There should be places for your prospect to enter the information you need to deliver the goods and a button to click when they’ve finished filling out the form — and ideally, that’s about it. Most people can figure out how to close a window or tab on their own, so the native “close” functionality on the browser and the call-to-action button should be the only two places that the prospect can click on the page.
More than one button can confuse visitors, and the entire menu of options on your business or company website are more distracting than helpful at this stage of the game.
“Having multiple goals confuses your visitors,” notes Instapage in its landing page guide for tripling conversions. So make sure there’s only one goal per landing page; that means you’ll probably have to set up multiple landing pages — at least one for each type of prospect you want to attract (buyers and sellers), and you’ll probably want to think about further segmenting your page strategy according to how far along those prospects are in their sales journey.
Picture this: You’ve got your phone open and you’re checking in on a few of your favorite websites (or maybe apps) when you see an ad for a checklist or guide — a solid chunk of information — that’s directly relevant to you at this point in time.
So you tap the ad and you wait … and wait … and wait for the page to load. When it finally does, you see a form asking you to enter between eight and twelve pieces of your own personal information in order to claim the prize you seek — and you give it a good college try. You’re eager! But the plethora of drop-down menus and need to type responses in little fields using the tiny keyboard when you’re not even sure why that information is needed finally overwhelm your enthusiasm.
You wanted that lead magnet, but the mobile experience was clearly terrible — terrible enough to cause you to abandon the form.
Hopefully this hasn’t happened to you … but given the amount of time we all spend on our mobile devices these days, some version of it most likely has.
Are you doing something similar to your mobile visitors? Make sure that your landing page is optimized for mobile — and, again, that you’re not requesting a figurative ton of information that’s not only personal but also probably not that easy to deliver using an iPhone keyboard.
Tightening up your form, making sure any images on your page load quickly and otherwise polishing up your landing page for mobile devices could work wonders on your mobile conversion rates if you’ve been neglecting those users. (Hey, it happens — the biggest sin once you realize you’re doing it would be continuing down the same road, that said.)
Sometimes you really aren’t sure what the problem is; you just get the feeling that you ought to be getting better results from your efforts than what’s currently manifesting.
That’s fair enough, too, especially when it comes to any kind of real estate marketing, but most especially landing pages. After all, landing pages are newer than internet ads, and marketers are still trying to figure out the best ways to reach people digitally after spending decades focusing on print and then television.
So it’s entirely possible that your form is the right length, you’re offering a solid lead magnet that’s valuable to your prospects, you’re eliminating distractions on the landing page and have optimized it for mobile devices, and you’ve even created different landing pages for the different prospects you’re trying to reach — maybe you’re seeing some action and even getting a lead here and there — but overall actual lead conversion seems low to you.
In this case, the low-hanging fruit might be your landing page copy or design.
For example: Does the call-to-action button “pop” on the page? Did you use a contrasting color so that it’s the first thing that draws the prospect’s eye, and is the font on the button clear enough to read? And speaking of reading what’s on the button: If your call-to-action button simply says “submit,” then you need to jazz it up by reminding your visitors exactly what will happen when they fill out the form and click that button. “Get Your Free Guide” is infinitely preferable to “Submit,” and “Learn Everything You Need To Know About Your New Neighborhood” or “Get Your Comprehensive Home Valuation Report” are even more powerful.
Take a look at your copy, too: Does the headline “grab” the visitor and accurately explain the benefit he or she will receive? Are you using “you” and “your” to talk to your visitors instead of “me” and “my”? (The former is more effective — after all, they didn’t build your website.) Are you using short, attention-grabbing statements and bulletpoints, and is your copy error-free — or is your landing page practically a novel stuffed with jargon?
If you’re driving visitors to your landing page but those visitors aren’t converting — and you’ve eliminated all the other mistakes you might be making — then a general copy and design refresh might be just the boost you need to get your campaign back on track.
Some people might be declaring real estate landing pages dead — and it’s true that tools like Facebook Lead Ads are encouraging some real estate agents who were never able to nail their landing page strategies to use a Facebook Lead Ads form instead of a landing page.
And that’s great if those agents are making it work, but they’re running the risk of parking their marketing collateral and strategy entirely with a third-party vendor that changes its algorithms and rules at the drop of a hat. Talk about all your eggs in one basket — Facebook is definitely a powerful channel, but last time we checked, you couldn’t run a Google pay-per-click ad with Facebook Lead Ads.
So before you decide that real estate landing pages just don’t work, ask yourself if your complaints with landing pages might be the result of making one of those (very common) mistakes.
Be honest about what you find! Fixing your error might be as easy as a quick design or copy tweak — and once you see how real estate landing pages can bring in qualified, interested, hot leads (from Facebook or elsewhere), you’ll be glad you realized there was still a lot of life in this lead generation tactic before declaring it dead.