Real Estate Marketing Academy

12 Real Estate Website Lead Conversion Tips and Tricks

By Matthew Bushery

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Real estate website lead conversionReal estate website optimization isn’t just figuring out how to get traffic to your website. It’s about creating landing pages that convert. It’s about developing a real estate website design that visitors love aesthetically and can navigate easily. It’s about developing forms and calls to action (CTAs) that make visitors want to provide their contact information for content or services in return.

Continue below to learn landing page best practices, ways to improve your real estate web design, and, ultimately, how to get a high-converting website.

1)  Get a responsive real estate website.

Implementing these helpful website optimization techniques won’t do much good for your real estate website if your site isn’t responsive. Half of all home buyers use mobile devices to search listings, so if your site doesn’t operate well, allow for quick browsing, or offer readable text, you’re in trouble. Research which responsive real estate website options meet your needs. Specifically, find a site design that offers IDX integration (a must-have component), allows for easy design changes (without the hassle of coding), and will appeal to your audience (in terms of aesthetics and functionality).

Think of it this way: If your site visitors can’t easily read listing information, view content, or navigate pages, they won’t be visitors for long. Use a responsive theme, and you’ll remove your biggest roadblock to high lead conversion.

2)  Create lots of unique landing pages.

From landing pages that display neighborhood information to ones that showcase housing data for your market, there’s no end to the types of landing pages you can create for your site. When planning landing pages, consider the pain points your audience experiences during their search for an agent or properties and feature information that specifically addresses their concerns.

For sellers looking to secure representation, determine what information would inform leads’ decision of who to hire. Consider pages dedicated to relaying your reputation in the community, work history, and sales records for specific neighborhoods or home types. Meanwhile, pages that tend to appeal to buyers include ones that exhibit local real estate market data, information about specific neighborhoods and communities, and reviews of local businesses and schools.

Regardless of the landing page topic, your landing page structure should incorporate all of the elements needed to capture real estate leads with ease and encourage them to provide their contact information before leaving. As KISSmetrics notes in its Landing Page Blueprint infographic, this is the general structure to use to generate leads and keep visitors on the page:

KISSmetrics landing page structure

Not every landing page structure works for everyone, so A/B test different formats. For instance, move around a lead capture form from one side of the page to the other, or play around with how much copy you use. Practically any page element can be tested. Just be sure to closely track which changes make the biggest (and most positive) difference so you know which structures work well.

3)  Place important information at the top of your site.

Now, this isn’t to say you should only create pages that don’t require scrolling. Many internet users will still check out the entirety of a page, not just what’s initially presented to them above the fold. Take Chartbeat’s analysis of 25 million website user sessions, for example: The analytics software provider found engagement doesn’t drop off that much the further visitors move down the page:

ChartBeat website conversions engagement above the fold

Having said that, your real estate website visitors might not scroll down to discover more of your pages’ content if you don’t provide something of value above the fold. Tell your business (and even personal) story, provide a distinct value proposition, show off your listings, include forms that allow visitors to sign up for newsletters and content — provide anything and everything you think buyers and sellers want to get from the experience of visiting your site.

You can use website optimization tools like heat maps and user experience software to discover how much of each page your visitors look at, where they click (and don’t click), and how long they spend on your site to help inform your page layout. For instance, if your call to action (CTA) isn’t above the fold and it’s not getting as many clicks as you’d like, move it up the page.

4)  Ensure your forms are prominently displayed.

One essential item to include above the fold is a contact form. As noted, forms allow for simple lead capture … as long as they’re quick to fill out and offer something of value to visitors. There are lots of different fields you can include in forms, but not all help convince visitors to fill them out. MarketingSherpa data shows there are certain form fields that lead to better lead generation rates than others:

MarketingSherpa lead capture form fields statistic

No matter what the purpose of your forms, the two necessary form fields to use in every one are name and email address. Many people prefer to communicate via email rather than phone, so consider asking only for email.

Of course, the form itself won’t matter if you don’t have a reason for your audience to fill it out in the first place. Consider using long-form content, like a market report or how-to buyer’s or seller’s guide, to entice visitors to provide their contact information. Or offer a free service, such as an in-person consultation (e.g. helping buyers figure out their max budget for purchasing homes) or a mini-report featuring optimal listings that would interest buyers. The point is you need to make it worth your website visitors’ while to fill out forms.

5)  Offer comprehensive listings search filters.

On top of providing optimized forms across your website, make listings search a cinch for visitors by adding in filter options. Doing so allows prospective home buyers to find homes in different neighborhoods and price ranges, or identify listings with certain numbers of bedrooms, bathrooms, and living rooms. Here’s an example of the listings search filters available with Placester sites:

Placester real estate website listing search filters

Note just how many filters are offered to visitors so they can narrow down their search as much as possible. They’ll have a far better chance of finding a small sample of homes that fit their preferences — and be more likely to contact you to learn more about those properties.

6)  Post your contact information everywhere.

Make it as easy as possible for your website visitors to get in touch by placing your contact information on every page. It should be especially noticeable on every property details page, as mentioned above, given that buyers may decide to email you the second they identify a listing that intrigues them. Set up a dedicated “contact me” page as well so visitors can learn your email address, phone number, and social media accounts.

Driving your real estate website traffic to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media pages may seem counterproductive to your lead conversion goals, but as long as the overwhelming majority of content you share on those social channels leads visitors right to your site (specific listings, your blog, or even your home page are ideal places to link to), you’re in good shape.

7)  Create big, bold, enticing calls to action.

Which would you be more likely to click: a lengthy, babbling sentence with a link, or a large, beautiful image with succinct copy? Of the many aspects of your real estate website you can get creative with, it’s arguably wisest to do so with your CTAs. These serve as the primary lead capture tools on your site, so optimizing them accordingly can assist your real estate lead generation.

Just know that being creative doesn’t mean you have to learn Photoshop to develop beautiful, click-worthy CTAs, though. Use tools like Canva, PowerPoint, and Keynote (for Macs) to develop a button CTA with appealing colors, stylish fonts, and appropriate images and/or icons representing the purpose behind the CTA. For instance, if you have an ebook to offer as a download, an icon of a book with the title over it can work perfectly. As noted in our infographic on how to build a website that drives engagement, it’s important to keep aesthetic elements like the text, color, and shapes into consideration when developing your CTAs:

Placester real estate website lead conversion colors

8)  Use directional cues to guide website visitors.

Formatting the your real estate website design doesn’t entail just putting forms and CTAs above the fold, including an eye-grabbing image, and adding lots of links and copy. There has to be a rhyme and reason to your site’s structure. We’ve gotten to the point where there is now data that indicates exactly how consumers act on business websites and what can be done to help direct their attention and, in turn, clicks. For instance, if your home page has lots of whitespace around the edges and only includes one bold image in the center of the screen, what do you think your visitors’ eyes will likely migrate toward?

The psychology behind web design constantly evolves, but there are some core best practices to always keep in mind. For example, web designer Henry Covington notes emotional triggers can help guide visitors and inform their decision to stay on a site and click certain links. “Triggers include things like guilt and fear, but also a sense of belonging and appealing to commonly held values,” he indicates.

Keeping this in mind, think of your audience’s needs on your site. Buyers likely want to feel informed and learn more about your local market. Thus, your design should help them discover information about your service area: everything from the best listings to the most interesting amenities to information on area businesses that are hiring.

Other best practices that will help guide your real estate agent website design and provide clear directional cues for your audience include:

  • Use arrows to get the clicks you want: Whether they point to a CTA, form, or internal link, arrows have proven to be effective for steering site visitors. It’s the website equivalent of road signs — people need them to guide their navigation.
  • Distinguish priority links from all other links: For instance, if you really want your site visitors to click on one particular link on a page, like one that sends them to a contact page, make it stand out from the others in terms of size, color, font, et cetera.
  • Develop a crystal clear visual hierarchy: Research shows website visitors tend to start scanning pages from the top-left then move their way down and to the right in an “F” motion, so place your site components across each page while taking this pattern into account.

9)  Publish engaging photos and videos.

Visuals play an increasingly more prevalent role in how much website visitors enjoy their user experience and whether they even buy from a brand. Specifically, big website images lead to far more engagement than small images. It’s not just prominence in terms of size that plays a vital role in your lead conversion rate, however — you also need to consider the subject matter and quality of your images.

Take gorgeous pictures of your listings (or hire a photographer to shoot your listings for you) and add them to your real estate website home page to capture your audience’s attention right off the bat. Slideshows offer an ideal way to display multiple listings you represent (or simply great ones from your local market), so consider adding a scrolling gallery feature to your site. Likewise, ensure you get plenty of alluring property images. Few prospective buyers visiting your site will want to check out a home for sale that features just a single photo (or poor ones).

Aside from appealing photos, you can create real estate video marketing materials. For instance, if you have a few listings you highlight on your home page slideshow, record clips of those listings to feature below the photo gallery with your own commentary detailing the listings’ features. Consumers who view videos on a website are nearly twice as likely to make a purchase with the brand behind the video, so secure some recording equipment (or employ a real estate videographer) and get footage of your listings to use across your site.

10)  Offer up plenty of social proof.

Speaking of real estate video, use it to obtain social proof to use on your website. Real estate testimonials provide visitors with a clear picture of what it’s like to work with you. Shoot videos of them in person or, if that’s not an option, get them to answer questions via email you can use on a dedicated landing page. Any other types of social proof, like positive comments from current or former colleagues and praise from groups and organizations you work with (like charities), can be a big help as well.

11)  Ensure page load times are quick.

You won’t get a lot of real estate website conversions, let alone traffic, if it takes your pages too long to load. Nearly 40 percent of website visitors will abandon a site if it takes 10 seconds or longer to load. Moreover, other research shows slow page load speeds can reduce lead conversion significantly — by 7 percent in some cases. That makes pinpointing what may be slowing your page load times imperative to lead conversion success. The best ways to improve your site’s page load times include:

  • Utilize one external CSS stylesheet: Internal CSS code can be lengthy and, in some areas, repetitive, which can slow down the time it takes for the CSS to be recognized by servers and loaded. Using an external stylesheet prevents this slowness from occurring since all of the CSS code is included in a single line.
  • Eliminate unneeded site plug-ins: Add-ons to your site can help do helpful things, like populate how many times content gets shared or provide a fancy comments section to your blog, but some of these files are large enough to diminish your site’s page speed so use them only when necessary.
  • Limit the number of page redirects: HTTP requests take even longer when a page is redirected to a different URL, so reduce the number of pages you add redirects to. Some are likely essential to have, but make sure you don’t have to add many more in the future.

12)  Remove potentially annoying site components.

Oversized social sharing buttons, pop-up CTAs, auto-play audio or video, awful stock photos, broken links, vague copy — each of these can lead visitors to exit your website right after they land on it and prevent them from converting. Consistently audit your site to ensure every aspect of it is on point and doesn’t send visitors away.

Need a responsive real estate website? Download our free ebook on how to launch a website to learn how to get yours up and running in no time.

What other website conversion optimization tools and methods do you use to improve your real estate website? Share them with us below!

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