Every real estate agent or broker should have a website by this point, and every real estate website needs to have a strategy for attracting visitors. Some people who have previously developed both of these may not be aware of the fact that some aspects of a website can make even the most attractive web design or the most successful online marketing strategy absolutely meaningless.
The web lead form is one particular and crucial component of a real estate website that demands the highest level of attention to detail. Basically, the way well your real estate website produces leads for you depends on the forms it has that ask users for information (such as their name, email address, phone number, or other details). The gap between 10 leads per month and 100 leads per month can be caused by a badly constructed form.
Why Nobody Completes Your Form
Recently, as an extra feature for our military real estate website, our site collaborated with a lending provider. They asked if I had any thoughts because they were having some trouble persuading people to fill out their forms. Looking at some of their statistics, I discovered that they were receiving a lot of visitors to the website and that there seemed to be a sizable number of trips to the form page itself. When they arrived at the page, what prevented them from completing the form?
It was visually appealing at first glance, had a wonderful layout, and had great typefaces. I made the decision to begin completing the form so that I would be aware of my situation. I spent at least ten minutes completing the form! Only when I'm making a purchase and have to trek to the opposite end of my house to retrieve my credit card and then enter all those digits into a form would I ever spend more than five minutes on one on a website? Any other format, and I'll give up after two minutes, complaining that it's taking too long. And it appears that everyone else shared that thought.
The shortest lead forms on your website are the most effective. (KISS) Keep things simple, stupid. For each and every field that you are considering including on your form, you must ask yourself, "Is this field necessary?" In a few minutes, you're going to give them a call anyway, right? Why not acquire the rest of their information over the phone you always call back as soon as you can and if you aren't then you need to start doing that.
Your website's forms should only ask for the information that is absolutely necessary to classify a lead as good. After that, place a follow-up call and proceed with the sale. I'm confident that you will remove at least one field and possibly more after looking over your form and asking yourself, "Is this field necessary?"
Devise New Questions
Even if you feel that the knowledge is necessary, you might be able to approach the question differently. An excellent illustration of this is the mortgage website form that included questions about your credit score and SSN. Most people aren't immediately aware of their credit score. But since this is a mortgage site, I advised them to merely have the respondents estimate their credit score rather than removing the option altogether.
They could still identify which leads were a high priority (those with excellent credit ratings) and which leads were a low priority (those with subpar credit scores), and it made it simple for individuals to complete the form. Even if it doesn't take much effort for me to declare that my credit is excellent, my actual credit score is 750. Following the prospect's completion of the form, the lender can call and request more details in order, if necessary, to determine the prospect's credit score.
Why You Should Try New Things
I did this and then mentioned it to my friend who has a website for surety bonds. There were roughly 25 questions on his lead form. Nobody completed it. He chose to dramatically simplify his form after hearing about my experience dealing with the mortgage company's website, and he claimed that this increased conversions tenfold.
This proof demonstrates that lead forms are a universal reality for all business sectors, and they absolutely apply to the real estate sector as we experienced the same results prior to redesigning the goal of our website. People only want to fill out the bare minimum; if another website's form has fewer questions, they will fill it out rather than yours. Your site may start generating a lot more leads with some easy testing utilizing Google Website Optimizer as opposed to being practically useless to your company.
We would be interested in hearing about any experiences, success stories, issues, or questions you may have concerning improving your web lead forms. If your real estate website is not converting visitors to leads the way you need it to, feel free to put it under our microscope with us. Conversion optimization and analysis are something we truly appreciate.