Recently, I was having some back and forth conversation with a local real estate agent who is trying to build her business. She recently got her license and is searching for ways to begin building a client base.
She had been talking with a company who offers landing pages and lead generation for real estate agents across the country. She was unsure of how it all worked and didn’t know if this was the right investment for her.
I want her to make wise decisions, and knowing how some of these lead generation companies work, I wanted to better explain what a landing page is and how it could be used effectively in her business.
Below is an exact transcript of the email I sent her.
WHAT IS A LANDING PAGE?
A landing page isn’t necessarily “one thing” like something you’d buy off of a shelf. It can be used in many different ways, to achieve a whole host of different goals. Typically, a landing page is a one page within a website that has a single purpose. Unlike an entire website, a landing page is usually stripped down to be straight to the point and explain the features, or benefits of a service or product your offering. These pages are designed with the objective in mind to have the user follow through with your “Call to Action” or (CTA). The CTA can be signing up for an email list, calling a phone number, downloading a document, or anything else that you, the business owner, want the visitor to do.
This is a sample of one of our landing pages for our own use.
WHY ARE LANDING PAGES EFFECTIVE?
Landing pages are effective because they can speak directly to a specific set of customers needs. Where an entire website needs to give an wide overview of your services and products, and landing page can focus on a singular subject and block out all the other “noise”. This makes getting a higher conversion rate on your CTA much easier.
HOW ARE LANDING PAGES USED?
A lot of times you will see landing pages used in advertising. You’ve probably visited hundreds of them and didn’t know it. Let’s say Company X is promoting a new product in their product line. They could offer a free sample in exchange for joining their mailing list. They could use a landing page to explain how great the new product is, and the Call to Action would be to join the mailing list to receive a free sample. They know that people who “land” on the page are more likely to exchange their email address for the sample because the visitor has already shown interest in their product by clicking the link (in other words, it’s already a “warm lead”).
A REAL-LIFE HYPOTHETICAL
Let’s say you are in a crowded room networking with people. You overhear a conversation in which a man is telling a woman that he’s looking for investment properties in Gainesville to buy and rent out. Since real estate is your business, you approach him and strike up a conversation.
A. Tell him about how you work as both a buying an selling agent, where your office is, the territory you cover, how you got into the real estate business, that you have a staging company you work with and what other agents are in your office.
B. Tell him you know about some great investment properties that just went on the market in Gainesville.
You would choose B, of course- and “B” is your landing page.
The chances he is interested in YOU as a realtor are much higher with B because you narrowed your focus down to exactly what he was looking for and told him how you could solve a problem for him. The example in “A” is more like what an entire website has to cover, all the information about your business, but B spoke to his needs specifically.
HOW YOU COULD USE LANDING PAGES
There are many effective ways you could use your landing pages, but first you have to know exactly who your audience is. We often call this “building an avatar”. An avatar is a very specific (yet, fictitious) person. You can build many, many avatars, but the point is to clearly define the person(s).
For example, lets say this first avatar is the man in the hypothetical before. To build out your avatar of him you would create more specific details about him- He’s 48, he’s married, and has two teenage kids. His name is Steve. He owns his own business, and has done well for himself, but other than his own house, he’s never done much in the real estate business. He’s wanting to find other avenues of passive income, and is considering buying and renting residential properties in Gainesville.
Now that you have this avatar, Steve, in mind- you can write content and speak directly to Steve. Obviously, Steve doesn’t exist- but there are probably MANY people that fit the profile of a “Steve”. Now that you know who are you “talking” to, it’s easier to create content that appeals to him. He’s 48 and married, those are details you can use that will help you create a landing page that appeals to him- but it likely appeals to people like Steve (in his age range, for instance). That can be a lot of people.
You then could use a landing page to talk about income properties in Gainesville. Your call to action could be to sign up to an email list that would give them alerts anytime a new property went on the market that would make a good investment. You can then market this page on social media, with ads- and even with printed materials. All of these marketing efforts would link the visitor directly to your landing page about investment properties. Now that you know exactly who you are talking to, and if they are on that landing page they have already expressed some interest in it’s subject, you can build the content as if you are talking directly to that person- which typically makes the user more apt to sign up because they feel like you have the PERFECT solution to their problem.
This doesn’t solve EVERYONE’S needs, but it solves a number of people’s needs specifically. Advertising is always more effective when it speaks to the audience personally. This means narrowing your focus. While targeting LESS people seems counterproductive, you are going to be much more effective trying to land a specific person than ALL people.
Another example of an opportunity for a landing page could be the introduction letter you are sending out. Traditionally, print advertising makes it difficult to measure your return on investment (or ROI). In the past we would make a print run, get them out into the public and maybe some phone calls came in from it, or maybe they came in from other avenues- but there was no “real” way to track their effectiveness. But the internet has changed all that- and landing pages are a GREAT way to track your print marketing’s effectiveness and get a better sense of your ROI.
For example, in your introduction letter you plan on mailing out you could give a call to action to ask people to go to a specific page online to see what the housing market forecast is for 2018 (I’m just making this up for example). Will everyone go to it? No. But the people who do obviously have SOME reason for wanting to know what the market is like. This is a decent indicator that they might be in the market this year.
Now, you have a warm lead.
The page you sent them to (a landing page) can give a general statement about the housing market and be written to entice them to want to know more. You could offer to email them the full housing market forecast on the landing page as your CTA. They put in their email address and your email marketing system can automatically add them to your email list, and send out the report they requested.
Not only can you then track the effectiveness of the letter by seeing how many people signed up, you can also track how many visitors the page had (through Analytics).
This give you a clearer picture of how effective your marketing campaign was, and give you more data to decide if it’s a worthwhile venture or not. From there you can decide what to do next. Do you tweak the message and make another offer to the same group of folks? Maybe it was very successful and you decide to target a new area with the same information.
These are just a couple examples of how landing pages could be used to try and generate leads. In the examples I gave, trying to measure the success of any marketing campaign by sending folks to your homepage would make it harder to track and less likely the visitor would find the exact information they are looking for. A landing page is a great way to be specific and target a segment of the population. You can’t buy and sell every house in 100 mile radius, but what you can do is find specific niches and market yourself as the expert in those areas.
HOW TO CREATE LANDING PAGES
There are lots of programs and companies out there that create landing pages (this is what the company you sent me, Bold Leads, does. They have pre-made landing pages, and when you buy in to your territory you get all the submissions that come from that landing page in your territory). Some of them might have great tools to help you out, but chances are they are going to provide the tools and it’s going to be up to you to figure out how to use them. This email will probably help you get started, but realize the amount of money they are asking for per month is just going to provide you with the tools- they are not coming up with strategies for your market and writing content for you specifically. I think it’s honestly a gamble- maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. A lot of that will depend on how comfortable you feel using all those tools.
My company can help you with this as well- but it would be a little different than what those company’s offer. I don’t have an existing platform in which you would just sign up and have an automated system. I work directly, one-on-one with my clients to help them build a strategy that centers around their needs and their goals. Together we decide on specific ways we can achieve results and I can build out landing pages, track the analytics, setup automation’s on email campaigns and all of that for you. All of this would be build specifically for YOU not as part of a bigger machine. I have found that a lot of this technology and marketing can be overwhelming for business owners who rather spend their time focused on their business and clients rather than trying to run a tech and marketing firm for themselves. My goal is to work with my clients so that they understand what we are doing, but don’t have to necessarily get their hands dirty in making it all happen.