Real Estate Marketing Online

Real Estate Marketing Online - The Booklet Strategy
By Brandon Cornett

For many years, real estate agents have used free reports to generate interest (and, ideally, a phone call or email) from prospective clients. The report will be something like "Top 10 Home Buying Tips" or "Common Mistakes Made by Home Sellers."

The idea is that a website visitor would be so intrigued by the information offered that he or she would pick up the phone or fire off an email to contact the agent for it.

While this may have worked in the distant past, it no longer does -- at least not at a level that justifies the effort. The reasons why are obvious. After all, who would reveal their personal information to request a generic article that can be found all over the Internet?

But while the technique is outdated, real estate agents can still use the concept behind the technique to generate leads from potential clients. Here's how.

Offer a High-Value Booklet

Let's take the generic reports offered on so many real estate websites and make them (A) more specific to the audience, (B) more informative and useful, (C) more unique, and (D) more enticing to the audience.

Let's use an example of Jane Doe, a fictitious real estate agent in San Diego who specializes in short sales to help homeowners avoid foreclosure -- a popular topic at the time of this article. Instead of offering some boring report like "10 Home Buying Tips for Beginners," Jane decides to create a full-fledged booklet for her target audience. It ends up being a 37-page homeowners guide to foreclosure avoidance in her city.

So while it took some work to put together, she now has something to offer that (A) nobody else is offering, (B) is useful and informative, and (C) speaks to her target audience. This will be an enticing free product that could generate a steady stream of leads over time. So now Jane needs to offer the PDF e-booklet from her website.

Enter the Landing Page

In the world of Internet marketing, a landing page is where a person "lands" when visiting a website. So in a certain regard, every page of your website is a landing page, because you never know where somebody will land when they first find your site.

But you can also create specific landing pages for specific purposes. In Jane's case, she wants to create a landing page that shows a picture of her e-booklet (a "virtual cover," as its known), while also explaining the value of the item. Of course, Jane should also make it really easy for her visitors to request the booklet, as this will increase the number of leads she derives from the technique.

Jane should include the following elements on her landing page.

  • A headline that identifies the audience and subject matter, using straightforward language. This tells impatient readers what the page is about right away.
  • An introductory statement to reinforce the headline and expands on the promise made by the headline. It might also include a call-to-action hyperlink.
  • A "virtual cover" image to add visual enticement. This technique has proven to increase conversion rates, when compared to a text-only description. A graphic designer may be needed to help with this component.
  • The key selling points of this booklet should be featured throughout the copy and also as bullet statements.
  • A big graphic button (impossible to miss) that allows the visitor to request the booklet, or fill out the subscription form, or whatever the case may be.
  • The copy of the landing page should also be keyword-rich to help with search engine visibility. In Jane's case, that means it should naturally include "San Diego foreclosure" types of phrases.


Getting Traffic to This Page

Now Jane has a lead generation technique in place. But it won't do any good until she directs traffic to the page. Traffic + Lead Generation = Leads. If I were Jane, I would use as many techniques as possible to drive traffic to the new landing page. This might include press releases distributed online, press releases sent to local news outlets, electronic newsletters, email marketing, adding a link to her email signature block, pay-per-click marketing, search engine optimization, etc.

The search engine optimization / SEO strategy is especially useful, because it provides lasting benefits. It's a great way to get a steady amount of qualified traffic to Jane's e-booklet landing page, which will directly relate to an increase in leads generated.

You Have to Experiment

With any marketing technique, you need to experiment with different versions to see what works best for your audience. The same applies to the lead generation technique outlined above. With this particular technique, Jane might experiment with different booklets, different landing pages, different lead-capture methods, etc.

In the example above, I used the foreclosure-avoidance booklet for the hypothetical real estate agent because it was perfectly suited to her audience. You can take the same strategy and apply it to any number of booklet topics and audiences.

Here are a few that might be worth considering / experimenting with:

  • A geographically specific booklet that explained the importance of credit scores and offered tips on boosting one's credit score before buying. With information on average scores and lending practices in your city or town. Another hot topic.
  • A booklet that walked buyers through the mortgage process, with plenty of local information about mortgage lenders, escrow companies, etc. This would be a great opportunity for a joint effort, if you happen to know a mortgage professional.
  • A booklet that compiled information on local schools (including hard-to-find information, future plans, etc.). School ratings, teacher-to-student ratios, graduation rates, etc. Great for home buyers with children.
  • A booklet that combined all of the above into a relocation guide for the city or town. Great for people moving in from elsewhere.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. The best results will come from knowing your audience, offering something unique, and covering hot topics like Jane did with the foreclosure booklet.

Brandon Cornett has written an e-book that outlines ten of the most effective techniques for generating real estate leads online. You may download this book in PDF format by visiting http://www.armingyourfarming.com/products/lead-generation.php

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