MLS Access Itself No Longer Compels Prospective Buyers To Register
I’ve got a question for you. Why on earth would anyone looking to buy a home ever fill out a form without getting some value demonstrated to them first? With so many realtors and brokers still relying on archaic landing pages that only offer the promise of access to the local MLS, it’s no wonder they are seeing fewer and fewer legitimate leads coming in through their pay-per-click (PPC) and natural campaigns.
We work with a lot of real estate agents, and can tell you with certainty that the home search trends are changing. What generated a lot of inquiries six months ago no longer applies; you simply must offer something above just access to the MLS to impress visitors enough to compel them to fill out a minimal form. So we’re not just talking about MLS access. No matter what area of the country you are in, you will benefit greatly from a thorough analysis of the services you can offer and therefore entice your prospects with. We’re happy to provide you with our suggestions as to some additional functionality, services, and offers you can add to your site to really knock their socks off.
1. Email daily listings updates. Using professional design templates that reinforce your branding every step of the way, set up drip campaigns that send out your latest listings as they hit the market. Visitors can easily opt into these emails with a simple form.
2. Tips & articles. Covering the entire home buying and selling processes, offer hip, timely, and area-specific tips and articles as a package. Place them in an area of your site that requires registration to access.
3. Free home appraisals. This makes a great call to action on your landing page which can be used to initiate a referral (if they are out of the area you serve) or sale on your part. Simply provide a form that asks for enough information and package it attractively as part of your complete service.
4. Free loan pre-approval. This helps get the whole process going for home buyers. If you can integrate your MLS data to feed them properties in their price range immediately after they register, that works best. We recommend adding your choice lenders to your blog community.
5. Remodeling tools and resources. There are a lot of people looking for a fixer-upper. Or they may want a specific type of counter. Regardless, if you can refer them to some great professionals in your area, that works best. We recommend adding local remodelers to your blog community.
7. Local home market reports. If you can offer fully customizable market snapshots for your area of expertise, then that’s a great way to show that you provide cutting-edge real estate tools. These reports work on an opt-in basis much like daily listings updates, and return value to prospects while reinforcing your branding continually. Definitely work this into your calls to action.
8. Team up with a moving company. Find a great local moving company and get them involved in your blog community. This is that extra step you can take to show that you cover all the bases. It also shouldn’t be hard to work out some type of referral program with them that you can advertise. For example, many realtors will pay for moving expenses with the close of a house because the mover will give them a large discount for the referral. It never hurts to make a few calls and connections with this.
9. Involve local schools. Find out all the information you can about your local school districts. Get a couple members of local parent boards to join your blog community. Of course, you’ll want to make sure they’re happy with the schools before you allow them to participate, but having them there will add additional value to your blog as a complete resource on the area.
10. Local real estate blog. Here’s the kingpin, which we saved for close to the end because you need everything to work in concert to form a comprehensive resource that will be of value to your prospects. Don’t set a blog up because it’s the trendy thing to do, do it because it’s the easiest way to get a bunch of professionals together to collaborate and reinforce your marketing. Add the following local professionals to your team: real estate lawyer, all the agents in your office, a mortgage expert, an escrow specialist, trusted community members (including those from parent-teacher boards), and anyone else who would add some local personality into your blog.
11. Foreclosures information. This is becoming a boom market, so any information you can pass along regarding how forclosures work in your area would be great to advertise; especially if you can create a forclosure resources section on your site that contains articles that require registration to access.
12. Socially responsible real estate. Many agents are trying gimmicky marketing strategies, but this one actually is gaining some traction in left-leaning communities. If you can say you’ll donate a percentage of your commission to the area’s favorite local charities, then that’s something you may benefit from. Just don’t make it the main angle of your marketing.
Bonus Call to Action: Maps of active listings. It cracks us up how many real estate websites still don’t use maps to show where their featured listings are located. It’s not that hard to set up, and you’ll be able to advertise that you can easily print out maps to all of your local listings. And yes, people are so lazy that they might bounce when they see you don’t have maps.