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Would You Like Fries With That?

  • Aliso Viejo, CA August 4, 2008 This has been an incredibly busy summer with lots of changes and somewhere along the line I got off track. Have you ever had that uncertain feeling that something was amiss but you just couldn’t put your finger on it?

    Well I figured out what it was this morning – my normal routine wasn’t normal.

    Most mornings I check all the usual suspects on the Internet for the latest headlines both in the world and within our industry. It’s a simple task and I usually file away a thought of two for some further action. Well in the midst of moving my office this summer I had stopped doing that and I didn’t’ realize it. Not a big thing - but then again …

    What I didn’t’ recognize at first was how much a couple of stops along the way have not only kept me up-to-speed on what was happening in the industry, they were challenging me to think rather than just read and absorb. That message came home when I went back to one of my favorite haunts and caught an article by Matt Jones; founder of FavoriteAgent.

    I jumped in on part 5 of a series he has written entitled The Science of Online Lead Capture. His comments really hit home and resonated with a number of discussions we have had at RealtyU about the whole subject of online lead generation. The “game” is one with an ever changing set of rules and here is what Matt said that caught my eye:

    The confusion really comes down to a changing industry. In the old days the old “build it and they will come” was the way of advertising. We were taught of branding and positioning and we worked hard to get our name “out there” so customers would find us. Now the rules have changed. Now it is “go and get them and they will come” and those who passively wait for business to come to them are now starting to say, “Would you like fries with that burger, sir?” What do I mean? I mean that we need to think direct response in our advertising. We need to put a very specific value proposition out there with a clear call to action.

    A bit later he provided 4 very key principles that need to underpin this philosophy:

    1. Customers want to search for homes. Everything else is irrelevant by comparison. Currently, 94% of all customers want to search for listings on a real estate website. Make it difficult and they will move on to another site.

    2. Customers want simplicity. Think Google. Google has a 66% market share of domestic searches because they are the simplest of all search engines. Customers want to browse listing – so give them what they want! (Matt later noted that Google’s landing page has 46 words and one image – the national average is 1,704 words and 34 images. Google has a 66% share of the search market … yes “less is more.”)

    3. Customers want to know that they are not making a commitment by visiting your website. The customer is boss on our website. The fact is that 76% of all buyers and 74% of all sellers will work with the first agent they meet, so be first and don’t make them uncomfortable and you will earn their business 3 out of 4 times!

    4. Customers don’t mind a fair exchange of value. They are happy to register to use your site if the promised content is exactly what they want.

    Number 4 really hit the nail on the head. If you easily and quickly provide the customers what they are looking for without a bunch of “strings” attached your success rate will increase dramatically. Don’t believe me? Check out Matt’s entire series as it not only approaches Online Leads in a logical manner, he lays out his “Scientific Method” for getting the job done.

    You can join me and thousands of others every day at www.RealBlogging.com. You will find blogs from over 40 of our industry’s top insiders on a wide variety of subjects. RealBlogging has really grown over the past couple of years and this series by Matt Jones is just one example of the content well worth reading. Just visit www.RealBlogging.com as part of your daily “preparation” and click on Matt’s link … I’m glad I did. It put me back on track for my morning “industry fix.”