TLDR: this case study will walk you through the exact steps we take when strategizing campaigns that have generated up to five real estate leads per day.
Are you currently marketing your real estate services?
Buying leads directly and relying on referrals is an unsustainable model to lean your business on. We noticed many agents leaving tons of leads on the table just by neglecting to drive online and paid traffic to their sites to collect lead information.
You have the skills, certifications, and intelligence to help anyone who is trying to purchase a home — the problem is they don’t know about you and have no way of contacting you.
You want as many people as possible to see you and associate you with the neighborhoods you represent, demographics you service best, and service you provide most effectively.
There’s only one problem…
The methods you use to get your name and contact information out are ineffective. You’re not collecting leads. You’re not gaining awareness. You’re not growing your business.
Don’t accept that the results you’re currently receiving are as good as they’re going to get and it’s the system that’s working against you. Don’t continue spending all your cash on methods that are barely producing an even ROI.
We’ve been doing this for years.
We’ve worked with web design, social media, digital marketing, and all the strategies needed to make all facets work effectively in tandem for years. Our results have been extremely impressive while getting our clients:
- More leads — constant, daily, lead-flow
- More listings — create specific campaigns for gaining listings
- More awareness — people are much more likely to call a familiar face they’ve seen online than some random realtor who found their information.
The following structure.
Before continuing, I want to establish the different models we’re going to be looking at and exactly what you’re going to get out of this study.
We’re going to walk you through exactly how we build and strategize marketing campaigns that bring in more leads and grow your real estate business.
Module 2: Your Custom Website Guiding Your Leads
Module 3: Providing Value
Module 4: Implementation
Module 1: Facebook Ads Working For You
Understanding the value and how to get the most out of Facebook ads is crucial before diving in and attempting to put your ad in front of your perfect lead. Unlike Google AdWords — also a great platform we integrate when necessary — Facebook doesn’t rely on people already looking for something.
When someone searches on Google and finds a result (ad) that represents what they want they click and go on with their day. On Facebook, you’re looking at your distant family members and friends from college when you’re abruptly presented with an ad for something you may not even know need.
It may sound like a hurdle, but it can easily be an advantage that can deeply impact the performance of your marketing if utilized correctly. The most important approach for us was psychology. Markets, neighborhoods, prices, bubbles, and rates all change — human psychology doesn’t and that’s what has to be taken into the highest regard while crafting and strategizing your campaign.
Using Psychology to Your Advantage
As we mentioned, users are scrolling through family and friends — to avoid sticking out and interrupting their flow, become a relevant addition to their social experience. You’re not jumping in front of them waving a banner ad, you’re joining their social circle for a moment and attempting to build a rapport.
Facebook, Google, and most advertising platforms will rate your ads for relevance and if they are harming the end-user’s overall experience, you may be penalized.
One of the best ways to be relevant is by doing the same things your friends and family are doing on the platform. I’m not suggesting you post family portraits in an attempt to get homebuyers to sign up for your mailing list, but I am suggesting to add value, provide insights, and give something that will make you stand out besides selling outright.
Overall: Don’t sell — build relationships through your digital marketing.
Some of the most powerful features of Facebook reside in the ad targeting area. This is where you’re able to determine who sees your ads and in which regions.
We love playing with these parameters since they can ruin a campaign or skyrocket it to the moon. A few values changed has been the difference between 1 lead a day and five leads a day.
The beauty is, since we’re able to target so specifically, we can pre-qualify our leads before they even come in. Ensuring everyone who sees our ad is a newlywed who is making over 100k/yr is essential to getting quality and qualified leads.
In case you need some more insights before we continue, be sure to check out the blog where we discuss some of these things in more detail.
Module 2: Your Custom Website Collecting Real Estate Leads
Out of all the things on the list, this may be the one I see the fewest number of agents do.
Reasons you’ll want your own website include things like adding your personality, standing out from other agents with the cookie-cutter templates, and most importantly landing pages.
Landing pages are the window into your site from the perspective of your leads. This is where users are directed to once they click your ad. It’s the page where they are sold once and for all on what you’re providing and input their name and number so you can call up your nice warm lead.
The other great thing about landing pages is that they’re so simple and easy to build so you can create as many as you need and for as many purposes as you need them. Some landing page ideas might include:
- Buying Homes
- Selling Homes
- Bird Dogs
You can essentially recreate an entirely new site for exactly the lead you’re trying to acquire.
in case you need some more information on your own websites, be sure to check out the blog where we discuss this in depth.
Module 3: Provide Value
Odds are, if you’re running a campaign with the focus being on some listings, information about the neighborhood, or the current state of the market, your prospects are perfectly red-hot leads. They’re looking for information on houses and hoping you can help them and even sell them a house — what better company to be in?
This is the module I see most agents misunderstanding the most. Sure, we are showing these ads to people who want to move, have the money to move, and are very likely in the mindset to move, but that doesn’t mean we can treat these ads the same way we do the park bench. Remember, be relevant to their current state of mind and provide value.
There are many ways to go about this:
- Provide an exclusive blog post that aggregated all the listings of 4 bedroom homes in a certain area (perfect for families).
- Offer a free download of your presentation outlining the different neighborhoods in your county (perfect for any new couple looking to start a family).
- Offer a special list of the best condo listings within the nearby city’s commute.
Anything that someone would click on even if this wasn’t an ad is exactly what we’re going for. Once the prospect finds value in whatever you’re providing, they’ll happily input their name and number allowing you to follow up while they’re reading through your valuable content.
Module 4: Implementation
As you might imagine, there are a lot of moving pieces involved in the perfect lead-generation campaign.
- Gathering the proper assets for the initial ads
- Creating the content that entices clicks on those ads
- Building the website that hosts the content
- Building the landing pages that are hosted on the site that prospects are directed to for inputting their information
- Tracking all the trends and events with Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels
We’ll go over each of these and what you should expect when creating the infrastructure.
Gathering assets for the ads
This is an art by itself. Copywriting and especially real estate copywriting has to be enticing, enthralling, and exciting. We’re selling homes, lifestyles, and fortresses for families.
The copy has to be perfect and the corresponding image, video, or slideshow has to be captivating. Facebook loves video because users watch them. Including a personal video or a walkthrough of a house that tells a story along with it is a sure way to attract leads.
Creating content that entices clicks
Slightly more laid-back than the copywriting. This isn’t sales copy anymore, it’s content. Instead of selling, you’re providing information, value, and building a relationship. This should be something relevant to your area and something that not everyone can write about.
You may be an authoritative figure in your district who understands all the playgrounds in relation to the neighborhoods. This is perfectly specialized information leads are willing to provide their name and number for — in addition to that, it does some of your selling before you even start selling!
Building the website
There are many routes you can take with building your website. Since our main priorities are SEO and speed WordPress is one of the best bets — simpler website builders like Squarespace and Wix will get the job done but will get it done less effectively.
Imagine wearing a suit from the Gap when your colleague is wearing a custom-made pinstripe.
Once the WordPress site is up and running and you’ve decided on the perfect domain name, you’ll want to install a few plugins that can do some work for you:
- Yoast SEO — used for optimizing each page and the overall website for keywords and readability.
- All-in-One WP Migration — used for taking sites locally and moving them to a live server.
- Autoptimzie — caching solution to increase your site’s speed.
- Contact Form 7 — Will be essential for your landing and contact pages to actually fire you off an email.
- iThemes Security — Will prevent brute force attacks and a lot of other things you may want to consider especially since you may get a lot of traffic that pass around sensitive data like housing info and such.
- Really Simple SSL — No one wants to start typing their sensitive information just to see the address bar populate with not secure. Enabling SSL will fix that.
- UpdraftPlus — Another great plugin to have running in the background and merely forgetting about it. Link this up to Google Drive or Dropbox and set a weekly backup of the database and you’ll be glad you did.
Building landing pages
Even more important than your website are your landing pages. These are the locked-down signup sites that prospects are directed to once they tap your ad. These are the pages that make money and these are the pages that leads come from.
Your landing page should include extremely similar copy, photos, and video from your ad. This keeps users in your loop and ensures no one gets lost in the transition from ad to landing page. Bounce rates are much more common when landing pages display different photos or have any different feel than the ad because users feel they were directed to something unrelated. There are even tricks of taking images of the ad itself and pasting it on the landing page to increase conversions.
Some of the favorites in this space are Unbounce and ClickFunnels. Although integrating landing pages directly in your WordPress site would be preferred and less costly, these services are extremely optimized for the purposes we’re using them for and the results we’re trying to achieve.
Google Analytics & Facebook Pixels
Now that we have our ads, websites, and landing pages in place, we need to know how people are interacting with them. Fortunately, Facebook makes that very easy by allowing you to add a pixel to your site.
Once you set up your ads, Including the pixel code in your website will ensure users are doing what you want them to do once they click through to your ad. If you’re optimizing for conversions, are they converting? If you’re optimizing for sales, are they buying things or leaving items in their cart? These are all events that Facebook and track and let you know about.
Google analytics is similar but doesn’t rely on ads to do it. With Google’s code embedded in your site, you’ll be able to track who’s visiting which pages most frequently, on which devices, and if you have a bounce rate.
Now that everything is in place, you should be good to go ahead and begin your campaign. At this rate, with everything implemented properly, you should see leads start rolling in — however, be sure to constantly monitor your analytics and ads so that you’re sure it’s all running smoothly.
It’s extremely common to have to tweak certain areas of your funnel, ads, and landing pages so that you can optimize conversions.