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2007-04-04 07:37:00

3 Real Estate Web Site Features Convert Visitors Into Customers

Recently I had a conversation with a REALTOR who had paid a good chunk of change to Google for his Adwords campaign. His complaint? He got lots of traffic (and paid Google for lots of clicks) but none of them turned into clients, or even into prospective clients, for that matter. I took a quick look at his website and quickly realized his problem -- a major website sin committed by online business owners everywhere. He expected that the visitors to his site would take him up on his invitation to contact him immediately to hire him to sell their home upon learning about his services.

What's wrong with that -- isn't that a reasonable call to action? The fallacy in that line of thinking is that unless the visitor has already been searching for a real estate agent offering a particular set of services (and I would estimate that to be one in every 100 or so visitors to your site, but it's probably closer to one in every 500), you're never going to see or hear from that visitor again. Think about it -- how often do you buy someone's services as an impulse purchase? So, if you expect visitors to go immediately from meeting you to hiring you, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Instead of trying to immediately convert the visitor into a paying customer, initiate a relationship with your visitor via your web site.

This means that you create a strategy to move him through your like, know, and trust process so that he's well acquainted with you when he decides to he's ready to sell his home or look for a new home. What's the secret to this relationship-building strategy? It's a simple process of including the following 3 must-have features on your web site:

1. A clear call to action. This is true whether you have a one-page web site or a 100-page site. Your primary call to action, or your most desired response from your visitor, needs to be made crystal clear on your site. I believe without a doubt that the call to action that will earn you the most money in the long-term is to capture your visitor's contact info in some way. Typically this happens because you've created a form where the visitor is asked to input his name and email address into that form. Why would someone willingly part with his contact information? Because you have created a compelling offer -- your client capturing device.

2. A client-capturing device. A client-capturing device is a free giveway that is of value to your target market and serves as a solution to a big problem that challenges your target market. Once upon a time, the offer for a free ezine or to join a mailing list was sufficient to capture a visitor's contact info. Alas, that is no longer the case, so you have to up the ante and provide even greater value to your visitor. Your client capturing device can take any of several formats -- a PDF ebook, an audio recording, a six- part e-course, a short downloadable video. In whatever form it might take, your client capturing device needs to provide some solid information to help your target market solve a pressing problem and not simply be a piece of fluff that advertises your business. If your giveaway is all fluff and no substance, you will have lost this prospective customer for good.

That's not to say that you shouldn't promote your business in this giveaway. That's one of the purposes of the giveaway -- to tell your prospects what action to take next, whether that's to buy an information product, subscribe to your email newsletter, call you for a free consultation, or hire you to sell their home. Many times, the next action you ask the visitor to take is to enroll in your-stay-in touch mechanism.

3. A stay-in-touch mechanism. Your stay-in-touch mechanism enables you to "reach out and touch" your prospects on a regular basis. This mechanism could take the form of a weekly email newsletter or a daily podcast or regular blog postings or a series of autoresponders to follow up with them. To move a prospect through your marketing funnel, it's helpful to use multiple methods to stay in touch with them. So, through a series of followup autoresponders, I ask my prospects to subscribe to my email newsletter and point them to my blog, as well. For best response from your visitors, you must use your stay-in-touch mechanism at least once a week. The more frequently they hear from you, the better they get to know you and the greater the likelihood that they'll convert from prospect into customer.

Take a moment to assess your web site for its client attraction factor. Are you ready to receive visitors? Add these three features to your website and watch your prospects turn into customers.

(Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps self-employed service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at www.GetMoreClientsOnline.com. Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at www.AskDonnaGunter.com)

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