I have met and spoken with too many real estate professionals who believe that real estate branding is just a logo and a beautiful website with their face plastered all over it.
While it is important to have a nice website and photo of yourself, realize that 72 percent of potential customers choose the very first Realtor® that they find and can contact, per NAR’s (National Association of Realtors) research.
This is not an insignificant piece of information, so let me repeat this in larger, bold letters:
# 72 percent of potential customers choose the very first Realtor® that they find and can contact.
The quality of your branding is the not the number-one determinant factor for why a potential customer would choose you. Being able to find and contact you, is.
Which brings us to our question:
If your beautiful, well-designed, professionally branded website is never or rarely found by prospects, who cares?
Personally, I will take a mediocre website that is found and is user-friendly over one that is beautiful and on Page Two (or worse!) on Google.
A marketing expert once told me, “If you want to hide a dead body, place it on Page Two of Google.”
The following insight from Dorie Clark, best-selling author of Reinventing You and Stand Out, showcases how one has to think outside the (website) box to generate recognition, traffic, and new customers through online initiatives:
In the early days of building my consulting business, I realized that I could gain extra credibility with clients if I were affiliated with ‘brand name’ publications, so I started blogging regularly for the Harvard Business Review and Forbes, among others. But in addition to the value of being able to cite those publications in my bio, I realized that their reach far exceeded what I could manage if I were writing those same articles for my own website.
They had a built-in audience of readers whom I wanted to reach, and search engines like Google trusted their content and ranked it highly. Thus, as a result, my strategy over the years has been to write frequently for outside, reputable publications, and use that to grow my reach by encouraging readers (in the bio line at the end of my posts) to visit my website to download free resources and join my email list. That’s enabled me to dramatically grow my list, which is over 28,000 subscribers at present.”
This type of activity will hold true and effective for real estate agents, and any other business, for that matter.
Now, the idea is to have a top-notch website that is found and does generate leads. But let us focus on two important maxims:
Still, tens of thousands of real estate agents are buying this “branding myth,” spending three-, five-, even fifteen-thousand dollars on a single website that generates no leads for months after the site goes online.
How can someone buy from you IF THEY CANNOT FIND YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE?
You would be better off having a cheaper, simpler website that is easy to find and user-friendly, and spend the remainder of your budget on email marketing, Facebook ads, reputation management, and video marketing on YouTube. If you did this, you would generate considerably more leads than just real estate branding efforts.
We speak from extensive experience.
We remember one business professional who came to us in a panic. He had spent $15,000 on a beautiful website with a “branding expert” who had sold him false expectations and “voodoo.”
He approached us months later through a referral, because his “beautiful, professionally branded” website was generating ZERO leads. None, zero, zilch.
In a matter of two months, and for a lot less money, we generated more leads for him than all of his previous, fancy branding, SEO (Search Engine Optimizations), and “awesome” logos!
If you doubt the facts, survey 100 real estate agents who have expensive websites and inquire how their websites actually perform as lead generators.
Ask for the real number of generated leads.
CAVEAT: Do not read this article and believe that I support mediocre websites. If you have the extra cash to throw at lavish websites, then do so. What I am advocating are marketing systems built upon a number of proven factors, like WHERE your audience and future leads are, as well as HOW people choose one brand over another.
The solution to lead generation lies within pragmatic systems built with several key factors dovetailed into a profitable business opportunity.
Download my free book below if you would like to learn how to master lead generation for your real estate business.