What exactly is a lead capture gateway and how is that different from my website?
In this part, I’m going to explain how lead capture technology works. Just like in the example above, imagine that same real estate customer going to a search engine and clicking on a link to find properties. But unlike the previous example, this time the customer is diverted to our LCM Gateway technology.
Unlike a website, our LCM Gateway is designed to capture a maximum number of visitors, so instead of capturing only about one percent of the visitors to your site, you’re now capturing between 30% and 40%. The first time through the gateway, the user has to register to use your website. From then on, he or she can come and go freely without ever re-registering. This process is seamless and it’s very effective.
Why does the lead capture gateway work so much better than the registration forms on most real estate websites? Why couldn’t you just put a registration form in the customer path and receive the same results? Well, you could. If you did, you would probably receive much better results than you receive now.
We’ve seen some agents take their site conversion up to the 5% range just by doing that one thing. But the LCM Gateway is specifically designed to maximize lead capture, while web forms are not.
Lead capture is a science. Everything about our LCM Gateway continues to be tested and modified in real time, so as to maximize lead capture. As I’m writing, we’re testing three distinct versions of our LCM Gateway, all in real time, and all with real customers. The data is astounding.
What we continue to learn is that every subtle nuance makes a difference — from font face, to font size, to font colors, to page background, to icons, to server side scripts, to programming languages like PHP, Java, and CGI, to client side scripts, to form validation, to everything.
What worked well last year is not necessarily working as well this year, as Internet shopping habits continue to change with the maturity of the Internet. The more people become familiar with the web, the more subtle the changes have to be in order to be effective. And as more agents become familiar with Internet marketing, the cost of traffic continues to escalate with the additional competition, making capture efficiency more important than ever.
For example, several months ago we experimented with changing one phrase on the LCM Gateway landing page. We tried several different versions over a period of a month or so, with over 50,000 unique visitors, and we learned that one particular offer consistently pulled nearly 3% better than another.
Some of the differences were visible, while others had to do with the processing of the online registration form. Since our first generation LCM Gateway, we’ve made hundreds of little changes, as well as dozens of major changes, every time improving conversion rates and the number of leads captured for our agents.
Remember, according to the NAR, the typical real estate website, even when all the registration forms are enabled, only has a site capture rate (CR) of just under 1%. Even the very best and most expensive sites only capture about 6%-8%, making any real lead capture on the website impractical and expensive, while continuing to get even worse as more and more people are bidding up the cost of Internet advertising.
But with the addition of an LCM Gateway in the customer path, website lead capture is not only practical; it’s probably the cheapest form of lead capture available. Just adding that one tiny change and the customer capture improves by a factor of 30 or more! And that drives the price of Internet customers down to an affordable level.
I can tell you that in our market, we capture some customers for less than $1 per lead, and we produce our most expensive Internet leads for under $5 each! With lead costs that low, we can afford to make more leads than we will ever use.
And having more leads than we can work allows us to relax. It also gives us room to grow. It means recruiting and team building. It means increased market share.
But every agent is different. Some have no interest in building a large team, while others do. We have one agent who creates thousands of leads, does the initial follow-up, and then hands off warm leads to other agents in his market for a referral fee.
He no longer works with customers directly but manages his own private relocation company! How you choose to work your business is entirely up to you. The key is that, with lots of customers, you have lots of options.
So how well are you tapping the largest of all markets — the Internet? Do you have efficient lead capture on your website? If you don’t, the first step to becoming a dominant real estate agent is having too many customers. You really have to start there. Everything else is second to that.
Today, lead vendors, and national real estate companies are spending lots of money tapping the Internet. If you’re going to compete with them, you’re going to have to have technology that puts you on the same level. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself depending on lead vendors for much of your business.
What’s next? Next, we’ll be discussing advertising. Where should you be spending your marketing dollars if you’re to become the top listing agent in your market? What strategies will get you the most bang for your hard-earned advertising buck? Is it possible to be effective in advertising without breaking the bank? How can you know for certain which ads are working and which ones aren’t?
All these questions will be answered in the next chapter, so you won’t want to miss it. I’ll also be telling you my secret for finding hundreds of new listing leads without ever calling a FSBO or an expired listing! In the meantime, work on getting efficient lead capture technology in place. There’s never going to be a better time to start than right now.
View all articles in this series:
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 1)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 2)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 3)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 4)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 5)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 6)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 7)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 8)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 9)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 10)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 11)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 12)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 13)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 14)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 15)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 16)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 17)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 18)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 19)
- The New Ultimate Listing Presentation (Part 20)
Take The Test Drive!Have you ever wondered what the best system for creating new business from the internet looks like? Want to see it in action? Finally, an interactive demo that allows you to sit in the driver's seat and check out the system that has revolutionized single agent lead generation for the real estate industry. Begin the Test Drive
Matt Jones is the founder and CEO of FavoriteAgent.com, nationally syndicated columnist, broker, and best selling author of LCM: The Secret to Success in the New Age of Real Estate, The Ultimate Listing Presentation, Traffic: How to Sell Fast and Net More, Becoming a Mega-Producer, The Science of Online Marketing, 10 Steps to Real Estate Success, 20 Questions: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Real Estate but Were Afraid to Ask, The Virtual Office Model, Max-Bang!, and The NEW Ultimate Listing Presentation. Jones' North Carolina-based company has been profiled by major media outlets as an innovator and a pioneer in the industry, and CNN's Pulse on America claimed FavoriteAgent.com is "changing the way real estate is being done in America." This article is syndicated in the following locations: iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, BlogMattBlog.com, RealBlogging.com, NewsGeni.us, TheCommissionCheck.com, RevampedAgent.com, and now Amazon Kindle.