The First to Convert ... Always Wins.

Sep 19, 2012 11:18:23 AM


After a morning chock-full of fantastic information on the key drivers of any real estate agents’ business – leads, listings and leverage – Gary Keller and Tony DiCello welcomed two socially in-tune panelists to the Mega Camp stage to talk about a subject affecting anyone with a lead capture form on their website: online lead conversion.

Cathy Manchester, a mega agent with the Greater Portland (Maine) market center, walked the audience through her no-nonsense internet lead generation strategy.

“The first to convert wins the online lead generation race,” she said. She’s right. A popular study on sales-follow-up released by MIT revealed that in sales, responding within the first five minutes yielded the highest number conversion ratio. “But first,” she explained, “you must have a well-oiled, multi-channel marketing and prospecting system.”

What does that look like. Cathy kept it succinct and straightforward with the following tips:

  1. Have a great website with an IDX feed and easy-to-use search functions.
  2. Direct traffic to your website from multiple sources. “Send people to your website to search for homes using Google Ad Words, Organic traffic from blogging, Craigslist, Facebook, Sign Riders, Brochures or Partnerships.”



Manchester then ran through the top lead sources and some tips for maximizing their effectiveness.

Craigslist: “Post three times a day,” advised Manchester. “The key to Craigslist success is repetitiveness. But when they change, you change.” Meaning when the number of people clicking through from your Craigslist ad to your website drops, it’s time to tweak the tactic and the message.

Google Ad Words: Geography, budget and a little wordsmith count when it comes to Google Ad words, which is Google’s popular pay-per-click advertising platform. What’s important here? Quality Score, which measures your ad’s relevancy based off the keywords, add-text and ultimately your landing page.

Organic Google Traffic: What’s the benefit of organic traffic? “It’s totally free,” said Manchester. Organic campaigns can come from an unpaid search engine results link, a referral from another website (such as a blog) and direct traffic.

Direct Traffic: Direct traffic is often good quality, but lesser quantity. “You’re capturing these people from a business card, a chance meeting, a direct-mail postcard or a newsletter. Direct Traffic is someone who already has an interest in your service,” she said.

Gary then asked Cathy to walk him through the process of capturing those Direct Traffic leads. “We use an inside sales agent who responds as quickly as possible. They use specific scripts, which always starts with a ‘Thank you for visiting our website.’ We pay them when an appointment is achieved and when the sale closes.” “Which is great,” said Manchester, “because the inside sales agent is incentivized to follow-up with the buyer’s agent to make sure the client’s needs are taken care of.”

In other words: The Cathy Manchester Team believes in no lead left behind. It’s paying off.