Some real estate agents out there have to reread the popular best selling book  “Who Moved My Cheese” because they are just far to stubborn, and, more importantly, are losing market share.

Here’s The Background To The Story

I recently had a conversation about online lead capture with an agent that left me shaking my head.  This particular agent was once an absolute powerhouse.  In fact, she was at one time a highly celebrated agent that was consistently honored by one company award after another.  However, in the last few years her market share has began to decline in a noticeable way.  This is what led to our conversation.

She noticed that I was consistently generating leads on my website that were converting into real business and asked me to come in to her office to share with her how I was doing it.  I gladly obliged and assessed what her online business looked like.  What I found wasn’t surprising.  It was one of those absolutely  outdated static websites that do nothing but display an oversized picture of you and your dog.

As a side note, how did our industry ever decide that was a good idea?

Here Is What I Told Her

  • Build a WordPress site that makes it easy and convenient for visitors to search the San Diego MLS.  It will also allow you to stop being dependent on a web designer for each and every minor tweak, and you will be able to post relevant and current information at will.
  • Don’t plaster your picture all over the place.  It isn’t about you.  It’s about consumers and the information they are looking for.  First and foremost, they simply want to find homes for sale.  Make that the focus!
  • Ditch the generic MLS board provided IDX and use a more sophisticated system like Diverse Solutions.
  • I also offered to help her optimize her site and teach her the basics.

We were doing pretty well up to that point.  But here is where I lost her:

  • Force people that use your IDX to register in exchange for the service.  That is where the lead capture happens.  This is the information you are asking me for.

Sad But True, And Why My Mind Was Blown

She started arguing with me that forcing people to register was a bad idea.  So I asked her how many leads she currently gets out of her current system.  The answer was zero.  Not even one.

I asked her how much business she has done over the course of her entire career that could be traced back to her website.  She gave me some vague answer about how a couple clients of hers once told her that her site was nice.

I suggested that she try and follow my simple advice and I promised she would have more tangible and consistent results.  She told me that forcing people to register on her website would drive people away.  Please reread that sentence and it will be clear why I had a headache from the conversation.

How could this be?  It didn’t make sense.  This was is an agent who gets nothing from the internet yet is afraid that people will be driven away from her site?  Doesn’t it seem like they already are?  Wouldn’t it be a good idea to try something new?  Wouldn’t it be an even better idea if that something new was the exact same thing that the agent sitting in the office right next door to her was implementing day in and day out with great success?  It blew my mind.

The Takeaway

What agents like this one are missing is that building a successful online lead capture site complete with forced registration is not a new age technique that is going to come and go.  Learning how to implement a sound internet strategy is the core of what real estate marketing is.  This includes the basics of seo, lead capture, landing pages, and interactive posts.  It is here to stay.  Those that do not wake up are going to continue to lose market share.  The good news is that those that catch on quickly have an amazing opportunity right in front of them.  Agents like the one described above that once dominated the marketplace are being slowly yet surely replaced by their more tech savvy counterparts.  It is like having discovered the power of direct mail years ago before everyone else started doing it.  An effective online presence is no longer a choice for those agents that want to be big time players in the marketplace of the future.