In the 1992 presidential campaign, George H. W. Bush was considered unbeatable because of foreign policy developments such as the end of the Cold War and the Persian Gulf War. Campaign strategist James Carville won the election for Bill Clinton with the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid.” claiming Clinton was a better choice because Bush had not adequately addressed the recession.
Please understand that I am not criticizing anyone’s website when I say this, but for the sake of driving home a point to all of us, “It’s lead capture, stupid.” Maybe that can be a mantra that will stick in the minds of hundreds of thousands of agents trying to build a successful online marketing campaign.
I hope that that sound-byte is forever etched in all of our minds. The truth is most people spend far too much time and trouble worrying about the actual website. I know from experience. Before I learned better, I had over 4,000 pages of quality content, both original and syndicated, on my website.
I had free reports, I had calculators, I had mortgage information, I had long technical explanations of various types of financing, I had articles on rent-versus-buying and how to decide, I had first time home-buyer information, school quality reports, weather (don’t ask me why), and everything but the kitchen sink on my site.
Why? Because “experts” had told me again and again that “content is king”. Until one day I realized that the Emperor didn’t have on new clothes at all. He was naked! Instead of trusting all the experts, I decided to do something novel: I decided to ask the people who used my site, what they wanted in a real estate website. Here is what I found.
They only wanted one thing — a simple way to search all area homes for sale. Not my listings, not all the other stuff, just a simple and exhaustive home search. We developed a very simple website. It’s not a real estate library. It’s not an “I love me” website. It’s not a cyber business card or brochure. It’s a simple home search. One page.
I say all that because my philosophy is that the website is the bait. The LCM gateway is the trap. If you want to catch a mouse, you need to put cheese (or peanut butter) on the trap, not broccoli. But at the end of the day, if you lay a block of cheese on the floor without a trap, don’t expect to catch a lot of mice. “It’s lead capture, stupid.”