Being that I never, ever have enough time to focus on “me stuff” (translation: I’m running a company, deal directly with hundreds of Real Estate Agents on any given week, am married, AND have a 4 month old baby boy), I find myself constantly trying to combine activities, when I actually do get a few minutes to do “me time”.
My latest “me time” combo has been going to the gym to train for my upcoming triathlon, and listening to Hubspot’s, Inbound Now podcast. Thanks to my handy waterproof ipod, this past week I was able to do my swim workout and check out an episode featuring a guy named Derek Halpern. The podcast focused on Website Conversion Techniques. While I found pretty much 100% of it interesting (Derek is not only super knowledgeable, but his one part East Coast swagger and one part hipster tech geek, make him very engaging to listen to. Definitely not boring.)
If you want to listen to the entire podcast (which I think you should, if you’re concerned with your web traffic and your conversion rate), click on the link I left above.
Today though, I want to talk about one specific thing that Derek discussed. This thing instantly hit home, as it’s something I try and advise Real Estate agent’s against, almost weekly. It’s also though something though that caught me by surprise and made me realize, “Well crap, I’m just as guilty of this as any of my clients”.
My first response, since I’m kind of cocky and a shameless self promoter was, “Who the hell does this guy think he is anyways?”
After I checked myself though, I really got to thinking about it and realized how much his points made sense. Since I know all you guys are always busy, I’ll summarize his main points here and specifically relate it to your Real Estate blog, property flyers and postcards that you use for your farming.
What did he say?
What Derek said that totally got me thinking was related to text size, line height and what best practices you should follow when figuring out the right size of text and the right amount of content that people can easily digest.
Derek subscribes to a theory a guy by the name of Chris Pearson created. It’s called the Golden Ratio. The long and short of it is that people are unconsciously aware of the perfect ratio to the size of your text (font size), the distance between the lines of your test (line height), and how much text is crammed into a single line (characters per line).
The reasons these factors are important are actually way more critical than you would imagine. For instance, take this blog, and our corporate website. If you look at our Google Analytics report, you’ll see that the lion share of initial hits on our site come through to our blog. Then, once on the blog, the visitor will dive into pages on our website that talk about offerings and services.
What though would happen if a prospective client went to our website and they decided the text was too small, lines too close together, or things too jumbled to read? Would they move onto the part of our site that talks about our services? Of course not.
Luckily we had decent line spacing, so all wasn’t lost. I am kicking myself though because by adding size to the font, adjusting the characters per line, and simply adjusting the width of the side bar, our blog looks light years better, and much, much easier to digest. I wonder what our conversion rate of blog visitors clicking through to our offering and services pages would have been if we had listened to Derek’s interview earlier?
How does this apply to my Real Estate Practice?
If I’ve peaked your curiosity and you are wondering how this might apply to your Real Estate Practice, the answer is very simple. It applies to EVERY PART OF YOUR MARKETING PRESENCE:
1) Your Blog: If your blog is hard to read, people are going not going to take the time to learn about your vast knowledge and expertise in your marketplace. They’re simply going to move onto the next agent they find on the web that has keywords on their website similar to yours.
2) Your Print Marketing: Let’s say you’ve crammed too much ad copy on your postcard. What do you think is going to happen? Same thing. Homeowners will just chuck it in the recycle bin and not even spend a second reading your message.
Even worse, a potential seller may see your pieces, have an adverse reaction to how hard they are to read, and decide not to call you for a listing appointment as they won’t feel you will be able to properly market their home.
3) Property Flyers: I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again. The purpose of a property flyer is not to give a potential buyer every single stinking detail of a listing. It’s to give them a great, visual reminder of what the home was like.
A typical buyer may look at 3, 4 or even 10 homes on a weekend. All the features of all the different homes will start to run together. Why risk having the buyer forget about the specific features of your listing, because they aren’t willing to read crammed together 10 point type? Use the text sparingly, spread out evenly, and use the beautiful photos your photographer took to give them a visual memory of the home they walked through.
How Do I Take Advantage Of This?
I checked out Chris’ blog and he does actually have a cool link to a Golden Ratio Calculator. Now admittedly, this is most likely more for blog optimization, but if you speak with the graphic designer that works on your postcards and flyers, they should pretty easily be able to apply the same principles to your print marketing.
So my friends, those of you that are my clients have probably heard the riot act about too much content in a confined space. If you have, I apologize. Please consider this article, Derek’s interview, and Chris’ theory as additional fodder to consider change though.
Do you have tons of web traffic, but poor conversion rates? Do you want your print marketing to have more “pop”? Are you trying to figure out how to bulk up your monthly web visits? If so, feel free to contact me any time. I’d be happy to listen to what you’re trying to accomplish, and help you in any way I can. I’ve also been known to give free advice on occasional days that end in “y”, so that doesn’t suck either