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Buyer Sites – Forced Registration or Full Access? Think carefully….

When individuals come to your buyer site and would like to view properties, we typically have the following options:

1) Let them view all of the properties on your site, as many times as they like, without needing to register (provide their contact information such as name, email, phone).

2) Force them to register with their name, email and phone number BEFORE they can view any properties on your website.

3) Give them a few “free” properties views before requiring them to register. Typically, most website owners will give anywhere from 2-5 free property views before hitting them with the registration popup.

So which one is best? There are varying opinions, however in my mind there is only one CORRECT answer: Forcing them to register before they can view any properties on your website.

First off, many of you are probably thinking right now “but they will just go use Zillow because they do not require registration so why should I?”. In my opinion that is flawed thinking. Zillow isn’t exactly worried about what you are doing, so why should you worry about them? Besides, we are talking about individuals that are on YOUR website and how we are going to handle them. Most likely, you only have ONE SHOT to collect their lead information before they are gone forever, never to return, so we need to take our best shot at collecting their information before they leave. There are endless website options in every single market to search for homes, so I wouldn’t expect any “website loyalty” from these individuals, or for them to remember your website and to come back on their own. Additionally, you PAID for the traffic that lead this person to your website. So why give them unfiltered free access without asking for anything in return? The entire reason for you to have a buyers website in the first place, that you have to pay your website provider for every month, which you pay for the traffic to send there, is to generate leads for you correct? So why not let the website do its job and actually collect those leads as it’s meant to? Your buyers website sole purpose is to generate leads! That’s it. Let your website do it’s job!

The biggest excuse that I’ve heard many times over the years for not requiring forced registration is always along the lines of “I had a buyer lead call me on the phone and say the only reason that he was going to work with me was because I did not require registration on my website. He said that he hates that and would never work with a Realtor who required registration up front. Because of this I sold him a $1 million dollar home, and received a $30,000 commission. I would never have sold that home if I used forced registration”. My response? That’s fantastic. You sold a $1 million dollar home and made $30,000. BUT….how many leads did you miss out on because you didn’t require registration, and how many homes could you have sold if you did? How much more money would you have made if you had gotten more leads and the ability to work with more buyers? I guarantee A LOT more than $30,000. Guaranteed.

As far as giving away 2-5 “free” property views before requiring registration, I also think this is a mistake. I understand the intent and the thinking behind it, however I think it has the potential to do more harm than good. For many people if you let them view 5 properties without registering, and then on the 6th property view attempt they are blocked and hit with the registration screen, they have the potential to feel confused and upset. I’ve even heard feedback that they might think your site is broken. This isn’t exactly the message that you want to convey to potential clients.

This has been tested countless times over the years not just by myself, but also by some of the most successful internet real estate marketers in the world. There is a reason that the VAST majority of successful real estate website owners require registration. Because it works!

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Buyer Lead Texting Examples for New Leads

Here are some text message ideas to send to your new Buyer Leads……

Hey there, I’m pulling up some houses in the area that you might like. How many bedrooms are you looking for?

Great choice of neighborhood. What size of house are you looking for? Are you new to the area?

Hey! A few new homes hit the market I think you’ll love. Would you like me to send you the info?

Thanks for signing up on our site to search for homes. I’m setting up a home search for you now. Are you looking for a house or a condo?

Hey there, I saw you were searching for homes on our website. I’m happy to help and set you up with automatic updates by email every time a new home that matches your criteria hits the market!

Do you prefer a one story or two story home? What about tile, hardwood or carpet flooring?

I can send you more information on any home for sale in the market – what exactly are you looking for?

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