The lead gen form: the gateway to user heaven or user hell

Every once in a while we’ll postabreakdownofarealestatebrokeragehomepage here on the blog. We hope to provide some insight into how to create better online real estate user experiences.

The lens we peer through belongs to the user – the home buyer, home seller or home owner. What they want. How they want it. And how they feel about the brand behind the site.

Our stance is simple: Do right by the end user and everyone wins. The perceived conflict between serving agents and consumers is an artifact from a time that has passed. The battle between your business rules and users’ goals is usually pointless.

The lead gen form

Getting users to take action and engage in some manner is the #1 goal for almost all the companies we talk to. So we pay special attention to the points at which those actions are usually taken: “Contact us” pages, emails, calls to action for finding an agent, getting a mortgage quote and more.

And then of course there is the lead gen form. The point at which an IP address can become a person. A lead. A client. A sale.

How forms read, how they look and how they feel to a user can make or break you.

Take the form below, which is part of a lead management solution used by many brokerages. It presents itself when the user clicks the “Schedule a Showing” button on a listing detail page.

Bad Real Estate Lead Gen form

Opportunity graveyard

A great form is one that immediately addresses the user’s desire and puts them at ease.

A bad form, like the one above, unnerves the user with tentacles reaching upward from depths of leadgenhell. Too many questions about too many things that have nothing to do with why the user arrived, or what they want. Users land here, shriek and leave.

All that remains is the ghost of what could have been.

If I owned a brokerage, I’d take a different approach. I wouldn’t use the forms provided by my lead management company. Or my Website vendor. I’d custom design each and every form on my site. They’d carry my brand voice and connect the user to their desired action. Fast.

Here’s an example:

Good Real Estate Lead Gen FormOpportunity heaven

It’s all in the details. Every single, little bitty detail. This not only applies to your forms but to every page on your Website. Every word. Every link. Every image.

This is what it takes to create an experience that will meet your goals. It’s not about technology. It’s about sensitivity to the user – and your own brand.

If you cultivate these capacities, you will increase your conversion rate.

If you don’t, users will continue to run for the exits.