How to Generate Open House Leads
We’re going to get specific about Google pay-per-click. We will be going step by step on how you can set up a Google pay-per-click campaign in order to drive leads to you.
The first thing to cover is your website itself. When a person sees an Ad and clicks on it, where are we going to drive the traffic to? Sometimes, you would drive them to your open house listing. If you have a website and you had an open house, you would have a listing about that property and that’s where you would drive the traffic to.
The problem with driving traffic to one specific open house is you have to remember to go into Google every week and change the URL because that open house has passed and the date and time are different. What we suggest you do is set up a generic open house landing page, where people don’t talk about one particular open house but about open houses in general. To get started…
Make a video of you standing in front of your office using your smartphone. The video would be something like this:
“Hey, it’s Terry over at Sparkle Realty. If you’re thinking of going out to any open houses this weekend – fill-in the form below. We’re going to email a list of all open houses in the West Vancouver Region this week, plus we’re going to keep you posted on next week’s open houses, the week after that and on top of it, we’re going to include all the listings that match your criteria specifically based on price and area and what you want. Now as the buyer agent, you don’t pay my fees so this is totally free service. Just fill in the form below.”
Then you’ll follow up. You’ll have your video and a Google map showing the area that you’re targeting. It’s not even interactive and it’s not populated with any open houses. It’s just a map showing the area you’re serving and a generic contact form.
These are the four elements you should have.
- Your video
- A map of the areas you’re serving
- A general call to action
- A contact form
There are lots of website builders out there with lots of different products and programs. One of them is Weebly.com. You can make your own branded version like yourname.com. Set up a landing page.
Now, you’re going to do Google pay-per-click advertising, the first thing to do is go to Google Ads. Create a Google Ad account using your email. You can also log in with your YouTube account, it’s the same thing because it’s all Google products.
Now, the dashboard might look slightly different because we’re actually running Ads and yours probably hasn’t run any Ads. Your dashboard probably doesn’t have any data yet.
When you create your Google account for the very first time, you won’t have more options yet. The Google Ads site is going to walk you through building your first campaign.
Now there’s another site called Google Ads Express. When you create your Google Ad account, the first thing you should do is click on the question mark for the help.
You might not have the option to call because you haven’t spent enough money but you will have the option to chat with them. We recommend you say that you’re new to Google Ads then you can directly ask them if the account you’re on at that moment is a Google Ad Express account or not. If so, you will not want that and then request them to switch it over to the real Google Ads account.
The Google Ad Express is actually a simplified version of Google Ads but so much so that you’re just going to waste your time and money. Now, assuming you’re set up on the regular Google Ads account, what you’re going to do is click on the campaign tab over on the left.
You’re going to create your very first campaign. Click the plus button and new campaign. In the future, you’re going to want to set it up as Leads but this is more technical than most of you are going to be able to handle because you have to create a thank-you page and you have to add codes and tracking code to that thank-you page.
If you’re not comfortable with setting things up, don’t do the Leads yet. You can do Website Traffic and then switch over to leads afterward.
We’re going to do website traffic, it’s a lot easier to set things up. We’re going to do a search campaign.
Don’t do the display, shopping or video yet. All of those have a time and place and rhyme and reason for why you would but for the most part, it just cost you a lot more money and the conversions are a lot lower.
You’re going to put in the name of your website so www.website.com.
Then click continue.
Next is the campaign name. When we create a campaign, that’s like one bucket. Within that bucket, indicate what you’re willing to spend per day, what you’re willing to spend per month and you want this many different Ads. Name it local search because we’re going to create future campaigns.
The first one we’re going to create is based on generating leads for open houses so we want to create that next but you have to do a campaign level and just call it local search. Leave Search Network checked on and uncheck Display Network.
The Display Network would be if a person is on a website and it has those keywords on the page, then your Ad will appear. That’s fine if you’re doing a branding play and you do banner Ads, but if you’re doing text Ads, it’s going to soak so much of your money and your conversions are going to go down the drain.
Under locations, they are going to default the entire country that you’re in and you do not want that.
Enter your location. You can target multiple cities. You can also do an advanced search. People within the areas you’ve targeted will see your Ads when they do a search. You can also do it based on a specific area.
If you only target specific areas of the city like for example say Vancouver, you can type in the postal codes of that area. You can target or exclude an area.
Let’s say you were targeting Vancouver but didn’t like doing North Vancouver for whatever reason, you could actually type-in the postal code or drop a pin of North and then click exclude.
When you click exclude, you’ll see a red part on the map.
So, anybody in the blue who searches your keywords will see your Ads and anybody in the red will not see your Ads. This is how you can refine the cities you’re targeting or what parts of the city you’re targeting
You could also target people based on language. Let’s say you’re multicultural and your first language is in English, let’s use Spanish as an example. You can actually only target people that are Spanish and then you could write your Ads in Spanish. There’s a huge benefit to targeting people based on language.
For the budget, you can do a monthly budget or an average daily budget. If it’s monthly, a good monthly budget for most agents would be $300-$500 a month. It’s a good standard single-agent typical Ad budget. If you clicked on daily, then maybe your daily rate would be $5-$10 a day.
Scroll down to the bidding. You can do conversions but you need to have the tracking code and everything set up which is going to be more complicated.
You would do Clicks, you can set a maximum cost-per-click. Typically, a cost per click is 30 cents to $25. You might not be willing to spend any more than $4 per click or $3 a click so you can set that up.
About the Ad extensions as you can see below, let’s first have an example of what an Ad extension would look like.
Below is a search result of Vancouver homes for sale. You’ll see advertisers on top of the list of the search result.
The second advertiser says BCEL HOMES / Vancouver Property Search. There’s one line of blue text, one line of green text and one line of black text but the first advertiser has one line of blue, one line of green and three lines of black text. How does the first advertiser have so much more space? It’s literally taking up more lines of text whereas the second advertiser has only taken up three?
Clearly, the first advertiser has a greater chance of catching a person’s attention because it takes up more of the screen. These things are called Ad Extensions.
First, click on the Sitelink extension. There’s a little drop-down and then you’re going to click on the blue button that says new Sitelink extension.
The first Sitelink is the blue line at the bottom.
The advertiser is using Search New Home Listings, Search Homes and the other details as you can see at the sample image. You can do it just like they did, based on the area or you can do it based on the service you offer.
Let’s say our first Sitelink text would be House values the description line 1 would say Thinking of selling and description line 2 would be Vancouver house values.
It says the final URL, what you’re going to do is add your website. You could navigate to the house value-form of your website if you have your own real estate website. Most real estate websites have a “Find out what your home is worth” or “House value contact form”. Use that page on the final URL.
If you’re wondering what the warning symbol means, it’s because you’re not using HTTPS which is a secure site. If your website isn’t HTTPS, contact whoever you bought the domain through and say you want an HTTPS and they’ll charge you a yearly fee but it’s not a lot of money and Google really is insisting for that.
So that’s the first Sitelink, house values and what’s another common call-to-action or item that people would be interested in well probably Homes for Sale. So, your next Sitelink would say MLS listings for sale, Real Estate for sale in Vancouver, Search Homes on Map. Then you would go to your website and add either, your website has a page full of listings or it has a page with a call-to-action that’s like “Find your dream home” and people would fill-in all their criteria.
Navigate to the buyer page, copy the URL and then put it as the final URL on your Sitelink 2. You can add a third Sitelink if you want. Then click Save.
The next one is the Call-out extension.
This is basically keyword stuffing. You can go back to Google and see what most of the advertisers are using.
On the sample above, the black texts are the Call-out extension.
The Ad says Get Listings Faster with Our Live Feed, Local Content, and Experts for Help and other details as you can see on the sample above.
Let’s add those keywords, so click the new call-out extension.
You could add 3 or 4 of them. Let’s say the main areas Vancouver Real Estate and Vancouver Homes for Sale, Thousands of Listings, and Updated Daily.
After you typed-in your details. You can actually do a preview and see how it will look like. It lets you see how your Ads will look on both desktop and android view.
When your Ad is running, that would be the black text that is shown on the samples above. It adds more space to your Ad and it stuffs with more keywords that people are searching. Add the main keywords people are looking for and click Save.
Next is the Call extension.
The sample above is on a desktop view. It has a contact number but sometimes when greyed then it’s not clickable. The number above is blue and is clickable, so when the person clicks, it redirects the person to the app where he/she can call using that number. On a mobile device or smartphone, people could call you directly.
If you go back to Google, you want to click the add new call extension.
You’re going to pick the right country so it’s defaulted to the United States. If you’re in Canada obviously you would change it to Canada.
Then you would put your phone number and leave all the rest as is. Click save and that will put your phone number directly into the Ad.
There are also more extensions if you click the Ad extensions.
If you have an app or if you have your company or your franchise, they will provide with you your own version of an app.
Click the new Ad extensions and then click the New App extension.
You could be specific and let’s say anybody who’s on an iOS device search up the app in the App Store. You put it in there and then people can download your app directly. You would want to do one for Android and one for iOS and click save for both of them.
There are other options too. You could do location extensions if you just want to add keywords to the areas that you serve. There’s a lot of other options that you can do but the main ones are the Call-out extension and the Sitelink. These are the two main ones that you want to do.
Click save and continue.
What you just set up was the campaign level. Now we’re moving on to the more refined part where we’re going to create the Ad Groups.
So, the name of the group should be whatever the call-to-action or your keyword is, that you’re going for.
In this sample, the main ones we’ll use here would be one Ad for Open House, one Ad for House Values, another one for a Real Estate for Sale. Those are the top three that you want to start with. Those are obviously the most logical ones that we’re going to focus on.
The Open Houses would be your Ad group number one. You’re going to name it as open house and then in the section boxed in red, that is where you put all of the keywords.
We recommend you have typed-out a list of all the keywords that you’ll need so that you can just copy and paste the text. We recommend you follow the format below.
+yourcity +Open +House
So, in the example, we will use the below format:
+Vancouver +Open +House
The plus sign means the word must be prevalent in the search. If a person goes to Google and searches using the keywords Vancouver and open. The word Vancouver and open could trigger your keywords but that person is not actually looking for Open houses. But because we have the plus symbol in front of each word, their keywords have the three words we put-in, the Vancouver, Open and House so your Ads will be triggered. It doesn’t have to be in a particular order. Just as long as they do the search, it has those three words.
You are going to want to add all of the brokerages and franchises in your area. What’s the idea of listing all the brokerages in the area? If a person who’s thinking of going to an open house, maybe they saw an open house sign rider on the for-sale sign. They go to Google and search for the name of that company. You want to show up for that search too.
Also, what you want is the plus symbol plus the brokerage word together as if it’s one. That is proper. If there’s a space between them, that is not proper.
You can also revisit and edit your keywords. After a couple of weeks, you check which keywords work and which did not. So, you can remove the keywords that didn’t work or change them.
You could have other words in it but you’re being very specific, here are three variations.
Below are more of samples you can use:
+Weekend +Open +House
+Weekend +Open +Houses
+Weekend +Open +Home
+Weekend +Open +Homes
+MLS +Open +Houses
+MLS +Open +House
+MLS +Open +Home
+MLS +Open +Homes
+Sunday +Open +Houses
+Sunday +Open +House
+Sunday +Open +Home
+Sunday +Open +Homes
+Real +Estate +Open +Houses
+Real +Estate +Open +House
+Real +Estate +Open +Homes
+Real +Estate +Open +Home
+Realtor +Open +Houses
+Realtor +Open +House
+Realtor +Open +Homes
+Realtor +Open +Home
For local brokerages and franchises, you can do a +Name +Open +House.
Paste the keywords and it’s okay to have spaces between them.
Click save and continue.
The next part is creating the Ad.
This part shows a preview of what the Ad is going to look like. The very first step says the final URL.
It’s going to pull in whatever your website is but because you know you’re triggering based on the open house keywords, you don’t want them going to your website, you want them going to the landing page or a page on your website that talks about open houses.
The headlines will be:
Headline 1. Vancouver Open Houses
Headline 2. Real Estate for Sale
Headline 3. Saturday and Sunday Open Houses
Then under the description:
Description 1. Get a Full List of this Week’s Open Houses in Vancouver
Description 2. Vancouver Real Estate
Make a clean simple Ad. See the preview below on the smartphone view.
See the preview below on the desktop view.
All those Sitelinks that you’ve just created are going to get added underneath those Ads. This makes the Ad double in size which is awesome. Click save and continue.
You continue to Set up billing if you have a new account and haven’t set-up the payment methods yet.
And click submit.
If you already have, you proceed with confirmation and continue to campaign.
If you navigate and click on Ads and Extensions on the left side of the dashboard. It’s going to show you the Ads you made. You should actually have at least three Ads. To add more, just click the plus button.
Add a text Ad.
Select the group that we’re doing it for.
As you create more of these Ads in the future, there’ll be other options you’ll see on the image sample above.
After choosing the Open Houses that are shown above. You’ll then be redirected to the page where we put the final URL, the headlines 1-3 and the description 1 and 2. Once you’re done, you’ll have an option at the bottom part of the page to choose from:
- Save and add another.
- Save and create extensions.
- Save Ad.
You can proceed with Save and Add Another until you meet your desired number of Ads to create. As time goes on, keep adding more and more. Now that you have different Ads that are going to be running, click Save Ad.
When you click on the Ads and Extensions, you will see all the Ads and in two or three weeks, when you come in to check it out, you’re going to see which one of your Ads is performing well and the other ones that aren’t working so good.
What you can do is modify the others that are not working well. That’s why you make more than 1, 2 or 3 Ads because you can’t just rely on a few Ads. You didn’t realize that by just changing up a few of the words, you’d have a better click-through rate.
The other thing you can do is click on the keywords and it’s going to show you a list of all the keywords that we’re targeting. Let’s say in three weeks, you come in and some of the keywords aren’t working out so well for you, what you can do is click on the pencil button, which means to edit, and then just change it. Choose the Phrase Match and get rid of the plus symbols and then click Save.
The CTR or click-through rate is based on how many times the keywords are triggered and then how many times did the searchers click. The higher that click-through rate, the better.
Let’s say you make that change and then a couple of weeks later you log back in. To the ones that are not working out so well, click the plus button and then you could make it a broad match and then click Save.
The reason many don’t like a broad match too well is that it is literally too broad. What if a person has searched an open house but they were actually searching for a school open house or like a church open house or a rental open house? All these other things, that’s why many don’t like the broad match.
Click-through rates are typically on the lower end of things usually in the single-digit percentages. You’re not going to get a 20% click-through rate or a 50% click-through rate. For most of you, it’s going to be like 6%, 10%, 8%, or 3%. But what you’re really worried about is the ones that are like a 0.001% click-through rate. Something’s not matched up, that’s what you’re really concerned about there.
Once your Ads have been running for a while, you’re going to be able to log in and see what search terms are working and which ones are not working. Do this a lot to get things up and running well.
The best thing about Google pay-per-click is that once you set it up, you can forget about it for a couple of days. You could have some campaigns with good CTR that could be running for years and the keywords don’t need to be changed. The landing page doesn’t have to be new as well. It just has to be new to the person who’s doing the search. Once you find something that works, dial it in and get more chances to get leads.
Stay tuned for part 3 in our next series of videos!!!