Most people don’t want to fill out forms on a real estate website, but for the most part, that’s because most forms are poorly designed, intimidating to fill out, or have no thought behind them at all.
Most agent’s websites have forms built for what information they think they need from the user, not what the user will actually fill out or what they actually need. To see success on your forms, you have to think like the person filling out the form.
Ask For Less
Website forms need to be simple. You need to ask for the minimal amount of information you actually need from the person, which may mean asking for more information later once you build a relationship with them. One of the worst offenders is often a real estate agent’s home evaluation form. If you’re asking for everything from the year the home was built to when the kitchen was renovated to the room sizes, then you’re making a mistake; you’re creating a barrier to have the user fill out the forms, and chances are, you don’t get very many form submissions as a result.
Think about it… When someone goes to your website and wants to know how much their home is worth, what information do you really need from them? All of the little details about the home are nice to know to give them an accurate value, but in the interest of getting more form submissions, you probably only need to know their first name, how to contact them, and their address. In the end, most agents are just going to contact the person and tell them that they need to see the home in person to give a more accurate value anyways. The bottom line is, fewer fields in your forms means more people are likely to fill out the form.
Every Detail Matters
If you look at the forms on a few real estate agent’s websites, I’d be willing to bet that most of the form buttons say ‘Submit.’ But think about how threatening that word is. Subconsciously, people don’t want to click buttons like that unless they really, really, really want to get the information on the other side. Using ‘Learn More’ or ‘Get Started’ or ‘Lets Chat’ is much friendlier, and they tell the user what will happen once they fill out the form. The word ‘Submit’ makes sense to use if you’re a developer (which is why it’s usually the default) because that’s the function that’s happening, but it doesn’t make sense for the end user. If you see it on a website, it’s not because somebody thought that word would be better, but rather, that they left the default enabled and didn’t think to change it.
In an effective digital strategy, every single micro-interaction matters; no matter how insignificant it may seem to you.
In the end, every detail matters to get more form submissions. The color of the form fields, the color of the buttons, the questions above the fields, all of it needs to be considered when you’re planning your website to help you see the most success.
Convince and Convert
Your forms need to have enough information surrounding them to let the person filling it out know exactly what will happen and when it will happen when they fill out the form. If you don’t have any accompanying text with your form (which believe it or not, some people don’t), people aren’t going to fill it out.
I’ve seen selling inquiry pages and again, home evaluation forms, where the form is literally the only thing on a page besides a title, and that does not evoke confidence from the person on the page. The text accompanying your form needs to be clear and concise, and it needs to appeal to the user to convince them that they need to fill it out.
It isn’t enough to just have a form on a page; you need to convince someone that they need to fill it out.
In the end, regardless of what you do to make your forms more appealing, you need to have the right forms in the right place; they shouldn’t be generic. A general contact form is ok to have as a catch-all, but it’s better if you have forms that are direct actions to what’s on that specific page. For example, if you have a long, detailed, well-thought-out page that outlines your unique value propositions around selling a home, it’s better to have a form that says: Ready to take the first steps towards selling your home? Or, even better to lower that barrier: Have questions about selling your home? You’ll see more success if you have specific forms on specific pages.
Want to plan your digital strategy on your own, and set your business up for success? Download our workbook: ‘The Digital Business Planning Workbook’. It’s a self-guided, interactive, strategic workbook where you answer questions about branding, SEO, content, design, and a lot more, so you can set goals for your website and your digital marketing efforts. And, it’s free to download.