Generating High-Intent Real Estate Leads with SEO
How the Oldfather Group grew website traffic by 2,000%
A real estate mega team’s need for a scalable solution for organic lead gen
Dustin Oldfather, CEO of the Oldfather Group, and his 60+ person team serve in-demand beach and residential communities across Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The Oldfather Group is a conduit between buyers, sellers and the exclusive properties dotting the eastern coastline.
Market demand, combined with Realtor competition, highlighted the importance of reputation and website authority. The Oldfather Group had grown to employ nearly a dozen Inside Sales Agents (ISAs), a listing director, contract-to-closing director, a marketing team, sales managers, and ancillary mortgage and insurance companies, so being able to scale web authority and traffic to meet the growth of the company was essential.
“We found ourselves in a position where we’d outgrown the capabilities of our previous provider,” Oldfather said. “We needed a powerful solution that could deliver on real estate lead generation strategies and organic website growth.”
Finding a high-performing real estate website recommended by peers
Throughout the process of searching for a new provider, Oldfather keyed in on several factors: reputation, service and performance.
“I talked to many peers within the industry, and everyone had positive experiences when working with Sierra,” Oldfather said. “We saw for ourselves the validity of their best-in-class reputation. It was a strong indicator of the performance and results we could expect when implementing it ourselves.”
The value, Oldfather noted, was even higher when factoring in the Sierra platform cost, which was 10-20 times less expensive than competitor website, content and search optimization quotes.
Oldfather also liked the interpersonal support Sierra’s team brought to the table. “We did our due diligence in finding a solution that worked for us,” Oldfather explained. “Sierra’s service experience stood apart. It goes beyond a help desk. The conversations, support and results are exceptional and unmatched for the industry.”
“Sierra strives to provide an individualized experience for each of our customers,” Joyce Wells, Sierra’s Head of Customer Success explained. “The real estate industry is highly diverse. The way you reach your audience changes depending on if you’re trying to reach a conventional home buyer or seller or a fractional ownership client. Then it changes again if you’re working with rentals, investment properties or leasing. Just as our customers need to modify their tactics to reach any given audience, our support team strives to cater to the customer’s most pressing goal or objective.”
While these factors drew the Oldfather Group to Sierra, the results-driven search engine optimization (SEO) expertise cinched their decision to implement.
Increasing website traffic volume and lead quality with SEO
Oldfather had a clear goal for the new provider of choice: increase organic website traffic to the Oldfather Group’s website. Specifically built with organic SEO in mind, Sierra’s real estate IDX websites allow customers to create unlimited content pages and leverage a proprietary IDX integration. Additionally, customers can create hyperlocal content, like listings, stats, testimonials and videos, to target communities and neighborhoods in their market. Inserting search criteria on content pages and blog posts can help website visitors find what they need faster. Customers also have complete control over the URL, meta tags and source code on content pages, so they can be optimized to boost organic rankings as well, effectively giving customers long-tail keyword searches for their site.
Although the perception of SEO importance varies in the industry, Oldfather explained it simply.
“When a prospective lead conducts a search based on a specific keyword, you’re able to quickly learn their intent, and they automatically become closer to transacting than leads you’re paying for and driving to your site [through PPC strategies]. These organic leads are met with a clear and informative website that is well-built and well-structured. The result from our organic lead generation efforts is a double win for us – increased lead volume and quality.”
For SEO, web content featuring high-intent keywords combined with website page speed and performance is critical. Statistics suggest that 40% of consumers wait no more than 3 seconds for a web page to load before abandoning a site. Sierra’s IDX-enabled real estate websites cater to top Google search performance indicators, like PageSpeed insights, and a high Google PageSpeed score could positively impact lead conversion rates.
The implementation process with Sierra was easy, according to Oldfather. With the goal of building more content and audience-specific pages, the Oldfather Group selected Sierra’s Ace Site template, which is geared towards showcasing the team’s successes, reviews, team members and featured communities. This positioning supported and strengthened the Oldfather Group’s website goals, which included elevating brand reputation while setting the company apart from other brokerages. With the Ace Site, Oldfather was then able to leverage Sierra’s templated site pages and IDX widgets to support the journey of each web visitor based on the content most applicable to their needs.
A great example of their SEO content strategy is the Oldfather Group’s “Weekender” content, which is an ongoing blog series authored by the Oldfather Group rounding up top events and attractions taking place in different communities. Though not directly tied to property sales, the Weekender hits on popular area keywords and has crossover appeal with communities where they are actively targeting buyer and seller activity. As the traffic around those keywords increases, the Oldfather Group benefits from organic search traffic, prospective lead information and metrics around community demand.
“One of the best things about our Sierra website is that it really gave us a way to provide relevant content to each website visitor,” Oldfather said. “We’re really pleased with how it performs with Google, which makes us confident that the content we’re spending time and resources creating is being seen by high-intent leads.”
A 2,000% traffic increase in two years
The return on investment with the Oldfather Group’s website and SEO is measurable by more than just confidence.
“Two years after implementing, we’ve had a 2,000% increase in the number of users on our site, with the largest source being organic traffic,” Oldfather said. “In 2022 alone, we’ve had more inquiries from our website since we’ve started in business.”
Oldfather doesn’t hesitate in recommending Sierra. “The value we’ve seen from the website alone would be enough,” he said. “But that isn’t all. The support team is knowledgeable about Sierra’s product offerings and takes the time to answer any questions the team has. We’ve been able to seamlessly integrate other tools. We’ve also been able to easily set up a chat plug-in that connects conversations and follow-up with our social media account, resulting in 5-10 additional appointments being booked a month.
“Sierra’s websites are easily configurable, smartly done and easy to use. It’s exactly what we needed, and we’re not looking back.”
Sierra Interactive develops residential real estate software and services for agents, teams and brokers in the U.S. and Canada. Sierra’s proven lead generation and management solutions are trusted by top-performing teams and influential coaches in the real estate industry. Founded in 2007, Sierra is headquartered in Louisville, KY, but has a remote-first workforce across the U.S.
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