Are You Getting Junk Leads?
by Katie Ragusa
on Mar 26, 2013
Listed in Websites and SEO

No SpamLots of agents, and website owners in general, fuss about receiving a fair amount of leads that are purely SPAM. Of course, no one wants to get an email alert notifying you of a brand new Real Estate lead; only later to find out that their name is something like Mr. “shgjkfd kdfjkhsdl” and they’re not really looking to purchase a home at all.

Here, we discuss some practical steps that you can take immediately to make sure that your website is generating the most amount of REAL leads as possible.

Have a clear “Contact” link

This can be in the form of a link or even a page on your website; just make sure that it’s visible from every single page of your site. The goal is to make yourself appear as available and reachable as possible. The harder visitors have to look for how to contact you, the less likely they are to register. No matter how simple or difficult your site is to navigate, spammers can still find you, so continue reading for additional tips to secure your website. Making your contact option hard to find will only hurt your legitimate lead conversion and probably not affect your spam.

Avoid displaying your email address

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Showing your email address is probably the most common website “don’t” that I see while I’m working. There’s a common misconception that in order for potential leads to reach you by email, they have to see your email address… not true at all. It all boils down to this: if you want to sift through pages upon pages of junk emails everyday, then by all means display that email address. Instead, utilize a capture form. Not only is it much more secure; it also saves the consumer a big chunk of time when they want to contact you. Of course, this rule does not apply to your phone number- go ahead and show that off! Continue reading for more info on creating awesome capture forms.

Require certain fields

The best performing forms require certain bits of information that makes this lead more useful to you. Not only that, but it can significantly cut down on your junk leads in the process. Typically, I would want to make sure that all of my leads filled in a first and last name, as well as an email address at the very least. I also like to give them the option of adding a phone number and comments if they choose. Not only will these required fields help to improve your chances for great leads; it will also help you to quickly spot what’s real and what’s not once it’s saved in your CRM.

Set up filters

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If you want to address this issue, then it’s time to set up some guidelines for which forms get submitted to you and which are rejected. Chances are that your “Spammer” is a computer program and not an actual person. They will attempt the form, and if it get’s flagged, the program will move on.

Here are few common filters:

  1. Require a valid email address format. Example: If it’s not written in the correct format, the form should not take it.
  2. Limit the links. Most spam will contain these- usually multiple. If it contains a link, you might not want to let that one in.
  3. Zero in on common “Spam phrases”. We can all name a few of the most popular: Viagra, Fast cash, Local singles, and so on. For a MUCH more comprehensive list of these likely trigger words, keep reading.

Remember, it won’t last forever

No, it’s not time to go get an anxiety prescription  Spam tends to come and go in waves. Typically, these bouts are brought on by a spike in your website traffic, or some increase in activity, but not always. It is not uncommon to be flooded with messages for a period of a few days, and then to see it begin to wane off significantly after a short time frame.  The simplest thing to do is to keep this all in perspective and not take any immediate drastic measures with your website. Evaluate the level of spam submissions again about a week or so down the road. Until then, just click the handy little delete button.


VP Product

Real estate is in Katie’s blood. She's a second generation REALTOR and comes to TRIBUS after working for a prominent custom home builder in metro Atlanta, GA. While selling homes she realized she had a passion for helping agents establish a meaningful web presence and a build CRM that worked. Since then she's become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and graduated from a UX program, all while staying grounded in real estate technology.
Her background in the industry and her training in psychology have paved the way for her current user experience focused role, where she leads the product team at TRIBUS.

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