This week, our topic was Lead Generation.

Here are some of the questions and other highlights from the chat:

Question 1: What is the most effective way to increase traffic: Print, online, events, or special offers?

  • Becky Amross: For us, it is a combination of online/special offers. We increased our Craigslist Postlets and saw 7 new leads from Craigslist last week!
  • Heather Blume: Online with special offers do a good job up here
  • Due to the large audience the internet reaches, online advertising increases exposure while decreasing market spend
  • Janet Rosseth: Well rounded reach to all sources, but some obviously are far quicker to update than others
  • Eric K: I interlink the newsletter with Facebook & Twitter then add a raffle for those who join
  • Joe at Ellipse: People hate talking to robots but they don’t mind typing at them–put your website address on your voice mail

Question 2: How can you utilize your advertisements to create more traffic? What works? What doesn’t?

  • Gina Kay: Coupons DO work – one of our Realtors uses them religiously, gets clients. You could get tenants!
  • David Kotowski: Update your print ads and change them so they don’t get stale * don’t forget to add your website
  • David Kotowski: I’ve always wanted to put buried treasures in print ads and make a game out of finding them. Or give a prize to all who mention.
  • Mike Whaling: You should be claiming your listings on Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yelp no matter what. All are free.
  • Carrie at Roscoe & Mark Juleen: For us Print ads and signage tend to bring more traffic, but online tends to bring more qualified leads
  • Apartment Finder blog said garage, dogs, pets, washer & dryer were some of the most popular keywords on their site

Question 3: Is the challenge more traffic, or more qualified traffic?

  • Lisa Trosien: Many renters are starting out with Google and Yahoo local, using maps to find properties first, then narrowing down from there
  • Janet Rosseth: In regards to type of traffic, we’ll take any and refer to sister sites if one can’t accomodate their needs
  • Carrie at Roscoe: I think we also need to recognize that all traffic builds brand recognition…but only qualified traffic pays the bills

As noted by our friends at the Ellipse Group, a discussion broke out about Sidewiki and how to business owners can claim and make comments on their own web pages. Ellipse has posted a good roundup of Google Sidewiki here.

What’s working for you to improve lead generation? Do you disagree with any of the comments we highlighted? Let us know what you think in the comments.

As always, you can view the transcript for the full discussion here.