Improving Real Estate Agent Websites:
A real estate agent website will increase online visibility and hopefully bring in more leads if set up correctly. You spend a lot of time and resources on your brand, image, and website, but how do you know if you have the best website to generate leads? These 9 tips for creating a successful website are here to help you.
- Ease of Navigation
Online visitors do not want to spend a lot of time finding the information they are looking for. If it takes too long to locate what they want, they will leave and not come back. Here is a rule of thumb for effective navigation. If your visitors have to click more than three times to find what they are looking for, that’s too many, and it is time to make some changes.
- Smartphone Friendly
Smartphones and tablets are a huge part of browsing on the internet today. Mobile devices are smaller and use different browsers than computers. Your website needs to adjust to these different sizes and be responsive, so the images and the content appear correctly. If your site is not responsive, you will lose a great deal of business.
- Professional Images
Images tell stories and provide information that words cannot convey. Illustrations and photos are just as important as website copy. When you use stock images, your site may appear generic or unprofessional. If you are not adept at photography, consider hiring a professional photographer or graphic artist. Unique images make your website stand out from all the others. When you add a personal touch, visitors feel at ease or "at home" and are more willing to contact you for information.
- Focus on Listings
You earn more money when you sell a house you listed, so emphasize your listings. Consider offering featured property listings to visitors. For example, a motivated seller might be willing to lower the asking price. Maybe you found a home that is perfect for couples who plan to start a family. Featured homes can make the process of searching for a house easier on your potential clients and bring about a quicker sale.
MLS search options are becoming so popular, your visitors expect to see them, or they will leave. With IDX-Internet Data Exchange, people can search the local MLS listings directly from your site. IDX brings the MLS system to you and your clients. IDX is not expensive and is a tax-deductible monthly expense.
Without IDX, you have limited resources to offer your website visitors. People prefer to research houses on their own and then call a real estate agent. Giving people the option to search for a wide range of listings can help you earn more business.
- Customer Testimonials
Everyone likes to know they are dealing with a reputable agent who is helpful and competent. Your site should have a "testimonials" section for your visitors. Reviews are so critical you should include a few of the best ones on your homepage.
- Lead Capturing Tools
Your site may attract hundreds of visitors a day, but you may find you receive only a few leads if any. Fortunately, there is an effective way to get visitors to contact you. Provide an email list signup offer and make it worth their while. For instance, new subscribers will receive a free eBook full of valuable information, or they may be able to win a gift or a dinner for two at the area's new trending restaurant. Make visitors aware of the benefits of signing up. Grow your sphere of influence. Put your contact information on every web page.
Your website can give you the chance to get referrals from previous clients and website visitors. Set up a referral link system. Make sure to include a call to action similar to, "Do you have friends or family interested in buying or selling a home? Please enter their email address in the form below." Send the email to the referral with the referring person's name.
- Research Resources
You need more than just property listings on your website to be successful. When people shop for homes, they want to know about:
- Buying - a special section can guide your clients through the home-buying process.
- Selling - include info or articles to let clients know what happens when they list a home for sale.
- Financing - why not include an online mortgage calculator which helps people determine their monthly payments?
- The real estate market - can include links to articles about the current housing market.
- Community lifestyles- what does the area have to offer?
- Property values - information on how to estimate the value of your home.
- Blog site - may include national and neighborhood news. Blogs increase your search engine visibility.
Things to Remember
A real estate agent's website should be simple to navigate and responsive. An effective website needs high-quality images, special features, and the benefits of IDX. Include testimonials and lead capturing tools with a referral form and home buying and selling resources.