With smart phones attached to our hands and Google the go to answer solution, your real estate website is an integral and vital part of attracting and maximizing new leads. But is your website making the most of it’s visitors?
Not that long ago, you would have been on the cutting edge of real estate technology just by moving part of your marketing online instead of relying on print ads and direct mail campaigns. Today, the incredible variety of online marketing tools is both impressive and intimidating in it’s variety and scope. It doesn’t have to be confusing, though. Starting with your website, identifying these 8 opportunities to get more leads with your website will improve your branding and lead generation.
Real Estate Agent Branding
Branding, the sum of all the things that represent your business, is more than the colors and font in your logo. It is the language you choose, the persona you project and the type of listings you specialize in. Building a website that clearly conveys your branding is an essential step in attracting and converting your leads. From the moment some one lands on your website, they should be able to clearly identify who you are serving and what you have to offer.
Make Listing Photos Front & Center
Along with the importance of websites in the real estate market comes the increased value of compelling images. People browsing on their on their smart phones or clicking on Google search links are highly visual. The text on your site will probably be quickly scanned, but the images will make a strong impression. Are your newest and most compelling property listing images on the home page of your website? What will people see when they land on other high traffic pages like your available listings and your bio? Go through your site page and page – are your best listing images front and center?
Spotlight High Impact Properties
IDX integration is a valuable tool for the online brand of any real estate professional. Choosing the best IDX integration for you offers the opportunity to add substantial home searching power right on your own website – bringing significant value to your clients with little effort on your part.
Add Value with a Blog
Today’s consumer isn’t going to give you the benefit the doubt. With an immense amount of information at their fingertips online, they expect you to prove the value that you offer before they commit to working with you. One flexible way to provide that value is by adding blog content to your real estate website. Information about your local area, case studies about successful home sales, education about the state of the current market and helpful tips and tools for home sellers and buyers are all wonderful ways to provide straight forward value to a potential client and set the ball rolling on a productive relationship. Blog content also serves as a an excellent way to invite potential clients onto your email list as a warm lead that you have future, direct access to.
Make Contacting You Easy
Have you taken a hard look at your website to evaluate how much work it takes to get in touch with you?
The simplest way to test your site is to ask someone who has never looked at it before to find your phone number, email address and contact form. Make sure that you test this on both a computer and a mobile device as websites will display differently, but both browsing experiences are important to evaluate. Including contact information or a contact form in your footer (the pieces of website content that are at the bottom of every page of your website) is one way to keep that avenue of communication always available.
Leverage Social Proof
Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful ways to influence consumer decisions – we’ve just shifted how we gather word of mouth information. Social proof refers to the ways that we display the trust that other consumers have placed in us. The number of fans/followers on social media, testimonials from past happy clients and welcoming new clients publicly are all ways to highlight for potential clients that other people in the market have decided that YOU are their best choice. Testimonials don’t need to be confined to one testimonial page on your website – leverage enthusiastic praise on all of the high traffic areas.
Frequent, flexible searching is the most basic and necessary component of your website. High quality, responsive MLS integration with powerfully customizable search options should be a top priority in the design of your real estate website. Without that, you will lose the attention of home shoppers who want to see what is available NOW.
Whether you have a website all your own, host pages for all of your agency’s team members or are part of your brokerage’s standard website, having thorough and personal bio pages for every real estate professional is an essential part of online branding. People want to work with someone that they enjoy and connect with – especially with high stakes real estate decisions. Providing information about each agent’s background, specialty and some personal aspects could be the key to forging that initial connection!
There are a tremendous range of website options available to you – from on demand IDX sites to from scratch, custom coded sites to your standard brokerage boilerplate – but it is up to you to evaluate whether your website is offering the necessary value to your ideal clients.