Monday, January 12, 2015

5 Must-Haves for the Best Real Estate Website

 So you walk the walk and talk the talk, you’re a real estate agent in all aspects of the definition, but you’re needing something more. Something that will give you a leg up on your competitors and will give you the professionalism and efficiencies you need to market yourself and gain more leads. Working on a dynamic website and rock solid online presence is what’s next on your crazy, busy agenda. When you finally find the time in between phone calls, appointments and reports to either reevaluate your site or sketch out the blue prints, consider these top 5 must-haves on your real estate website.

1. Add Updated and Useful Content – Key word here is “useful”

You want to show potential clients how you specifically work in the local area and are familiar with the different neighborhoods and current rates of properties. Show them you are the “expert” in so-in-so city. Post videos, images, and a have a section for frequently asked questions so visitors can become familiar with who you are and the city that you represent. As an added bonus to your online marketing, great content lead to great search engine optimization.

2. Invite Visitors to Submit Their Info

If the main purpose of your website is to increase your business, make sure you allow visitors to submit their information on your home page. Make it easy by creating a simple form that they can fill out.  We did say “simple” by the way, don’t load the form with anything you can’t later collect over the phone or in person. Maybe give them an option of signing up for local market data or invite them to receive an e-mail newsletter with information on the industry and updates on your listings. Show value to your knowledge and expertise. 

3. IDX Search Bar in the Spotlight
One of the easiest ways to capture the attention of your visitors is to provide a quick search option for them to search local listings right on your home page. Take this concept a step further and add a quick search to all pages of your website so that no matter where they go they have quick and easy access to get to listing information. Give clients what they want to see and make it simple for them to see it. They want an easy search option with lots of added features and the ability to see all the listings in their area. They want the ability to customize their search, save listings, search by map, and receive e-mail notifications on the homes they are most interested in. With a premium IDX option you will gain leads from the users that create an account using your IDX. Having a fully integrated IDX on your site can turn your site into a lead generating machine…don’t miss out on this feature on your website.

4. Offer an Organized Layout

Avoid having a cluttered and overwhelming layout, which will make it difficult for potential clients to navigate the website and get the information that they're looking for. Make it concise, to the point, and easy to read. Just remember, when building a real estate website and working to promote your business, it's important to offer a clear format that is easy to navigate for visitors. Engrain in your brain “simple is better”. 

5. Include Links

To have a website that is dimensional and offers a variety of useful content and resources, you'll need to include links to other pages of the site. Make sure your navigation menu is clear and well planned out with links to only relevant information. Put yourself in the viewer’s seat and imagine the flow of navigation. You can add links to keywords and important items that lead them to the information they need from within the content of your site.

Although it's important to have a website that is professional and easy to use for visitors, it's even more important to build a platform that can also work as a lead generating machine. When the machine is built right, your next step is to dive into the world of all things online marketing. There is a lot to it and it will take time, but the benefits reaped will be well worth it. And when your website is working for you, you will be able to focus on what you loved most about being a realtor in the first place. If you lack the luxury of time, there are many applications and full-service marketing companies that can help you navigate through the trenches of website development and online marketing…hey, there’s LinkU!

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