The modern home buying and selling experience starts online. Meet your potential clients there with a modern, mobile-ready website to keep your real-estate business flourishing. When building your own personal real-estate website, keep the following five things in mind:
1. Make it user-friendly
Build usability into your real-estate website through three core elements:
- Responsive design
- Easy navigation
- Professional look and feel
Responsive design is a web development approach that ensures a website adjusts to the user’s needs. For example, a responsive website automatically adjusts for different screen sizes and devices. Have you ever been frustrated by a website that is difficult to use on your mobile phone? If so, it wasn’t built using responsive design.
Your real estate clients are always on-the-go. If they see a house they like when driving around town, they want to find out information about that house immediately – and they may not always carry a desktop computer in the car with them! Prospective house buyers want house details, the listing agent, and neighborhood statistics on their phone, without delay.
Next, make it easy on your website visitors to find the information they are looking for. Apply the three-click rule. This web rule of thumb suggests that website users should be able to find their target information in three clicks or less. This may be challenging if your real-estate website includes listings, maps, price history, and more. But remember, endless real-estate websites exist. Make yours the easiest to use.
Finally, aim for a modern and professional look when building your real-estate website. Use high-resolution images. Keep your content up to date, and remove redundant information. Take advantage of the pre-built templates that website builders offer. Many publish real-estate specific templates, ready for your listing uploads and map integration.
There’s a good chance your website will be the first impression you make on your clients. Make sure they have a good experience.
2. Capture leads
The number one goal of your site is to capture leads. Keep this front of mind when you build your real estate website.
A lead is contact information and permission to use that information to connect with a potential client. Your website must include the ability to capture lead information and connect you to your prospect.
Real-estate websites offer many options for lead generation. Do you publish a weekly newsletter with updated listings? Ask customers to sign-up for your newsletter. Have you created a list of tips that sellers can use to prepare their house for sale? Offer to email visitors your tips and tricks.
Your website visitors need an incentive to give you their contact information. Get creative when thinking about this incentive. Ask yourself a question: What would make me give a real estate agent my contact information?
Here’s a quick list of lead generation ideas:
- Updated listings newsletter
- Free ebooks (Cheap DIY projects to increase your home’s value, House staging ideas, House flipping 101)
- Early access newsletter to new listings
- Client referral program for commission reduction
- Online chat options
Your real estate website must have at least one lead capture method. Website visitors are nice, but only leads become paying clients.
3. Provide valuable resources for FREE
What’s valuable to someone buying or selling a house?
As a realtor, you know the answer to this question better than anyone. Turn the answer into an asset and build it into your real-estate website. Translate your knowledge into something that can be seen or used on the website.
For example, you know what DIY projects improve the value of a home, the difference between a fixer-upper and a lost cause, and the impact quality pictures play when showcasing a home on a website. Partner with local business owners to create video content and post it to your website. Contractors can do DIY home improvement demonstrations. Walkthrough a potential fixer-upper with a home inspector, and point out easy fixes vs. deal-breakers. A photographer could teach a class on how to take home pictures for brochures and websites.
Build trust with potential clients by giving away some of your valuable information. When they get serious about buying or selling, they will look for trusted resources.
4. Differentiate yourself
Around 6 million homes were sold in the US last year. That seems like a big number and a lot of opportunities. But, the fact that there are around 2 million active real estate agents in the US puts a damper on the potential for success in the real estate market. Add in the increasing number of web-based real-estate services, and you might be tempted to jump to another industry.
Don’t jump ship just yet. You have a specific set of talents, information, and experience that uniquely qualifies you to buy and sell houses for clients in your market.
It may be your longstanding involvement in the area that has allowed you to see the ebbs and flows of your region. It may be your ability to pick the next neighborhood to boom in your area. Whatever your value proposition is, highlight it when building your real-estate website.
To identify your value proposition, fill in the following blank: When a client hires me, the client receives ___________.
Are you a buyer’s only agent? A seller’s only agent? Some realtors divide their yearly home sales by the minutes in a year and advertise: I sell a home every X minutes!
Identify your competitive edge, and make it clear on your website.
Building a website for your real-estate business is critical to success in the modern market. Follow these four tips for building a personal real-estate website, and you will create the foundation to compete in this web-driven real-estate environment.