A real estate web site must deliver more than just pretty houses -you have to include content and local information to pull traffic into your site and separate yourself from the rest of the crowd. You also need to build trust, provide value, and solve first-time customers and repeat customers’ problems if you want to be able to convert your website visitors into viable leads.
Ninety percent of home buyers search online at some point during their home buying process, according to the National Association of Realtors. This figure has increased from 71% in 2003 and illustrates why a website has become so important to real estate agents and brokers. So, how do they find you? You must position yourself as an expert in your local area by way of an effective website.
Paveya recently completed a new website for Eillu Real Estate, a premier Outer Banks, North Carolina real estate company, that accomplishes these very goals. This website features key components needed in today’s competitive online real estate marketplace. Some of the website features are highlighted below.
First and foremost, your real estate website must be mobile-friendly and provide a great customer experience, no matter what device is being used.
According to Google, 89% of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine at the onset and throughout their research. This goes to show you that in today’s world, even home buyers are turning to their mobile devices to search for real estate agents, find homes, research neighborhoods, and contact real estate companies, as everyone seems to be constantly on-the-go, and searching is done during the “in between moments”…while life is already in progress. Make sure your real estate company is being found by this large group of people who are out there searching for homes in your market by way of a mobile device.
One of the biggest trends in internet marketing in 2016 is the use of Video. Real estate web sites are an ideal fit for using video creatively and effectively. Buying and selling real estate can be very emotional and video can convey emotion and capture nuances better than most other media. Because of this, you can include touching testimonials of families buying new homes; you can include video tours of your listings and neighborhoods; and keep in mind that video shot from a drone can provide a bird’s eye view of an entire location, providing your website visitors exclusive access to viewing the place they could potentially call home one day.
Eillu’s website features community tours shot by a drone, as well as interactive 360-degree model home tours, increasing the user’s experience as well as the website’s “sharability” in social media.
A Full IDX Search
There really is no point to your real estate website if you do not have a way for customers to search for listings. They need to be able to search all MLS listings — not just your or your office’s listings — or they will go elsewhere. Keep the search obvious, and include quick searches and filters to make it as easy as possible.
Continual Flow of Fresh and Useful Content
Content is powerful. Most real estate professionals are not providing fresh and useful information on their websites or updating them frequently enough. What is useful? Local information will help you stand out from the real estate power houses, like Trulia and Zillow. Neighborhoods insights, statistics, and events around town will provide a feel for what living in the neighborhood would be like. Real estate news, like zoning changes, as well as national updates, will help you stand out as a professional and expert in your field. How do you accomplish this? By way of a real estate blog on your website. Eillu’s website was created with a specialty real estate blog in mind, to make room for a constant exchange of information from company to customer.
Tools to compute financing requirements and FAQ should also be included on your website, so your visitors do not have to go elsewhere to find the answers they are looking for. Use a mix of text, photos, and especially videos to solidify your impact.
Many of your visitors aren’t ready to buy yet, but by offering neighborhood information, videos and maps, you help your real estate consumers orient themselves and more easily hone in on the properties that suit their needs.
Built-In Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Strategy
Having a CRM system in place and tied to your website allows you to be responsive to customers immediately. It doesn’t matter how many visitors your site gets if you can’t convert them into buyers, sellers or referrals, then you’re spinning your wheels.
Anticipate the questions and tools needed by buyers and sellers and create content to answer these question. Create engaging Calls To Action (CTAs) to display throughout your website for potential customers to click on to move onto the next step in the buying or selling process.
Locate CTA’s above the fold on your website and make sure you have something for buyers and sellers in every stage of the buying and selling cycle. More-in depth offerings, like ebooks, market data, and tools and tips that your customers will appreciate and come back for more will position you as an expert in the field. Don’t overlook placing CTA’s in the footer for additional lead generation opportunities. Include video, sub-navigation, and don’t forget the social media buttons.
Your CRM strategy will allow you to manage and automate this process to be responsive. You can collect information from the customer via a landing page to be able to qualify the lead and create an effective approach before personal contact.
Phone Number & Address
It may be obvious, but easily over looked. Place your telephone number and physical address prominently on the website to be found easier in search engine results. While some people prefer to use the phone, what’s just as important are your search engine rankings, and displaying your address clearly will improve your likelihood of showing up in results. Local search services, like Google+Places, Bing Places and Yahoo search rely on your business address to properly match you with a searcher in your geographic area.