Your real estate website is a representation of you and your brand – I’m sure you have heard the expression, “first impression best impression”, and that’s certainly true for your website. People visiting your website start forming an opinion of you as soon as they arrive. Their decision process on whether to do business with you starts long before they pick up the phone or send you an email.
Most likely when someone arrives at your website, they are looking for property information, and of course to check you out. Not just what properties you currently have for sale or have sold in the past, but information about real estate generally. Information on what the market is like, how the selling process works, how to get things ready.
Most people sell their home only a couple of times in their lifetime – and usually, it’s at least seven – ten years since they did it last, if at all. So even if they have sold a property before, they are going to need to brush up with some fresh real estate knowledge before they get in touch with a real estate agent.
Your real estate website is your own slice of the internet
Your website needs to be the focal point of all of your digital marketing, meaning that all of your online and offline marketing should send people to your website. Your website is the one place, the one space on the Internet that is completely yours.
This means you determine what to have on your website, what it looks like and the message you want it to say. But, what should your website ideally do for you?
The majority of real estate websites are just a brochure, with no real meaningful content or function. What many agents think their website is, is a search engine of their current properties.
What your website should be doing is generating you leads.
With a good digital marketing strategy driving people to your website, it’s important to make sure that your website converts your new influx of visitors into warm leads for you.
Of course, you will have properties for sale, past results and properties for rent, but what else should your website have?
Home page features your real estate website must have
Your homepage should be visually impactful but also be functional. Use imagery from your local area, a favourite and always impressive is an aerial photograph. Some real estate websites even have video playing in the background. Of course, you will include some properties for sale or recently sold, but here are some other things to consider.
Your unique selling proposition or USP should be on your homepage. Why should someone choose you as their real estate agent? Also, make it really easy for people to find your contact details – in case they have already decided you are the one!
There are other things that you should include on your home page, depending on your preferences, such as:
- A call to action eg a request for an appraisal – the modern real estate websites use a home price estimate widget where property owners can enter their address and get an instant valuation of their property
- Informative and up-to-date content such as property-related articles
- Testimonials from clients who you have delivered a great results for their property
Review your ‘About us’ page
The decision around selling a home is built on trust. A potential vendor is going to look at your about page – to find out about you. Many agents only talk about themselves, but why not talk about the vendor? How you personally can help them? Why they should trust you with their most valuable asset? Of course you want to show why you are the best real estate agent in your area, but don’t make it all about you. You should also consider getting a profile professionally written.
Make sure your website has a way to capture prospects
The main function of your website should be to generate leads for you. In order to do that, you need a way of encouraging potential prospects to give you their details. This feature is often referred to as a lead magnet, or lead capture as it is a mechanism where people give you their contact information in exchange for something.
The modern real estate website offers free property appraisals. In fact, there are several online services you can plug into your website to provide an estimate immediately. Vendors type in their address, supply some basic details such as an email, and are provided with an instant valuation of their property. Many website providers build websites specifically with this lead capture process front and centre on the home page.
Another idea is a downloadable ebook. You could compile a guide to the area, or a guide to selling a property for the highest price, and ask for a name and email address in order for the visitor to retrieve the ebook.
Even if you don’t offer an ebook, make sure that there is an option for people to join your mailing list. Sometimes people are just happy to get on your list because they are looking in your area or at the very beginning of their property journey, or they simply like the content you produce.
Your website should also be integrated with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) such as VaultRE or AgentBox, so that any leads you get are saved in one place so you can continue to nurture them with relevant property-related information.
Add some content that educates and informs your potential vendors
Most real estate websites don’t have content, and they should. Content is a general term for information (as opposed to listings) and content can include things like:
- Real estate-related articles (blog posts)
- Videos of the area or special properties
- Profiles of your office, your team and of course suburb profiles
- Real estate buying, investing and selling guides
- Infographics on your local area and your sales results
When you add content to your website it makes it more ‘sticky’, meaning people will stay longer and engage with your brand a lot longer than if they were just looking for a property.
Content that educates and informs potential customers is proven to build trust and shows that you are an authority in real estate in your local community.
Many real estate networks provide national content, and if you are part of a real estate network that doesn’t give you the ability to have your own content on your website, you could consider getting your own branded agent or agency website, so you can determine exactly what content you want in order to engage and connect with your next vendor.
The more content you have, the more likely your website will be found when someone searches for “real estate agent in your suburb”. It is important for you to add new content to your website regularly. This will improve the likelihood of your website ranking higher in search results.
If you are stuck for ideas, just think about all the questions you are asked every day (over and over) and you will be able to come up with a list of content topics pretty quickly!
Check your website is people-friendly and SEO friendly
It’s not just people who will be looking at your website, but crawlers or search engine bots will be looking as well. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimisation” which is the process of optimising your website to improve its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords or phrases. You want to make sure your website is friendly to these crawlers as well as people!
For example, if someone searches for “Real Estate Agent in Camden” and you are a real estate agent in Camden, you want your website to come up at or as close to the top of the results on the first page of search results
By performing SEO on your website, you can increase the visibility of your website so you attract more organic traffic (organic means non-paid), which can lead to more leads.
The different forms of content discussed above is a great way to improve SEO, however, it is a big topic in itself, so we will cover SEO in more detail in other articles.
Browse your real estate website on your mobile phone
It is important for your website to be “mobile friendly”. Mobile friendly simply means it is easy to read and navigate on all devices, including mobile phones and tablets. With an increasing number of people accessing the internet via mobile devices, it’s crucial that your website is mobile-friendly. Pull up your own website on your mobile phone. How does it look? Imagine you are a potential vendor, looking for a real estate agent to sell their home.
A mobile-friendly website will adjust its layout and content to fit smaller screens, with features such as larger fonts, clear and concise information, and intuitive navigation. This makes it easier for users to find what they’re looking for, regardless of the device they’re using. You don’t need to know how to make your real estate website mobile-friendly, but if you are thinking of getting a new website, make sure your developer can create a mobile-friendly website for you.
Phew, that’s a lot to consider!
A good website provider will take care of a lot of these aspects for you, so there’s no need to worry too much about organising this yourself. By understanding a bit more about what makes a good website, you can make sure that your current website is up to scratch, or your new one is going to rock.
Who should you choose to build your real estate website?
If you are looking for a new real estate website, there are many developers that specialise in building websites for real estate agents. In our directory, you can browse all of the providers, but a few we recommend are listed here:
Part of the PropTech Group, Website Blue have been creating websites for real estate for over a decade. They create websites for independent real estate agents as well as franchise groups. All of their real estate websites are mobile and tablet compatible and are built with a Real Estate content management system (CMS) to ensure that you can modify your website at any time.
Agentpoint real estate websites
Agentpoint offers a few different levels of real estate websites, but all Agentpoint websites are mobile-responsive, rank highly in Google, are easy to manage and are built to generate and convert leads.
WebIT+ListOnce are experts in property and real estate website design, development and maintenance, with over 20 years specifically serving the Australian industry. They have built over 150 websites and several high-traffic portals.
Stepps create beautiful-looking real estate websites. Their designs are focused on compelling visitors to take action and convert into prospects. Stepps websites are custom built, are mobile friendly, have SEO built in and integrate with a range of existing digital marketing tools.
Keeping your real estate website up-to-date
The one things most website providers don’t offer is the actual content for you to add on your website, so you will want to plan that once your website is ready to go. You could hire a writer, or sit down and write the content yourself, but your time is better spent talking to potential vendors. That’s why The Real Estate Voice can give you access to over 600 real estate articles ready for you to edit and publish, and best of all it can be automated so you don’t even have to think about it.
If you want content for your website and other awesome time-saving hacks like automatically sharing listings and content to your socials, then book a call today.