Are you a new or established Realtor that’s trying to freshen up your digital real estate marketing efforts with an updated website? Do you need a marketing hub that you own to consolidate your client relationships from rented channels like Facebook, Instagram, email, etc.?
You know that more and more people are using the Internet to find Realtors and new listings.
According to the National Association of Realtors 2019 Report, 44% of home buyers look online for properties as their first step, and the number has only increased from there. You could be losing out on a large percentage of leads if your website is out-of-date.
Read on to learn about the top seven features you need to have for an effective real estate website!
1. Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design means that your real estate site works great on devices of all kinds, from large computer monitors to small smartphones. If your website doesn’t have a responsive web design, users will struggle to use it on different screens.
For instance, smartphone users will need to pinch their screen to zoom in and out to click on buttons or read certain portions of your website. They may need to scroll horizontally and will miss elements of your website that aren’t visible.
This is a frustrating experience for any user, and it will result in heightened bounce rates.
Even worse, the Google algorithm will recognize the fact that your website isn’t responsive and will be less likely to rank your website high on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Pro Tip: We have a list of real estate WordPress templates that drive incredible results and are responsive. We’ve analyzed 100,000 Realtor websites and found the top performers, then had our team evaluate them for ease of use, technical SEO, and responsiveness. Ask anyone on our team for the list.
2. IDX Integration on Your Real Estate Website
IDX integration is crucial for any real estate website because it allows Realtors to share local real estate listing information from the MLS directly on their websites. Instead of trying to find local listings on Zillow, Redfin, and other large sites, you can become the authority in the area by sending consumers directly to your website.
When your client has to or wants to use Zillow over the search on your website, you know that Zillow is going to give their information (and budget, based on their search information) to a competitive agent, mortgage broker, etc. But this does NOT have to be the case, and we have thousands of examples of Showcasers growing their businesses year-over-year by simply retaining their clients and new people they meet.
IDX integration can be used in conjunction with capturing leads by asking for email confirmations. You can then send emails to interested buyers who engaged with your website.
Furthermore, IDX integration means that each listing can have its own page on your website. Those pages are indexed by Google bots and are more likely to be shown in SERPs. While individual listing pages may not rank on Google, they support your overall search engine results and help your hot sheets rank.
Pro Tip: Follow this best practices guide on how to use our Friends and Family Search to 3x (or more) your leads. It shows how to highlight this proprietary feature and delight your clients by making something they’re already doing (sharing leads via text and email) easier and more collaborative on your website.
3. Social Media Integration
Becoming a successful Realtor is all about staying at the top of mind in your social network as well as acquiring new leads. The most affordable and easiest way to do this is to keep your social media channels updated and engaging. If you’re active on your social media channels, this can be an easy way to add content to your website.
This can also work in reverse. As you add new content and listings on your website, be sure to add the ability for people to leave comments and share on their social media pages. When people see that there’s an easy way to share with their friends and family, they’re far more likely to do it.
Pro Tip: Effective social media connects with the 80% – 90% of your clients that are not actively buying. Get 300+ pieces of essential social media content (free) to do just this, plus a free course on how to batch schedule them to save you time.
4. Build Credibility
You’ll probably have noticed that there are hundreds of thousands of Realtors in your local area, and you need a way to stand out from the bunch. You can do this directly on your website by building credibility through testimonials and informative content.
Testimonials are important because they give social proof that you’re a great Realtor to work with. Choose a few of your best reviews and feedback from clients and post them on the homepage or a dedicated testimonial page, like this one. These testimonials will have an even greater weight if you include a small portrait of the person as well as their first name and last initial.
Lastly, you can build credibility and increase trust by including videos or photos of yourself. Keep the videos short–three to five minutes is best–and speak to the camera as if you’re introducing yourself to a new client. Photos can be lifestyle portraits of yourself in action, such as speaking to a new client or working on paperwork at your desk.
Pro Tip: You can create these videos yourself with simply your iPhone or Android phone. There are free applications that can help you clean up your video, on your phone or computer, but they often are not needed. Remember that you can always redo the video 2 – 5 times and pick the best one to use.
5. Guide the Visitor Through Your Site
Along with responsive web design, you need to have a clear user interface that guides visitors towards where they want to go. For instance, if you know that many of your visitors are home buyers, you’ll want to include a link to your “home buying” page that’s clearly on the homepage.
If visitors are selling a house, including a “home selling” link on the homepage makes it clear what they need to click on next.
Websites without clear designs look chaotic, confusing, and unprofessional. Instead of encouraging visitors to explore more, they’ll simply click the back button and find a different website that’s easier to use.
Pro Tip: If you’re running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, you can have a different hot sheet for each area that focuses on 1) buyers 2) sellers. You need to highlight different information, perhaps include IDX listings, etc on each.
6. Calls to Action
Calls to action are direct, clear requests for visitors to take action on each page of your website. For instance, if a web visitor is on your landing page and you want them to get to know you more, then you may want to include a call to action button that says, “Click Here to Get to Know Me.”
Each page of your website should have a distinct purpose that helps funnel visitors and eventually causes them to convert into clients. This can be as simple as including a “Contact Me Today” link beneath each blog post.
Websites without clear calls to action help keep viewers engaged and on-track–they’ll always know what the next step is!
Pro Tip: Want to know the highest performing registration locks and CTAs from our most successful clients? Here is a free guide with everything you need to know on registration locks, soft versus hard locks, premium content locks, and more.
Improving Your Real Estate Website Today
A great real estate website is all about having a clear purpose. Your website isn’t just about having an online presence. You want that website to do the work for you by enticing leads, collecting their emails, and eventually converting them into a paying client.
Responsive web design helps make websites faster and easier to use for customers, whether they’re on a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. Combined with IDX integration, leads will be able to utilize your website to find nearby properties and can input their email addresses if they want to get in contact with you.
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