We’ve seen our fair share of real estate websites, and we’ve heard almost every website request in the world. But the most common thing we hear from new clients is something along the lines of: “I know my website isn’t great, but I’m not really sure what I need.”
And that’s something we can help with.
What is a real estate website for?
Many agents we talk to know that they need a website, but they’re not even sure why. They’ve just been told it’s important and that’s all they know. But, really, what is a real estate website for?
It’s your online resume.
All of the most successful real estate businesses are built on referrals. Even as a digital marketing company, we know that nothing beats the value of a personal referral. But we also know that a website is a critical component in building a successful referral business.
And, with the exception of the strongest referrals, most referred prospects will do a bit of research before diving right in with a new agent. Today, that research starts online. When someone Googles you, your website is your chance to make a strong first impression. It’s the tool that prospects will use to evaluate you. It’s how you win (or lose) the most valuable asset in your business –your referrals. Some of the best realtor websites are optimized primarily to generate referrals.
It’s a powerful lead gen tool
A good real estate website should be generating leads for you. If it isn’t, it could be due to one of these issues: it’s not mobile-optimized, it has no lead capture forms or there is no valuable call to action. You also need to be generating traffic to the site - for example by advertising, email campaigns or via SEO.
All of these are common issues we see on websites for realtors, and part of the reason that many agents just don’t see the point in having a website.
What do you need to have on a realtor website?
Now that you know what your website is for, what do you actually need to have on a good real estate website? Here are the key elements:
Testimonials and About
For the most part, visitors to your website are trying to get a sense of whether or not they want to work with you. It’s important to build trust with your site visitors, and also give them a sense of what you’re like as a person, and an agent.
Too many agents use cookie cutter bios and rely on outdated testimonials. But all that says to a potential new client is: “I’m not really taking this seriously.” Your testimonials should be recent, detailed, and (ideally) glowing. And your About page should actually express who you are, what it’s like to work with you, as well as why someone might choose you over the thousands of agents you’re competing against.
Past Solds and/or Featured Listings
Your listings and your listing history are the building blocks that make up your real estate resume. If someone is entrusting you to sell their most valuable asset, they’ll want to see that you’ve done it before (and ideally done it well). You don’t need to have every single listing you’ve ever held on your site (in fact, we’d recommend not doing this), but pick the ones you’re most proud of – homes that sold way over asking or in record time, homes that perfectly represent the type of listings you like to carry, or homes in the neighbourhood you want to work in.
This gives your prospects the confidence that you’re the right person to list their home.
Strong Design and Site Performance
Real estate is all about sales and marketing. If your real estate website looks like it hasn’t been updated in 10 years, that doesn’t speak very highly of your ability to market or sell someone’s home.
Your site also needs to be fast. Users lose interest very quickly if the site they land on doesn't load fast enough. This can lead to a high bounce rate and can damage your SEO, as well as losing potential leads! To increase load speed, avoid bulky video headers and large images. And by that, we don't mean size, we mean file size. Images on your site shouldn't be bigger than around 700kb to optimize for page load time.
Links to your Social Profiles
Are you active on social media? Do you share relevant news to the industry? Help people gauge how well --and active you are. Link to these pages so that your website and social media pages all form part of one cohesive strategy. Your entire online presence should be circular - linking to each other and eventually driving traffic back to your website.
Easy and Accessible Lead Capture
How simple is it to get in touch with you? Are there multiple lead capture options on your site? What is your CTA (call-to-action)/value exchange? Everyone wants visitors to their site, but without capturing lead information, you can never follow up with interested prospects.
Ready to get started with your own real estate website, with none of the hassle? Watch a demo of Avenue here.