A good real estate website is no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity. Every company, regardless of industry or size, should have a website representing it the internet. That said, nothing is capable of reaching more people with less of an investment than a real estate website that is given the attention it deserves. You are really only hurting yourself if your company doesn’t have a web presences. However, it is not enough to simply have a website if you intend to become a successful real estate investor. You must incorporate a number of essential components to boost the performance of your real estate website if you want to realize results.
Regardless of the industry, websites have become synonymous with the most prominent marketing campaigns. Nothing else, at least that I am aware of, carries more weight or coincides with larger ramifications than a company’s website. If for nothing else, a website may be the first chance to make a lasting impression; it’s up to you to make sure it’s a good one.
With that in mind, there are certainly guidelines you will want to follow if you intend to create a real estate website worthy of your investing business. Let’s take a look at a few of the essential components I consider to be necessary for a real estate website to become conducive to an investing business’ success:
Real Estate Website Guidelines
1. Build With A Purpose
With regards to investing, a real estate website serves one purpose, and one purpose only: to drive sales. That’s right, the sole purpose of a real estate website — when you really break it down — is to sell. Mind due diligence and see to it that everything on your website is conducive to the sales you are trying to achieve. It is important to note, however, that real estate investors are not only selling houses; they are selling themselves. If for nothing else, real estate is a people business, and the more relationships you can build through the creation of a simple website, the better off your company will be.
In building your real estate website, do not forget why it exists in the first place. First things first, sell your audience on why they should even consider you. This is your chance to introduce yourself to an entirely new audience, and quite a big one at that. Subsequently, offer them something in return for their time. Whether it is a daily blog full of information or a new perspective on an antiquated ideal, give your readers something of value to establish a degree of credit. If your real estate website can become a dependable source of information and opinion based media, you increase your chances of broadening your customer base. That said, be sure to sell yourself before you attempt to sell a home.
2. Prioritize Lead Generation
If the main purpose of a real estate website is to drive sales, you had better have a method for generating leads. Even the best salesperson can’t close a deal if they have nobody to sell to. That said, the best real estate websites will have a way to capture the information of those that come across its pages. Otherwise known as a squeeze page, real estate websites will have a section strictly dedicated to the trading of information. Your real estate website should politely request the contact information of its audience, but not without offering something in return.
In exchange for the person’s name, phone number, email, and perhaps even a reason for why they stumbled upon your site, offer something anyone is bound to appreciate: information. They have expressed interest in whatever it is you have to say, the least you can do is reciprocate your appreciation. I recommend giving them free access to information they can’t get anywhere else. An E-Book, for example, offers your audience a tangible educational experience that they can’t get anywhere else. What’s more, in offering them an incentive, you increase your chances of gathering their contact information. It is a tried and true method that captures the information of potentially viable leads, and any website void of such a call to action will surely regret not implementing a squeeze page sooner. If retaining leads is a priority of yours, which it should be, don’t forget this powerful tool.
Remember, the last thing you want to do is waste your audience’s time. Be sure that every page on your real estate website does its best to capture leads. Only then will it serve its true purpose.
3. Create A Brand Identity
Yes, your real estate website serves a single purpose: to sell. But as I said before, you are selling yourself just as much as you are selling homes — if not more so. What many real estate investors fail to realize, however, is that their brand is a reflection of themselves. In essence, your real estate website is vicariously selling your brand through yourself. Whether or not it is an indictment on your brand or a positive advocate depends on how well you portray your company.
It should go without saying, but your real estate website should convey your brand in an absolutely brilliant light. It may be the first thing customers see of your brand; make sure it leaves a good impression.
Never underestimate the power of branding and the implications it may coincide with. Do your best to associate your brand with a value proposition that carries a lot of weight for prospective buyers or sellers. Your brand should clearly conjure up value and character for customers, and there is no better place to do so than your real estate website.
Up until this point, everything I have discussed has revolved around forward facing attributes, otherwise known as the front end of a website. It is important to note, however, that the only reason the front end exists is because of the work that is put into the back end.
It is in the back end of a real estate website where the real magic happens. Everything from the page layout and color to textures and font can be changed in the back end of a real estate website. For the purposes of this narrative, however, I am going to focus solely on optimization.
Otherwise known as search engine optimization (SEO), this technical strategy increases the likelihood of people finding your website through a generic Google search. As I am sure you already know, the higher your real estate website ranks for certain searches — which are very keyword-centric — the more traffic it is likely to receive. In a perfect world, your real estate website would rank in the first position on every search, but that is highly unlikely. Fortunately, there are some tricks you can use to help your ranking results.
Optimize your real estate website if you hope to reach your true potential. Take the appropriate steps to see to it that you are the first page people see in their next search.
5. Optimize Again
The internet has evolved considerably in a relatively short period of time. However, the most notable difference, at least that I am aware of, is the method in which people are connecting to the world wide web. Until the last decade, internet searches were predominantly carried out on a home computer. However, recent trends suggest that more and more people are conducting online searches on their smart phones or mobile devices and tablets. In fact, it’s safe to assume that the majority of searches are carried out on mobile devices. That means your real estate website needs to look just as good on a smart phone as it does on a computer screen — and yes, there is a difference. Neglecting to optimize your real estate website for mobile devices will mean the majority of your audience isn’t receiving the best version.
These strategies are by no means the only ones exhibited by a great real estate website, but they are some of the most important stables to consider. Do not forget to include any of these suggestions the next time you build a real estate website.