Real Estate websites are everywhere. Listing data is no longer difficult for consumers to find on the web – there are 1000's and 1000's of sites where you can search every listing in the market - or anyplace in the world – and see almost all of the information that's available to Realtors only.
So, if you're a real estate professional why should you have a website? Why in the world would the consumer care to visit your website? How in the world will a consumer even find your website?
From my experience, here are 5 main things your real estate website needs for you to justify the expense and get some level of return on investment. There are many more – but I think these are the most important.
- New information regularly – you need to update the content regularly with new information, market data, your current listings, local news – anything to keep it fresh and give users a reason to return.
- An attractive, functional design – we all appreciate good design and the best designs are easy to read and use with simple colors and are not cluttered. They include your phone number and a form that allows users to easily contact you via e-mail.
- Highlight listings that appeal to the broadest part of the market – be certain listings that appeal to the broadest part of the market are featured on your site. For instance, rentals are very popular in our market currently so feature some home rentals on your main page. Don't have any rentals? Take some from IDX and feature them. Remember, your website is not just a fancy, online brochure. You want calls, so provide a cross section of property types and price ranges.
- Emphasize your area of specialty – Are you an expert in new homes, rentals, a particular neighborhood, area of town or maybe serve the military? This information about you and your interests needs to be prominently displayed.
- Promotion – your web address is like your phone number. Put it everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Is it on your car? On your business card? On your brochure? On your sign?
Remember, your website is not advertising but a tool you can use to connect with both clients and prospects and a way to display your market expertise. If your website hasn't been changed in a while, now's the time.
Other ideas? Let me know.