8 Tips for Creating Effective Websites for Realtors
Last Updated: July 12, 2022
A strong online presence is an integral piece in a modern, professional real estate marketer’s arsenal. Is your real estate platform equipped with the right tools to boost your impact in a competitive industry?
People expect to find a business online and you can drive new business to your agency with an overhaul or complete rebuild of your website.
What makes a good real estate website?
Since most potential buyers start their real estate search online, having a good real estate website is extremely important.
We will discuss the components of great real estate platforms in more detail later, but here is a brief list.
Lead capture capability
Search tools (including property price)
Quality visuals (including video)
Testimonials and affiliations
Useful resources (guides, mortgage calculator, home valuation tool, etc.)
Remember that you are not just selling homes, you are also trying to build a relationship with future home buyers. As such, you should have a website that’s informative and has a delightful user experience.
Check these 8 essential elements for real estate websites:
1. Responsive Design
Mobile internet usage has long surpassed desktop computer use.
If your real estate platform isn’t easy to use on smartphones and tablets, you’re already a step behind.
With the majority of users searching the real estate marketplace on-the-go, your agent website must incorporate responsive design elements that make your site content accessible on any browser, platform, or device.
Smartphones and tablets have smaller screen sizes, use touch input, and are often at the mercy of variable mobile connection speeds. Will users be as comfortable viewing your real estate platform on these devices as they are on their computers?
A refined user experience – independent of the device – is key to maximizing your online presence. Web designers can ensure that your real estate platform works well on all platforms.
Not only that, there is also a premium on searchability for mobile-optimized website design. Google has in fact been using a search engine algorithm that rewards responsive websites with higher search rankings. If you are not an expert on website design, hiring a web designer is money well spent.
2. Lead Capture
When it comes to real estate platforms, success is not measured by just a few clicks and views. Your real estate website should be an effective tool to capture leads that can potentially become new clients.
Don’t let your users trail off your real estate platform without first making a connection. Encourage site visitors to provide their contact details using smart call-to-action elements.
Go beyond catchy phrases. Make your calls to action subtle but effective by:
Highlighting the benefits of subscribing to your updates, such as regular and timely market and listings updates.
Designing strategic graphics and layouts that lead the viewer’s attention to a contact form.
Offering freebies (an e-book or a market report, for example) or access to exclusive pocket listings to showcase your expertise.
Just as important is ensuring that your users have multiple opportunities to get in touch with you. Make sure that your contact information is prominent on every page of your real estate website, and provide links to your social media accounts to encourage quick and accessible conversations.
3. Featured Listings
Searching for the best homes can take plenty of time and effort – especially for buyers looking into a new and unfamiliar neighborhood. A virtual tour of the neighborhood can make a real estate property feel like a home — not just a listing.
Make property searches fun and engaging for your users by publishing your latest best deals and recommendations on dedicated pages on your real estate website.
If you market specialized listings or categories, you may want to give each property its own website or highlight them prominently on your website. You can also forward the link via a targeted marketing campaign.
Want to showcase the best luxury estates in your area? Highlight new or up-and-coming constructions and property listings? Attract buyers to acreage properties for sale? Build customized hot sheets that shine the spotlight on your most high-profile listings. Use customized layouts to summarize and make the pertinent info quick and easy to read.
If you sell both residential and commercial properties, you may want two separate real estate platforms or portals. If your real estate agency also handles property management, a separate portal for renters would be a handy way to segment your clients.
Your users will love you for making their lives easier.
4. Search Tools
Most, if not all, visitors on your real estate website will head there to look for their ideal real estate buying or selling opportunities. This is why search tools always rank high on the indispensable features of a real estate website.
Some real estate customers are more experienced and savvy than others, while there are also those that have no idea how to even get started.
Placing different search tools in your real estate website will allow you to appeal to this variety of users, boosting your chances of gaining leads and potential clients.
Real estate websites benefit from having any or all of these search tool styles:
Quick search toolbars
Compact and simple to use, this search bar is ideal for first-time buyers or those unfamiliar with your area of operation. Place these on home screens and inner page margins, so users can launch into searches wherever they are on your real estate website.
Advanced search page
The wider range of search parameters that this search tool is perfect for buyers or sellers who have a clear idea of what they want.
Interactive map search page
The visual nature of this tool will help homeowners looking to relocate within the same area or region, as well as future property owners who want to move close to a particular place of interest, such as a school or commercial establishment.
5. Quality Images
Images are a powerful element in any website – especially on real estate websites. The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is very true for real estate companies.
While good copy communicates important information and useful, intuitive features keep users engaged, images have the power to evoke emotions and capture the imaginations of their viewers.
For real estate agents, this means conveying ideal living scenarios and lifestyles that listings often do not fully capture.
Images also break the monotony of blocks of text on a webpage. Strategic placement of relevant images can effectively improve the readability of your content.
Stock photos and video footage are always a cost-effective and convenient option you can choose for your real estate website. Investing in professional photography and videography, however, can go a long way in creating a more authentic, more personalized, and more trustworthy feel.
6. Simple Navigation
Does your real estate website follow the 3-click rule? For website builders, three is (unofficially) the maximum number of clicks that a user needs to find any content or information that they need.
The 3-click rule is not a hard rule by any means, but you get the idea: Quick, easy, and convenient is key to keeping clients happy.
Need ideas on how to streamline your real estate website navigation structure? Here are a few:
These keep your real estate website main sections visible at all times.
Descriptive, topic-focused labels
Topic focused labels guide your visitors better than generic section labels. They are great for SEO (search engine optimization), too.
Avoid drop-down menus
They are neither user-friendly nor search engine-friendly.
Limit your menu items
Most experts recommend limiting menus items to seven.
Add “fat footers”
So-called fat footers give users an overview of your site’s sections at the bottom of every page – where the links won’t distract from your main content. A savvy user can use these to easily navigate your site.
7. Testimonials and Affiliations
Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. In the real estate business, a glowing review or a familiar network connection may be the key to making you relatable in the eyes of a discerning potential client. Indeed, testimonials make you stand out in crowded real estate marketplaces.
Dedicate a full page on your real estate website – as well as a section of your homepage – to a few choice testimonials. Choose statements that highlight your unique strengths as an agent, as well as a few memorable anecdotes.
Ask some of your satisfied clients to record video testimonials – preferably from the home you helped them secure.
List your key affiliations, as well, especially if you have key partners in your local community. Associating with recognizable companies and brands will instantly boost your credibility, and your partners will surely appreciate that you acknowledge them on your real estate website.
8. Useful Resources
Be sure that the information you offer on your real estate website is not limited to property listings. Instead, become a one-stop shop for all your potential clients’ needs.
Pack your real estate website with informative sections that will make you the top resource for local information. Consider these examples:
Buyers’ and sellers’ guides
Real estate transactions can be drawn out and overwhelming, so give your readers something to keep them appeased throughout the process. A real estate agent should be an expert guide to the real estate industry.
Help buyers avoid committing to a property they cannot afford. A built-in calculator can keep buyers’ expectations in check.
Give prospective buyers a reliable estimate of their current property’s value so they can maximize their returns on a sale.
Regular market reports
Savvy property owners and investors may be keeping an eye on the real estate market before making a move. Publish market reports on your website to keep them informed – and coming back.
Lifestyle guides and blogs
Prospective property buyers will always appreciate a glimpse of the local lifestyle they may soon be part of. A blog is a versatile section you can add on your real estate website to write about various topics of interest, such as detailed neighborhood descriptions, lifestyle guides, and lists of notable attractions and events.
Get on the right track to building and maintaining a strong online presence with Agent Image. Contact the team today for more information.
Q. How do I make my real estate website stand out?
A. As you are focusing on your real estate website development, remember what a strong website needs. Keep in mind that you are not just selling property; the best real estate agents are educators and experts who generously share their knowledge.
As such, having informative, up-to-date, and fresh content will help establish your authority, which in turn makes your website a valuable resource to potential clients.
Q. How do I drive traffic to my real estate website?
A. Search engines drive users to websites, so understanding how to make yours responsive and relevant to Google and similar platforms is important. Contact Agent Image to see how we can help.
Q. How do I build my own real estate website?
A. You’ll find many tutorials online, but the bigger question is: do you have the time or skills needed to build a website on your own? Given your already hectic schedule, it makes more sense to hire professionals to design and build your real estate website.
Q. What about property investing websites?
A. If you offer real estate investment properties, you definitely need a website that showcases your credibility and authority. That said, many of the good qualities of residential real estate sites apply to commercial property websites, too. This includes an intuitive user interface, responsive design, informative content, and useful tools.
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