One of the best ways to distinguish yourself from other REALTORS® in your area is to offer unique, original content. If every other agent in your area has a simple website with no unique content, not only will they not be rewarded with high search engine ranking, but their websites will also be indistinguishable to homebuyers.
By offering information and opinions that are thoughtful, knowledgeable, and relevant your services will stand out. This type of unique content can be found in many forms, from blog posts, original videos, links to other relevant resources, and the list goes on.
First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “widget”, since the word means a lot of different things to different people. According to economists, it’s an abstract unit of production. According to video game players, it’s a 1990 Nintendo video game. It’s also a Marvel character, that thing in cans of Guinness that manages the beer’s foam, and myriad other things. But in this context, widget means “a small, portable application or piece of dynamic content that can easily be placed into a Web page”.
Online widgets can be found for almost anything these days and there are a lot of great widgets that cater specifically to real estate agents. Adding these widgets to your website can enhance your content offering in a dynamic and interactive manner.
Let’s explore some of the most popular widgets and their functions.
Social Media widgets include Facebook and Twitter tools. 84&percnt of REALTORS® use social media to some extent, which makes Facebook and Twitter widgets extremely applicable to a real estate website. If you are already utilizing social media as a marketing strategy, you should get the most out of it.
Facebook and Twitter apps can help you do this by connecting web visitors to your social media presence as well as connecting social media users to your website. Both Facebook and Twitter offer various widget options and customization. To learn more about these widgets, visit the links provided below.
Listing Display and Search widgets are available from a variety of sources, but the most prominent are Trulia and Zillow. These two websites have become wildly popular among homebuyers, sellers, and real estate professionals nationwide. Not only do they offer their own listing database search, but they have their own forums and communities and dozens of widgets to choose from. If your listings can be found on Zillow or Trulia, you can use their widgets to add slideshows, quick listing search boxes, lists of recently sold homes, and much more. To learn more about these widgets, visit the links provided below.
Market Conditions & Other types of widgets can also be used to enhance your website content offering. For example, you can also use a Zillow widget to provide home values, interactive polls and quizzes, and fun things like a list of expensive homes that will attract homebuyers and sellers to your site. If you are a member of the ActiveRain online real estate community, you can share your profile on your website. Another site to check out if you’re looking for the perfect widget is Widgetbox, which has a ton of widgets to choose from.
Widget Wielders Beware! Keep the following in mind when adding external widgets to your website. Always have a plan! Never add widgets to your website just for the sole sake of having widgets. Think about what you’re trying to achieve with the widget and how it will help you reach that goal. Examine the widget carefully before implementing it to ensure that it functions as you want it to. Many widgets will link back to their source website and may “steal” your website visitors out from under you!
Robert Warner started with iHOUSEWeb back in 2009 in the Customer Service Department helping over 10,000 clients with all of their Real Estate Website questions. After launching the YouTube training videos for iHOUSEWeb he moved up to the marketing department where he helps design and write marketing materials as well as managing the Social Media side of iHOUSEWeb.