You never quite know how a home buyer will find your real estate website. Maybe through an ad, from Facebook, or a Google search. But no matter how they arrived, what matters most is whether they convert. With so much competition for a buyer’s attention, make sure your website is set up to capture the lead and keep them coming back for more.
Your website should be easy to use on any device, so a mobile-friendly responsive site is a MUST. We’re nearly 20 years into the 21st century so no buyer should have to pinch or expand your home page on their phone to read it. The reality is, almost no one will.
You’re trying to sell homes, neighborhoods, and a lifestyle. Make sure the images you use on your website reflect that. While any of the listings on your website could be a potential dream home, the images that get good attention are the beautiful ones. Think of your ideal buyer and make sure the pictures you use on your website reflect what they want to see in a new home.
No one wants to hunt and peck all over your website looking for information. Unless they know and like you, a new visitor won’t. They have too many options and will quickly click away. Your website’s navigation should make it easy to find relevant information and get buyers where they need to be in one, maybe two clicks. If they choose to click further into your website, great, but don’t make it difficult for a new visitor.
Once you’ve hooked them with images of their potential dream home and good, current content, what you want them to do next should be easy to use and obvious. “Register to see more listings like this” or “Subscribe to my email newsletter.” Whatever you want them to do next needs to be as simple as clicking a button or tapping the screen.
Now more than ever, consumers care what other people’s experiences have been. If they’re not getting your name from a direct referral, they still want to know if people like working with you. Make your testimonials easy to find, and easy to read. Whether they’re on Yelp, Google, or reviews you’ve received and published directly to your website, don’t hide them. It won’t be the only factor a buyer uses to make a decision but it is an important one.
To improve your chances of capturing a lead, you need to include more than one option. While a website registration feature may generate the majority of your leads, some buyers like to make contact the old fashioned way. And what could be better than a direct phone call or email from a brand new lead? Make sure your phone number and email address are easily accessible.
As someone who reads a lot of content online, there’s little worse than checking out a blog only to see it hasn’t been updated in six months. Seeing winter holiday tips for new homeowners in June or the “best price drops in August” when it’s January makes it clear this section of the website isn’t being updated. A buyer will wonder what else might be out of date, too.
Online competition is fierce in every industry including real estate. Many factors determine whether you’ll earn someone’s business or not, including your website. Make sure that your website draws people in instead of turning them away, and you’ll have a better chance of turning those online searchers and readers into real leads.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.