Since I’m often giving website advice to realtors, I thought it might be helpful to share 5 tips to help real estate agents choose their website. Depending on which real estate guru is talking, suggestions for choosing a website can be as different as night and day, so the most important advice I can give is to say, do something! Don’t get stuck trying to make your website the best real estate website the world has ever seen, because it might never happen at all! Just keep it simple and move forward!
Generally, agents should want to portray a professional but friendly nature and always remember, the business of real estate is about developing relationships, and follow through. Regardless, in today’s world, not having a professional website will result in less business and a loss in revenue, period!
5 Tips to Help Choose a Real Estate Website
- Before even beginning to choose a website it’s critical to determine your branding! Do you plan to use your broker’s brand or do you have your own. Do you already have signs, business cards, stationary or other forms of physical branding in place? If not, you’ll need to determine your brand and make sure your brand shows on your website. You can see now why we like this as our first of 5 tips to help real estate agents choose their websites.
- If you’re choosing from a pre-built or replicated website, your choices will be limited. It’s always best to hire a web developer to build your website, specifically to fit your brand, as opposed to your building your brand to fit your site. Keep it simple. If you don’t have a brand or if you use your broker’s brand, just make sure your logo shows up on your site, and use neutral colors.
- Determine if you want to show live MLS listings on your website. Most agents think, if they have a website with an IDX, they will get loads of leads from potential home buyers. I promise, this is not true! Unless you make a determined effort and spend money driving traffic to your site, it’s not going to happen. Per year, an IDX site costs about twice as much as a traditional site and nowadays it’s questionable if you will actually gain any new business from having an IDX. Also, although replicated sites such as Zillow come with built in IDX, you will need to do some work to fit your personal brand into their templates.
- Social Network integration! In today’s social network world, it’s important your site shows you are active with the most popular social networks. Your site visitors will feel more comfortable seeing the familiar social network icons and images. Some might say, displaying social network links on your website create leaks, enabling your visitors to leave your site! That might be true to some extent, but if you are linking to YOUR social network pages, so what! You are in the business of developing relationships and in today’s world your goal should be to turn your online relationships into offline relationships and turn your offline relationships into online relationships.
- Lead Capture! Make sure your site has reliable built in lead capture and VERIFY you are immediately notified when a visitor completes a form. I can’t tell you haw many websites I’ve audited and discovered lead notifications were NOT being received. This is a shame! Any good developer can make your notifications work every time, but you’ll need a domain email first.
Even if you are not a blogger, make sure your website is built on WordPress and you have the ability to blog if you so desire. Publishing blog posts on a regular basis is the best way to provide new content on your website and will result in higher search engine rankings! In fact, with less bloggers out there, the door is wide open for the rest of us! Don’t know what to blog about? Start with answering the most common questions you hear from clients or potential clients. Next, get started on community reports.
Closing Comments to Help You Choose a Real Estate Website
Honestly, I almost didn’t publish this post because too much is missing. There is much more information you should know about choosing your realtor website. You can even create your own WordPress site for free. Yes, all free website solutions take a good deal of time and even though they are usually simple, there’s still a learning curve and it does take time! Also, going the free route won’t usually result in the website you hoped for. Of course I’m biased, but I also believe I offer the very best value website solution for realtors available today.
I hope you found this post helpful and look forward to your comments about, five tips to help real estate agents choose their website.