Building a Real Estate Website: Tips and Ideas
If you’re a real estate agent, a strong online presence is an essential for you.
Does your real estate website have what it takes to boost your impact in an industry that’s more competitive than ever? Find that out, and see what makes a good real estate website as well, below.
A responsive design
It’s true that mobile internet use has surpassed the desktop internet use at this point. If your website isn’t ready for usage on a mobile device, you’re already late.
This should’ve been done when you were building a real estate website, but it can be done later on as well. Most of the users today are searching on the go, and your website must have responsive design elements that make it accessible, regardless of the device.
Smartphones, as well as tablets, have smaller displays, use touch input, and are commonly at the mercy of a connection that varies in speed and stability. Would your users be just as comfortable browsing from a mobile device? A good user experience that doesn’t care which device is used is paramount.
If you have a WordPress website, the Houzez WP Theme is a great, fully responsive theme that has been tested on plenty of devices to make sure the user experience is smooth across all platforms.
Success in a real estate website isn’t measured by the number of views and clicks. Instead, you should use it as a tool that captures leads, which in turn, become new clients.
Don’t let your users leave the website without making a connection first, and use smart call-to-action elements to encourage them. This is one of the best realtor website ideas you’ll run into. Don’t just use catchy phrases, but make the calls-to-action subtle, yet effective.
- Highlight what are their benefits if they subscribe to your updates (think regular, timely market updates)
- Design strategic layouts and graphics that will lead the viewer’s eye to a contact form
- Offer freebies (a market report or e-book), or access to exclusive pocket listings
Ensuring that your users have multiple shots at getting in touch with you is just as important. Your contact information should be prominent on any page of the website, and you should have links to your social media accounts for quick, accessible conversations. This is another one of those great real estate website ideas, you should make use of it.
Most visitors, if not all, are there to find their ideal real estate selling or buying opportunity. Therefore, a search tool will always rank high on the feature list of such a website.
Some customers are more experienced and tech-savvy than others, and there are those that have no idea how to get started. Having different search tools lets you cater to the variety, thus boosting the chances of gaining potential clients. Try any of these styles:
- A quick search toolbar. It’s compact, simple to use, and great for a first-time buyer, or someone unfamiliar with your area of expertise. Put them on the home screen, and the inner page margins, so users can make a search regardless of where they are on the website.
- An advanced search page. This is great for anyone who knows exactly what they want and gives them more search parameters.
- An interactive map search page. This is a visual search that helps homeowners that want to relocate nearby, or someone who wants to move closer to some particular point of interest.
The Houzez theme mentioned earlier has one of the most advanced search tools, and you can set various criteria such as size, price range etc., and let your clients fine-tune their search results. This allows them to focus on the details that actually matter the most.
Offer community pages
A community page is actually a page, within the site, that focuses on the towns or neighborhoods you specialize in. For example, you could include a Google map integration of the place you’re working around, and highlight some charming attributes.
A buyer wants to be well informed about the neighborhood before they decide to move in, and what interests them most are local businesses, school districts as well as recreational opportunities.
Pop-up subscription forms
If you want those visitors to return, give them a reason to do so. A good way is to have a pop-up subscription form that urges your guests to subscribe to your newsletter or blog.
This lets you offer them useful tips and information that shows them the value you’re offering. And, when they are in need of a realtor, your site will be fresh in their mind.
Tell a story
If you only have facts about your business in the About section, it will undoubtedly be dull, and engendering customer loyalty isn’t something that’s likely to help.
People want to see a story, and to give them one, you can start with the About page, then integrate that story throughout the whole site.
And, as you’re crafting the story, talk about where you are and how you got there. What helped you find that place, do you have any significant lessons or achievements you can relate to?
Putting some details into the story will give your business a lot of personalities, and it will make you look more human.
Write a blog
Content is essential, both for SEO and for offering something insightful. Every realtor’s website should have a dedicated blog that talks about some of the latest news in the particular housing markets, as well as the timeless knowledge that makes people return to the website, and even some useful tips and tricks.
Fix any broken links
A broken link is extremely frustrating, for anyone.
If you have non-working links that lead to a blog post that has been taken down, or to a landing page that has changed the URL, it actually tells your viewer that you don’t really take pride in your work.
Your website will be a reflection of you, and a broken link actually makes you look shabby.
Font size and color
Font styles are changing constantly, and updating the font type on the website is important.
If you have an older style font, such as Times New Roman, check out the fonts available with the Houzez WP theme to find some great fonts available for websites.
You’ll find great combinations, both for the body and paragraphs, and the heading fonts that make your text truly stand out.
An image is a very powerful element in a website, especially if the website is a realtor’s website.
A good copy will communicate the information that is useful and important, and the intuitive features will keep your users engaged.
However, it’s the image that has the power to evoke emotions and capture the viewer’s imagination. For a real estate professional, this will convey that ideal living scenario and the lifestyle that you can’t really fully capture with a simple listing.
An image will also break the monotony of text blocks on the webpage, and if you use them strategically, it will undoubtedly improve your content’s readability.
If you want a cost-effective solution, go for stock photos and videos, as a convenient option for your website. But, if you invest in professional photography and videography, you will go a long way in making a feel that is more authentic, trustworthy, and personalized.
Fix your contact info
Last but certainly not least, make sure all the contact info on the website is correct, and that all of the e-mail forms on the website are fully working. You don’t want to be missing out on any leads.
Also, is your phone number easy to find on your website, or is it buried somewhere at the bottom? The optimal place to put it is the top right corner. Add a simple call to action, such as “Call today”, followed by the number, if you want to get the prospects’ attention.
Your website is your online calling card, and you want it to look just as good as you’d present yourself in your business.
Sure, making a lot of changes on your website at once may be overwhelming, and therefore a good suggestion would be to start small, with a list of things you’d like to change.
Then, work on the list every week, until you’re happy with what you’ve done. If you take it one step at a time, things will be easier, and you’ll have a great website you’re proud of before you know it!