Starting your own real estate business? The key to success will be how you market and structure it. Today’s Realtors need a lot more marketing than just their face stamped on a bus stop bench. They also can’t work entirely out of an office like the old days.
They need a great website that will serve as home base for informing clients, attracting new clients, listing properties, and marketing. Here’s what you’ll need for that.
1. Start with Images
“When it comes to real estate, pictures, images, and visuals provide far more value than words,” says an article from Green Residential regarding photo quality. “Whereas written and spoken words only describe a property, pictures tell the entire story.”
Images should not only be high resolution, but they should be the center of your website. House hunters focus on photos more than anything else. Make sure your site is optimized for photography to cater to them.
2. Create Community Pages
A community page is where consumers can learn more about a city or town. This information is invaluable for consumers looking to move to a new location. You can highlight the most attractive features to attract more visitors.
3. Write a Blog
Information gathering is popular among consumers. Because it’s become such a widely used marketing strategy, people expect it from every business. Blog about things like how to choose a good mortgage or the benefits of home inspections. These topics add value without being too self-promotional.
4. Make Navigation Easy
The importance of great navigation on a website shouldn’t be underestimated. “Visiting a website with disorganized navigation is like driving somewhere with hazy directions: you might get lost along the way because the route is hard to follow,” according to a blog post from Ready Art Work. “You don’t want potential clients getting lost when looking for your contact information, after all.”
Good navigation includes a menu bar (typically at the top), footers, and links throughout the site. It’s also customary to have your Realtor logo at the top of the page and have it link back to the home page when clicked.
5. Clearly Display Contact Information
If visitors can’t find your contact information, there’s no point in having a website. Contact info should be available in various places, including its own separate page. Make sure the details about your office, hours of operation, email, and phone number are consistently up to date.
6. Download a Template
Building a website is easiest when you use a quality template. Such templates are typically optimized for photography, Google Maps, easy navigability, and other features necessary for real estate sites. Some of the most popular and easy-to-use templates include Real Places, Houzez, Real Estate WP, and Hometown.
7. Develop Contact Forms
Online contact forms are great for answering queries or receiving leads from potential clients. Keep these forms extremely simple. Ask for people’s name, phone number and/or email, and the best time(s) to contact them. You might also provide a small space for visitors to leave a short message if they choose.
8. Integrate Social Media
Social media is vital for Realtors. “The best real estate marketers think of social online like they do social offline,” says a Wishpond article.
“Social media provides a way to further connect with your local clients and groups and boost your real estate marketing efforts. Social can build trust, and spread your marketing through friends of friends.”
For Realtors, the top social media networks include Facebook, which is the most popular, and Pinterest, which is useful for sharing photos. Twitter and Google Plus can also be used for SEO purposes and sharing content.
9. Speed Up Loading Time
Don’t underestimate the importance of swift loading times. According to research, consumers are likely to abandon a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load on either mobile or desktop.
Since your website will have a lot of photos and maps, employment of file caching and other speed-enhancing plugins will make a huge difference.
10. Optimize for Mobile
House hunters don’t just search online for homes and agents when they’re sitting at a desk computer. They search on the go, particularly on their cell phone. So make sure your website will open for them on a small screen or you risk losing clients.