Ways to Improve your Real Estate Website
The world of home seekers has become increasingly digital. People are turning online at a rapid rate for information to support their purchasing decision. They read reviews, watch ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube, and even scheme through websites for realtors before making any buying decision.
Real estate-related searches on Google increased by 253% between 2009 and 2013, as per the joint study performed by Google and the National Association of Realtors. The study further revealed that today, above 92% of home hunters use the internet to search for their homes.
If you were still on the fence about how essential websites for realtors are, these two studies should help you make sense of what you could potentially miss if you had no website.
The digital minds are consistently online looking for information – they use the internet to find well-informed realtors, community information, market data, and robust property search capabilities all wrapped into one with incredible user experience on it. That’s why the value of having a real estate website can never be overemphasized. And it’s not just any website – your platform should be well designed, SEO optimized, user-friendly, and quick to load, to capture the attention of today’s ill-focused buyer.
So, if your site isn’t functioning the way you expect it to – or if you are creating a new platform but would wish to get it right the first time – follow this tips to get the most from your website.
Working on your website
Studies show that webpages with pictures and videos get more shares on social channels than those without. But before you include photos and videos on your site, there are certain things you should bear in mind to ensure you don’t end up with a negative effect.
Slow loading pages – loading plenty of videos and images without accounting for your site’s capacity is one of the major causes of slow loading speed. If your site is taking long (like three seconds or more) to load, you should find a professional web designer who has experience on the end-user experience, the navigability of your site and its overall appearance to help fix the issue.
Pop-us – You may not know this, but pop-ups are way too annoying for your visitors. When someone visits your page, they are often interested in specific information. But when all they see are pop-ups, they will bounce off pretty fast. This is to say that you shouldn’t bombard your users with pop-ups or sign-up banners within seconds of their landing.
Enhancing the process
Google distastes stale content, so it’s important to always create and update the content on your site. You can do so by creating white papers or blog posts and so on.
Providing step-by-step guides is one of the best ways to capture the attention of users as well as search engines. As stated earlier, home hunters (especially the first timers) are often looking for guidance online. A well written, value-packed, step-by-step guide breaks down the process, making it easier and less overwhelming for the buyer.
Informative pieces – in addition to the step-by-step guides, you may want to inform your audience on the kinds of documentation they require, the amount of money they’ll need to spend, the value of repairing a home before selling it and so on. Informative content will educate your prospects, and make them trust you and even recommend you to other people.
Never underestimate the power of a follow-up. But instead of adding annoying pop-ups, you can include a contact tab on top of the page along with the about us and service tabs. You can also place contact links strategically on all pages. Include your contact details on a sidebar too, so that any user who clicks on a listing can see it.
Also, make your contact form as simple and basic as it can get – don’t ask visitors to fill in their race, age, address, and so on. Phone number, email, name, and an excellent time to get in touch are more than enough.
Choosing the right web designer
The designer you choose to improve your site will either make or break your business, so you’ll need to pay close attention when choosing. A good web designer is one who can cover all the bases and provide new ideas to improve your online presence. The designer should also be abreast with the latest real estate trends and technology.