Most real estate agents face numerous competitors, so it’s crucial not to fall behind other agencies. One way to stay ahead is to offer a well-designed website. More than nine out of 10 homebuyers visit real estate websites when they look for properties. Many sellers also compare agencies on the internet. To satisfy them, we urge every broker to employ these important real estate website features:
1. Provide Helpful Advice
Educate buyers and sellers about the real estate sales process. You can provide tips, guides, glossaries, how-to articles, checklists and similar material. Consider publishing the advice in a blog format. Although some organizations may let you reuse their guides, the original content will draw more traffic to your website.
2. Stay on Top of News and Trends
Post informative updates about the local and regional real estate markets. You may add them to a blog or news page. Tell readers about pricing trends, recent sales, upcoming open houses and special events that take place at your agency. You could also discuss the latest mortgage rates or lending policies.
3. Become a Hub for Local Information
Provide genuinely insightful facts on your city and its major districts or neighbourhoods. Inform homebuyers about attractions, festivals, public services, architectural styles, plant species and the local climate. Consider adding photos or street maps to this section. If you supply exclusive information, people may find your guide in Google results when they research the area.
4. Let your Visitors Search
Don’t forget to put a prominent search box on the home page of a real estate website. It shouldn’t just deliver listings from your agency. Most buyers want to search the entire Multiple Listing Service. Allow people to use filters that pertain to your local area. For instance, you could offer the option to only search for condominium units.
5. Provide lots of High-Resolution Photos
A picture says a thousand words. This could not be truer in this case. Homebuyers favour property listings with numerous, high resolution outdoor and indoor pictures. On our real estate websites, we created Custom Listings, and encourage our clients to upload high-resolution images to their websites. As a rule of thumb, upload images up to 2000px wide and 1000 high (for landscape). Anything larger, and the size of your page will increase, causing slow loading times. The computers would then have to down-size the images to fit them on the screen, making for a poor experience.
When taking these pictures, do your best to create sharp, high-contrast images that accurately represent each house or business. Don’t use your phone. Always use a DSLR camera with a flash unit. One cool technique you can try is HDR Photography. If you are looking to take the pictures yourself, this post may help you get on track: How to Photograph Real Estate – Lesson Learned.
6. Video Tours
If a picture says a thousand words, a video says a million. Give your visitors a good perspective of the home and a sense of the space, by providing a video recording of the home to be sold. There are multiple creative ways of incorporating a walkthrough, from embedding to using it as a background to the listing’s header.
Recording a video tour is a very detail-oriented and highly involved task. It requires special expensive equipment in order to successfully carry out, such as motion stabilizers, sliders, rails or even drones. For the best results and minimum headache, we recommend you contact a real estate photographer or a real estate videographer and create a professional video.
7. Mortgage Calculators and other Real Estate Calculators
You can keep homebuyers on your website by providing specialized online calculators. These tools estimate land transfer taxes, loan payments and mortgage insurance costs. You should display a real estate calculator on each listings page, with the information pre-filled, ready to go.
You can also use these tools yourself. When talking to your clients, instead of visiting some third party website, just pull up the calculator from your website on your iPad or iPhone and use that to perform their calculations. This will not only allow you to help them right away but will also reinforce their confidence in your website and they will begin using it more themselves.
8. Credentials & Reviews
Every real estate website should include your profile with specific details about you. Supply facts on relevant experience, education, awards and specialties. This content appeals to some buyers, but it holds greater importance for sellers. They want to know if you have the expertise and training needed to successfully sell a property.
Reviews are becoming more and more important for both sellers and buyers. Make sure you give your visitors a way to leave reviews on social media, which will reinforce your profile and add credibility.
9. Contact Details
Make it easy for new customers to reach you. Put the agency’s phone number and a contact form link on every page. People won’t hesitate to respond if you employ a compelling call to action and provide numerous contact methods. Give users the information they need to reach your agency via fax, email or instant messaging. You can also include a live chat function to your website, however, make sure you are able to man it.