Features of a Successful Real Estate Website

If you're a real estate agent who wants to reach new clients, you must have a website. The internet has become such an integral part of our lives that more than half of people who buy a house first look for properties online. Moreover, 99% of millennials, which are a target audience for many, say that they looked for homes on the web. So, the need is there, and people will visit your site when you make it. However, if you want to sell, you need to meet the customer's expectations. And to help you do that, we'll take a look at the features of a successful real estate website.

One thing you need to understand is that first impressions are everything here. If people can get around your site and find what they came to see, they can quickly turn into leads. They'll feel like they've come to the right place, and that's what you want, especially if we're talking about first-time home buyers. You'll get a chance to nurture them throughout their journey and find them the house they want.

That's what it's all about right there. But let's see what your website needs to have if you want to get to that point.

Easy navigation

The first thing you want to pay attention to is navigation. Your site must be user-friendly and easy to navigate through. The best way to achieve that is by using simple menus and clearly marking every option and section on your pages.

For example, don't try to come up with a clever name for your bio page - you don't need it. Adding a simple ''About'' option in a menu will do you just fine, believe us. Also, if you have sections of the site that are for specific content only, label them. Explain to your visitors what they're looking at, and they'll appreciate it more.

All in all, you want to make a site that they'll intuitively know how to use. But user experience will be even better if you follow through with the design.

Two women in front of a laptop talking about features of a successful real estate website.

Easy navigation is one of the features of a successful real estate website you can't go without.

Clean design

Design is another thing that is almost as important as easy navigation. When you make all the content on your site look tidy and organized, visitors can scan it and read it with ease. Here are some guidelines on what you want to have in terms of web design.

  • A header with a logo and menu
  • Properly arranged content by topic or type
  • Clean lines
  • Organized text that doesn't clutter the page
  • A footer with contact information and social media buttons

Of course, building a website is not something you should do on your own, and neither is maintaining it afterward. So, it's a good idea to let experts deal with this. Explore a bit, tell them what you want from a site, and they'll tell you how you can get that.

Property listings

We're talking about the features of a successful real estate website, so how can we skip property listings? Naturally, you'd want to have a whole section dedicated to these, and you should put quite a bit of focus on it.

Arrange your listings by a zip code or neighborhood, and allow users to filter them. It'll make it easy for your future clients to find what they're looking for, but the crucial thing here is to update listings regularly. Thanks to this, people will know that you're active and ready to do business.

A model of a house on a table.

Not only do you need to have property listings on your site, but you also have to update them regularly.

Educational blog

It's not a secret that your audience will trust you more if you can teach them something. And this works to your benefit, as well. The more people trust you, the more of them will contact you, and you'll be able to get more deals. So, don't be afraid to use your site to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.

Write about anything you think your readers will find interesting and valuable. Topics about home buying, owning, or remodeling will all do great. Content marketing is one of the best new real estate marketing strategies to expand your business, so be sure to hop on that train as soon as possible.

Of course, if you don't have time to write blog posts by yourself, or if you're not skilled at writing, you can outsource this part of the job. There's plenty of companies that will do this for you, and you won't have to worry about the quality of the articles.

High-quality photos

The images visitors see on your website will play a significant role in how they see you and your business. Hence, all the photos on your site must be as high-quality as possible. And here, we mean on both your property listings and the pictures that are a part of your website design.

It's worth mentioning that this is where you can get creative. Photos are there to draw people in, and you can experiment and find what works the best for you. Drone shots are a big deal these days, and more and more real estate agents love to use them. Try fitting them to your site and find out why they're so popular.

If you pay attention to your photos, people will see that you pay attention to detail. You'll come out as highly professional, and that will reflect on your sales in a good way.

A drone shot of a street.

Drone photos are both interesting to see and use for real estate.

Mobile responsiveness

Smartphones are one of the tools that made working with real estate in the age of COVID-19 possible. We all used them for virtual tours, and we still use them for that. However, that's not all phones are used these days. As a matter of fact, more than half of all searches on Google in 2020 were done from a mobile device, and that means something.

It means that mobile-friendliness is one of the must-have features of a successful real estate website. Go with it, and you can be sure that your site will be accessible to a larger audience.

New Tool Makes Working with Socially Distant Clients Easier

Unfortunately, social distancing isn’t going away any time soon. As you continue to adjust your business practices to keep clients safe, there is a new tool releasing soon that can make it easier for you to sell homes remotely.

OneHome, revealed earlier this month by CoreLogic (a real estate market data and analytics provider) is a virtual collaboration portal that “facilitates seamless interaction between agents and their clients.” Instead of relying on multiple tools to remotely guide your client through the home buying process, OneHome aims to be a “one-stop-shop.” It includes a virtual marketplace where you can directly communicate with clients, AI-enabled home search results, and access to financing, insurance, and home improvement providers all in one portal.

Some unique features that are sure to make your job much easier are the “Planner” and “PropertyFit.” Planner is a guided checklist in the form of a timeline that explains every step of the home buying transaction process - minimizing any client confusion. PropertyFit is where OneHome flexes its AI-learning muscles. It uses the client’s previous home browsing data and shows them homes that are most likely to meet their needs.

OneHome is expected to be nationally available by the end of 2020. As the real estate market continues to shift along with the pandemic, how do you plan on using new technologies with your clients?

PropertyFit Preview Image

PropertyFit uses client search data to match them with homes that meet their needs. Image from corelogic.com

If you’re not already using social media or even drones to help grow your client base, check out our continuing education courses by choosing your state below.

 


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Real Estate’s American Dream

The American dream. Owning your own home is the largest transaction an average American will make in their lifetime. Conventionally, as a salesperson or broker, you are the catalyst to make that dream a reality. Showing homes, placing offers, negotiating and eventually making the deal. Customarily you work on commission which incentivizes you to get the buyer into the highest transaction you can. To the untrained eye that customary 3% commission doesn’t look like much but as an agent you know that it can add up to thousands or tens of thousands. In 2018 $80 billion dollars were paid in real estate commissions.  This is where the traditional real estate market exists and where current events seek to shake the ancestral market.

Now, more than ever, social media marketing is crucial to reach those customers. Networking, blogging, creating relationships online will all make or break your business. When you have real estate brokerages that are setting new precedence online by allowing more time for focusing on the customer - whether it’s for the buy or the sale. They offer a do-it-yourself approach, such as providing title services, and securing the best mortgage, ultimately offering the buyer an all in one experience. How can you compete? Get online. Start with a social media marketing course like ours and learn how to open doors to new customers and keep your legacy clients coming back. The lessons in this course will take you through the development phase of your social media presence, and on to a place where you are confidently creating online content that represents you in the best light possible. Aligning yourself with your buyer or seller and maintaining a virtual presence will keep your business and reputation attractive to clients. Using Social Media effectively as a real estate professional takes a certain amount of finesse, but if done correctly, can be a major catalyst for advancing your career.


 

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Dress For Success

What would you do to sell a home? Most real estate photo galleries are staged and they rarely feature people but some real estate agents are taking a unique approach by dressing up in costumes to help bring more views to their listings.

In 2016, an agent in Texas dressed up as a Panda and it helped her get 12 showings in the first two days. Another agent went prehistoric and donned a T-Rex costume,  and agents in Baltimore dressed up as Spiderman and a Unicorn to show off their listings.

Real estate agents trying unconventional marketing techniques is a smart way to get listings to stand out in the internet age. People like to go viral and are always looking for something new and refreshing online. In the past, real estate agents used different strategies during open house events like baking cookies to make a home smell good or playing music to cancel out traffic noises. Dressing in a costume is just another way to get buyers to pay attention and in the door.

Real Estate agents Christina Dudley and Michael Frank think the costumes are a great way to show some of Baltimore's local flavor too. They plan on doing another stage photo shoot featuring another goofy character, but they understand it’s not for every house, agent, or seller.


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