Over half of home buyers found the home they purchased through the Internet, as reported in the NAR’s 2021 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends. Although most transactions are still made through real estate agents, an online presence is required for generating leads and closing more deals.
Is marketing your listings and contact details across the third-party listing portals good enough? The answer is no. Having an official, well-maintained website is still necessary for modern real estate agencies. The website’s appearance, navigation, and quality of content influence visitors’ impression of the brand and the company. In fact, 75% of consumers judge a company’s credibility based on website design, as reported by Stanford Web Credibility Research. In the real estate industry, in particular, credibility is one of the most sought-after qualities from the client’s perspective, and you want to reinforce this at every touchpoint.
Apart from the brand-building perspective, having your own website allows full control of information sharing. Take this advantage to have all data under one roof, including a complete list of available inventories and relevant information, so that prospects who visit your website can have a well-rounded experience that encourages them to engage further.
Overall, a powerful real estate agency website accomplishes two things: credibility enhancement and business generation. While it is easier said than done, here are five core principles to adhere to when building and auditing a website:
There is no point in inviting potential clients to visit your office if it is messy, dated, or simply not professional-looking nor convincing. The same thing applies to your website: drawing traffic is certainly vital, but how the website looks aesthetically is equally important.
There are plenty of website components that build trustworthiness, but the following features are most relevant to real estate businesses: professional appearance, approachable team, and client testimonials.
Provide accurate information
Leaving inactive listings on your website to artificially inflate inventory size is highly discouraged. Not only is it untruthful to visitors and can damage your credibility, but it also creates a negative experience when visitors enquire about listings from the website only to find out that they are not available.
For an agency with fast-paced business activities, keeping an eye on all data can be overwhelming. This is when system integration between the front-end website and back-end data management adds tremendous value. Updates on deals, listing data, contacts’ details, and more are synchronized across platforms, leaving your agents more time to connect with clients and close more deals.
Speak to your audience
Apart from information accuracy, website content must be relevant to your target market. Expatriates, retirees, property investors, urban families, affluent individuals, and affordable home seekers have different priorities. The specific interests of each group can define many elements of a website, such as languages, listing categorization, articles, featured listings on the homepage, and more.
Having a thorough understanding of your target market lets you build a more engaging website and create favorable impressions, leading to more conversions from website visitors to paying clients.
Be user friendly
A user-friendly website is seamless and straightforward for users to navigate. With countless websites competing for visitors’ traffic and attention, patience in the online world is scarce. If visitors find your website unpleasant to navigate, they will leave and browse competitors’ instead. A few common mistakes that damage user experiences are unattractive visuals, poor structure, unoptimized on their devices, or simply loading slowly.
When it comes to devices, research has found that around half of property searches were done using mobile devices in 2021. Hence, optimization of your website’s mobile browsing experience is an absolute necessity.
The previous four principles help create a favorable experience for website visitors to consider doing business with your property agency. Now it is time to call for an action.
Any effective website should invite visitors to ask questions, share their desirable property features, and leave contact information in the most convenient and simple ways. A common tool used to capture information on websites is through a form- whether it be for inquiry, contact, or newsletter subscription. Below are the characteristics of online forms with a high completion rate:
After forms are submitted, a robust back-end system should handle the collected information in a way that helps agents engage with the leads better: automatically create lead profiles, notify a responsible team lead or agent, identify information completion level, provide listing recommendations, track the website browsing behavior, and much more. With these capabilities, agents can start insightful conversations with leads knowing exactly what to highlight and what to explore further.
Property Raptor has designed and developed optimized websites for several real estate agencies globally. More importantly, all Property-Raptor-powered websites are fully integrated with our core CRM system to provide a seamless experience from a lead generation at the front-end website to a powerful customer and property data management at the back-end system. In Property Raptor, agents can handle leads from end-to-end within one centralized system.
Interested to see more about what we have built? Click HERE to book a free demo with us today.