Real Estate Sales Reality Check: Taking Your Website From Boring to Exceptional
Is your real estate site putting users to sleep?
If it’s like most sites, it is. What you might need to do is spice things up a bit. Here’s how to do that.
Include Eye-Popping Images
Take a look at R.A. Bennett & Partners. What you’ll notice is that it doesn’t look like most real estate websites. Some of the newer WordPress or Tumblr themes (even custom ones) have some fun new visual layouts for users. They take the categories of your site and make them visual destinations instead of the old-school links or drop-down menu.
Add some fun to your website by adding graphics and photography. You could include images of your most popular listings, or just unusual pictures from current listings.
Bring In Reviews From Other Sites
You can either embed these directly from other sites or snap a screenshot and post them to your site. Displaying your reviews gives people an idea of the kind of work you do. And, if you include a link back to the original review on the associated site, then people can check the source. Not only is this a great credibility-booster, it’s a way for you to fill the page with content that’s not fluff. It’s real users who have done business with you and can recommend your services.
In fact, if you do this right, you won’t really need much in the way of testimonials or ad copy because your customers will practically write it for you. You could also use a service like RealSatisfied to bring in widgets and plug-ins that will display your great service right there on the site. These types of tools let users leave feedback right on your site, generating your own sub-site of user reviews for every other prospect to see.
Invite People Back To Your Office
You can give people an idea of what it’s like to work with you by inviting them back to your office. Many real estate brokers do this, and it’s one of the best ways to demonstrate your value to someone who otherwise may not trust you.
Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that others in your industry aren’t doing. The goal is to make a personal connection with a prospect and let them know that you’ll be there for them and really support them if they decide to do business with you.
Make your website fun. When people land on your website, they have two choices: stay and read or leave. They’re more likely to stay if you have something fun for them to do while they’re there. Quizzes are one way to engage users and keep them interested.
Get Them On Your Email List
This is a big one. You can’t do much with a prospect unless you have permission to followup with them over and over again. The problem is that it’s getting increasingly difficult to get people to give up their email address.
What you need to do is give people an incentive or offer that entices them to part with their email. And, once you have their email address, followup with them whenever you have something meaningful to say.
This is key: never email prospects unless or until you have something useful or helpful to say. Ideally, you will have something useful to say each and every day. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. But, it does need to be helpful.
Most real estate agents aren’t doing this.
But, if you do, guess what? You will be seen as a trusted friend. Not an unwelcome pest. Think about it. You are setting people’s expectations that you will email them once per week or once per day, before they’re ever on your email list. Then, you’re following through on your promises. You’ll end up delivering helpful advice often.
And, because they’re hearing from you so often, they get to know you. They get to trust you. It’s like you’re a friend emailing them every single day.
And, when they need your help, they will call on you to help them.
Once you get to the point where people know, like, and trust you, it’s game over for the competition. And, your website needs to focus on getting that all-important email address. Do it in a classy way that doesn’t offend prospects, or turn off viable prospects.
At the end of the day, you’re a marketer. And, your website needs to reflect that. Respect your prospect’s time, and set proper expectations, and the sales will follow.
Candice Chavez works for a busy website services company in a graphic design role. She enjoys the creative role, and dealing with new clients to turn their ideas into a working reality.