Whether you are old school or on the cutting edge of technology in your dynamic real estate business, everyone needs a website in this day and age. The benefits of having a real estate website are many in number, and the risks of getting left behind without one are very real. So, what exactly are these benefits? Read on for a brief sample.
1- Build a Strong Web Presence
Get found easier and instantly, via Google searches or links on other sites. Have your office’s address, phone numbers, e-mail address, logo, current listings, and specialization displayed at the click of a mouse. Show up in more places, under more categories, and associated with specific strategic keywords. If you combine your real estate website with the rest of a comprehensive marketing campaign, people can find you in so many different ways, your business will be hard to miss!
Make sure to create a listing on Google My Business for local listings, which are area-specific. Yes, you can select who sees you first, depending on where they live.
2- Generate More Leads
This is a no-brainer. Gone are the days of paying thousands of dollars for Yellow Pages ads and highway billboards, hoping enough people will see it and maybe call your office. Do you also want to pay someone just to answer the phone for you full-time, and rely on methods that the average client no longer uses? Your real estate website is like your modern-day “head office”. This should be the first and most important place your potential clients find you, and if you use an online form to collect client info, then the real estate leads are immediate, free, and warm. A website can also serve as the place that you direct clients to your social media, or vice versa, and have the public sign up for your impactful newsletter for regular announcements.
You’ll also now have a thorough database of potential client info for ongoing listings distribution or announcements.
3- Provide More Exposure to Your Properties
The bulk of a real estate website should be dedicated to property descriptions. This is the opportunity to display full-detail descriptions, brilliant digital photography, and 360-degree virtual tours. You can use as much or as little space as you like, provide clickable links, and make it a more interactive experience for the visitor. The listing created on your real estate website can also be shared (for free) via external links to your own social media pages, other real estate websites, community websites, or anywhere else your marketing efforts lead you.
Again, gone are the days of paying for paper advertising in a weekly or monthly magazine with black and white photos, lost among thousands of other listings in the same book. This just isn’t effective anymore, and can even be a waste of money.
4- Tell Them More About You
A real estate website is the perfect place where potential clients can learn more about you as a professional. This is more important in real estate than almost any other service business. Talk about and splash photos displaying awards you have won, events you participate in, community involvement, as well as your personal background and qualifications. When people get to know you this way (as an individual) they get to like you and trust you. This complements your social media and other real estate marketing strategies perfectly.
5- Tell Them About Your Business
Why wait for a local journalist to write an article about you in the paper or local magazine? Want to be known and respected in the local community? Modern technology puts the power back into your hands. Put the information out there yourself, and draw readers in to see it through strategic web techniques.
For no extra cost, you can regularly publish and update details such as the regions you work in, your years of experience, and areas of real estate expertise. Do you have a knowledgeable team? Are you influential in a hot part of town? Do you specialize in condos, revenue properties, or commercial buildings? Put that out there, forever and visible to the entire world. Include high definition photography and videos to reinforce the message, and make a strong first impression they won’t forget.
6- Create a Brand for Your Practice
If you’ve never succeeded in transforming yourself (and your practice) into a brand, or maybe never thought about it, then this is the way. Think about the biggest, most successful, “celebrity” real estate brokers in your area. They are household names, aren’t they? The public is familiar with their names and faces, the same way they know the name of the local grocery store, florist, or school. Top of mind awareness is ultra important in any business.
Think about it. Your picture everywhere, a logo people will remember, a slogan that rolls off the tongue. A properly executed real estate website can begin this process for you, and position you and your agency as the brand of choice in your local market.
7- Use It as Part of Your Listing Presentation
A listing presentation is what an agent shows to the home seller to convince them that he/she is qualified to sell their home. It usually includes stats, a marketing strategy, pricing, relevant experience, and the added value the agent brings to get the job done. If much of this information is already on your website, you save time and effort. Maybe your potential seller already saw a lot of these details and is already impressed by you before even placing the first call.
8- Exchange Information More Easily
No need for potential new clients to call and wait to speak to your receptionist. This small gesture alone can turn off the ultra busy and impatient 25 to 50-year-old shopper, who is used to having questions answered instantaneously these days. No more need to set up an appointment, drive to meet each other, and invest time just for some initial “this is how we work” info. All this can be accomplished with a few brief lines on your real estate website, which people can read within seconds and move onto the next step.
No need for clients to wait for a form to arrive by fax, or stay on the phone during business hours, to fill in their personal info.
This also allows existing and potential clients to provide feedback in an open forum, so you know what they’re looking for. All this can be done 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and not just during your office hours (when potential clients themselves are most busy).