8 Benefits of Having a Real Estate Website
Whether you’re old school or on the cutting edge of technology in your dynamic real estate business, everyone needs a website today. The benefits of having a real estate website are many, and the risks of being left without one are very real. So what exactly are these benefits? Read on for a brief sample.
1- Build a strong web presence
Make them find you more easily and instantly, through Google searches or links on other sites. Have your office address, phone numbers, email address, logo, current listings, and specialization displayed with a mouse click. It appears in more places, in 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!
Be 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 obvious. Gone are the days of paying thousands of dollars for Yellow Pages ads and highway billboards, hoping enough people would see them and maybe call your office. Do you also want to pay someone just to answer the phone full time and rely on methods that the average customer no longer uses? Your real estate website is like your modern “head office.” This should be the first and most important place your prospects find you, and if you use an online form to collect customer information, then real estate sales leads are immediate, free, and warm. A website can also serve as the place where you direct customers to your social networks, or vice versa, and get the public to sign up for your powerful newsletter to receive regular announcements.
You will now also have a complete database of potential customer information for ongoing listing or advertisement distribution.
3- Provide more exposure to your properties
The bulk of a real estate website should be devoted to property descriptions. This is your chance to showcase detailed descriptions, brilliant digital photography, and 360-degree virtual tours. You can use as much or as little space as you want, provide clickable links, and make it a more interactive visitor experience. 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 take 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 is simply not effective anymore and may even be a waste of money.
4- Tell them more about yourself
A real estate website is the perfect place for potential clients to learn more about you as a professional. This is more important in real estate than almost any other service business. Talk and splash photos showing awards you’ve won, events you’ve been involved in, community involvement, as well as your personal background and qualifications. When people get to know you in this way (as an individual), they like you and trust you. This complements your social networks 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 local newspaper or magazine? Do you want to be known and respected in the local community? Modern technology puts the power back in your hands. Publish the information yourself and entice readers to view it through strategic web techniques.
At no additional cost, you can post and regularly update details like 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 condominiums, income properties, or commercial buildings? Put that out there, forever and visible to the whole world. Include high-definition photos and videos to reinforce your message and make a great first impression they won’t forget.
6- Create a brand for your practice
If you’ve never succeeded in becoming (and your practice) a brand, or perhaps never even thought about it, then this is the path. Think of the biggest and most successful “celebrity” realtors in your area. They’re household names, aren’t they? The public is familiar with their names and faces, just as they are familiar with the name of the local grocery store, flower shop, or school. Top of mind awareness is very important in any business.
Think about it. Your image everywhere, a logo that people will remember, a slogan that rolls off the tongue. A properly executed real estate website can start 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 a home seller to convince him or her that you are qualified to sell your home. It typically includes statistics, a marketing strategy, pricing, relevant experience, and the added value provided by the agent to do the job. If much of this information is already on your website, it will save time and effort. Perhaps your potential salesperson has already seen many of these details and is already impressed by you even before making the first call.
8- Exchange information more easily
No need for potential new customers to call and wait to speak to your receptionist. This small gesture alone can to turn off the ultra-busy and impatient 25- to 50-year-old shopper, who is used to having his questions answered instantly these days. No longer is it necessary to make an appointment, drive to meet, and invest time just to get the initial “this is how we work” information. All of this can be accomplished with a few short lines on your real estate website, which people can read in seconds and move on to the next step.
Customers don’t have to wait for a faxed form to arrive, or stay on the phone during business hours, to fill out their personal information.
This also allows existing and potential customers to provide feedback in an open forum, so you know what they’re looking for. All of this can be done 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and not just during office hours (when potential customers are busiest).