We’ve discussed at length how to get leads or to attract visitors to your real estate website. But what happens once they arrive? It’s important that the information people expect to see on your site is actually there and, thereafter, easy to navigate.
Without clear direction, a clean layout or the right information, you may be missing out on valuable real estate leads simply because your website doesn’t cut it. We’ve put together a few tips as a kind of checklist that you can use to take your real estate website from good to great.
1. Make It Clean.
We know you are just chomping at the bit to share every piece of advice and information you have to help your website visitors. That’s a good thing. The trouble comes when there is just so much that it borders on overwhelming.
Starting with your copy, find the best points that you’d like to communicate on a particular page. Remove what is extra and stick to just the important stuff.
In terms of organizing the information, break it up into palatable pieces. Use clear headings and bullet points to delineate every section and the information within each. Graphics that are consistently sized can help do this, too. Be choosy with what you use with only the highest-quality that you can find. If you have your own photos for, say, images of local neighborhood places or your clients, use good quality ones with sound lighting and focus.
2. Get an Opinion
It can be hard to ask for other’s feedback on your website when you’ve worked so hard on it. But recommendations and insights that clients, friends and colleagues can provide prove invaluable when improving the user experience on it.
Once you take an informal survey, you’ll likely see areas that people commonly find confusing or invaluable. Focus on improving those areas and see where you can make those improvements.
3. Improving a Company Website
If you use your company’s formatted website as your own, you can still make your information enjoyable to read and the pages easy to navigate. Take a look at each section and take your editing pen to it. Oftentimes, real estate agents create a bio, for example, that is one giant paragraph. Smaller paragraphs, bold headings (if possible) and bullet points work great here. Again, have someone take a look and review it for flow and understanding.
If there is a section for your specialties, list them as bullet points and write a brief phrase or sentence that captures the essence of how you help in each area.
Add personal photos where you can. This can include your own images of you sans suit, clients on your testimonials page and photos of the area you serve.
Most of all, get excited about what you are sharing and how you’d like to help!
4. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Thousands of real estate agents online have fabulous websites, so why not take some cues from them? Without plagiarizing their pages, get inspiration on layouts and types of information you’d like to include.
Take note of the best elements of your favorites and incorporate them in a way that speaks better to who you are and your website.
5. Put Yourself in Your Clients’ Shoes
Imagine that you are a homeowner looking to sell or buy a home. You come to your site and start poking around. Do you see the information, front and center, that you would want to see as a prospective client? Do you answer questions they may have or address areas that you’ve heard clients mention before that swayed them to work with you?
Looking at your website through a seller or buyer’s eyes can be extremely helpful in reorganizing the information on your site and determining how to best motivate them to contact you.
Besides the copy, are calls to action clearly outlined on each page? Do you know what you are looking at and feel compelled to make a move? Take a look at every step a visitor to your site would take, as if they are starting from each page, and walk through the steps they take until they call or email you. If anything is missing between steps, add them in, or, alternately, remove any steps that would be a barrier to their taking action.
6. Measure, Test, and Measure Again
Anything you create won’t be perfect the first, second or even third time around. But if your real estate website is a destination point for your business that is used to convert leads, then it’s definitely worth spending some time measuring and testing. Make sure your website is hooked up to an analytics software, like Google Analytics (free!), and see the path your visitors take once they land on any page of your site. Where do they fall off? What links do they click on? What is the ratio of visitors to clicks? Where are they coming from (mobile or desktop)?
Use the information you find to these questions to start with to improve your site and uncover some user experience problem areas that you can change.
You might need the help of your developer to make changes or look more deeply into the analytics of your site. But your involvement and deeper knowledge of what’s happening on one of the most important touch points in your leads process can help improve your real estate business and be of better service to your visitors.