In this day and age, the number of real estate professionals in North America is growing at an exponential rate. To date, the National Association of REALTORS® houses over 1.1 million members. Mind you, this number is growing on a daily basis. As such, competition in the real estate industry can be intimidating, especially if you are brand new in the industry. One of the primary ways you can remain competitive is by capturing a percentage of your target market online. The reality is that 90% of buyers and sellers resort to the Internet to search for real estate properties and agents, so it’s important to have a compelling web presence.
Place yourself in the shoes of real estate buyers and sellers. Think about the type of information they are looking for and become a one-stop-shop online resource of real estate information. Simultaneously, capitalize on your online traffic by capturing leads, all the while providing potential clients with an outstanding overall online presence to boost your credibility as a real estate professional.
Here are 9 things that buyers and sellers look for in a real estate website:
1. Full IDX search
It’s no secret. Potential clients navigate through real estate websites primarily because they want to browse through an assortment of available listings. Address their needs by providing a website with full IDX integration to give your users a wide selection of listings to view. Eventually, they will need to contact you in order to discuss further about a particular listing that appeals to them. This is when forms come in very handy.
Be sure to include Contact forms, Registration forms, Question forms, Home Evaluation forms and disperse them throughout your website. Should your visitors have any questions about particular listings or about you, it is important to provide them with a means to do so, apart from a phone number. After all, as a real estate professional, your days are spent around your mobile. Make the task easier on you and your visitors by providing forms. Plus, this is a great way to generate leads and build relationships.
3. Buyer and Seller Guides
As a first time home buyer or seller, your first move is to acquire as much information as possible about buying or selling a home. As such, it is important for you to address this need by supplying information buyers and sellers will be looking for. For instance, articles with helpful links, preparation checklists, and buying and selling guides can assist your potential clients with their decision-making process and boost your credibility relative to your competition.
4. Mortgage Calculator
Another helpful tool that buyers look for in a real estate website is a real estate calculator. As mentioned earlier, it is very important to provide valuable information in your website and become a one-stop-shop for visitors' real estate needs. Having the resources to manage or calculate the financial outcomes of a buyers’ decision is one way to ease up the process for them and boost your credibility. See here for examples of Real Estate Calculators.
5. Real Estate Agent static profile
Due to your full IDX integration, your visitors will have access to various listings, including those outside of your MLS® ID. As such, you need to make yourself the main point of contact no matter what listings your visitors are browsing in your website. That is why it’s so important to have static contact information. This simply means having your contact information stapled in any given page of your website so that your information is made available no matter where users navigate, scroll, or click in your website. You can see an example of static contact information here.
6. Social Media Integration
No matter how much I stress the importance of social media to my clients, oftentimes, I’ll find myself in a conversation where agents seem to have a deficit of time and manpower when it comes to being active on social media. Nevertheless, social media is the information age's main source of clientele. It is where billions of users spend 16% of their time on a daily basis. Having said that, it is important to have social media integration in your real estate website for visitors to publicize your website and extend your web presence.
7. Virtual tours
Virtual tours are a great way to simulate open houses online. It’s a convenient means for your visitors to get a visually-satisfying exploration of the property at the comfort of their own home. However, virtual tours can be quite costly, and sometimes can be an unnecessary expense especially if you are a starting agent in the industry. That’s why it is so important to have a website with built-in automated virtual tours so that your visitors can receive the same visually-satisfying service without having to purge a pretty penny. Here’s an example of an automated virtual tour of a property listing.
8. About me page
As mentioned earlier, there are approximately 1.1 million members of the National Association of REALTORS®. This number is growing at a rapid rate, which means competition is at an all-time high. Differentiating yourself from other real estate professionals and establishing a unique brand identity can give you the competitive edge they are looking for. Be sure to include personally identifiable information about yourself in your website such as the language(s) you speak, your qualifications, awards, the number of years you’ve been in the business, your education, and even testimonials from past clients. All of these factors melted together can assist you attract a niche and a centralized market to appeal to.
9. Real estate news
Real estate is a very volatile industry. Ergo, information about the industry changes regularly, frequently. Access to up-to-the-minute information can be quite hard to find, but very valuable for buyers and sellers. This is why it is especially important to provide current real estate information in your website. While this can be quite tasking and time-consuming to do on a regular basis, luckily, quality real estate website providers like InCom, regularly stream real estate news into your website in real-time. You can see for yourself here.
Real estate online marketing is an ever-growing concept in the industry. Traditional marketing worked 50 years ago, but now and more than ever, 90% of buyers and sellers resort to the Internet on a regular basis to search for property listings and real estate professional like you. With competition at an all-time high, it’s important to make a compelling presence online to capture more leads and maximize your conversions. If you want to learn more about the latest lead generation tools and marketing tips for the real estate industry, simply go to www.incomrealestate.com or give us a call via 1 866 883 8951 and request to speak with one of our Online Marketing Specialists.