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Online real estate businesses are a godsend for aspiring homeowners. Not everyone has the time to get out and make time for viewing vacancies or potential options. Real estate websites enable you to sort through options without any fuss. Plus, real estate agents also find the presence of web-based opportunities ideal to help everyone get what they want.
But this situation has not gone unnoticed like some sort of trade secret. The fact that doing business online improves their reach is why so many major real estate vendors are taking theirs to the internet as well. What that means, of course, is that new businesses must face an uphill battle in order to be recognized by the public.
Competition isn’t exactly new to real estate ventures, and promising great looks with the right facilities has always provided a significant edge to businesses. But as long as the demand for living space and property remains, any business in this area has a chance to flourish. With the internet, that possibility becomes easier to achieve.
People only want the best property money can buy, and many of them can be hard to please. A real estate website, like any other online enterprise, must provide the same guarantees and level of service as a real visit to the dealership except with more convenience.
The world wide web is an exemplary platform to show off listings and advertise what you are selling to a wide range of potential buyers. Nonetheless, proper web design and five-star service are important features of any website if you wish to be taken seriously and thrive as a business.
To create a proper real estate website, you need to keep in mind that you are doing what is best for the business while also valuing customer experience. Just as with any other e-commerce endeavor, walking a fine line between both these aspects is crucial for results.
Your website needs to come with all the necessary features without compromise. At the same time, you need to gauge real requirements with optional extensions and rid your website of things that serve no purpose other than being an inconvenience to you or site users.
With that settled, the following is a list of the most crucial and impactful points that a property website should fulfill.
While the vast majority of people tend to search for properties online, not many of them would be interested long enough to give you a chance. Because of that, sparing expenses in top-quality web design is something that, ironically, businesses cannot afford.
If you are to make a sale, you need to remember that the first impression can make or break a deal. Fortunately, crafting a sophisticated layout can do a lot of heavy lifting in that area.
Website visitors will be impressed if your web pages consist of stylish themes and fonts and make sparse yet effective use of page space. Untidy and inconsistent design is not a great look but making sure that everything you need is clearly visible and serves a purpose increases the chances of converting casual visitors to enthusiastic customers.
You need to be creative and strategic in how you approach your design. Use different CTAs on each page, place them sporadically, and allow visitors to explore your real estate website‘s interactive features, galleries, videos, 3D view, search options, and of course listings.
2. Visual Marketing
To some extent, this is a continuation of the previous point, except that it has more to do with promoting your actual property than just keeping up appearances. Quite often, sellers that have a lot to offer fail because they don’t know how to advertise real estate.
If you have faith in what you are offering, you need others to see what you see. And nothing captures the glory and finesse of a five-star residence quite like high-definition, professionally-taken photographs which you can add to your site gallery or real estate portfolio.
If your real estate website relies on listings for traffic, the need to provide pristine, eye-catching images becomes even more pivotal to your success. No one will be interested in a home if the sellers cannot offer a clear glimpse of what is on offer.
With galleries, you can even supplement crisp photography with detailed floor plans and blueprints of your site, so that realtors and buyers will be confident that doing business with you would be an informed decision where everything is transparent and as advertised.
3. Relevant Information
Homeowners are usually looking for more than just what a house or property looks like. For a start, they are interested in the specifics like overall square footage, accommodation, amenities, and security features.
Moreover, they are interested in what the neighborhood offers like parking spaces, public resources and utilities, and the overall status of the property and its surroundings. Knowing these things builds public interest, and disclosing these details upfront allows sellers to maintain market reliability.
However, with such an extensive shopping list, sometimes it is hard to discuss all the details at once in the first viewing. This can lead to disappointment or regret among homeowners and affect your business prospects.
Fortunately, having a fully functional, five-star business website can help rectify such an unfortunate situation. With each option or listing, you can categorize available properties based on rooms, area, amenities, and other features like proximity to a park, markets, transport service, medical center, etc.
Adding an advanced search feature, visitors can sort through options based on these criteria and decide which one suits them the most out of the available options. This entire mechanism ensures that you get more clicks and bring more deals closer to completion.
4. Be Accessible
Keeping in touch and having an online presence is important for all online businesses. Your website must feature regular updates on real estate listings and allow users to leave reviews and ratings as needed.
A further key step is to add your contact information to the website as well as all social media and listings. If you have multiple offices, your phone details, emails, social media, and LinkedIn profiles should be clearly visible on the top and/or bottom of each page of your website.
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5. Real-Time Customer Engagement
Sources like WeLoveWeb, having a Facebook or Instagram page allows you to integrate features like ads, media, and booking deals into social media feeds and stories. An increasing number of people are now using social networking platforms to recommend or avail businesses.
Not only do you get to promote advertisements, but you can also employ remarketing as a way to engage customers based on past favorable reviews and social posts.
Additionally, you can start and operate a YouTube account where you can create videos and share content and community posts to let others know about new listings and real estate opportunities.
Apart from curating advertisements featuring HD footage of your property, you can interact via live stream tours of houses as well as surrounding neighborhoods and give others a real-time glance at what might be awaiting them.
With mapping services, business owners can even allow users to take virtual, three-dimensional tours of the place. That way, you can further your goal of providing five-star service to your customers without making them leave their room.
6. Mobile-Friendly Site Design
Desktop is continuously being left behind by internet users in favor of mobile phones for availing content and interacting with friends, family, and businesses. And sure enough, more than 70% of real estate deals are reported to take place via handheld devices.
Online businesses everywhere are being encouraged to make sure that their websites become optimized for mobile-first responsiveness. The reason that is so is that many sites are suited for use on computers, which affects their performance and usability on smaller screens, which is an issue given what we made clear above.
With that in mind, mobile-oriented design is an absolute necessity for real estate website owners. This means that your webpages must be presented with equal effectiveness on mobiles as they are on laptops or tablets.
There is a lot that goes into optimizing online businesses for e-commerce via phones. Firstly, the layout must be flexible enough to not be affected in terms of visuals and overall functionality on mobiles. Secondly, features like menus, animations, forms, widgets, and search bars should not stop working just because you aren’t using your computer.
Also, mobile sites can sometimes suffer from slow loading speeds, which can be bad for business. To rectify this, subject your website to proper and regular maintenance, optimize media files, and keep your pages free of unnecessary plugins or attachments.
7. Website Performance
Slow e-commerce sites are notorious for losing traffic since users are not interested in web pages that are even slightly too slow to load. When visitor attention is of the utmost importance, your real estate website does not have the option to lag while loading.
There are a number of factors that lead to slow site performance. These include bulky themes, crowded plugins, poor maintenance, host inefficiency, lack of mobile optimization, or oversized image files or program libraries.
Therefore, you need to take regular steps to minify media and code files, ditch ready-made themes for custom design, and avoid plugins where possible.
8. SEO Optimization
Ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs) is a key step in making your business more visible in a competitive setting. But real estate websites have to do more than just prepare sitemaps and apply for indexing if they are to garner enough traffic to impress Google’s site crawlers.
For starters, you need to go with the right keywords. Choose the ones that attract suitable attention but are not overused to the point where you cannot compete. With that done, you need to make sure that all your site features provide a unique experience and are optimized for user efficiency.
Pretty much everything we have already discussed, from a stylish layout to creative use of images and videos to an impactful presence on social media can help achieve this.
Afterward, you need to ensure that your website undergoes regular maintenance, does not slow down at any point, and is geared towards complete mobile-friendly functionality. Failing to fulfill these requirements leads to a drop in user experience, and you in turn will lose traffic.
This drop in popularity will be reflected in your site analytics, which is one of the things Googlebot needs to check if you are to be indexed. If the loss in user impressions and conversions continues, no amount of cool features can save your real estate site from being dropped from Google’s front page.
Most business owners themselves don’t have the experience needed to achieve a successful web design for best eCommerce practices. Luckily, digital firms offer solutions to big and small businesses for digital marketing and, in this case, competent real estate website design.
Curating an online property brokerage or dealership that draws a decent amount of attention isn’t easy. But as long as you know what your customers need and how to provide them with a smooth, interactive, and meaningful web experience, it won’t be long before your business gets big among potential homeowners.