realWITS has Coined the Phrase “Smarter” Real Estate Websites.” But What Does “Smarter” Actually Mean?
Real estate websites often lack the systems and tools for profitable real estate online marketing. Learn how to get found online, collect quality leads and close more transactions.
A Smart Website for Real Estate Excels in these Areas
Real Estate SEO
There are two main SEO categories:
- On-site SEO – your foundation
- Off-site SEO
A smart real estate website takes advantage of on-site real estate SEO best practices. These features are built into the website.
Example built-in features that make a real estate website SEO friendly:
- Property pages indexable
- SEO friendly URL structures
- Optimized meta tags (for pages – property pages – landing page etc.)
- Fresh content with integrated on-site blog
- Google analytics in dashboard (be proactive, not re-active!)
- Fast loading web pages
You Have Control
It is your website. You should have control.
When providing real estate SEO services for real estate companies, often times I had to communicate with the website developer company to fix or request website corrections that directly impacted my clients SEO results.
Hours verses Weeks for Updates or Change Requests
- I was amazed how little control we had over the website.
- They either wanted excessive fees or said no to basic best practice website SEO tactics upon our requests.
- There was a full chain of command and it often took several emails, follow-ups and weeks to execute updates or change requests.
- A website is a living breathing thing. (a website cannot go years without changes!)
- WYSIWYG editor to make it easy to update, change or create pages and posts.
- Minor tweaks should be the norm, not the exception.
When you CONTROL your website, you control your destiny.
I did not like it when a third party had built my clients real estate website and because they did not know SEO, they charged my client exurbanite fess for updates or for reasonable change requests that effected their ability to rank as high as they could in the search engines. They were in control of the website. They had all of the power.
Generate Quality Real Estate Leads
Brand awareness, discover-ability, outreach all contribute to the sole purpose of a real estate website… close more transactions. In order to do this you need to generate leads!
Website Real Estate Lead Generation Opportunities
Private Labeled Personal Real Estate Portal for Visitors
- property search, save and share features.
- leads are saved and tracked – you can “spy” on or view visitors activity
- leads can be auto forwarded to agents in real time
- generate auto email alerts when a similar property hits the market, or a saved property has a price change
- People love this tool!
Forced or requested Real Estate Website Registration
- customize when visitors are either forced or a signup request is made.
- have the ability to cmpletely turn off website registration
- dA / B testing – find out what works!
Office phone and contact info – front and center
Agent search and page with full contact info
Photo Centric Website Design
Pictures sell homes. No matter how well written a property description is, it will never grab the attention of a buyer better than a picture will.
The main emphasis of any real estate website should be on imagery that tells a story and conveys “I want to see more” from buyers.
What do this extremely popular apps and websites have in common?
- Facebooks number 1 tool?
Staying Current with Latest Technologies
Technology is in a constant state of change and keeping current helps you run a more efficient robust website.
Example of recent real estate website technologies that enhance the visitors experience:
- Web design – the way property photos are displayed.
- Community exploration – the addition of local real estate market data is pulled in.
- Blog marketing – blogging platform regular updates.
- Mobile applications – they keep getting better and better.
- Interactive functionality – live chat feature.
- Property showcases – clever visual tools to show off selective properties.
Real Estate Website Design that Caters to 2 Different Personas
Besides the obvious such as brand awareness and a professional look and feel, a real estate website design must pay close attention to two different personas to get it right.
1.) The Visitor
What information is the online visitor seeking?
When designing a real website the visitor intentions have to be prioritized. After defining these intents, an optimal real estate website design will cater to visitors by making it easy for them to quickly navigate to the section or pages on the website that target their desired information in the shortest amount of time.
Capturing visitor contact information, understanding where they are in the sales cycle, enticing them to share your content, picking up the phone to inquire about a home for sale or requesting a property market valuation are all ligament website goals for a real estate company and web design plays an important role in making this happen.
You don’t need a Zillow, Truila or realtor.com budget to get a design that works>>>
- Simple is better.
- Easy to navigate – can the visitor quickly find what they came for?
Selecting the Right IDX
Not all IDX’s are created equal.
- Customization must be easy.
- Ability create custom landing pages for neighborhoods, or just condos, or waterfront properties, or featured properties or foreclosures etc.
- Agent pages should auto-populate their listings.
- Ability to pull in specific properties to create slideshows and showcases.
- Property display and property details page layout options – don’t be limited.
- SEO – built in!
- Crawable and indexable property pages for search engines.
- SEO friendly URL structure for property pages – get more clicks.
- Make it easier to get found online for highly targeted search queries – such as high rise condos or cottages and lake homes.
- Engagement visitors– when visitors are engaged Google knows it. If a visitor comes and leaves right away because of an inferior property search experience, Google will count this against you.
- Several property search functionality options
- Maps searches – custom and unlimited – very popular with online home shoppers.
- Ability to narrow searches by any field offered by your MLS
- Subdivision searches
- New listings updated every 24 hours
- Social sharing – encourage visitors to share listings on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more.
- Plus more
There are many features that make a real estate website intelligent.
The above are examples worth paying attention to in order to generate the biggest ROI.
What real estate website features do you think makes a website “smarter?”