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7 Easy Website Add-ons that Your Visitors Will Love

December 04 2015

edutizingWe've talked a lot about the basics that every real estate website needs. Today, we're going to steer away from the "necessities" and introduce you to some fun extras that will enrich your visitors' on-site experience.

All of the seven items below are widgets that can easily be embedded into your website. There's no heavy lifting required--just customize the widget to your liking, then copy and paste the provided HTML code into your site.

1. Home Services Directory - Want to give past clients a reason to visit your site? Or provide sellers with an easy way to find contractors to prep their home for sale? Add a directory of home services professionals to your website! Nest4Less offers a free, embeddable directory (with revenue share opportunities for brokers and MLSs). You can learn more in our product review.

2. Mortgage Calculators - This will probably be the most-used widget on your site--and there's a ton to choose from! A Google search for "mortgage calculator widget" will give you too many results to sort through, so try these from ZillowZillow or Homes.comHomes.com. Do you work with a lot of first-time buyers? Try Trulia's Rent vs. Buy CalculatorRent vs. Buy Calculator to get would-be buyers off the fence. If none of those interest you, check with your website provider. They may already have a mortgage calculator that's already included with your site!

3. Local School Info - 40% of home buyers have school-aged children, and many of those parents are willing to pay $50 more per square foot for a home in a good school district. GreatSchools offers a widgetGreatSchools offers a widget that displays local schools on a map, their quality ratings, and more.

4. WalkScore - The "walkability" and transportation amenities of a neighborhood is important to buyers, especially Millennials and those living in big cities. WalkScore offers a widget that measures the walkability, transit, and bike-friendliness of neighborhoods and individual listings. They also offer an embeddable map of amenities and attractions that's great for building out neighborhood pages. WalkScore is an extremely popular real estate widget; in fact, if you have an IDX website from Diverse Solutions, Real Estate Digital, IDX Broker, and others, WalkScore is already available to you!

5. Events Calendar - Being the "local expert" is advice that agents hear a lot about. One way to demonstrate your knowledge of what's going on in your community is to offer a calendar of local events. Flesh out your calendar with information about local festivals, food drives, holiday parades, city council meetings, as well as (of course!) your open houses. One easy way to do this is to embed a Google Calendar onto your website (learn how here). For more advanced and elegant options, try SquaredOut and time.lytime.ly.

6. Client Testimonials - Testimonials are key to building trust with subscribers. Yes, you can copy and paste the text of a client review to your site. For something more dynamic, embed a widget from whichever platform hosts most of your reviews. ZillowZillow and RealSatisfied both have options. The benefit of a widget is that new reviews are automatically displayed--no further updating required on your end! Also, the presence of a widget is a great way to encourage clients to write a review while directing them to your preferred ratings platform.

7. Past Sales - Like a client review does, displaying past sales demonstrates your track record of success. ZillowZillow offers a widget that's automatically updated with past sales listing data sent by your broker or MLS.

There's a world of available widgets available, but these seven are a good start. A word of advice, though: don't go widget crazy, and don't lump them all together on one page. Pick and choose which work best for your needs and embed widgets where they make the most sense. Too many widgets on a page slows loading time and may even crash users' browsers. Less is more!