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10 Must-Haves to Include on Your Real Estate Website

March 19 2018

wolfnet 10 Website Must HavesWhen it comes to building a real estate website, remember the ABCs: Always. Be. Closing.

While you may not sell a home online all the time, an effective website can drive more leads and convert more users into clients. To optimize your website, include these key features that will not only attract potential customers, but also establish you as a premier agent with tremendous skills, knowledge, and command of the industry:

IDX Property Search

IDX (Internet Data Exchange) is the combination of policies, rules, and software that allow listings from the MLS database to be displayed publicly.

A well-designed IDX tool can streamline the search process for buyers visiting your website. It allows them to filter results based on specific criteria, like the number of bedrooms or bathrooms featured in a home. Using the search tool, they can hone in on properties available in a specific neighborhood, school district, or price range.

Most users visiting your site are actively looking for homes. Providing them with a high quality home search tool will keep them on your page, and possibly coming back more often to track properties for sale. Once they find a property they're interested in, they can quickly become a lead by requesting a showing directly through the IDX search tool. As with any feature on your site, you want your IDX property search tool to be a user-friendly experience that brings value to your clients.

CTAs and Contact Forms

Never forget the number one purpose of a good real estate website: to get more business. Using a strong call to action (CTA) is how you can direct users to interact with your website in a meaningful way. For example, asking them to "Click here to view" or "Contact us to schedule a viewing today" will garner more clicks and convert more users into leads.

Once you have your CTA established, it's important to have a contact form for your users to complete. Consider contact forms as your ticket to a new lead. Include all the details you want to know about your client (name, phone number, email), but don't make it too long—users won't complete the form if it's too time consuming.

Bio Page

If users are visiting your website, chances are they are in the market for an experienced agent. Featuring a bio page could be what convinces them to sign up with you for their home buying and selling needs. They may be impressed by your knowledge of the community, your extensive list of satisfied customers or your experience with price negotiations.

Use your bio as an opportunity to show off your skills, experience and market knowledge. Highlight any accreditations or awards you've received and maybe even add a few reviews as social proof from happy clients. As a tip, write from the view of the user and list what you can do for them. While they may be interested in your services, they'll be more interested in what you can offer them as a buyer or seller.

Most of all, let your personality shine through. You and your clients will spend a significant amount of time together, so give them a glimpse of what working with you would be like.

Resources Page

Purchasing a home is something most people only do a handful of times in their life – maybe even less. Chances are, users who find their way to your website may not be up to date on the latest market trends or the home buying process.

Help them out by featuring a resources page on your website, where you can provide the answers to Frequently Asked Questions and links to valuable real estate resources for buyers and sellers. This can include information like community events, tips for buying or selling a home, and market reports of your area. Users will appreciate the educational material that demonstrates you know your stuff.

High-Resolution Photos

Finding a home is a very visual experience, which means your website should be too. Invest in high-quality, professional home photographs for each of your listings.

Using high-resolution photographs will make your website pop, while also showing off your properties in their best light. A professional photographer knows the angles and lighting to use to make your listings shine and gain more interest on your website.

Keep in mind the size of the files uploaded and ensure they're responsive to different platforms. Many users browse through homes on their mobile devices, which means smaller screens and pictures. Photos that are easy to view lead to a better experience for your users and more eyes on your listings.

Updated and Consistent Branding

Everything on the Internet moves fast—including web design and branding trends. To keep up with the changes, evaluate your website yearly and look for any opportunities to update. That being said, a strong brand (everything from your logo, colors, fonts, tone of voice, etc.) does not need to be changed frequently. In fact, a strong brand will persist throughout time, with minor updates here and there (think about your favorite established brands; their core brand has probably remained consistent for many years).

If you recently went through a rebranding, then you'll need to update your website accordingly. First-time visitors to your site won't know much about you, and having inconsistent branding on your social media platforms, business cards, and website may confuse them.

The best way to build your web presence is to keep your branding consistent throughout your marketing materials, especially your website. Use the same headshot, logo, and brand colors on your website as on other marketing materials so users recognize it right away and eliminate any doubt that users have come to the right place.

Responsive Design

It's officially happened: your customers are browsing more on mobile devices than desktopsbrowsing more on mobile devices than desktops. That means a responsive web design is now essential for your site to thrive on every platform, from desktop to phone to tablet.

A responsive design essentially means your website will automatically respond to the platform it is viewed on. This includes adjusting the menu, photos and content to the screen on the device. Features, like scrolling, zooming and, your IDX property search need to be optimized for multi-platform viewing as well.

Varied Media

Switch things up on your website by implementing different types of media throughout the pages. Trying to scroll through a large wall of text gets monotonous and users will lose interest quickly, no matter how compelling your content is.

We've covered the importance of high quality photos on your site, but also consider adding a few videos and infographics as well. Condensing a bunch of information into a digestible piece of content adds value to your users and makes your website more visually appealing.

Fresh Content

Yes, most users visiting your site are looking for house listings or an agent. But consistently adding fresh content ensures that your website ranks high on search engines and you'll be found more easily.

One of the most effective ways to add fresh content to your site is with a blog. Think about the topics your potential clients may be interested in, like market trends, community details or general information about the real estate transaction process. The possibilities are endless, and this is another avenue for you to let your personality and expertise shine through.

It's up to you to decide how often you'd like to update your blog, whether that's monthly, weekly, or even daily. If coming up with content isn't your cup of tea, consider hiring a freelance writer or content company to produce your blog for you.

Community Information

Establish yourself as a local expert by featuring a section dedicated to your community on your real estate site. You can include the information in your blog or create a separate page where you regularly update with community news, activities and, upcoming events.

Buyers and sellers want an agent that knows their market intimately, and posting about your community gives you an edge in their eyes. It also helps with SEO optimization on your page – using local language could drive up your search rankings for users looking to find an agent specific to your community.

These ten sections are a solid start to outlining an effective real estate agent website. The next step is building a beautiful site to make your content stand out.

WolfNet can help you create a stunning and responsive website with all the necessary features that make your listings shine, highlight your market expertise, and capture quality leads. Click here to learn more.

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