Note: This article was updated to reflect the most up to date information on July 11, 2019.
1. MLS Search Capabilities
According to Realtor® Magazine, the #1 and #2 most important things consumers want are lots of property photos and descriptions, and searchable listings. If your site is just an online brochure, you will not likely be visited again.
2. Search Engine Optimized Content
Optimize Your Site for All Communities in Your Market, not just the Big One. Instead of trying to throw the widest net possible over a large metropolitan area (like “Phoenix Real Estate”), you should instead be looking for your little chunk of heaven within the huge metroplex you live in. Think about having specially optimized pages for every small community that you market to so when those home buyers Google “Chandler homes for sale” you will be there!
3. Mobile optimized site
Look around and you can see how many people are looking at their phone right now. The world has changed and mobile devices are a huge part of all of our lives. If your site is not responsive (meaning it scales to different sized screens) it will drive at least 50% of your potential customers away. Site Elements need to be easy to navigate with thumbs. While driving. Sorry, I’m not endorsing texting and driving, just stating a fact.!
4. Optimized for speed
One of Google’s major requirements for site rankings is that they load fast on desktop and mobile devices. We are all impatient and if a site loads slowly we move onto the next. Google offers a free tool to test your site speed here.
5. A Blog
Blogging has many benefits such as adding new, fresh content regularly to your website which keeps you looking fresh to search engines. Blogging also can help you become known as the local real estate expert. Think of this, every time you post a Blog it is one more page on the Internet pointing to your website. Google rewards websites with new, fresh and plentiful content with higher rankings. One of the most recent changes in real estate blogging is that Google really likes posts that are 2,000 or more words in length. This shows your knowledge and authority of a topic. For example, you could write about a school district in general including detailing locations of schools and information about each school including the benefits of each school. This also means that instead of trying to throw out some short post daily or weekly you can produce great content quarterly.
6. Custom Design and Personal Branding
Does your templated website make you look like every other agent in your office, or do you stand out? If your website looks exactly the same, why should a prospective home seller work with you over them? Your site should start to finish carry your own special look and feel and promote you and your personal brand.
7. No Flash Intro or Sound
If you make home buyers go through a production number every time they come to your site, they simply won’t come back. Quick content will impress them, whiz-bang Flash and Sound intros will not. Home buyers sneaking a look at homes when they are at work will not return to a site that has a “cool” song blaring from their computer every time they go to it.
Install a map that allows web users to click on specific communities for listings. There are many map options available now and studies have shown that giving this visual tool for them to search with is a winner.
9. Make It Easy to Request Info
Make sure you make it easy to ask for Information on a wide variety of subjects, Relocation information, How Much Is My Home Worth, Listing info for homes. Something will appeal to someone at some time and you need to not play “hard-to-get” with offering information.
10. A way for leads to be automatically entered into your primary contact database
Depending on what systems and CRM you are using, it is not inconceivable that you could have two, three, four or more different online systems running with their own database contact system. This is an administrative nightmare. Make sure all of your contacts are run through just one.
A video of a neighborhood’s parks, schools, and other facilities helps a prospect get a feel for the area. Videos are still easier to get found than web pages so it makes sense to be specific about your topics. Video is another way to “take a spot” on a search results page for a key phrase you want to be ranked for.
12. Automatic Lead Follow up Plan
A lost or unattended lead is lost business. Period. It all comes back to Systems. Make sure your website has automatic follow up plans set up to contact all your web leads regularly. This should include a mixture of emails, scheduled phone calls, and mailings.
Get Found Local uses tools to follow-up every lead automatically. If you follow the ideas here, you will have an abundance of leads that won’t be slipping through the cracks ever again!
If you incorporate these ten principals into your site, you will create a place for home buyers and sellers alike to come back to again and again and bring you an abundance of leads.