In the digital age, the majority of people are going online to seek information and conduct research about the issues they need to solve. Companies across all industries are quickly repositioning their online presence in an effort to take advantage of these new digital opportunities. Estate Agents are no exception.
Firms must embrace this online world. They must leverage these concepts of branding, digital marketing, and mobile engagement. A estate agent’s website design must create a unifying brand while also providing dynamic spaces that showcase an estate agent’s property listings, services, and achievements.
Potential buyers and people looking for to rent property are searching the web for the services Estate Agents can provide, and an Estate Agent’s website must be ready to embrace them. Fortunately, there are numerous tips and best practices available to take advantage of just that.
The goal is to draw a potential client in with an aesthetically pleasing presentation that suitably showcases your business. Your Estate Agent website may be the point of contact for promising leads or high quality students and career applicants.
70% of Estate Agents have generated new property sales through their website. You want to convert those leads. Don’t let your website be the reason why someone isn’t contacting you.
From the moment someone enters your website, they must see your Estate Agent’s brand, values, goals, and accomplishments. Your brand is a promise to a customer, and it needs to be incorporated into every aspect of your design and user experience.
Avoid using stock photos. Hire a professional photographer or videographer and give your website the personal touch that a potential customer is looking for. Not only can stock photos be a turn off for user immersion, but professional photos are proven to be more efficient in driving traffic to your website.
It can be difficult to merge your unified brand with the individual personalities that make up your property team. With professional photos, you can maintain your staff personalities, while tying your brand together with that personal touch.
Remember, the design of your website establishes your credibility. It makes a statement about what you represent, and your overall professionalism. With the correct elements, it can make a potential client more likely to engage with your practice.
While owning your brand is key, if you fail to provide a simple and appealing user experience, it won’t do you any good. You want your Estate Agent’s website to be engaging, easy to navigate, and empower clients and colleagues to use it.
To create a superb user experience, think about the best way to structure your website in a way that provides a clear path for the visitor. A great way to do this is with a call to action (CTA). This is one of the most popular ways to generate leads, yet nearly 70% of Estate Agent websites do not have a direct call to action on their homepage.
Create a CTA that most represents what your Estate Agent does best.
“More than 90% of visitors who read your site headline will also read your CTA” – Unbounce
You have an array of CTA options at your disposal whether it be general inquiries, a short and sweet contact form, pop-ups, and more. Pick those that give you the best shot at converting a potential lead.
Part of great website design is making it as accessible as possible. Prospecting clients, current clients, and colleagues are not just searching the internet on a computer. As of 2014, already 31% of all Estate Agent related website traffic came via a mobile search. Yet as of just a year later, only one-third of Estate Agent websites were optimised for mobile.
Users aren’t just limited to desktops, and they’re turning to mobile devices and tablets to search for properties. You can have the prettiest website in the world, yet if it’s not optimised for mobile, you are alienating nearly a third of potential web traffic.
The reality is that people very rarely read websites. Words are important (more on this later), but users are seeking information very quickly, and more often than not will simply skim content to determine if it’s what they’re seeking.
The way you structure the content that you put on your Estate Agent’s website can be just as important as the design. While the design process is key to creating an appealing and efficient website, the speed by which your content can be consumed and understood, determines whether or not a visitor stays engaged.
Many Estate Agents have built generational legacies on trusted, professional service and expertise. This approach may have worked fine in the past, but the data clearly shows that 96% of people seeking new property, turn to a search engine like Google.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what keeps your website alive on search engines. Not only does it play a part in keeping your Estate Agent’s website at the top of a search result, it also establishes credibility and raises awareness.
This is where words are important. Google is a computer – it doesn’t skim, it consumes every piece of content on your website and uses them to rank you (along with many other metrics – called signals)
To fully utilise local SEO, you need to strategically place keywords you think potential clients might use when trying to find your property services. That’s not to mean that you should overstuff your content with keywords and links that may be deemed as spam – it’s a fine line, but finding that perfect balance can go a long way in generating potential leads.
When a user lands on your website, you want to prove that your Estate Agent is the local property expert team that they need. Content marketing can be an effective and practical digital marketing strategy that can improve your website’s reach and keep readers engaged when they land on a page.
Blog content can be a powerful tool in proving your firm’s expertise and establishing credibility. According to HubSpot, companies that published more than 16 blog posts per month got almost 3.5 times more web traffic than those that only published 4 or less posts. Blogs can be a great resource for showcasing your firm’s talents by directly addressing a potential client’s pain point in a post that leads them to engaging your firm.
Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Instagram have become vital avenues of drawing potential clients to Estate Agent websites. In fact, 45% of all traffic to Estate Agent websites comes via LinkedIn. By incorporating a strong social media presence in your brand, you’re widening the net to potential clients.
Written content isn’t the only type of content you should display on your Estate Agent’s website. According to a Cisco report, by 2020 video will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic. The benefits of incorporating video marketing on your firm’s site is tenfold: property firms with marketing video content can see an increase of 157% in organic search traffic.
But that doesn’t mean you should go and publish as much video content, or any type of content, just to have it. 62% of users report that Estate Agents with poor quality marketing videos create negative images of themselves. You want to create quality, engaging content that showcases your professional brand, not content that will tarnish it.
If your Estate Agent is based in a multilingual location and you have staff who can practice in multiple languages, you have an opportunity to create versions of your website in those languages. While it’s not feasible to offer services or pages in languages your property team cannot support, if potential clients are searching for estate agents services in your area in other languages, your website should capture that aspect of the market.
A great design and engaging content is only effective if it functionally works. You need to ensure that the underlying technology that keeps your Estate Agent website running is up-to-date and capable of handling your workflow. By ensuring that your architecture, such as the server the website is hosted on, is powerful, secure, and managed, you can spend less time ‘fixing’ your website, and more on your property practice.
As mentioned, a significant portion of internet browsing is done on mobile devices, and if your website cannot adjust to the different-sized screens of tablets and phones, it will automatically repel visitors and cost you business.
The benefits of a responsive website design cannot be overstated. An engaging Estate Agent website that is quick and responsive can separate your practice from the rest of the competition that may have unresponsive websites that feel old and sluggish. This improves your credibility as an expert property source, and better yet, improves how your site is ranked by search engines.
Security is critical. 40% of Estate Agents did not know they were breached in 2016. Clients are trusting in you to store their confidential information and a data breach is unacceptable.
Your Estate Agent’s website should be hosted on 24×7 monitored servers, feature firewalls and encryption systems, and be industry compliant. But don’t just achieve the industry standard – go above and beyond and assure your clients that if they choose your Estate Agent, their information is safe.
You do not want to see your Estate Agent’s name in a data breach headline because your website security was average or subpar.
Your website is a marketing tool and it must be compliant with your country’s compliance laws. In the UK, it is absolutely necessary to comply with the The Law Regarding the Buying and Selling of property. Running afoul of these rules could mean hefty fines.
Additionally, the UK laws governing accessibility for people with disabilities. It is critical to understand these laws and how they relate to your Estate Agent’s website design and functionality.
Ensuring that your property practice is compliant under these laws can be challenging. Selecting a web design agency that specifically has prior experience supporting Estate Agents and experience with RICS and NAEA Propertymark can guarantee that you meet these compliance standards.
Your website should distinguish your Estate Agent from the rest of the competition. Showcasing your selection of properties and unique brand establishes your credibility in the property industry.
It is no small feat to implement the design, content, and back-end standards that will distinguish your Estate Agency as a leading firm. You want to work with a web design agency that is fully equipped to go above and beyond in each of the above requirements. You can leverage Yello Media’s years of website design experience for free immediately, with our proprietary guide to producing best-in-class Estate Agent websites. To get started, contact us today. Call us on 01673 838159.
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