Successful businesses understand that their brand and how it’s interpreted by the consumer online in the digital arena plays a major part in the performance of the company. Your brand and its identity is how a customer perceives you, and differentiates you from the rest of the pack. While Real Estate agents know how important marketing themselves is via many online channels, and that social media is one the most popular channels, many fall short in understanding that their own real estate website is their most important online asset, and one which they shouldn’t overlook in developing their digital presence. Consider the following reasons:
We’re in the Digital age, and are constantly checking out the credibility of our decisions online anywhere, anytime, via any internet connected device. Mobile devices have allowed us to do our online research while we travel to work, relax on the beach or at home on the couch. It’s not often that our purchasing decisions don’t begin with some online research. For Real Estate, most customers will visit the major listing portals first, such as realestate.com.au or Domain, to search their property criteria. Once they’ve found a property, they naturally want to check the credibility of who is representing that property, and where the information has come from. So where do they go to next to decide whether to connect with you?
While it is important to showcase your listings on the major portals, it is imperative to understand the need for your business (whether that’s you yourself, or your agency), to be clearly translated online. If your real estate website doesn’t reflect the kind of experience you offer, you will lose opportunities. Take a look at your website, does it clearly represent you, your local brand and your people?
People like hiring experts. They don’t want to work with people who appear to be misinformed or inexperienced when dealing with a big, or high risk decision-making process. This is especially true where a large investment is involved which ultimately affects people’s livelihoods, such as buying or selling a home. It is critical that your real estate website positions you as an expert agent. Demonstrate this to your audience through quality content that is informative, relevant and engaging. It should communicate your expertise in Real Estate, and reinforce the calibre of your business to your prospects. Step one of this process is ensuring that your team profiles are constantly up to date and professionally presented. Take a look at your website, is it relevant? When was the last time you updated your content?
It is often said that a bad real estate website is worse than no website. If you are attracting the average person, you have approximately 10-15 seconds to captivate their attention. If your audience has a poor experience, is not engaged or simply cannot find the information they need to easily connect with you, it could result in a lost opportunity along with damage to your brand. Presenting your information in a unique and engaging way can help to captivate and connect with your audience. What makes you different to the agency down the road? Translate this through engaging content and design. Don’t make the mistake of only updating the main content on your website a few times a year. Make sure you update and remove outdated content, and regularly publish new information.
Today we are competing for attention from an audience who is constantly accessing information via digital devices, and this is growing. According to the ABS, around 86% of people are browsing the internet using a mobile or smartphone, and 62% use another form of tablet device. With so many potential customers researching your business using mobile devices, you need a website that looks great (and more importantly, works!), from any handheld device. A ‘responsive’ website is one which adapts the content to the layout and screen size of the mobile device the customer is using. Ensuring that you have a responsive website is the first step to giving your audience a consistent experience across any device they choose to use. If your website is not responsive, you need to invest in one which is ASAP, or you are probably losing potential customers to your local competitor who does have a responsive website.
Finally, don’t lose sight of the importance that your website plays in your marketing strategy. Ask yourself these questions: