Many real estate professionals take a "set it and forget it" approach to their websites. Those that have been updated in the past few years are often seen as sufficient, and haven't seen much more than a few content changes here and there. But some industry experts believe that staying on the cutting edge of web design - assessing what works and what doesn't on an ongoing basis - is crucial to generating leads.
The fact is that the vast majority of would-be buyers and sellers these days do at least some online research about the real estate pros in their local areas, and most now start the process of buying or selling online, according to marketing firm Bruce Clay Inc. With this in mind, it's vital that agents do all they can to make sure their websites meet modern standards for attracting a strong client base.
Where to begin
When it comes to getting people to visit an agent's website, the real power lies in the skeleton of the site, meaning that agents would be wise to do all they can to boost SEO. The more they can do to stress they are experts in their area's local market (by including phrases that include the name of their region or city and "real estate," "homes for sale," "real estate agent," and so on) the more likely they will be to appear higher in search rankings.
Moreover, it might be wise to focus on specific areas or neighborhoods. For instance, while some people may search for "New York City real estate," they're far more likely to check out "Brooklyn real estate," or even "Williamsburg real estate," so it's vital to prepare for all contingencies. In general, the more localized agents can go here, the better off they're likely to be when connected with potential clients.
What about overall site design?
Once prospective buyers and sellers actually arrive at a site, it also has to be attractive to draw them in, according to OxyCreations. As such, a little general design advice can go a long way, and the simplest one is, simply, to keep it simple. Many agents' websites are entirely too busy, especially on the part of the homepage that people see first. Agents would do well to just have a nice, big photo, some simple text, and maybe one other attractive feature to really grab the visitor's attention.
But beyond that, since websites are for generating leads, agents should also include a simple contact form where potential clients can provide contact information quickly and easily.
Finally, given how average people use the internet these days, it's also important for agents' websites to have mobile designs built in. Because many people tend to do their web browsing on phones and tablets, having a website that scales to those devices isn't just a good idea, it's a must.
In general, the best advice for agents as time goes on is to make sure their websites are updated regularly to meet evolving consumer expectations. That, in turn, will increase their chances of being involved in more real estate sales.
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