Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fundamental Do's & Don'ts of Real Estate Websites

With an estimated 90 percent of homebuyers conducting home searches online, you’d be smart to use the beginning of 2013 to beef up your Web presence. Take a minute to discover the six things you absolutely must include on your real estate website (and which three things to avoid). Is your site up to snuff?

6 Must-Haves

Contact Information: Your name, phone number, email or contact form, and links to your social media accounts should be visible on every page. Left or right margins are great for this.

“About” Page: This should let your prospects know what you’re about, as an agent or brokerage. Why did you get into the real estate business? Do you specialize in certain types of sales? Include anything that distinguishes you from other professionals in your area.

Listings: Visitors to your site primarily want to see listings. Make sure they are prominent and easily accessible from your home page. You may even consider integrating IDX into your home page.

Seller Information: Sellers want to know what you will do for them if they choose you as their agent. This is an excellent opportunity to include your list of seller services so prospective clients can see the value you will bring to the transaction.

Buyer Information: Same as above, except specific to buyers. Tell them how you will go above and beyond when finding them their dream house.

Photos: Make sure to include high quality photos of yourself and your listings. Studies have shown that listings with 16 or more photos perform better than listings with fewer images.

Bonus Points

Niche Information: This is the stuff that makes you memorable. Don’t miss an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert on a specific neighborhood or style of home.

Testimonials: If sites like Yelp and Amazon have taught us anything, it’s that people love to read testimonials and reviews. What do your past clients say about you? Extra credit if you can include photos of your customers in front of their new homes.

3 Things to Avoid

Auto-Play Anything: Don’t bombard your visitors with noise or visuals when they first come to your site. Let them choose when to engage with your media.

Long (or wide) Pages: You’ve heard it before, keep important content above the fold—the portion of the webpage visible without scrolling vertically or horizontally. People will scroll, but only if the material they can see at a glance is interesting and relevant.

Broken Links: Check your site every six months for expired links. Nothing is more frustrating to users than broken links. They are also detrimental to your search engine rankings.

Article courtesy of: RIS Media http://ow.ly/hE9Ab

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