Forty-four percent of smartphone users have looked up a real estate listing from their smartphone. If they landed on your website, what would they see? Would it be a sleek, responsive design that is designed for easy mobile navigation and makes it easy to contact the listing agent? Or, is your website outdated and being penalized by Google because it doesn’t have a mobile optimized design? We hope it isn’t the latter, because ExactTarget reports 27% of visitors leave a website that isn’t mobile optimized.
If your real estate website is outdated, don’t panic. Focus on what it will take to make your website a valuable part of your sales and marketing toolkit for everyone from prospective buyers and referral sources to your agents and existing clients alike.
Here are four things to consider when undergoing a real estate website redesign:
Social media currently drives 1/3 of all website traffic. If your brokerage firm is active on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or a combination of the above, you want to ensure when they click through from your social content that they land on a responsive website (i.e. one that scales to the user’s device automatically). To show your firm is active and up-to-date, you may also want to consider adding social media feeds to the homepage of your website. If you decide to integrate social feeds on your website’s homepage, just make sure you are consistently updating those platforms with content so that it doesn’t make your website seem outdated. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure there are direct links to your social media channels on your homepage even if you don’t integrate live feeds.
As part of your website redesign, you’ll want to review and refine your website copy. When reviewing your existing website copy, keep an eye out for outdated statistics and proof points, opportunities to enhance and expand relevant content and key opportunities to incorporate calls-to-action.
If your current website doesn’t include a real estate blog, consider whether a blog can help attract new buyers and sellers, drive traffic to open houses and seminars, etc.
Visitors’ attention spans are shrinking. A recent Microsoft study found that the attention span of humans has fallen to eight seconds. People have become accustomed to consuming content in 140-characters or less, 15-second social videos and Infographics rich with compelling visuals. Hence, your website needs to load quickly (and properly) regardless of the device from which someone is accessing it.
Think video tours of your listings, photos of the properties you have sold and even photos of staged properties where the staging helped drive the sale. While some content is best expressed in words, compelling visuals often speak for themselves. You want the homepage of your website to be a mix of eye-catching visuals and optimized text that Google can crawl (which will help with your organic SEO). Other key places to include photo and video assets are your online newsroom, blog and case studies/success stories.
For residential and commercial brokerage firms, digital marketing can positively impact the bottom line – meaning generating new listings and helping to close deals. An up-to-date, responsive real estate website is an integral part of achieving online marketing ROI. Remember, your website is your firm’s online marketing hub. It sells your listings and your services 24/7/365.