Not all real estate websites are created equal. Here are some key elements that must be in place to ensure that a site maximizes its lead potential.
Aesthetics: Having a site that looks ‘good’ is a highly subjective claim. One person’s eye sore is another person’s masterpiece. However, there is something to be said to appreciating the current trends in design and having a site that reflects them. This is not an excuse to be trendy, but it is important to have a site that reflects current design trends. Real estate websites share many elements with a business card. Every agent has a business card. Most agents go out of their way to ensure that their card is not only recognizable but that it stands out of a crowd. Why should a website be any different? Should there not be a cohesive theme between business card and website? It not make sense to present a unified, cohesive image. Basic rules of thumb are to keep your site simple, clean, organized and uncluttered.
Functionality: Simply having a website does not make it a marketing machine. For a real estate website to generate leads it has to be working 24/7. It needs to be easy to navigate, simple to use, and uncluttered. Good news is that there are a lot of real estate WordPress plugins, such as iHomefinder and IDX Broker, that will make your site look very professional and organized as you can read from this iHomefinder vs IDX Broker review. Trying to put as much information with as many gimmicks as possible on a single page is counterproductive. What is more, your visitors are smart people and don’t like to be bought with gimmicks.
Content: At the end of the day, the only thing your visitors are coming to you for is for content. You have content they want. Be it property listings, articles, useful tips on home buying or the like, they are there because of your content. Keeping your content fresh and up to date is critical. Having the means to organize and facilitate this is also key. Top of the line websites offer users simple, intuitive content management tools to streamline the process as much as possible.
Layout: Your website must be easy to get around. Getting lost wastes people time which guarantees people will leave. Having a logical and simple information architecture will help your visitors find what they are looking for and keep them coming back.
SEO: SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a much used catch phrase that essentially means building websites that search engines deem as quality. Search engines exist because they sort information and make sense of the millions of websites in existence. They do well because they give their clients –people searching- what they are looking for and spare them the plethora of cluttered, garbage sites that fill the web. Being able to build a site that meets their quality criteria ensures that the site will do favorably in search engines.