Competition in real estate is fierce. Therefore as a real estate professional, you have to set your business apart from the rest.
The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates that there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States.
How you set your business apart is with a custom inbound marketing strategy. The center, or hub, of that strategy is the website. Targeted to your custom real estate niche, your real estate website can build your business immeasurably.
The housing market has changed dramatically over the past few years. Buyers are educated and well informed because of the internet. They now go online to find houses and research locations even before contacting a real estate agent. If you want to keep up, you must have a modern, mobile-friendly website for clients to find you and search properties.
If your website is outdated or doesn’t conform well to a mobile device, you will lose clients. Don’t be left behind — find out below why creating a custom website is so crucial in the real estate industry and how to make yours convert.
The internet is littered with website builder tools where you can create a good looking site in minutes. However, there are quite a few drawbacks when using one of those systems.
First, you don’t own the website or the code. You cannot take your site to another hosting vendor; if you want out, you lose it all.
Second, these cookie-cutter websites all look and work the same. There is no individuality and very little flexibility.
It is hard, or impossible, to incorporate G.L.A.M.R. into these websites”:
G – Generate Referrals
L – Legitimize Your Business
A – Authoritize Your Self As The Local Expert
M – Multiply Your Web Presence
R – Residence, Own Your Website
When you build a custom website, you have full ownership of the entire site. It’s all yours, and you can take it with you no matter where you decide to host it. Plus, you can customize completely and make it something special.
You can focus on your real estate branding and brand it to match your logo, colors, and fonts used in other marketing materials. The bottom line is that you have complete control and this is everything.
Along with customizing the look and feel of your custom website, you can also add functionality that is not available in those web “services.” If you want to schedule appointments online, you can. If you want to add the ability to chat with clients, you can add that easily also with a custom website.
There is no limit to what you can build with a custom website. With a custom website you can offer your audience a truly unique experience.
Target Your Niche
When deciding to build your custom website, you first need to determine your audience. Do you sell million dollar houses to film stars, or do you sell cozy starter homes to young families?
Your website’s look, feel and language must all target a specific audience, or niche. To do that, you need to know who your perfect client is. Your buyer persona. Once you determine that, you can start building.
The imagery, colors, and even the tone of your new website must reflect your audience and be identifiable to them. If your target market is young hipsters, then you will write your web copy much differently than if you are selling high-end, modern homes to business professionals.
Your aim is to create a cohesive website that checks all the boxes for your target audience.
Even after you determine your target audience, you will be able to group your clients further into sub-segments. When you follow-up on real estate leads with promotional emails, send each group custom emails.
You can tailor your message to different ages, incomes and cultural groups to pinpoint your approach. Your clients will appreciate the custom marketing and respond better since you have them in mind when you craft each message.
Build the Best Real Estate Website Possible
As you consider developing your custom real estate website, there are a few tips you should remember. First, your site is like your office manager: the first impression you make with clients.
Keep that in mind and make yours a good one.
Clients usually look you up to find out more information about you or what you are selling on Google. Have an easy way for clients to reach you right on the home page, whether it’s via email, phone, or both.
Connect your website to the MLS system so you can have thousands of searchable properties right there, front and center.
Don’t skimp on your About Us page. Flesh it out with detailed information about what your agency can offer and how your extensive experience helps you do your job.
Consumers love FAQs. Dedicate a page on your website to questions and answers that you receive frequently.
Consider having a live chat feature on your site where they can log on and ask you questions in real time.
Be sure your new site looks great and works on mobile devices.
Use an SEO plugin to ensure your pages are search engine friendly and you will rank well with Google.
Finally, use high-resolution, good quality images throughout. Images and video are the best media to use for real estate. Nothing sells like a stunning image of a house for sale or a walk-through video!