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Five Things Your Real Estate Website Must Have

Five Things Your Real Estate Website Must Have

If you leave certain things off of your real estate website, you’re leaving money on the table and daring your leads to go elsewhere.

You may have a beautiful and expensive website, with all the bells and whistles. But if you don’t have the following must-haves, you’re going to have an expensive site that doesn’t perform.

Every Real Estate Website Needs: A Simple Contact Form

Make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you from anywhere on your site at any given time. Don’t make them work! And don’t make them click around too much to get in touch with you.

Use a simple form or sidebar on all your pages as part of your design, but carefully consider what information you need to collect.

“A long contact form can be very overwhelming to look at and scare your potential customer right off your website. Keep the number of fields on your contact forms between 3 and 5 max,” wrote Marvin Russell, Founder of MySiteAuditor and Checkli.

“If your website offers a service, then your contact form shouldn’t try to sell that service. It should only try to get your foot in the door by asking a few basic questions.  NeilPatel.com was able to increase conversions by 26% by removing 1 field from his contact form.”

Every Real Estate Website Needs: Local Listings

This is what many website visitors are here to see. Don’t put too much branding between your visitors and your listings. People may like you, you may be amazing, but they’re here to see houses. So keep your listings fresh, current, and easily accessible.

Use this great article that explains how you can quickly and easily integrate MLS listings onto your site (for free or cheap) by using WordPress plugins.

Every Real Estate Website Needs: An Active Blog

The key word is active.

That can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. This may mean twice a week, or twice a month. The number isn’t that important. The key thing is that you come up with a content schedule and stick to it.

Also, make sure your blogs have real value. Of course, every listing should get it’s own blog and landing page. But make sure your blog contains more. Helpful advice on how to buy a home is always welcome. It also makes you look like an expert, not just a salesperson.

Every Real Estate Website Needs: Local Events

Don’t ignore the value of this. It goes beyond just doing favors for local businesses and clubs. It makes you look like a pillar in the community, and in-touch with everyone. By listing local event on your website, you can become a go-to site for reasons other than your listings, which is great for your brand.

It also helps your search engine optimization (SEO) when these events’ web pages link back to you. Backlinks are SEO gold and what puts you above the other guys in search results.

Every Real Estate Website Needs: A Simple Web Address

Read your website’s web address (URL) over the phone to someone. How slow did you have to read it? Did you have to repeat it? Have you had people type it in wrong? These are all signs your website’s URL is too complicated. It should be easily read out loud and easy to remember.

“Forget about hard-to-spell, long and clever words or anything too complex—unless you want to make it hard for people to remember your URL. Do yourself a favor: dump the cutesy names and don’t use numbers—they won’t help. Best practice? A name with only one possible spelling,” wrote Tom Lowery, entrepreneur, author, corporate training specialist.

So if you’re building a new site, focus your time and money on simple and intuitive contact forms, dynamic listing feeds, a well thought-out blog, local events, and a simple and memorable URL. If you already have a site, review it for these things.

If you have a new URL make sure all your print materials like business cards and brochures have the correct info. If you need to update your print materials, you can easily create your own design online, and make sure your brand resonates.

How Real Estate Websites Get Noticed – Build a Better Blog

Real Estate Websites

Want a website that performs better than the other guys’ real estate websites? Start by building a better blog than them.

The numbers prove that blogging drives success and performance. According to Hubspot:

  • Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website
  • Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information

The good news is there are countless Realtors® out there blogging on real estate websites, but only a small percentage of them are doing it correctly.

Here’s how to separate yourself from the pack.

Focus on the Headline

It very literally starts here. It’s the first thing people see on real estate websites, and what they use to determine if your blog is worth their time and their click. It’s the “bait” that gets people to stop scrolling through their newsfeed on Facebook and read your story.

Be creative, be engaging and be funny to earn people’s attention. “The City’s New Bylaws Explained” is boring and not really click-worthy. But a headline like “Will the New City Bylaws Cost You Thousands?” will spark people’s interest and create a sense of urgency.

A few other tips on headlines:

  • Let your personality shine through
  • Keep them short and sharable
  • Try to work keywords into them, but don’t force them in
  • Mistakes and myths play well. For example, “5 Myths About Home Inspections” or “3 Mistakes Nearly All First-time Buyers Make” would be great headlines!

Write and Publish on a Schedule

Schedules are good because they make your blog predictable, while keeping you on task. So get yourself in the routine of writing the blog Monday and publishing on Wednesday, or something like that.

What’s the best day to publish on real estate websites? Experts have a ton of data and metrics that can make an argument for Monday right through until the weekend. The bottom line is you want to publish your blog and share it socially when your would-be customers are online. That can be any number of times.

An attainable and repeatable routine is more important than locking yourself into a steadfast day of the week based on someone else’s numbers.

Mix Things Up

Being predictable doesn’t mean being boring. There are lots of different types of blogs you can publish:

  • How to Guide or Q&A: Always popular and you get to showcase your expertise
  • Newsjacking: A term that describes responding to something that’s trending or making headlines and providing your own spin
  • Guest posts: Run a piece from a guest writer like a local mortgage broker or home inspector

You should also try a bit of gated content. This would be something like a whitepaper or a how-to-guide. It’s called a gated asset because your reader will have to provide you their name and email address to download it. This helps you capture more leads and build your mailing list.

Most Realtors® don’t do these things, and neither do bloggers from most any sector. Most will use the first headline that comes to mind, write and publish when they have time, and offer up the same stale meal every week. But now you know better, and can stand out from other real estate websites.

While you’re revisiting your digital advertising, how does your print marketing look? Is it time for new business cards or postcards?  If you need new materials, you can easily create your own design online, and give your branding a quick refresh.