5 Website Features Real Estate Agents MUST Have
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It is no secret that a website is one of the most important parts of a business. It has truly replaced the storefront for many businesses, and it is the first place that most clients go to learn about a real estate agent. If you still do not have your own website or you just want to make sure you are on the right track. Here are five must-have features for your real estate website:
I’m starting out with testimonials because I think it is the most important part of your website. A testimonial or review is simply a previous client’s opinion of the service that you provide. It is just the modern version of word-of-mouth marketing. An agent can go on and on about how awesome they are and why you should use them to sell your home. When a potential client reads a review from someone who has used your service, it is much more believable!
To simplify the importance let’s think about the last time you were looking for a new place to eat. You probably received a recommendation from a friend. I want you to think about what you did next. If you are like most people, you went to Google and searched the name of the restaurant and read the reviews. We know that people trust the opinions of others for something as simple as a restaurant. So it makes sense that when someone is looking for an agent to help them with one of the most expensive purchases or sales of their life that they will want to see what other people think of you.
So, you may be asking, “How do I get testimonials?” I recommend that within a week or two of your client’s closing you send them a message asking them for a review of their experience with you. I would give them instructions on exactly how to leave you a review on Google, Facebook, Zillow or anywhere else you want people to find you. Here is a link to a sample testimonial email. Every time you get a testimonial make sure that you post it on your website!
2. Contact me form and multiple CTAs throughout the site
One of the best tips I ever received (over a 10 years ago) on my first website was to add a contact form. I had spent hours getting all of our services, photos and reviews on the site. The major part I didn’t think about was making it easy for people to get in touch with the company. In your case, you want to make it super easy for your new potential clients to reach out to you via a simple form. You can use Google Forms or most website builders have built-in forms. It is important to make sure that the form sends you a notification to an email address that you check often. You also want to make sure that you keep the form short and to the point (name, number, email, and reason). If you are asking for their complete life story, they most likely will not fill out the form.
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You also want to add calls-to-action (CTA) throughout your website that lead clients to your Contact page. As clients are browsing all of your content, you want to catch their attention and direct to where you want them to go typically through the use of a button. I suggest using buttons that say something like “Schedule an Appointment” or “Schedule a Consultation”. In addition to these CTAs, make sure you have a “Contact” button in your top menu. This is the location most people will look when they are ready to reach out to you.
3. Video bio
I know, I know, most of you already want to skip over this section. You have heard it repeatedly, but a video bio is a must in 2020. Video doesn’t have to be perfect anymore. You don’t have the excuse of not having the right equipment, because most of us have an awesome video camera in our pocket. Today’s cell phones all have excellent cameras built-in. You are ready to shoot your bio video when you pair your cell phone with a tri-pod and an inexpensive lapel mic like this one from Purple Panda (audio is extremely important!).
People can really connect to a video versus reading your bio because they get to see and hear you. You immediately become more relatable! The biggest thing is to just practice over and over again, and you will get better. Don’t worry about making a mistake because you can always delete any mistakes you make! I look forward to seeing your first video soon!
4. Blog with hyper-local content
As a real estate agent, you are the local expert. A blog is one of the easiest ways to convey that you are an expert. There are millions of blogs out there and it can be tough to compete with the ones that are already established. This is why I recommend keeping your your blog hyper-local to the areas that you serve. I know here in Fredericksburg, VA that there are very few agents that are talking about their community.
So, you agree you should have a blog, but you have no idea what to write about. You are not alone, and this is probably the reason why most people never start a blog. I want you to think about things you already enjoy doing and how you can make them relate to real estate or your local community. My most successful blog was called “Why I Love Fredericksburg” and I just wrote about some things my family and I love to do and included some photos. Some other ideas might be to interview local businesses, review recent events or restaurants you have been to, Top 5 lists and so on. People love reading about where they live and the more they read from you, the quicker you will look like the local expert!
5. Responsive design
In 2020, just about every single person looking to buy or sell a home has a cell phone and we want to make sure they can view your website clearly on the go. Responsive design means that your website adjusts to different screen sizes between your laptop, tablet, and phone automatically. Most modern site builders like Square Space or WordPress will automatically apply responsive design. Whenever you make changes to your site you will want to open up a browser on your phone to make sure that everything is clear on a smaller screen.
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