Why it’s important to have a website in the real estate industry
A stunning website is one of a real estate agent’s sharpest tools. It can be a resource for buyers and sellers, generate new interest in your properties, and establish a connection with prospective clients. Here’s everything you need to know about creating and operating a gorgeous real estate website.
Why Use a Website?
To Make a Good First Impression
The way people discover brands, whether personal or a company, is through a website, first and foremost. This is the first point of contact with a new brand – your digital storefront essentially. It’s vital that your website represents who you are, your values and showcases your brand in a polished, put-together way.
To Build Credibility
In this day and age, anyone who considers working with you will first look you up online before engaging. If you have no website, it reflects poorly on your brand and can result in a missed opportunity. It is a big red flag if your potential customers can’t find your team, and it may dissuade them from working with you.
To Prevent a Loss of Business
Not investing in a website is costing more than you might imagine. If someone searches your name and no related criteria appear, they’ll simply move on to the next agent. Consumers are looking for a reliable place to find information about you and your experience, and a website is a perfect place to show them why you’re the best choice.
To Excel in the Digital World
Your digital foundation is deeply rooted in having a beautifully optimized website. To understand this, it’s essential to differentiate between owned and rented media. Even a tremendous social following on a Facebook page or an Instagram profile is subject to algorithm changes at the end of the day. Spend time building up your owned media, organic rankings, and email list via lead generation to ensure you thrive in the heavily saturated digital space.
To Make Your Sellers Happy
Agents often underestimate how much of a missed opportunity to attract sellers by marketing your listings well. Not only does this help build your brand and credibility, but it allows you to drive traffic back to your own website, helping build up your owned media.
Why it Matters What a Website Looks Like
Having a poorly constructed website is worse than having no website. Your website represents who you are, and your customer’s first impression should be a good one. Just like you wouldn’t want to work with someone who’s dressed inappropriately, rude, or late for a meeting, you wouldn’t want to work with a company that has an ugly, broken website if you’re trying to grow your digital presence.
Even if you’re a pure referral business that doesn’t need lead gen or SEO, those referrals will still type in your name on Google, where first impressions are everything. Potential customers want to see your experience, who you are, what you’re all about, and contact information. If nothing comes up or you have an ugly website, you lose credibility before you even have the chance to interact with that potential consumer. They’ll always associate you as the agent who isn’t with the times due to an unattractive or missing website.
If you already have a brokerage page or think your social profiles like Zillow are enough, it’s not your asset at the end of the day. You don’t own or control it, and it’s gone if you ever decide to leave the brokerage. While they’re an excellent source to keep your updated information, they don’t allow for much personalization, which is where your website can shine.
How a Website Builds Trust with Consumers
Trust is a matter of the quality of interactions people have with you over time. Ideally, a well-built website conveys personality and makes visitors feel like they’re getting to know you. It’s your opportunity to showcase what makes you unique through an agent bio, brand videos, lifestyle photos, an Instagram live feed, and more. Establish credibility through your experience by showcasing statistics about past performance and highlighting your sold listings.
Trust is built through a lot of different touchpoints over time. Although your website isn’t the only one, it’s often the first and your best place to make an impression online. You can also build your authority in your service area through blog posts, content, and market reports. Focus on a niche; whether it’s a specific location or a particular type of buyer/seller, it’s essential to make your website specific to your target audience. The tone is extremely important when it comes to building trust with them.
The significant advantage that agent and team websites have over huge companies like Zillow is that those companies are faceless. They can’t compete with you when it comes to your personal touch, especially in social advertising. Use this opportunity to truly personalize your brand and build a relationship with your potential customers.
What Makes a Market Leader
They Play the Long Game
Although a market leader still works hard and hustles for deals, they’re not just short-term focused and care deeply about their long-term reputation. Real estate involves engagement over and over across many transactions, so you need to take reputation seriously. The way others talk about you and write reviews has a huge impact on potential new customers.
They Find their Niche
Find something you’ve become known for and show how you do it best. A market leader will make a name for themself and build their brand. Not only are they outstanding salespeople, but they have an entrepreneurial, around-the-clock mindset where no part of the job is beneath them. They will do whatever is necessary to be successful.
They are Extremely Client-Centric
A market leader is genuinely competent and very knowledgeable through years of experience. From seeing how deals can fall apart to knowing which inspectors to use, they’ve seen it all and are good at managing client expectations. They know what patterns to recognize and are always looking out for their clients by getting ahead of problems before they happen and even taking care of existing issues without impacting the client.
They Have a Wide Circle of Influence
Whether it’s through marketing or community involvement, most market leaders have a good pulse on everything in the market. They have vast influence and name recognition as a result of building up a solid personal brand.
Make the Most Out of Your Website
Your website should position you as a market leader in whichever niche you decide to specialize in. Whether it’s a specific area or you’re focused on targeting a particular demographic (buyers, sellers, developers, etc.), show your audience how you excel in that field.
On a foundational level, your website should be functional, easy to follow, and accessible. Usability on both desktop and mobile is vital in reaching your customers how they want to interact with you. Photographs, typography, and other design principles are all opportunities to leave an impression and show users why you’re the best in your respective field.
The last piece of the puzzle is being memorable. Does it really stand out and intrigue visitors? Do people want to come back to it? Does it have that wow factor? Consider these factors when creating your website and find selling points that make you unique from other agents in your market.
Building Brand Equity
Creating a website that is beautiful, optimized for conversions, and positions yourself as a market leader is the first step toward building brand equity. This is an important piece of the puzzle if you want to create something that you can pass on to your children, sell, or have others run for you one day. Most agents who are market leaders intuitively understand the concept of ownership and recognize that it’s almost impossible to generate a strong brand without a website.
Your website should fully encompass your brand and capture your essence as an agent or the property you’re listing. Whether you’re a real estate agent in the LA market or a developer in Miami, your site must represent the vibe of the market you’re selling to, the properties there, and the overall aesthetic. If you’re looking for a place to start, Luxury Presence is happy to help take your website and digital presence to the next level!