10 Essentials for Your Real Estate Website

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Las Vegas S.0075212
http://actvra.in/4WhK

seo-checklist

Hands on laptop keyboard with text: 10 Essentials for Your Real Estate WebsiteYour real estate website is your digital calling card. What do visitors see when they land on your home page? More importantly, what do they see when they view your website from a mobile device? First impressions are powerful. Your website is your opportunity to make a stellar first impression. But there’s more.

User experience is the most important aspect of your real estate website. Imagine inviting a guest into your home. Your main goal is to make them feel comfortable, right? You typically offer them a seat, a beverage, and delightful conversation. Your website guests should be treated with that same hospitality. But how do you turn a cold Internet presence into a warm user experience?

 

Here are 10 Essentials for a Powerful Real Estate Website:

Mobile Matters (A Lot!):

Several reports suggest that upwards of 55% of web-surfers are browsing from their smart phone or tablet. Smart phones are the first things people reach for when they wake up at least 50% of the time. Furthermore, 57% of users say they will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (source: Impactbnd.com)

The Need for Speed: 

We live in a fast-paced society with short attention spans. Your website should load at lightening speed, or you’re likely to lose viewers and increase bounce rates. Lightening speed translates to 3 seconds or less. You can test your website’s load time at pingdom.com. Each time you create a new page in your website, test that page for speed. If it’s not less than 3 seconds, consider revising. Image sizes, videos, interactive maps, social sharing widgets and other factors contribute to load time.

Consistent Branding:

You can easily identify several companies through brand awareness. What comes to mind when you think of a pink bag? Baby blue box? A swoosh on the side of a shoe? A red can? Brand awareness speaks volumes without saying a single word. What does your branding say about you and your business? Your brand should be consistent across your print marketing and your digital marketing. Instill brand awareness upon your website’s visitors. Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) should be consistent in how it’s presented. If you use parenthesis around the area code in one area, all other areas should also use parenthesis around the area code.

Pictures Speak a Thousand Words:

People connect with faces, not logos. Although your branding should be high quality and consistent, placing a professional picture of yourself can help dramatically in relationship building. By placing your picture on your website, you’re conveying that you’re a real person. When you meet with that client for the first time, they’re more likely to feel like they’ve already had a chance to get to know you.

Spelling and Grammar:

You don’t need to be an English major to create a real estate website, but you sure do need to dot your i’s, cross your t’s, and use a spell checker. When you have glaring typos, fragmented sentences, misplaced punctuation, you’re sending a signal to viewers that you didn’t care enough to present a professional presence.

Interesting Verbiage:

Many professionals make the mistake of trying to “deepen their voice” when writing. This can come across as insincere, or worse: boring. While you do want to maintain a certain level of professionalism in your business content, it doesn’t mean you have to be bland, dry, or void of personality. In fact, it’s often the personality that wins a client over. Let your personality shine through in your real estate website so viewers can get to know who you are, how you tick, and why you stand above your competition. Your welcome message and “about us” page should be inviting and interesting to viewers.

Qualifications:

While it’s true that people are drawn to a personality, it’s also true that viewers want to know you’re qualified to do the job. Your real estate website is the perfect place to proudly showcase your certifications, awards, and philanthropic activities. Prove to viewers you have what it takes to get the job done.

Testimonials:

Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising available. It’s also the least expensive. When you win a client over with a charming personality, excellence in service, trustworthy qualifications, and you get the job done, ask them to provide a review or testimonials about your service. Prospects can be wooed by the success stories of others.

Listings and Search Capabilities:

Of course, the whole reason you’re going through all the trouble of presenting a professional real estate website is to sell houses. How you display those properties could make or break a user experience. Make sure your listings pages are designed with the user experience in mind. Here, too, you should think about mobile views. Table listings could lead to long scrolls on a mobile device, causing the user to lose interest, whereas a carousel display requires a simple tap of the finger to show the next property. Your viewers should be able to search homes by price, location, and features.

Lead Capture:

Not everyone is going to hop on the home buying or selling bandwagon. When dealing with what often equates to the purchase of a lifetime, some relationships need nurtured over time. But if you fail to capture a name and email address (at minimum), then you lose your ability to provide valuable information to that person in the future. It is imperative that you include calls to action (CTA) throughout your website. Call now. Click here. Read more. Email me. Share this page. Tweet this quote. You MUST direct your viewers into the actions you want them to take. Do not leave it to chance, even if it seems blatantly obvious.

You might also enjoy: Is Your System a Lead Conversion Website?

The Real Estate Website Bells and Whistles

Now that we’ve covered the fundamental foundation of your website, there are additional features you can include, provided they don’t weigh down your website’s load time.

Home Valuations:

Yes, many curious Georges want to know what their home might be worth if they decided to sell. But those curious Georges may convert to clients if you give them what they want. This is also another handy-dandy way to capture leads. And with third party plug ins, home valuations can be a simple add-on to your website.

Find, Follow, Friend, Connect:

Good luck finding someone who is absent from all social networks. In Contrast, rarely do you find one person across all of the social networks. Although it’s not necessary to be active in posting on all networks, it is handy to have a presence so your viewers can connect with you on their network of choice. If nothing else, create a profile page so when people conduct a search on their preferred social network, they can at least find your contact information and a link to your website.

Social Sharing:

When a viewer finds value on your website, there’s a great chance they’re going to want to share that information with their friends, family, associates, and social network peers. Make it easy for them: Include social network sharing buttons on your website and blog pages to encourage shares.

Bloggedy, Blog, Blog!

Okay, this is really more of a necessity and less of a bonus feature if you’re concerned with Search Engine Optimization and nurturing relationships.

Your blog is your opportunity to provide viewers with valuable content to help them make a decision. How to prepare for a mortgage application, how to stage a home to sell, community pages, hyperlocal pieces.

But you may choose to host your blog in a completely different location than your website. No problem: Use a link in your navigation bar that will lead visitors to your blog where they can learn all about buying or selling properties, market reports, or other juicy tidbits about the real estate industry.

Also Selected for You: What Every Real Estate Agent Should be Blogging About

Videos

Videos are powerful forms of media that can pull viewers in for more information. You can record yourself driving around a neighborhood to convey community appeal. You can demonstrate “how to” tips, tricks, and tools. Get creative with video creation. Another bonus to video is that video keeps viewers on your website longer, which builds ranking in the search engines. When a viewer spends longer periods of time on your website, the search engines recognize your content as being valuable to that user.

Summing it Up:

Your real estate website is not a luxury item, nor is it something to take lightly or create haphazardly. Consider user experience above all else. Make sure your website is user friendly, mobile responsive, with fast load speeds. Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Be consistent with your branding and flash a smile at visitors through a professional image. Use inviting verbiage to avoid boring your Internet guests. Use frequent calls to action to foster lead capture. Display your qualifications and testimonials proudly, and present your listings carefully. Then, throw in a few bells and whistles to help you stand out in a crowd. Create a lasting first impression with a powerful real estate website.

Did you know Ballen Brands creates real estate websites? Get in touch today to learn about Ballen Real Estate Websites (B.R.E.W.). Give us a call at (702) 917-0755, or email team@ballenbrands.com

 

seo-checklist

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You may not be familiar with Lori Ballen, Ballen Brands, or The Ballen Method - but I’m almost certain one of your respected professional peers is. Someone you know likely knows my name. Talk to your associates, your friends in real estate, and ask what they know about the Ballen name. I’m confident you’ll be intrigued. My reputation wasn’t crafted by accident, irony, chance, or luck. I earned respect (and rewards!) the hard way. Using the stepping stones I’ve spent more than a decade constructing, you, too, can build your success story in business. I share my failures (and my win/wins!) to help you succeed.

 
Long before 2010, I was a business owner faithfully (and sometimes embarrassingly!) practicing my motto, “fail forward”. I built millions in various business ventures, and I threw millions away through haphazard mistakes, dangerous habits, and bad choices. Although I lost millions, no one can subtract experience. The valuable lessons I learned were engrained in my being. My marriage was also on the brink of disaster. But my husband and I held on by the tattered threads of our rags to riches dreams, gathered up our life lessons, and joined Keller Williams Realty in September of 2010 with a wish and a prayer. When we became a part of the Keller Williams family, all we had was a computer, faith, and an undying need to succeed. By the end of that year, we closed 100 internet driven transactions… with no database.
 
In the six years that followed, growing organically through trial, error, and triumphs, I also launched a training and marketing company, Ballen Brands, to assist honest, hard-working professionals like you. I know how difficult the road to success is, and I know no one needs to walk it alone.
 
All of my lead generation - all-of-it - is done through search engine optimization (SEO) and social media. I learned the difficult way and I validate my experiences by recycling my hard knocks to demonstrate for you a simple way to dominate digital strategies. And the good news is, your success story won’t cost you millions over decades like mine did! It will only take you a short amount of time and a small investment to build your business, your reputation, and your riches. My marketing class was designed with you in mind.
 
You are invited to join me on the evolving journey. If you’ll allow me, I can show you mind-blowing tricks of the trade and secrets of success. I’m so sure of your potential growth in my classes, I’m willing to put my name on the line. All you have to do is register now. Need to think about it? Click here to learn more.
 
I’m so excited to meet you, to shake your hand, to answer your questions, and to help you grow your business.
 
Sincerely yours,
 
Digital Marketing Strategist
Ballen Brands - Helping Business Professionals Rise Above the Noise.
702.917.0755
 
 
P.S. You may just love my new B.R.E.W. websites!  B.R.E.W. stands for Ballen Real Estate Websites, and they’re gorgeous as well as functional. To learn more about B.R.E.W.s and other Ballen Brands services, you’re invited to visit us at BallenBrands.com, or call Jeff at (702) 917-0755. 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 10/26/2016 10:43 AM
Topic:
Real Estate Technology & Tools

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Rainmaker
1,065,169
Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com
Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260 - Tahoe City, CA
Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers

Lori Ballen - Great tips on what matters when it comes to your real estate website!

Sep 27, 2016 06:14 AM #1
Rainmaker
882,378
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

What an informative post! If you don't know what your website needs read this post first and then go fix yours.

Sep 27, 2016 09:28 AM #2
Rainer
193,061
Randy Elliott
RE/MAX Gold - Lodi, CA
REALTOR : Lodi / Stockton, CA

Great info, Lori! Always expect to see nothing but the best from you.  ;-)

Sep 27, 2016 11:39 AM #3
Rainmaker
112,151
Julie Larson Realtor® Sarasota FL 941-882-0322
PalmerHouse Properties Florida - 941-882-0322 | Serving Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte Counties - Sarasota, FL
When you're thinking of moving...ThinkSuncoast.com

Thanks for all the awesome tips, Lori!!! You never fail to provide excellent value!!!   :)

Sep 27, 2016 12:25 PM #4
Rainmaker
324,601
BethAnn Long
RE/MAX Inland Empire - Spokane, WA
Realtor, CRS, e-PRO, Spokane Wa Real Estate

Wow. I am now in deep contemplation mode. I appriciate your information and will bookmark this post for sure ! :-)

Sep 27, 2016 12:52 PM #5
Rainer
88,480
faye schubert
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes Realty and Lake of the Ozarks - Branson, MO
technology and marketing specialist

Blogging rules the google world with great local content, pictures and video!

Sep 27, 2016 01:02 PM #6
Rainer
2,950
Mitello Camay
Absolute Home Mortgage Corp. - Rutherford, NJ

This was awesome! For the lead capturing, I would recommend to have consumers to sign in - but allow them to visit once. Similar to a landing page.

Sep 27, 2016 01:03 PM #7
Rainer
7,556
Chris Brennan
Boston, MA

in the age of zillow etc a real estate agents website is only relevant as something to embellish a business card. what i mean is that most agent websites don't rank in google for any significant search terms.

therefore the most important part of a website for most agents is the actual domain name. 

Sep 27, 2016 01:12 PM #8
Rainmaker
683,519
Jennifer Mackay
Keller Williams Success Realty - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on real estate websites

Sep 27, 2016 01:49 PM #9
Ambassador
1,524,086
Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Million $ Guild Member Cert Luxury Home Mkting Spc

More great SEO and social media tips from the queen of social media marketing.  Thanks for sharing.  

Sep 27, 2016 02:29 PM #10
Rainmaker
4,225,223
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

This is outstanding advice to share. I hope you are enjoying a most productive month.

Sep 27, 2016 07:38 PM #11
Rainmaker
3,672,041
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the great tips. I will bookmark this post. 

Sep 27, 2016 09:46 PM #12
Rainer
21,287
Monir Clark
Atlanta Communities - Marietta, GA
Real Estate agent specialized in Northwest Atlanta

Lori, thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowlege.  

Sep 27, 2016 10:40 PM #13
Rainmaker
385,900
Ron Barnes
Associate Broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties - Jasper, GA
"Most agents claim they're #1 - I THINK YOU'RE #1!

Fabulous post and timely for me, since I am going through my semiannual website overhaul. Some good ideas to incorporate. It's important to maintain but once in a while we need to tear it down and clean it out, just like the garage!

Sep 27, 2016 11:42 PM #14
Rainer
182,202
Myron Lund
Real Estate Directory - Rochester, MN
Serving the Rochester area for 25 years

Great ideas.  Thanks

Sep 27, 2016 11:51 PM #15
Rainer
171,287
Greg Mona
RE/MAX Platinum Living - Scottsdale, AZ
YOUR Local Real Estate and Design Resource in AZ!

I really enjoyed reading your post Lori Ballen.  It is loaded with great advice and once again, gets the wheels turning on how we can better our various websites.  Looking forward to trying some of these suggestions out!

Sep 28, 2016 01:23 AM #16
Rainmaker
308,015
Diana Dahlberg
1 MONTH REALTY - Kenosha, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

You did it again!  You knocked this one out of the park!  Great Information.  I will need to read and re-read ... 

Sep 28, 2016 02:37 AM #17
Rainmaker
178,179
Janice Hope Zaltman LEED AP
Keller Williams Partners - Hollywood, FL

Thank you Lori, as always, for posting valuable content. 

Sep 28, 2016 12:48 PM #18
Rainmaker
759,808
Susan Laxson CRS
Palm Properties International - Naples, FL
Local Knowledge & Global Network

Lori Ballen - I read this post on Facebook and was so impressed with your knowledge and generosity in sharing such valuable information to all of us. Thank you!

Sep 30, 2016 06:53 AM #19
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Lori Ballen

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