Ok, so my desk isnt quite this bad....but its a good second place. So, I figured I would clean it off yesterday during a little down time....
In the midst of throwing away the half eaten bagels and pizza crusts, and countless postit notes with random drivel written on them...I discovered an old issue of Broker Agent News from May,'07.
Not entirely significant except that it was open to page 74...and on that page was an article written by Roselind Hejl, a Coldwell Banker United agent in Austin, TX. Her website is www.weloveaustin.com and the article I was looking at was entitled "Real Estate Web Sites: 21 Ways to Drive Visitors Away".
I emailed Roselind and asked her if I could use portions of the list she provided in this blog and she was happy to allow me to do so as long as I gave her credit for the list and posted her website...Done. And Done. Thanks, Roselind!
Anyway...This article is fantastic!!! Short, concise and right to the point. Now, having been involved with internet lead generation for over 7 years now, I have seen a metric ton of real estate websites....some good...some bad...some ugly. And some of them look like they were designed by a 9 yr old on an Etch-A-Sketch!
The point is this...Your website is the first impression that any perspecitve internet buyer or seller is going to get of you. The main goal of your website should be to convey your introduction and message with the fastest and easiest ability possible. Recent stats show that 87% of all people who bought a house did research on the net BEFORE contacting an agent.
Visitors will quickly plow through random sites looking for any and all information that benefits them. So, rather than make them sift through miscellaneous garbage, give them what they want and they will remember you. Too much garbage will make them back away screaming...and this list that has been compiled gave us is a perfect example of what not to do...
Here are some of my personal favorites from the list that I have actually seen on real estate sites...
1. Force visitors to sit through your flash introduction. If you need a "Skip Intro" button, you are off on the wrong foot...
2. "Impress" your visitors with some cool text on top background graphics, or, even better, some cool text on top of background text. (Honey, where are my 3D glasses??)
3. Shake things up with a blast of your favorite music. (Nothing like sitting in your living room in your pajamas at midnight doing a little house hunting and getting bombarded by random symphonic notes of Megadeath or Enya.)
4. Blue text on a black background. (I thought this was a website, not a cave. Someone hand me a torch.)
5. Make them find their own way around! Post dozens of website links all over the page that lead them everywhere but where they actually want to go...You can include multiple links with different names that lead to the same places in this one. (Honey, get me a ball of string and some bread crumbs!)
6. Anything that flashes in multiple colors at lightning speed...(May cause nausea, headaches, blurred vision...seizures.)
7. Use every font capable! And put some of it in ALL CAPS!! CAUSE THAT HELPS ALOT! (Honesty check -- I dont know enough about HTML to change fonts on this page, or I certainly would have done so...LOL!)
8. Canned content and repeated text for Google. (Seven Deadly Mistakes Sellers Make?? Who said posting this on your site was a good idea?? Or, repeat after me....home for sale, for sale home, sale home, home sale, sale of home, etc, etc, etc....)
9. Cram your 187 reciprocal links at the bottom of the main page. (What the hell is all this stuff down here??? Ohhhhhhh, I get it. Its helpful links...Home repair in Indiana??? Im in New Mexico.)
10. You must fill out this profile before we move forward. (Oh well, I didnt need to work with you anyway.)
11. Pop ups!!! (HELP!! Wheres the BACK button????)
12. Disable your 'Back' button. (Sing it with me.....Welcome to the Hotel California!! You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!)
So, there you have it. Those are all things I have seen...Im sure there are others. Id bet you have a few of them on your list as well, so lets hear em!!!