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Fred Griffin I always 'used' to love people landing my website few years ago,
As of now, the only major reason why anyone should visit a website is to get current listings - and that anyone can provide now-a-days!
Off-late, I have 'shifted' my focus from making website beautiful to getting referrals. And once they start working with me, they can get the listings.
I also send them market updates on regular basis - just to stay in touch, apart from regular calls and pop-bys.
Fred Griffin presently...
Fred - I think a real estate website needs to be visually attractive, easy to navigate, and certainly provide an IDX to search for homes, including your listings. Other than that, I think providing local content on the markets and neighborhoods you serve will let any potential client know that you are the local expert. Blog posts are important to continually add new content. Lastly, the website needs to be written and designed for the audience you are trying to capture, and have some lead capture elements.
There is only one real estate site that I will spend time on in our area, they provide the information on the properties, without lots of forms to fill out, without lots of flash and other crap.
Keep it simple, provide good info and they will be back again and again.
The biggest reason someone would visit a REALTOR's web site is to look for homes, so must be easy to find the FIND A HOME. Also, keep it "clutter-free" and easy to navigate.
I have a DIY website with blog postings. I can't say I get a lot of traffic to it though.
I think the IDX is still the most important past of an agents web site.
In addition to sites I have created or template sites I’ve modified, I have reviewed hundreds and hundreds of sites. Real estate sites have the disadvantage of having too much information to share so I don’t think there is a perfect site design.
Fred, I'm of the practical approach that people are going to use Zillow, Realtor and Redfin to search for homes... you know the sites that are in the top 5 results on google. IDX search is a nice feature to have, but good luck convincing anyone (even your buyers) to use your site over Zillow. Our MLS provides a portal and none of our buyers have ever used it over Zillow. With that said, I wouldn't spend more than $20/mo to get IDX access for my site. I'm using a free but slow loading framed IDX search from my MLS.
My site is DIY, but that's because I have the background to do it and I like to control what my site has.
Blogs are a good feature to have, I get most of my traffic to my blog posts (most of which are auto generated).
Listings are essential. Present, coming soon and sold. To me, marketing your listings without the constraints of the MLS or the portal sites is #1. Marketing yourself is #2.
In the last 30 days I had 24 people sign up on my site because of forced registration on the idx and maybe 6 sign up to one of my call to action buttons, and this was a slow month. IDX is what they want.
As for content, create it for the viewers because none of the search engines can read content let alone understand it, the only thing search engines know are links.
Sure, lead capture is nice, but to educate, and inform to cause a potential client to find comfort that we are the people to deal with for their real estate needs is another great function.
i think content is the key, not that i can do it, but give it to them better than the other guys..make them want to come back
IMHO one needs to drive traffic to websites these days via methods OTHER than SEO - but what do I know???
Simple, fast, and full of useful content pages. And, by the way, I personally hate websites that make people sign up to search homes. I don't like it and I never used it. It is such an obvious lead capture tool. Most people don't want to be captured. They just want useful info. If you provide it, they will come back.
I would say most important features:
1. Good content that generates traffic
2. Clean and great user experience...generally white background helps w/ that.
4. Strong call to action.
I would also leverage remarketing as a tool to help bring people back.
Fred Griffin If you are looking of a site that will work for you, provide leads and keep customers hooked then check out Kunversion.
Here are best features - Lead gen, Required registration, back end CRM, Auto Email search & phone number search that give you the leads FB and validates their phone numbers, Complete Lead tracing within your site, Mobile Friendly AND free Mobile App for your customers, Squeeze Page maker, Auto Craigslist Post, ability to Auto Text all leads, Smart Technology Auto Call (kunversion calls you when a customer looks at a particular home five times or more and it allows you to auto connect with the customer during the call), Activity screen that keep you calling leads, Automated Property Valuation tool, Blog and more!
You are welcome to check out my site at www.treasurecoastmls.com but you really need to see the demo so you can understand all the backend tools.
I highly recommend that you join their Facebook page for more information, ideas, tips and new add ons https://www.facebook.com/groups/kunversion/
I agree we should keep it simple.
Prospective home buyers want an easy way to search for homes without a registration requirement.
To me , it would be the ability for them to input themselves into a CRM !
Great search engine for property searches, strong call to action, simple to you and memorable content t bring people back.
Good morning Fred. My website is a took of communication. That is where people go after reading my blogs and most of the time, they reach out after that.
Uncomplicated method of navigation and usefulness to the reader.
Keep the webpage design simple.
In our area websites are not the place to get customer. If you have listings you trash internet market potential. 80% agents do not have a websites.
Easy to use for the consumer Fred.