How do buyers and renters here in Australia look for property?
Which websites do they go to? Or, more importantly, which websites don’t they go to?
The answer to these questions and tips for driving new business opportunities are the topics of this week’s video.
We talk a lot about websites here at Stepps, it’s kind of what we do, but our real passion is making sure that when a real estate business, a franchise organisation, or an individual agent is designing their website, that it actually delivers leads and sales.
There are a lot of real estate websites online today that look very much the same, and there are a lot of real estate websites that are essentially very expensive online brochures – they don’t deliver leads, they aren’t up-to-date, or worse, the website is built in such a way that it actually turns potential clients away.
A couple of years back, we undertook a study of buyers and renters in Australia to understand how they search for property. First, we asked how they started their search, and not surprisingly, 96% said they started their search for a new home on either one of our two major portals.
Secondly, we asked if they visited a real estate agency’s website at any stage during their search for a new home, and 84% said no.
“84% of buyers and renters never visit your website during their search for property. And of the people that do, they’re likely coming from those bulk emails that you send from your database.”
Many real estate agency websites here in Australia are very much just mini versions of the major portals, with property search and listings being the primary focus. But if the overwhelming majority of buyers and renters are not coming to your website at any stage during their search for a new home, that approach could be costing your business if most of the real estate on your website is taken up with listings.
Here in Australia, the agent represents the vendor’s best interests, and unless you’re a buyer’s agent, vendors are who you want on your website. And as many as possible, right? It’s important to showcase your listings, and provide a stunning property search experience on your website, but, making it the priority is not the best approach. And we know that because Google analytics and thousands of hours of monitoring website conversion data tells us.
In digital marketing, it’s all about friction and conversion. You need to help people get to where they want to go, faster – and with less friction. When they arrive, you need to be able to convert them into either an email subscriber for your content or a lead for your business.
By taking up valuable space on your website, with the things that don’t serve your primary audience, that adds friction. And by not placing calls to action in the right places, or if you’re using the wrong copy to convince people to fill in that form or pick up the phone and call you, you’re likely missing out on potential new business.
Instead of building a mini version of your profile on the portals, build a website that provides an experience to home sellers that they can’t get anywhere else online. Vendor lead generation should be your primary focus rather than property search.
Here are just a few recent examples of websites we’ve built with vendor lead generation as the primary focus:
So, hopefully, you’ve paused the video already, and you’ve called a meeting with your marketing team, and the web developer, to make sure that your website is not costing you business.