A year ago, we had questions about how buyers and renters search for property, so we asked 400 of them to provide some answers.
While the results probably won’t surprise you, they point out a huge problem with most real estate agency websites today…
They are built for the wrong audience.
We surveyed buyers and renters from around the country who have searched for a new home in the past two years. First, we asked where they started their property search. Not surprisingly, 94% named either one of the major portals realestate.com.au or domain.com.au.
We followed by asking if they visited a real estate agency’s (or agent) website at any stage during their search for a new home and a whopping 84% said no.
84% of people looking to buy or rent never visit a real estate agency’s website.
Some real estate website companies might have you believe that you need to invest in all the latest website bells-and-whistles. Beautiful full-width images of your latest listings, sophisticated map searching and stunning photo galleries are just some of the common features that can cost thousands of dollars to build or have placed on your existing website.
We’re not saying those features aren’t important – they can be. But if 8 in every 10 people aren’t looking at your site to find a property to buy or rent, why would you spend a small fortune to prioritise property listings?
Focus on the user.
Potential sellers and landlords are the people most likely to visit your site to discern your credibility and decide whether or not they will call you about selling or managing their property.
Advanced Google Analytics data from our clients here at Stepps shows that a real estate website design with homeowners and landlords front of mind can attract six times more traffic. Optimised correctly, this means your website can potentially generate six times more inquiries, six times more leads and six times more revenue.
What do you mean by ‘optimised correctly’?
If this article is striking a chord with you and you want to attract more traffic than the average real estate agency in Australia, optimising your website for vendors and landlords should mean:
- You’re publishing regular content for home owners and investors, not just home sellers (like these guys).
- You’re providing content for each stage of someone’s real estate lifecycle – from planning to research, right through to selling or renting our their investment property.
- You’re using a number of channels to amplify your content.
- Your content is compelling so visitors want to hand over their email address to keep getting more from you.
- Your focused on building an audience of loyal fans to your content, not just leads for your business.
- Your website is actually configured to capture contact information.
- You’re communicating with your subscribers consistently and always bringing them back to your website.
- The appropriate calls-to-action are placed throughout your website to convert potential clients into leads when they’re ready.
When we’re working on a website strategy for real estate agents or agencies, the plan and the deliverable are quite a bit more comprehensive than what you see above, but it’s grounded in these fundamental principles.
Let me be clear… I’m not saying your listings shouldn’t be on your website. They absolutely should be – to showcase your client’s properties and your recent results.
But if 84% of tenants and buyers never visit your website, but are going to the major portals to search for property, it makes little sense as to why your website would be just a smaller version of your profile on the portals.
Prioritising listings is what most agents and agencies do on their website/s. But what if this was the one thing holding them back?
We recently wrote a post about one simple strategy that will help you drive more traffic, more often. You can check that out here if you’re stuck on ideas where to start.