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9 minute read

The internet is littered with real estate websites that:

  1. Look the same
  2. Don’t attract many visitors or, worse, deter people away
  3. Don’t generate any enquiry whatsoever (or leads are going to an inbox that nobody is monitoring)
  4. Include all of the above

Websites, for many real estate businesses, are viewed through the same lens as the signage on the front of their office. Much time is spent designing the look and feel of it that by the time it’s launched, it’s forgotten about until 3-5 years later when someone pipes up and says, “We’re not getting many leads. I reckon we need a re-design”. And the cycle continues.

Agents within these real estate businesses are driving people to every other digital platform other than their own website, including the major property portals, social media pages, ratings and reviews websites and more. Agents have told us this is because they’re too embarrassed by the design and functionality of their own website to send anyone to it. If this is happening in your business, you don’t just have a website problem. You might just end up with a staff retention problem.

On the flip side, a growing number of real estate agents and businesses are building website ‘platforms’ that act more like a central hub for everything they do online with deep integration to their marketing funnels and existing tech, including CRM, email marketing, SMS, artificial intelligence (AI) applications, social media and more – attracting people from those channels back to their website.

These businesses view their website more like the front desk of their real estate business rather than the sign out the front.

The goal is to get people walking in the front door, not just looking at the pretty sign out the front.

Many real estate agency websites look pretty but underperform massively when it comes to generating more leads, sales and ideal clients. So, what do the highest converting real estate agency websites do differently?

In this post, we will go over what high-converting real estate websites do differently. But before we get into the details, we want to highlight a few points to get you thinking first:

1. They have a clear value proposition:

They make it easy for visitors to understand what the website is all about and what they can expect to gain from it. This can be done through a clear headline or tagline, as well as prominent calls to action that guide visitors to take the next step.

A great example is Page & Pearce Real Estate:

With so many real estate agents to choose from, it can be difficult for a potential vendor to understand the difference between one agency from another, especially when agency websites bury their points of difference where nobody can find them or the website copy isn’t clear.

Page & Pearce made itself different by bringing its points of difference to the forefront instead of burying them deep within the website. It’s crystal clear to potential clients, everywhere throughout the website, what the company does differently and the benefits they can expect by submitting an enquiry.

Another example is Harris Real Estate.

There are lots of real estate websites that talk about what career opportunities they offer, however, very few actually show it. The careers page on most real estate agency websites is a simple, single page with nothing more than a paragraph of text and form.

Click through to the Harris Real Estate careers section of their website, and you’ll find all of the reasons to join their team – clearly laid out and accompanied by tonnes of visual elements (images, video, graphs etc) and case studies of some of their team members.

It’s one thing to tell people what you do, but it’s something else entirely to show them what you are doing. If recruitment is a focus for your business, your careers page (or franchise information page) on your website could be a deciding factor for many potential team members. Don’t be basic.

2. They prioritise the right people:

The majority of real estate agency websites are essentially mini versions of their profile on the major portals. The first thing you see when you land on most real estate office websites is a search bar for property, just like on the portals. And their website navigation is usually ordered “Buy”, “Sell”, “Rent” – clearly prioritising buyers and renters by making these things quickly available to them.

In the USA, where agents represent both buyers and sellers in every transaction, this approach to designing a real estate website makes sense. But here in Australia, we represent the vendor, don’t we? So why would you build a website dedicated to making life easier for buyers and renters but harder for your potential clients?

Prioritising calls-to-action and tailoring your website navigation for vendors and landlords, over buyers and renters, will take your potential clients to where you want them to go, faster.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have property search functionality. It just shouldn’t be the first thing you see on the home page.

3. They use social proof:

High-converting real estate agency websites use social proof, such as customer testimonials, to build trust and credibility with visitors. This helps to overcome objections and build confidence in the agency and its agents. Testimonials from satisfied clients can be a powerful tool for building trust.

But having only one page on your website where all of your testimonials live is not a smart move. The least visited page on many real estate agency websites is the testimonial page and most of the visitors to this page are the agents themselves (Sorry agents… Google Analytics doesn’t lie!).

It’s much better to ‘pepper’ all pages of your website with reviews.

On the property management service page, showcase reviews from landlord clients and tenants. On the “why sell with us” page, show testimonials from past sellers.

Throughout your website, right where you’re telling people why they should list with you, show them reviews from people who already did and the wonderful experience they had with you.

4. They use clear and compelling copy:

High-converting real estate agency websites use clear and compelling copy to communicate their value proposition and guide visitors through the buying and selling process.

Website copy should be written in clear, easy-to-understand language and in a way that sets you apart from every other agent in the market.

5. They use original images and videos:

High-converting real estate agency websites use high-quality images and videos that haven’t been ripped from a stock photo site. Nothing quite sets your website apart from your competitors like high quality, original imagery and video that has been purposely shot for use on your website that provides locals with instantly recognisable locations they drive past every day.

6. They Tend To Have Short Forms:

How many times have you been ready to sign up for something, continue and see 25+ fields that you have to fill in? We understand your desire as a salesperson to collect everything about the person, but it’s important to respect the user’s time and understand that you can kill your website conversion rate by asking too many questions. Instead of asking for everything up front on your website forms, keep it basic. Ask for only what you need and ask for more once you’re speaking to the person over the phone.

If you’ve got the user as far as wanting to submit an appraisal request, for example, it’s pivotal that you don’t let them drop off because your form is too long.

Test The Number of Form Fields

Most conversion experts will agree that simplifying forms and making them more clear should be the direction you want to aim for when you are ready to start iterating.

Sometimes, having more fields can improve your form conversion rate. However, fewer fields generally tend to produce better conversions (it depends on what your form is for). The point is: Don’t look for rules of thumb, test and find out for yourself!

7. Their Sites Are Built To Convert

High-conversion websites are quite obvious right away. How? They have good UX design, are well configured on desktop and mobile, and have a fast load time. They also have calls-to-action in all the right places.

Turner Real Estate‘s site offers homeowners the ability to generate an instant property estimate from just about anywhere a potential vendor might be on their site:

Home page: 

Listing pages: 

Agent profile pages:

Suburb profile pages:

And many more placements throughout their site…

Creating A Responsive Website

Attractive, high-converting real estate websites are fast loading, have an engaging layout, seamless navigation, and especially, a responsive design.

It’s not enough for high-converting real estate websites to look good on desktop. Mobile view is equally in demand – if not more important. However, mobile vs desktop usage can vary based on your demographic. If your pages are not responsive or load too slowly, your user is likely ending their session within 3 seconds.

With so many people accessing your site via mobile, your site requires a responsive design that encourages users to convert.

What is a good conversion rate for your website?

You should land at 2%-5% for a good conversion rate. If you hit over 10%, you’re well above the average and on the right track with your website design.

Is 100% conversion possible?

Landing at a 100% conversion rate is extremely unlikely. Ultimately, you can’t please everyone, with 96% of website visitors coming to your site not ready to buy. You can follow the formula of some of the highest-converting websites, and users still may not convert. Hypothetically, the formula for a high-converting website should yield more conversions than if you couldn’t execute it.

With that said, there will always be factors beyond your control, like if a person isn’t ready to select an agent. Your goal should be to ensure the people most motivated to convert into a client end up at your site and that it’s easy for them to convert.

Conclusion

How will you get to the status of these high-conversion websites? Start with some of the elements in this article, and then…

Test, test, test.

Across all of the high-converting website examples above, that’s what it took – testing and pivoting.

Do you have a conversion-optimised real estate website? Or is your website nothing more than a static online brochure?

Click here to meet the real estate businesses like yours that are experiencing incredible results after launching their new website with Stepps.

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