Here’s the rub… Many real estate websites look pretty but massively underperform when it comes to generating more leads, sales and ideal clients.
Websites are a big investment for any business – both in terms of the time required to design and build them as well as the initial and ongoing costs. So your website should be making you money and returning on that investment.
Sadly, for many agents and real estate businesses, their real estate website is nothing more than a piece of stationery. An online business card if you will. They rebuild their website every few years and once it goes live, that’s it. They don’t touch it, they don’t update it and then a few years later they decide to rebuild their website because it’s not generating leads and the cycle starts again.
Sure, a beautiful website with stunning images might look nice to the eye, but if your visitors are not clicking through to pages that can transform them into leads or subscribers, then really: What is the point?
An elegant font and lavish graphic design work will only do so much to enhance brand awareness for any real estate business.
Beyond aesthetics, a real estate website should have the following:
1. Clear calls-to-action for your core client
Here in Australia, agents work for the vendor, right? So if you want more vendors, shouldn’t your website be prioritising them? Sadly, this is not the case for the majority of real estate websites.
The primary function of most real estate websites in Australia is ‘property search’. Jump onto your website home page right now. What’s the first thing you see? Is it a big photo of a new listing? A form to search for listings? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. This is how most real estate websites are built. The problem with this approach is that 84% of buyers and renters never visit a real estate agency website when they’re searching for a new home.
Buyers and renters are visiting the major portals. So by prioritising property search on your website, you’ve essentially dedicated all of that real estate (pun intended) for the wrong audience.
Sure, your website should have the ability for people to search for listings and that experience should be amazing. But it shouldn’t be the primary function.
From the order of your navigation items to the calls-to-action spread throughout your website, your website should be speaking directly to potential vendors and landlord clients.
From the moment you land on clarkea.com.au, you are immersed in a vendor focused website. Most impressively, potential vendors are given the ability to find out how many buyers Clark Estate Agents have in their database, at that specific moment, in real-time, who are looking for a property exactly like theirs, while keeping the whole experience personalised for the visitor from start to finish.
Instant property estimate software is now making its way onto more and more real estate office websites as a powerful lead generation tool while educating real estate consumers on the factors that may determine the value of their property at any given time.
What is an Instant Property Estimate?
A property estimate is an automated web API that uses information about the location, size and features of a property, as well as recent local comparable sales, to provide homeowners with an estimated value. And it’s one of the most requested new features from our website clients.
SA based agency Harris Real Estate showcase this feature the moment a user lands on their home page.
Utilising the Domain API, home sellers can obtain an instant property estimate, based on real-time data along with an in-depth overview of comparable sales, suburb demographics, market performance and more.
The call-to-action is also strategically placed throughout the website to capture leads…
Dedicated landing pages for agents (to use in social media, email, SMS or offline marketing campaigns:
Agent Profile pages:
Listing pages (current and sold):
For Property Management BDM’s:
An industry-first addition to the new Turner Real Estate website is an integration with their CRM to allow investors to instantly discover how many renters have registered to inspect properties just like theirs. A powerful tool for BDM’s to showcase their database of pre-qualified renters to prospective landlords.
2. Social proof (testimonials) throughout the entire site
The least visited page on a real estate website is the testimonials page. We know this because Google Analytics tells us.
In our consulting work, during the evaluation of a real estate agency’s website analytics, we filter out all the traffic from within the office(s) to their website to get a more accurate reflection of the traffic from their potential clients rather than just from their staff within their office(s).
What we’ve found in almost all cases is that ~80% of the traffic to a testimonial page on a real estate website is actually from the staff within the office.
So instead of letting testimonials only live on one page, place them throughout your website where they can be clearly seen by potential clients:
- On your property management services page, show testimonials from landlords and tenants.
- On your ‘sell with us’ page, show testimonials from past vendors.
- On your agent profiles, display reviews that belong to that agent.
Rather than simply relying on text-based reviews, Perth based property management company Rentwest use video testimonials throughout their website to capture the attention of potential clients.
On his website, Launceston based agent Josh Hart showcases his testimonials throughout his website on all pages but also provides a direct link to the property – allowing potential vendors to check out properties similar to their own and the reviews the relevant reviews.
3. Simple forms
Visitors don’t want to fill out long forms. The misconception among real estate agents is that you will get more qualified leads if you ask for more information upfront on your website forms. The reality is however that the more fields you add, the more likely you’ll lose high quality leads because they don’t have the time to fill in your complex forms with a million questions. Ask for the bare minimum – first name, phone number, address, email – and get the rest when you speak with them over the phone, or via email if that’s their preferred communication channel.
For your lead generation focused forms i.e. ‘What’s my home worth?’, consider splitting these forms over two steps/pages:
- Address only
- Contact information
By creating a two-step opt-in, studies have shown this can increase conversion rates by upwards of 60%. Visitors are much more likely to provide their contact information in step 2 because (by providing their address prior) they’ve already half committed to providing their information. Plus, if they don’t go all the way and provide their contact information, your website has captured their address. This could be useful for offline marketing strategies or re-marketing campaigns via social media.
Sydney based group Metro Realty make it easy for potential vendors to request a property value report a.k.a appraisal from the moment they land on their home page, and throughout various other pages of their website.
Your real estate website is another salesperson
And just like every great real estate agent, your website should produce results month in, month out. But without the right tools, just like your actual sales team, your website will underperform and could end up costing your business more cash than it’s producing.
Thinking of redesigning your website?
If you want a trusted team that will give you sound advice, with a track record of results for some of Australia’s leading real estate brands, watch this video to see if we’re a good fit.
We’ll answer all of your questions like:
- How long does it take to build a website with Stepps?
- How much does it cost to build a website with Stepps?
- What does the process look like?
- Can your websites integrate with our other software?
- What else does Stepps bring to the table that can improve our business?
- And more…
Or, check out some of our latest projects here.