Getting the Most Out of your Real Estate Website

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You’ve heard that people tend to do business with those they know? Believe it. Even before you’ve met prospective real estate clients face-to-face you can begin building relationships that lead to sales by leveraging smart online marketing strategies and tools. The most important of these is getting the most out of your real estate website.

More and more homebuyers are embracing the ease, speed and capacity of the internet to approach home buying decisions. Research shows that more than 80 percent of these techno-savvy consumers search for homes and localities online. They’re bypassing traditional real estate marketing in favor of free-flowing information that’s only a mouse-click away.

As a real estate professional who wants to build competitive advantage in today’s volatile market, give on-line searchers what they want: An easy-to-navigate real estate website with content rich enough to draw them into a buying relationship with you.

Here are some basic strategies for getting the most out of your real estate website – positioning you top-of-mind, so when clients are ready to buy, you’re there to sell:

Focus on relationships, think long-term

Prospective homebuyers tend to browse real estate websites in the early stages of their home search. They could be months or more away from a move and will likely put out multiple feelers to real estate firms and professionals. You can’t capture them all. But you can prioritize and track potential clients who demonstrate interest in your real estate niche and keep contact alive until they’re ready to engage.

Target niche markets, tailor your content

Internet-empowered consumers want ready information, specific to their particular needs and interests. If they don’t see it on your realty website, they’ll move on. The tighter you customize your content to the specific needs of the homebuyer, the better your chance to move them from prospect to buyer. If you’re targeting a particular real estate niche market such as first-time buyers, established families or seniors, or if your focus is an economic level–fixer-uppers to mega-mansions– you may need to consider real estate websites for each targeted audience.

A sale is a sale, but a relationship’s forever

No surprise: Most people buy more than one home in their lifetimes. What is surprising is that more real estate professionals don’t effectively prospect the gold mine in their files for repeat business. Maintain your top-of-mind position with past clients with an email newsletter that’s focused on them as homeowners. Consider a yearly calendar of maintenance tasks or a vetted list of local service providers. If you keep your content rich, current and useful enough to stick on the fridge, they’ll remember you when it’s time to move again.

Trust an expert

Not all web design companies are the same. When evaluating a web design firm, first look for one that specializes in custom real estate web design. Since potential homebuyers can find the same MLS information from many other real estate sites, you need to find a designer that will help your site stand out. Browse their real estate website portfolio. Ask questions about usability, contact forms and email newsletters. The right firm will be able to help you build a real estate website that effectively targets your real estate niche, creates relationships, and delivers all the content your visitors are looking for in a beautiful, easy to navigate package.

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