As a sales representative I talk to dozens, and dozens of real estate agents and brokers every day. In my calls, I learn about wants and needs, pain points and concerns from professionals all over the U.S. One the most frequent conversations I have, is why it’s so important to have a real estate-specific website. While real estate brokerages have been investing in websites for a long time, many still ask “how important is my investment in a website”? Let’s explore 3 reasons that should make you want to get a real estate-specific website.
Today’s homebuyers are searching for listed houses online. Over the last ten years, the search term “Homes for sale” alone has increased exponentially in daily search queries according to Google Trends. Additionally, NAR reports that the first step of the home-buying process is to look for properties online, and that 51% of buyers found their home online in 2016.
Among the millions of search results on the web, how then can you make sure your site is found? You guessed it, with good SEO (Search Engine Optimization). But while SEO is easy enough to understand, it’s one of the most complex strategies to execute. A true real estate software website provider will have a built-in SEO framework (packed with listing data and local market content- all the stuff that search engines love) that includes:
Remember the good old phrase “the customer is always right”? Although the famous words have been proven wrong several times, they tell us something very important about today’s consumer. They are in control. If you can’t offer the creme de la creme of website experiences, your visitor may bounce off quicker than you can say “open house”.
User Experience (UX) is about creating more than a nice “look and feel” to a website. It is about utility and ease of use, user preferences and perceptions. Every industry is unique and has different website needs that need to be met. Home buyers expect certain functionality and features when they visit a real estate website. In addition to the must-have items, like fast loading times and mobile websites, your site should also support IDX search, MLS integration, contact forms, ability to save favorite listings, etc, etc. The point is, you need to provide a website experience that will help the user unique real estate user complete their goal.
The primary purpose of a CRM is to organize, track, and manage all of your customer information, activities, and conversations. The more information you have about your leads, the better you can understand when it’s time to contact them, what they might be looking for, and so on. When your CRM is integrated with your website, they function together seamlessly, meaning the website automatically provides valuable customer information to your CRM. Better yet, a real estate-specific CRM will have functionality like listings management, showing tools, and task management specifically designed to automate real estate processes and free up time for you and your team to focus on closing more sides.
With an integrated CRM you can better segment your leads and target them with the right content based on their activity history and timeframe! For example, if a buyer is primarily searching for homes in two local markets, you can set your CRM to automatically send them market reports on those specific locations. Personalized content is a proven marketing strategy that only seems to be growing in importance. In fact, Salesforce reports that 52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if the company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them.
Your website is an opportunity to make a first impression on a home buyer. It’s not just a piece of technology, but a direct representation of your brand. The real estate industry is as competitive as it ever has been. Every edge that a brokerage can have over its competition is critical to its growth and success. Having a competitive edge starts with making the investment in a great real estate-specific website.