The new year is nearly upon us, and it is almost time to put another decade in the rearview mirror. The 2010s brought us fully into the Digital Age, and the trends of increased Internet usage and more digital dependence are unlikely to change any time soon.
With our social, economic, educational and daily lives becoming even more digitally focused in the next decade, business owners and other professionals cannot afford to underestimate the value of a good website. In the real estate industry, this applies even more than in most other fields. Real-estate agents depend largely upon their reputations and effective marketing for success, and few things will be more critical for these than a nicely designed, well-developed, easy-to-use website.
A great website will be key to real estate success in 2020 and beyond
But while real estate agents may be experts in housing markets, home improvements, local attractions and countless other important areas of the industry, most are not as knowledgeable or experienced in the worlds of web design and digital marketing. Not to fear – this guide is designed to provide five of the most important tips to remember when building and maintaining a real estate website. With proper implementation, your site will be ready for the challenges and opportunities of a new decade.
1. Find a web developer that specializes in real estate
Many people believe the easiest step in creating a great website is procuring the services of someone to help in the process. But with seemingly countless options out there for web developers, hosts, web design specialists, and digital marketers, even this first step can seem overwhelming.
To narrow down the options, focus only on developers that specialize in, or at least have substantial experience with, real estate websites. If you do not know where to start, ask some colleagues or others in the industry if they have any suggestions. You can even find a competitor website you like and scroll to the bottom of the homepage to identify the developer. Worst case, a simple Google search for “real estate web developer” or something similar should put you on the right track.
2. Post relevant content frequently
In order to be successful, your site is going to need more than a trendy design and your contact information. Including a blog with information relevant to your audience will help the search engine optimization (SEO) of your site and make it more likely that new potential clients will come across it.
You can include articles about how to find the perfect home, tips for making a house more energy-efficient, a list of the best local neighborhoods for kids, how to sell my house in 7 days, etc. These can be done with the help of effective digital marketing, according to ibuypueblohouses.com, and anything else that might be relevant and intriguing to your target audience.
Regularly posting relevant information will not only help the SEO of your site,
it will increase your reputation as an authority and provide more networking opportunities within the industry.
3. Understand the importance of your domain name
If you are reading this post, you likely already have a website domain name, or you at least have a good idea in mind. It may be incredibly clever and unique, but if it is not clear, concise and easily identifiable, you need to scrap it.
Deciding on the perfect domain name is a delicate balance. You want it to be cute but not too cute. You want something simple but interesting. It can be unique but not strange. The ideal domain name will clearly and concisely define who you are and what you do while still having a touch of spice and wit.
Generally speaking, independent agents can simply go with their own names as the domain name. While this may not be the sexiest idea out there, it is clear and easy for potential clients to search and locate. One exception would be if your name is difficult to spell, in which case you may want to choose something easier on potential users.
4. Tie all marketing efforts back to your website
Just because your website is out there on the interwebs, it does not mean that people will visit it. You need to do all you can to get the word out and draw in as much traffic as possible to your website.
This means including the name of your site on your business cards, telling clients and colleagues about it, including it in all traditional marketing efforts, mentioning it whenever possible and doing whatever else it takes to get the word out. The more traffic your website draws, the more relevant it becomes and the more likely potential clients will choose your services.
In addition to all the organic and traditional means of getting the word out, you also need to incorporate your website in all of your marketing efforts. Any time you post something on your business (or even personal) social media accounts include a link to your site. Request guest postings on other industry sites in which you can include your own links. You need a holistic marketing strategy that ties each of your marketing efforts together and ties them all back to your site.
5. Analyze everything, always looking for opportunities to improve
Unless you are a digital marketing/real-estate dual expert (and maybe even if you are), your real estate website is unlikely to be an immediate success. It is going to need tweaks, updates, improvements and constant analyzation for it to reach its full potential.
In addition to regularly updating your site with intriguing content, you will need to try out new designs, graphics, images, and many other elements to help your site be as attractive, popular, relevant, helpful and user-friendly as possible. Google Analytics and other such tools can be helpful for identifying what works and what needs to be changed.
In the end, it is important to understand that your site will never be perfect. Things can always get better, and traffic may fluctuate based on a seemingly infinite number of factors, some of which may be out of your control. It is important to find the right balance between sticking with what works and trying out new things. But with the right domain name, great content, helpful services, a holistic strategy, and effective analytics, your website can take your real estate business to the next level in 2020 and beyond.