Using a real estate website builder
If you’ve chosen to go the do-it-yourself route to build your real estate website, there’s good news. Unlike the real estate websites of 15 years ago, you don’t need an advanced degree or even a bunch of technical skills to use a website builder tool like the GoDaddy Websites + Marketing.
Website builders allow you to set up your new real estate website quickly, with templates designed and tested to work specifically for your business needs, like these real estate templates.
GoDaddy Websites + Marketing
GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing gives you all-in-one control of your website, from custom themes to mobile responsiveness, integrated SEO capabilities, royalty-free images, and email marketing tools to help you keep in touch with your clients.
Plus, the GoDaddy Websites + Marketing has integrated IDX capabilities to help your site visitors and customers find their new home faster and easier than ever before.
GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing brings all of these tools into one easy-to-use tool that you can even update from your mobile phone while you’re at an open house.
You won’t have to hunt for and configure plugins or pay for additional tools.
You can even get started with a free trial of GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing. Once you get started, all you need to do is choose from a variety of real estate website templates, personalize your details and images, and publish.
Choose from a variety of beautiful real estate website templates with GoDaddy Websites + Marketing.
Key features your real estate website needs
After you’ve picked your domain, secured hosting for your website and chosen a real estate website builder, the real fun of building your own website starts: developing content and adding features.
Think of it like actually starting to look at houses after you’ve narrowed down school districts, the number of bedrooms and the buyer’s price range.
Every real estate website should include:
- Searchable listings
- Contact information
- Resources and content
- Mobile-responsive technology
Related: Easy real estate content marketing
Today’s homebuyers are more empowered than ever. They aren’t just looking for validation about the real estate agent. They use online real estate sites to get information about available homes that they can choose from now.
By adding searchable listings to your website, you’re empowering potential buyers to research listings.
Feeling empowered gives them confidence in what they want to see, and saves you time in sharing listings that they may not be interested in.
When you’re developing your website, you should make sure that you integrate searchable listing tools, like the IDX tools available with the GoDaddy Websites + Marketing or MLS search tools.
“Beautiful three bedroom, two bath ranch with wood flooring and fresh paint throughout!” Every homebuyer who reads that description is going to have a very different vision of what that home looks like — from the color of the wood floors to the placement of the toilets in relation to the sinks.
Photos capture the imagination and passion of potential homebuyers in a way that no written description can.
And since 76% of all homebuyers found their home on a mobile device, your photos and photo gallery need to be accessible wherever your buyers are looking.
In addition to being able to search for available properties, your website should welcome visitors in with high-quality images from the moment they land on your website.
Beyond just adding photos, consider adding virtual tours and floor plans to your listings when possible. Fifty-two percent of homebuyers found online floor plans very useful, while 46% found virtual tours very useful.
When a homebuyer is excited to see a house, they don’t want to have to wait for someone to respond to a contact form or dig around for contact information.
Make sure your contact information is easy to find when they’ve found the house they want. Don’t bury it or relegate it to a subsidiary page.
Instead, make sure your contact information is always visible on every screen. This may mean including your phone number in a sticky header as well as the footer of the website.
Also, give people many different ways to reach you. Some will prefer to text, while others want to talk over the phone. Others prefer email, even if it takes a little longer to get a response.
Resources and content
Whether your clients are buying their first house or their 10th, there are still resources that they need and things they can learn. Your website can and should give access to these resources including things like:
- House-search checklists
- How-to-find-a-lender guide
- Links to school information
- Regional event calendars
- Utility information
- New housing developments
- Government regulation changes
This is a great opportunity for you to introduce a blog to your real estate website. With a blog, you provide valuable information to your prospective, current and even past customers about the area in which you live, new developments, opportunities and more.
Having a blog gives you a reason to keep in touch with prospects and past customers so that when they are ready to make a purchase, you’re top of mind.
Creating these resources and blog posts establishes your expertise and helps you build trust with potential clients. You can write about virtually anything related to the home buying (and selling) process — from finding your first home, preparing your home for sale, and even local housing market reports.
This range of content helps position your company as a local expert.
Plus, these additional resources and content that you’re posting create SEO value for your real estate website. Each new post encourages search engines, including Google and Bing, to revisit your site. You don’t have to blog daily (or even weekly) to reap these benefits.
One word of warning, however. Make sure that your content is accurate and error-free. This includes fact-checking your content as well as reviewing your grammar and punctuation with a tool like Grammarly. Errors in content or grammar can reduce the trust that you’ve been working on building with prospective clients.
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions and transitions that will happen in someone’s life — financially and emotionally. Trusting the real estate agent or broker is key to reducing the stress that comes with this decision.
As a real estate company, your business depends on word-of-mouth advertising, recommendations and referrals. Testimonials from previous happy homebuyers help you build the trust of new buyers, even if they were referred by another previous customer.
What is a testimonial?
It’s simply a direct quote from a client about how great your business and service is.
They’re generally short and direct and accompanied by a photo of the happy buyer.
The good news is that it’s usually pretty easy to get a testimonial. You simply have to ask. To get a good testimonial, timing is key. The best moment is not long after a homebuyer has gotten the keys to their new home — but before they discover that their couch doesn’t quite fit under the window they way they expected.
One of the easiest ways is to send out a satisfaction survey with just a few short questions:
- How do you like your new home?
- How would you rate your experience in purchasing your new home?
- Would you recommend our services to others? If so, why?
Of course, this survey also gives you the opportunity to address any challenges that may have come up through the purchasing and closing process.
Today’s homebuyers don’t stay tethered behind their computer screens. They’re searching for a new home at brunch, at the gym or even on their lunch breaks at work. Sometimes they’re even looking up the website after they’ve driven past an open house sign in a desirable neighborhood. As of May 2019, web searches are happening more often on mobile than they are on desktop.
So, how do you capture that spontaneous website traffic?
You make sure your real estate website is responsive.
A responsive website adapts easily to different screen sizes. They are designed to work great on smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers.
Your real estate website design should be responsive based on the builder that you choose. Builders like WordPress and GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing help you build a responsive website automatically, but you should be sure to test your website across a wide variety of devices to ensure it looks and behaves the way you want it to.
A responsive website doesn’t just enhance the experience for your prospective customers. A responsive real estate website design also helps you improve your search engine ranking, making it easier for homebuyers to find and choose you.
Additional real estate website features
Once you’ve covered the must-haves of your real estate website, there are also a few nice-to-haves to consider. These include:
A CRM (customer relationship management system) helps you stay in touch with your prospective, current and past client needs.
With CRM, you can track all of the details of how you met the prospect, what they’re looking for in a new home, their budget, and their timeline to purchase. You can even set it up to remind you when to follow up so you never miss an opportunity for a connection.
By connecting your CRM to your website, you can have new leads who request information about a listing get populated automatically into your CRM.
Related: How to connect WordPress to a CRM
Money is everyone’s concern — from how much they can afford to how much their monthly payments are going to be. Integrating a calculator into your website is an advanced feature, but can also help you get and keep users on your website.
An integrated chatbot is a great way to build connections and generate leads for your real estate business. With today’s chatbot tools, you can set up automatic conversations using simple logic trees to engage customers when they’re most interested in getting more information.
Must-have real estate website design elements
When you’re selling a house, it’s all about curb appeal. Well, curb appeal applies to your real estate website too!
Your website should immediately appeal to your target market with magnificent imagery, color choices and even typography that suit your industry and clients.
Beyond the visual appeal, your site also needs to be easy to use, provide social proof and provide lots of fresh, useful content.
Color choices and typography
Do you often work with laid-back families or high-powered corporate executives? The color choices and fonts that you use, as well as the images you select will connect you to the right customers while gently pushing the non-ideal away.
You may want to dip your toe into color psychology to pick the right colors for your business. To get you started, here are a few general guidelines for marketing in the United States:
- Red: Energetic and a sense of urgency
- Orange: Aggressive, call-to-action
- Blue: Trustworthy, security
- Green: Relaxing, wealth
- Yellow: Optimistic
- Pink: Romantic, feminine
- Black: Powerful, luxurious
- Purple: Soothing and calming, respect and wisdom
- Grey: Practicality
- White: Purity, cleanliness and safety
Easy to use
We’ve already talked about how important it is to have searchable listings on your website, but just plugging in a clunky search tool isn’t going to cut it.
From navigating to your site to finding your contact information, everything on your site needs to be easy to use.
As Steve Krug reminded us in his bestselling web usability book “Don’t Make Me Think,” the harder it is for users to achieve their goals on your website, the more likely they are to leave.
Leveraging your real estate website to build your real estate business
Whether you’re planning to build a real estate website from scratch or optimizing and updating an existing website with new features and functionality, there are many more ways to use your website than just clicking publish.
If you’re using social media to market your real estate business, make sure you share links to your site on your social media channels, and link to your social media channels from your website.
You can share links to see new listings, check out your latest checklist or blog post, and even share new testimonials as part of your social media marketing strategy.
You should also update your email signature with your new website address, so it’s easy for clients and other professionals to reach your website whenever they need it.
This is also a great time to get new business cards. Yes, even in this era of instant messaging, texting, chatbots and social media channels, business cards still have a place in your marketing strategy.
Adding your website address to your offline marketing tools, from business cards to flyers and yard signs, lets customers access your website to browse new listings and learn from your expert blog posts.
Beyond just using your website to support clients you’ve already connected with, you can also use your website to reach new clients. Integrating an email list into your website allows you to drive visits to your properties and nurture relationships, building know-like-trust factors.
Ready to take the next step? Get started with a free trial of GoDaddy Websites + Marketing and a real estate website template. Start today, and have an amazing website in hours, not weeks or months.
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