Archives for March 2015

5 Must-Haves for Your Real Estate Website Redesign

Capturing the attention of a prospective home buyer is one biggest marketing challenges in any industry. There’s tremendous competition, regardless of where you’re located, and appealing to everyone’s particular tastes can be nearly impossible.

However, if you’ve identified your target market, there are a few things you can do to attract the interest of potential home buyers, over your local competitors.

The following are the top 5 most important elements that many realtors and real estate developers forget to include in their real estate website redesign.

#5. Recently Sold Listings or Units

Realtors and developers alike, need to promote themselves as already being successful.

For developers, nobody wants to buy into a residential community that isn’t already occupied by others. Displaying homes that have already been sold reassures buyers that you sell quality homes, in a good location, and others have already recognized the value your company offers.

As a realtor, your sold listings are kind of like your career portfolio. Sellers can immediately see that you are very capable of selling homes, and buyers are instilled with confidence that you are trustworthy and that you understand your clients’ needs.

#4. Basic Home Specs

I’m surprised I even have to list this as something that’s overlooked, but there are actually realtors and developers out there that don’t include this stuff on their website!

You need to include ALL the basics:

  • Square feet
  • # of beds & baths
  • Garages
  • Flooring materials
  • Kitchen features, appliances & brands
  • Outdoor living spaces
  • Property acreage & features
  • Etc, etc…

You need to tell your customers about anything that will differentiate your homes from everyone else out there. There’s no excuse for not putting this stuff on your website.

#3. The Surrounding Community

For those customers who are looking to relocate (or willing to travel) to find a great new home, there’s few things more important than the neighborhood and the surrounding community.

Take them on a tour of the town, give them pictures of local landmarks, shopping centers and school sporting events. Tell them how long it takes to get to the grocery store and the center of town…

In other words, let them imagine living there, before they even come around for a visit.

#2. Quick Sale Units & Active Listings

This one’s pretty obvious for the realtors out there, but some of you developers are missing an enormous opportunity to tell people about your move-in-ready units…

You can’t just wait around, hoping interested buyers will ask for a tour. You have to tell them that homes are available TODAY! If a home fits a buyer’s requirements, once they hear you’ve actually got one for sale, they’re all but guaranteed to arrange a tour.

#1. Fantastic Photography

It baffles me time and time again… Imagine yourself in the market for a new home:

You’re browsing the web and you find a beautiful new residential community, with many homes already built and more to come. It’s located in a family-friendly, suburban neighborhood, in a great school district and just a few minutes from the heart of town. The builder’s got a great reputation for quality construction and it seems like a perfect fit.

But then, you get to the pictures…

It’s hard to tell if they’re “before” or “after” shots… and then you see the befuddled plumber trying to figure out how to put the kitchen sink together…

A Bad Real Estate Website Photo
Make Sure Your Real Estate Website Photos Are Better Than This One

We’ve all seen ’em. Those hideous photos of potentially gorgeous homes. Now imagine, after seeing those, how many people have stopped browsing and moved on to the next community, right down the road.

Please, do yourself a favor and hire a great photographer.

How to Find the Perfect Website Design Estimate

Finding the right company to build your business website can be challenging, to say the least. There’s so much to consider… and price is just a sliver of the overall website design estimate. Choosing the right web designer upfront can save you months of frustration and delays.

When interviewing potential web designers, it’s hard to see the big picture. There are many unknowns…

  • How you will work together?
  • Will they understand your business?
  • Will they grasp what you want to achieve?
  • Will you end up with a website you are happy with?
  • When will it launch?

By taking a practical approach to finding the right designer, you’re much more likely to end up with a effective website that you’ll be proud of. The following are some of the best ways to narrow your search to the best web design company for you.

Finding Your Web Designer

Figure Out Why You Need a Website

A new website can bring many improvements to your existing online presence, but it’s important to focus on your most important needs in order to get the most out of your investment. For some, it can be as simple as incorporating new technology like social media or revitalizing an outdated appearance. Others may want to increase their exposure by attracting new visitors and generating new leads. If you already have lots of visitors, you may be more interested in educating potential buyers and converting those high-quality prospects into sales.

Even though all of that sound enticing, it’s important to focus on the most important reasons, so you and your potential designers know what needs to be accomplished.

Start With the Quality Web Designers

There are thousands of “web designers” out there. And, unfortunately, finding one that will give you what you want can be a craps shoot. The spectrum of design styles is broad and many will not appeal to you as “good looking websites”. Fortunately, the vast majority of established web designers have website portfolios which you can browse to see if they’re a good fit for your business.

Take time to start your search on the customer portfolio page so you can get a good idea of their design capabilities. Don’t even bother with web designers whose past work you don’t like. Here’s our website portfolio by the way.

Consider Your Content

Written content is considered by many to be the most important element of a website. What most don’t realize is that copywriting can also be one most expensive and time consuming aspects of a new website, as well. Having a solid understanding of what you want to say on your website (and how you want to say it) can have a dramatic impact on the final web design estimates you request.

If you can write, consider writing the content yourself to reduce the cost of your website. Most competent web designers will still offer advice about what you should write about and how to organize it.

Don’t Underpay

When it comes to web designers, you get what you pay for. The truth is, you can find plenty of people who will offer to build you a website for a fraction of what you might expect to pay. In the end, however, looking for the cheapest option is rarely the best way to go. The money you save can quickly be overshadowed by the frustration of poor communication, lack of technical or design skills and a general disinterest in your project.

Keep you budget expectations realistic and don’t jump immediately at the prospect of a cheap website. It’s completely fine to consider lower cost options… but do your best to ensure your web designer understands your needs and can provide you with what you want.

Don’t Overpay

Experienced web designers come in all shapes and sizes… and so do their website design estimates. Most small businesses don’t need a website that costs tens-of-thousands of dollars… In fact, many smaller web design companies will provide you with a comparable result to that of a big marketing agency, at a much more affordable price. Get a web design quote from us, for example.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the big guys. But remember, a big price tag doesn’t mean the website they build for you will be that much better.