Numerous surveys indicate that both real estate buyers and sellers are increasingly turning to the internet as a natural part of the realty process. Realtors initially balked at the need for real estate websites, but the ease with which information can be accessed by clients has convinced most realtors.
A successful real estate domain generates client leads and keeps them returning to the site. When listing a home online, it's important for the realtor to remember that information acquisition is the main focus of most internet users. A home listing should include as much information as possible. Photos of the house, asking price, and lot size, are obviously important and should be easy to access. Additional information, such as amenities, neighborhood demographics, school zones, and local property values, should also be included. The more information provided, the longer the site visitor spends on an individual listing.
Multimedia can increase the "stickiness" of a house listing. Realtors may include video tours of the house, or organize multiple pictures of the home in a slideshow. Adding a 360° picture that pans around a room is also possible, and gives the prospective lead the sense of "being there."
Offer real estate domain visitors the option of receiving an email when new houses are listed on the site. A simple approach is a subscription based email sent when any house is listed. More interactive (and more helpful for the client) would be software allowing the client to set up search parameters on the site. By informing clients of listings that closely match their needs, a real estate website is priming them to take the next step and contact the realtor.
Partnering with a large real estate website, such as Realtor.com or Yahoo! Real Estate, helps promote your listings to a much wider audience than most websites can hope to reach on their own. While it's possible to build a successful online real estate website without partnering with the giant sites, it's much easier to successfully promote homes online if you list with some of the industry giants. The goal of Internet promotion is to generate as many leads as possible, and by listing with the giant real estate websites, a real estate domain will enjoy more exposure, more leads, and ultimately, more sales.
Over 77 percent of buyers use the internet when house hunting. Real estate is an extremely competitive industry, and this is as true for a realtor's website just as it is for any other facet of the business. A simple website isn't enough. Your website needs to stand out from the crowd. How does the average realtor accomplish this?
Niche marketing has proven successful for many online businesses, including real estate. Ask yourself:
By focusing on areas of specialty, real estate websites are more likely to generate leads and attract the type of client who needs a particular real estate agent's skills and specialized knowledge. By implication, this does mean a real estate domain may lose a percent of the more generalized audience. However, that loss is made up for with potential buyers who are interested in the agent's areas of expertise.
Successful real estate websites should be content-based. Not only do search engines favor websites with regularly updated, topic-specific content, but website visitors are also more likely to revisit sites with well written, helpful information. A real estate domain that includes articles on the home-buying process, links to reputable lending institutions, and local real estate news is much more likely to attract leads than a real estate website that focuses solely on realtor contact information and local property listings (although these, too, are essential).
Blogs are very successful at gaining attention and driving internet traffic. Search engines love blogs because they provide regular updated material and are usually topic specific. A real estate website's blog could include personal observations on the real estate market, recent sales, advice for home buyers, or current real estate trends.
There are, of course, other approaches to website content that can attract clients. Including helpful tools such as mortgage calculators, or rent vs. buy calculators, is fairly standard in the industry's web presence, and should be included in any real estate website. Ultimately, the more time a potential buyer spends on your real estate site, the greater the possibility that he will prove to be a valuable lead.
Real estate searches are among the most popular on the web and high traffic equal dollars in your pocket. Whether you have an active real estate business, or you wish to "park" the domain and collect advertising revenue from your site, a real estate domain is a smart investment.
Some of the most highly searched real estate terms include, "real estate," "for rent by owner," "foreclosure," "rent to own," and "real estate agent." Realtors are capitalizing on these trends through the use of multiple real estate domains, driving traffic to the most appropriate high-yield sites across the web.