Thanks to the internet we are no longer limited to acting locally with our businesses or forced to invest in expensive strategic offline marketing campaigns to extend our reach.
But how important exactly is being represented on the internet for successful business today?
According to statistics a minimum of 90% of all potential real estate buyers are first searching on the internet. The internet has developed from a viable addition to offline marketing into THE most valuable platform for generation of prospects and buyers around the globe.
This is why it is so important for real estate businesses today to be online. Your website connects you, allows you to stay in touch with and retain prospects and clients, if done right.
However it would probably be too easy, if being on the internet alone would be sufficient to gain successful online real estate business with your website. Just as range and possibilities of targeting clients are extended for you, so they are for your competition. That is the other side of the coin. On the Internet your competition is virtually sitting right next door. And not only one or two of them – thousands.
In order to keep up with or even get ahead of your competition your online real estate business appearance needs to clearly show your expertise in the field and first and foremost offers that really suit prospects’ searches.
The content needs to be up-to-date and informative. Technology-wise for successful online real estate business the website should put the least amount of obstacles between you and your prospective clients.
In short, to make your online real estate business website a successful conversion tool for your business, it needs to meet at least the following four key criteria:
Because only prospects who get in touch with you are potential clients. Therefore also the amount of overall traffic (=visitors) on your website is not as important as the amount of traffic that converts from visitors to clients. But all this traffic is only half the battle, if the visitor does not find the information, he is looking for and is not invited to take action or can’t find the tools to contact you.
We know that the visitor will also search your competition.
If your website does not offer useful information to prospects and does not encourage them to turn to you with questions or requests, it will play directly into the hands of your competitors.
There are a lot of helpful tools available for your website to include valuable information, promote client retention and conversion, such as direct chats, contact forms, registration areas with more information, newsletters, mortgage calculators, virtual tours and much more.
If the prospect does not have to leave your website to get the answers, he is looking for, he is 3 times as likely to become a client eventually.
A good means for retention of prospects and clients is lead generation. Find more information about and some very interesting lead generation ideas in this essay.
In order to attract traffic to your website and even better converting traffic, only BEING on the internet is not enough. People need to know about it. That is what the search engines do for you. But they are not doing it automatically. They need to be invited to index your website.
But even that will not be all. Your website must be filled with the right keywords and the right content, so the search engines will display your website suited to searches matching your offers.
The average visitor will surf the first three to five search results.
So, how many conversions will your website generate as number one in the search results under the keyword “flowers”, although you are in the real estate business and not a florist? How effective on the other hand is it to be at least on page one or even among the first five search results with the keyword “real estate in (your area)”?
As your competitors will also be aiming for popularity and the same or similar keywords, it is wise to take additional measures to make yourself as clear as possible to the search engines and underline the importance of your website. That can be with optimized text that really involves important information about your business, field of expertise, your offers etc. or by creating additional links with social media. Also videos and virtual tours are a good means to spread the word and attract the search engines and visitors.
Many websites on the internet are anything but user-friendly for different reasons. Some overload the user with text information, yet lack invitations for action or an immediate presentation of benefits for the user. Others only have the search engines in mind, which is an important part, but only half of the package. It is always important to design a website with a view through the eyes of the visitor. Because this is the person that eventually you want to have business with.
Usually users only spend a few seconds on evaluating, if they stay on a site or leave it in order to surf the competition.
So, a convincing first impression is absolutely key! The prospect should be able to easily find the information he is looking for presented in a way that is easy to navigate and to consume.
In consumer technology we observe a huge shift in progress during the last years. Not only have computers developed into option even for older people. Also going on the internet today virtually takes place everywhere. Probably at some point there will no longer be such thing as the regular desktop computer.
Most devices will be portable and like today already come in all kinds of dimensions.
The fact that your prospect today already could be surfing your online real estate business website on the most different kinds of devices, such as his smartphone on the go, a tablet PC, notebook or the good old desktop computer, explains why it is so important that your website looks great and is easy to use on any device. This is not an option, but mandatory, because if your website fails to provide the desired information, because it is not maneuverable on some devices, you will lose these mobile customers. This is tragic, because we are talking about huge numbers here. According to pewinternet.org today already almost 60% of all Americans own a smartphone and over 40% own a tablet PC.
Who would want to miss this amount of business!
Of course after reading this essay you could try to consider all this information when building your own website in one of these affordable modular systems online.
The bad news is, that this is not only a time-consuming endeavor. But when it comes to a very special field, such as the real estate business, these fire-and-forget solutions may just not be flexible enough. The result could cost you valuable business, if it lacks one or more of the key ingredients described above.
So, investing in a solution setup by a professional under consideration of the key aspects above will probably cost a little bit more, but will make all the difference by bringing more valuable and sustainable business to you.