Yesterday, I was on webinar with Nicole Nicolay — Chief Creative Officer at Agent Evolution. We were talking about IDX best practices for better lead conversion which happens to be my specialty and what we offer at Diverse Solutions. At the end of the webinar, Nicole asked me for some takeaways on what I think makes a real estate website stand out from the competition. In other words, what can you do to position yourself as the “go to” resource in your market area? So that people visit your website, over anyone else’s?
Here’s what I had to say on the subject…
1. You need to have a professional looking website. If you have the skill-sets and patience to do it yourself, then by all means please do but realize that unless you have experience, it’s definitely going to take up a lot of your time to get it right. If you lack the know-how, it’s honestly worth every penny to hire a professional up-front to do the work for you.
Chad Johnson, President & COO of Agent Evolution, said it best:
A real estate agent building their own website is like a homeowner doing a FSBO. The job can get done, but the end result isn’t nearly the same.
A professional web designer brings the same knowledge and experience to a website project that a real estate agent brings to a home sale. Quality website planning, designing and coding is a service that will pay for itself through more internet leads.
2. You need an IDX system, period. Consumers are coming to your website to search for homes.
What new homes are for sale in [your area]? What if I want to search by price-range?
If you’re not giving consumers what they want, they have no reason to stay. But an IDX system is more than just a simple presentation of new homes for sale, it’s also a lead generation opportunity.
3. You need content. Lots of content. All things being equal – in this case lets say design and IDX listings – what’s going to get people to search for homes on your website versus one of your competitors?
The answer to this one is “content.” More specifically, how are you using your writing to differentiate yourself? To hi-light your expertise of the local market area? To prove to others that you know real estate better than anyone else?
The more you write what you know about buying and selling real estate, what you know about the local community, and mistakes to avoid when buying or selling a home, the more likely people are going to stay on your site consuming your content as they learn more and more about the buying/selling process.
This is just a big picture view on the key ingredients that I think help you stand out. I’m sure we can drill down and talk about each one individually. But in order to be effective, I definitely think you need a solid combination of the three. Don’t you?
What do you think makes a real estate website stand out from the competition?