Best Websites for Real Estate Agents: 11 Features Every Realtor Should Have on Their WebsiteReal Estate Website / October 2, 2020
Do real estate agents need a website in 2020?
So, you’re trying to find the best websites for real estate agents? But you are unsure if real estate agents need a website.
Sit tight, because by the end of this article you will be able to answer that question for yourself.
In 2020, the world has gone completely digital.
Whether you deal with online leads or referrals from your personal network, the old way of doing business is becoming a distant memory with each passing day.
Between social distancing, virtual home tours, Zoom meetings, and the “new” normal; home buyers & sellers are now online, more than ever.
What does this mean for you and your business?
Evolve or get left behind!.
‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change‘. – Charles Darwin
Can I Use a Basic Website for My Real Estate Business?
Your website is the modern day business card. Without it, potential new clients are less likely to trust your company. Especially, if you are contacting them using a gmail, hotmail, or any of those generic email platforms.
In this day and age, consumers want transparency. They want to know who they are doing business with. This means having a website (even a basic one) has become the basic standard of doing business.
Now, as a real estate agent, what separates a basic website from a great website?
A basic website can be a simple landing page with your name, contact information, and a few words about yourself and your company. This most likely won’t generate you a whole lot of new business, but at least you will have some type of online presence.
Now you have to ask yourself, do you want your website to be another business expense? Or do you want it to be a resource that helps you grow your business?
Even basic websites will incur a cost. You’ll have to purchase the following: domain name, hosting, website design/development, and much more depending on what you are trying to do.
If you create a website that is a tool or resource for your clients, assisting them throughout their home buying (or selling) journey, your website will become an investment instead of an expense. Allowing you to open a whole new book of business you never dreamt possible.
So, why not turn your website into a money making machine, instead of an overpriced business card?
What does your real estate website need, to be the BEST?
Now we get to the good stuff, the features that make the BEST websites for REALTORS. We’ve broken it down into 11 different features, but they should all be working together in unison. Some of these features you might have read or heard about in other articles, but if they are not integrated properly then it is all meaningless.
Website Features (short version):
- Responsive Website
- Desktop vs Mobile
- Custom Search
- Narrow down your search to easily find the type of property you are looking for.
- Interactive Map Search (50/50 Page)
- Nowadays the only websites with this capability are the multibillion dollar ones like Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, etc.
- There are very few (if any) IDX providers that have these capabilities.
- Custom Content (Speak directly to your user)
- In a world where everything is generic, it is important to differentiate yourself from the rest. Being able to put a custom video on each landing page, that provides users with quality information that is not found anywhere else on the internet; will make you stand out.
- If you do not have a video, you have the option of adding an image (but these have a tendency to convert less).
- Lead Capture Forms
- How are you building your customer list? Are user’s providing you with their information after they land on your website? Do they just visit your website, take your information and leave?
- Make sure you are capturing your web visitor’s information. The real estate process takes many touchpoints before user’s begin to trust you.
- Personalized Experience
- Each person that visits your website has a different need. Does your website provide each user with a unique experience? Is that experience relevant to their wants/needs?
- Custom Email Alerts
- With real estate being a high ticket item, your end user isn’t going to be providing their credit card information on your website. We’re still some time away from purchasing homes online. The home buying process takes time, how are you bringing the user back to your website? The goal is to have them keep searching for properties on YOUR website.
- Easy to Navigate
- Is it easy for your users to get to where they need to on your website?
- With a well built navigation your user will be able to find what they need from any page on your website.
- Leads Flow into a CRM Database
- Are you easily able to keep track of all of your leads in one centralized database?
- Follow up every interaction with each lead, individually.
- The ability to pass this lead on to another team member (if needed).
- See what properties your website visitors are looking at.
- Are you able to see what properties your user is looking for? Which properties are their favorites? What areas are they saving?
- This information is vital when it comes to providing your client with the best properties that match what they want.
- Ability to create landing pages in minutes
- When we first started it would take us months to build a website. Now with the proper technology, you can create custom landing pages that compete with Zillow’s in a matter of minutes.
- Create as many areas as you need, seamlessly.
The 11 features that will make your real estate website the BEST!
1. Desktop View vs. Mobile View
What does it mean to have a responsive website? It means that your website will fit on any device’s screen, no matter the dimensions.
We recommend taking it one step further, provide a separate user experience for desktop than for mobile.
This provides each user an optimal experience, no matter which device they’re on when they visit your website.
2. Custom Search Filters
If there are over 10K, 20K, 50K homes for sale in your area it would be daunting to search through all those properties. With custom search filters, we are able narrow down the results and find the properties that meet your client’s needs. No reason to sift through 50,000+ listings.
You should be able to filter your home search using a any combination of the following options:
- By location
- With this filter you are able to narrow your search by city, neighborhood, address, MLS#. The user basically has a connection to the MLS database through your real estate website.
- By price
- Narrowing your search by a specific price range.
- By number of bedrooms
- By number of bathrooms
- Property Types
- More Filters – Narrow down by
- for sale vs for rent
- Living Size
- Land Size
- Parking Spaces
- Year Built
- Waterfront Description
We have more options, but these are the top filters used in a custom home search.
3. Interactive Map Search (50/50 Pages)
This is the best feature to have on your real estate website. The few websites that provide this type of user interface are the giants: Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, etc.
You will need to contact an IDX provider to connect your website to the MLS. The issue with a lot of these providers is, the majority of them showcase properties in list format, which is not an optimal experience when searching for a home.
Companies, like Zillow, have spent hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars in research & development. Over their years of research and through our own personal experience, we have found this to be the best method when searching for homes online.
4. Ability to add Custom Content (Video or Image w/CTA)
If all the top real estate websites have a similar look and feel, how are you able to differentiate yourself from your competitors?
High quality, custom content!
Zillow is a 1 size fits all product. They are everything to everyone. Making them a cookie cutter option. Home buyers are looking for someone to guide them, not just give them a walk-through of a property.
When it comes to the local area you service, these platforms can’t compete. They do not have your market knowledge and neighborhood expertise.
When you provide your website visitors with information not available or easily accessible to them, you gain their trust. You will be viewed as the real estate authority in your area.
5. Lead Capture Forms
Your website is worthless, if it doesn’t generate you new business.
The lead capture form is a crucial component to turn your website’s traffic into high-quality real estate leads .
We categorize website leads into 2 types: (1) Cold Leads or (2)Hot Leads.
Cold real estate leads, refers to a person that provided their name/email/phone#, but does not wish to be contacted.
Hot real estate leads, the user provides their information and wants be contacted Immediately. Examples of hot leads are users inquiring about a specific listing, building, community or they filled out your contact page.
Cold leads are potential home buyers (or sellers) interested in the areas you focus on. The only difference is the user provided their information in exchange for a non-monetary “value offer”.
Examples of non-monetary “value offers” are:
- E-books (ex: Download – 10 things every home buyer needs to know) ‘
- Quarterly Market Reports (ex: Download Our Latest Market Report)
- View properties on your website. (ex: To keep looking at property information, please register on our website).
- Weekly Newsletters (ex: Register for Our Newsletter)
Cold leads filled out a form on the website with the purpose of: Downloading one of our “value offers” OR register/sign up on the website to create a profile.
**Cold leads are a soft sale. REMEMBER, real estate is a process of many touch points between you and your leads, with the goal of eventually converting them into (paying) clients.
Cold leads are important because we are able to generate a higher quantity of leads that we can keep bringing back to the website till they become hot leads