web design for real estate

Not all websites are created equal. Different websites require different key elements, as nearly every designer and SEO will agree. When you are crafting a website that sells a tangible product such as a software package, the way in which you approach it will be vastly different from selling holiday lighting.

The same thing holds true for website design for real estate. When you are designing a website for real estate, the elements that you add are going to be different from those that you add for another site. There are several elements that are key to the success of a website designed to sell real estate. Those elements must be in place for your site to convert traffic efficiently and to take the traffic you draw in and make it into customers.

Your site visitors need to be able to easily navigate the site to find precisely what they are looking for when they visit. Ideally they will be able to quickly and easily find the means to contact you to ask you any questions they may have about your company or about selling or buying a home.

If the navigation on your site is difficult to use or circuitous in nature, you’re making it more difficult for your customers to find the listings they need, and you’re sending them off to another website. To avoid losing your customers to your competition, here are a few essential elements of a real estate website that are necessary for you to draw in the customers you want and keep them on your website.

Your website needs to look good. It needs an impressive design and a good speedy load.

That sounds like a statement of the obvious, but it would surprise you how many sites are so full of bells and whistles that they look good but are too slow to actually use well. Your customers are basing their decisions on  whether or not to use you on your website. It is their first contact with you, so they will make up their mind instantly whether or not they trust you based on the design, the navigation, the speed and several other factors.

Does the site use colors that make it appear to be trustworthy? Does it offer information that is up to date and appears reliable in every way? Can they find a way to contact you as quickly as they want? All of the questions here are in your customers’ minds. They are looking for a way to reach you, for the information they need to search for homes and for the best real estate company to help them.

If your site doesn’t look professional, they are going to find one that does. In much the same way that they may not trust you if you came to visit them wearing dirty clothing that looked as if you had slept in it, if your site isn’t professional, clean and easy to use, your customers have no reason to trust that you take any more care with them than you have with your website.

The fact is that a real estate agent who builds his own site is the same thing as a homeowner who sells his own home. He may get the job done, but the end result may not be the best that he can get. Using a professional website designer is the best way to ensure that your real estate website is professional, fast and easy to use, and that will lead to the kind of solid conversions you need.

Your real estate website needs an IDX so you can get the real estate leads.

The primary reason your customers are visiting your site is so they can search for a new home. Your task is to make it very easy for them to do that. If you do, the site user will use the site and the offerings to his or her best advantage. WordPress offers an IDX plugin that can be used to make the search easy for you to implement and easy for your customers to search.

Use testimonials on your site. Testimonials tell the prospective customer that you’re trustworthy.

While it’s not a mandatory thing, displaying customer testimonials from past clients is a great idea to get you new customers. If customers feel you’ve done a great job for others, they are going to trust you to do that for them. Your past customers and what they have to say about you are going to be your best advertising.

Use a great About Us page.

No matter who lands on your page they want to know something about you. Telling them who you are, who works with you, what you’ve done and the kind of real estate you are responsible to buy and sell is a great way to help them get to know you. The average customer wants to read more about you and your company, and they want to understand why you are the best option for them.

Display your Contact Information prominently and frequently.

Every page should have a way to contact your company. Whether the visitor is seeing the about us page or other pages, they should be able to quickly and readily find a way to contact you and your company. If they can’t find that or it’s not displayed reasonably, the customer will typically find some way to contact your competition.

Your real estate website will shine if you have all the previously mentioned items showing on your site. Your prospective customers will know that you are able to be contacted, able to be trusted and that they can easily search your site. If all of those things are true, the chances are good that you’re going to be their real estate company of choice.

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Business-Goals-for-GrowthIf you haven’t already done so, January is a great time to decide on a list of business goals for the new year. Whether you have decided to take the leap with a new business start-up or you want to expand your existing business, planning and setting goals, with details, for exactly what you want to accomplish will help you stay accountable and on task throughout the year. Having an accountability person, coach or consultant is also a great idea.

Here are 5 ideas for new business goals for growth to help get you going

Lower Expenses

Take a reflective and realistic look at last year’s expenses for your business and analyse which ones were higher than they should have been. Whether it was on office supplies or business lunches or even printing costs, you should find ideas on how to decrease the numbers. You can consider buying office supplies in bulk or even re-evaluating the partnerships you have with vendors to see if there are opportunities there to lower expenses. Even though it may cost money to seek professional business consulting it usually pays for itself with the proper consulting.

Reach New Markets

You can determine to make this year a growth year by reviewing last year’s marketing plan and results from specific campaigns to evaluate what worked, and of course, what didn’t. For example, social media and online marketing avenues are cost effective if done properly, if not they could be a big failure. If you haven’t tried promoting your business online, it’s definitely time to start. If you have and it hasn’t worked out for you like you thought it would seek professional help. You can also make a list of your specific target audience and obtain new ways to reach them. If you can’t come up with new ways that’s what marketing companies are for.

Keep Learning

Expanding your business means you have to constantly keep up with your competitors and new market trends in your industry. You can do this by following local marketing professional’s blogs in your area and keep informed. Another great way is to attend a course or seminar. There are lots of marketing agencies that offer free learning workshops. Just be careful, some are nothing more than sales pitches. With each new skill and connection you make, you’ll find that you are adding valuable knowledge to your business that when applied will help your business grow.

Know Your Weaknesses

Lastly, acknowledge where you are strong and where you are not. When you can know where you are not strong but still need success then find someone else who can do that part for you. It has been proven over and over if we let those do what they are truly good at and not try to do what we can not do well, things will improve. Let go and acknowledge what you are not good at. Be humble if you want to grow and just pay someone else to do what you need to have done to meet your goals. Yes, that can increase expenses but it should increase profit far more than the expenses.

Work Life Balance

As a marketing agency owner myself, I know it’s easy to let your business take over your entire life. Make time for yourself, for your family and friends, and set work hours that will create an optimal work life balance. Without a doubt there will be times where you have to work 12+ hours a day but have balance. You have to prevent yourself from getting burned out if you want to continue to run a successful business and love doing what you do. Evaluate which elements of your business create the most stress, and evaluate ways to automate tasks or off load them to someone or somewhere else to create more time for you.

Whatever your business goals are for the new year, it is vital to ensure they are achievable and measurable and that you have also set a reasonable time frame. I have found that setting short term goals (30 days), quarterly goals (90 days) and yearly goals help. It is too much to measure along the way with only yearly goals. Working towards goals which are actually achievable will help keep you motivated each time you meet one to keep going and growing your business. Quantifying your business goals with specific numbers also means that you can measure your progress and give you something to strive for. You will also be able to know for sure whether or not you have met your goal. Like in marketing we analyze goals weekly and monthly to make sure we are on track with our goals and growth is happening.

 

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in3 aviation website design

Video content can help take your website to the next level. With either online video advertising or through the use of YouTube, you can generate more traffic and boost your search engine rankings. It is estimated that in the United States alone 1.2 billion online videos are watched each day, yet only 24% of all national brands use online videos as a marketing tool.

Videos boost brand awareness. When they are combined with elements that create a viral video, they can draw in interested consumers and multiply your efforts. The videos don’t have to be very long. They can be as simple as a short Vine or several minutes long if you prefer. Just make sure the content is interesting and inspires people to click and share.

Look at our clients IN3 Aviation, they incorporated video into their website as a main feature: in3aviation.com

 

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biggest-mistakes-website-owners-make-300x300One of the biggest mistakes website owners make is not making sure their content is original and high quality. When a customer comes to your website, they are looking for an answer or a solution to a problem. It is important to provide them with the answers they are looking for, in as original a manner as possible.

Obviously, there will be some carry over in information from various websites. But try to add something personal to each post rather than creating something clinical for visitors to your website. That helps build a connection that will cause the visitor to come back or share your content.

After all, people still crave something real when they are browsing the internet.

 

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timing-is-everythingAs a small company you might think advertising is going to cost a vast amount of money. The truth is that today, the best and most cost effective advertising in the world is social media marketing. Whether you’re paying a marketing company to do formal social media or you’re doing it yourself, over time there are a few things that you should know about social media. What you write and when you release it make a big difference.

Most people visit and view social media during lunch time and at or just after dinner time. You’ll get more views if you pay attention to when most people comment on your social media and time your releases to those time slots. You’ll have more people viewing it when it is fresh, and that may direct more traffic to your home page or products page.

The same goes for email marketing and direct mail. Days of the weeks, weeks of the month all play a strategic part in the most effective time to send a campaign. Of course there are general statistics and best practices but the real optimal time is discovered by really digging into your analytics and what your followers trends are. There may be a lot of missed opportunities and more so sales you are missing because they are missing you.

Start off your new year right and look really dig into the last 12 months of marketing data to know where you should be focusing on.  If you need help analyzing your data and when is the best time to do what let us know. We are here to serve.

 

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Search-Engine-OptimizationWhile it is true that Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin have changed the face of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it doesn’t mean it is something you can forget about. Take the time to keep up with the changes occurring as a result of the three and incorporate those changes into your website. When you do that and keep up with high quality original content, you should find there is a minimal impact on your search engine placement and customers will be able to find you without any problems.

One of the biggest mistakes website owners make is not making sure their content is original and high quality. When a customer comes to your website, they are looking for an answer or a solution to a problem. It is important to provide them with the answers they are looking for, in as original a manner as possible.

Obviously, there will be some carry over in information from various websites. But try to add something personal to each post rather than creating something clinical for the visitors to your website. That helps build a connection that will have the visitor coming back and sharing your content. After all, people still crave something real when they are browsing the internet.

 

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power-of-a-blogHaving a blog that offers informative content that isn’t designed as a sales pitch will work wonders for you. In fact, as you routinely blog, at least three times a week, you’ll see your website go up in search engine ranking and you should see an increase in the number of visitors you have.

If you provide an informative piece with a call to action at the end, you’ll find you can even generate some potential leads for your products and services without having overly promotional content. Content is one of the most powerful tools you have online.

 

 

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pintrestIf you’re not using Pinterest for your business, you’re missing out on some great benefits. Pinterest provides users with a visually engaging way to curate and share their interests on the web. Why start using Pinterest?

First, you get the chance to create “rich pins,” which allow you to add store locations, pricing and availability of products. When individuals click on your pin, they arrive at your website.

Second, Pinterest business accounts offer you some great analytics and research tools. You’ll see which images are being pinned from your business site, offering some insight into your target customers.

Third, Pinterest allows you to start branding with a visual platform, and branding is important for any small business.

Pinterest is one of the best ways for you to push traffic to your website and to share your products and services with the world. It is also rapidly becoming one of the biggest social media sites in the world, on par with Twitter and Facebook.

 

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call-to-actionWhen you’re requesting–or writing–content for this holiday season, take some time to think about what you want and to brainstorm topics. Refine your content approach to be something your readers are really interested in hearing. If you’ve heard of a new product that is similar to what your customers are using or if you’ve got a new way to use something, post it. The more innovative your content, the better it’s going to be received by your customers, no matter what time of year, but particularly during the holidays.

Create better, results-oriented calls to action. Whether you want your readers to download an ebook or to buy a piece of software, you need to make an innovative call to action that entices them to respond. Offer incentives to your writers, if possible, providing a small bonus for the writer who pens the most often clicked call to action.

 

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Social-Media-VideoUnless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that Youtube is the second largest search engine on the planet and video is driving sales through the roof. Even a small, short video that offers a little about your products will sell well. If you’re in a visual business, such as decorating or cooking, a video of your products, even if it’s a slideshow style video with some upbeat music or text, can sell your products well.

If YouTube sounds intimidating, consider posting videos on Instagram and Vine. A brief 6-15 second video can still capture attention.

If you haven’t gotten on board the video train yet, the holidays may be the perfect time to do so. With great food, gorgeous decorations and impressive holiday gifts providing visual appeal, a video on social media during this season may boost your sales better than you realize.

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