These days, it truly doesn’t matter what type of business you’re running. The vast majority of interactions that you have between your organization and your target audience will begin by way of the Internet. This is especially true in terms of real estate, where people are far more likely to do their own research before they think about reaching out and enlisting the help of a professional.
Therefore, establishing a successful online presence in the real estate industry is crucially important. You can use it to raise awareness, establish yourself as an authority, provide information about what you do, and more – all at the same time. But getting to that point does require you to keep a few essential things in mind.
The Importance of Your Real Estate Website
Especially when you’re talking about an area that depends as much on connections as wholesale real estate, establishing a dedicated website will be pivotal to your long-term success.
One recent study revealed that about 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine like Google. This means that if a seller is looking to unload a property and isn’t sure where to begin, they’re likely going to turn to the Internet. That will take them to Google, which, provided that you have one, will take them directly to your website.
That site needs to accomplish a few core things all at the same time. First, it needs to be well-designed. It must have a modern look and feel that conveys the professional impression that you’re going for. It also needs to be user-friendly. Someone needs to be able to find the information they’re looking for easily and within seconds of arriving. If they can’t, they will hit the “back” button and never return.
However, it also needs to instantly establish you as an authority in the world of real estate. You can do this by showcasing properties in a visually pleasing and engaging way. You can also post helpful and relevant content on important real estate-related issues to show people that you know what you’re talking about.
All this goes a long way towards building trust, increasing the chances that someone will also call you.
Remember that if you can only make one first impression, it must be great. In the modern era, your website is responsible for the vast majority of that burden.
Why Optimizing Property Listings Matters
Another key step you can take to help build a robust real estate web presence for yourself involves optimizing property listings as much as possible. While search engine optimization (SEO) is a big part of that so that you can make sure those listings are seen in the first place, you also need to go deeper.
Consider the types of questions people will have when looking for a home. They don’t just want to know about the house itself. They want to know more about where it’s located. They’ll have questions about what shops are nearby or other points of attraction. For example, you can help get them this information by integrating interactive maps.
A big part of a property listing’s job is also to help people visualize what it would be like to live in the space. High-quality images and advanced features like virtual tours can go a long way toward doing precisely that.
Is it a lot of effort? Yes – especially if you’re very active in real estate and trying to navigate many different transactions simultaneously. But it’s also more than worth it because those property listings become the best type of sales representative. They’re the kind that never takes a vacation, doesn’t get sick, and is available to sell to people 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Turning Your Online Presence Into a Lead Generation Machine
Finally, you must understand that your online presence as a real estate professional should be more than just a passive experience. It would be a mistake to think of it as little more than the digital version of a business card. Every touch point that someone has with your personal “brand” should inspire them to take action. That’s how your online presence becomes the lead generation engine it was meant to be.
To do this, you’ll want to employ contact forms located strategically throughout your site. At the end of every blog post, for example, someone should be able to easily contact you to find out more information or to get answers to any lingering questions they might have.
Likewise, you’ll want to use calls to action (CTAs) as often as you can. The theory goes that if you want someone to take a particular step, you have to make it as clear as possible what that actually is. If you’re posting a new property listing, make sure to include a call to action that says, “Contact us today to book your in-person visit” or something to that effect. If you’re participating in a local community event, use a call to action that says, “Contact us to find out how you can help.”
The key is to let someone know A) what you want them to do and B) make it as easy as possible for them to do it. CTAs are enormously helpful to that end, which is why they are one resource that should not be overlooked.
Overall, the key takeaway is that creating a robust real estate web presence isn’t something that will result from any one major step you take. It’s more about a series of smaller ones that all add up to something greater.
Many people will find out about your real estate business for the first time via a search engine – but not everyone. Some will find you via a social media network like Facebook. Others may get a direct recommendation from a friend or family member and take to the Internet for more information. It doesn’t matter – you need to be prepared for any touch point they happen to use.
By offering practical insights at every opportunity, an online presence can equip you with the compelling and competitive online platform you need to thrive. Not only can it help drive business growth, but it’s also a perfect chance to truly separate yourself from your competitors. Especially in a field that depends as much on repeat business and reputation as real estate does, the importance of this is something that cannot be overstated.