Real estate websites are popping up all over the internet so when will you get on the boat? I hope before it’s too late. CNN and CNBC talk about the Real Estate market in a recession every day and how it probably won’t come out for another year or so. There is no better day than today to get off your butt and create a profitable real estate site for your business. Whether you are an agent, realtor, broker or landlord, you need to have a site for your business in order to compete and succeed. Below you will find five steps to a profitable real estate website.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask by following the link to my website in the author resource box at the bottom of this article.
1. Real Estate Website Design: The design of your real estate website should be simple, straight forward and logical. You will basically want to spoon feed information to your visitors. You will have less than 10 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention and keep them from clicking that nasty back button. If you don’t do this, your visitors will quickly realize that your site isn’t worth their time and they will click off of it just as quickly as they clicked on to it. So, how do you do this? I suggest starting with a blank slate. Either hire a professional website designer & developer to do the project for you (PLEASE DO NOT OUTSOURCE YOUR PROJECT OUT OF THE COUNTRY) or take on the project yourself. It might be a cost efficient way to produce your website, but you are hurting American jobs in the long run – one of the reasons why real estate in America is in a recession. Real estate web design is not a complicated task because it is basic and straight forward. I recommend using a site design that is professional, modern, clean, organized and classy. These are qualities that the average house buyer would probably like to see in their new home, so why not have them in your website? A good website design will consist of intuitive navigation, organized content/copy and use of professional images of happy people smiling.
2. Real Estate Domain Names: Choosing a domain name may be one of the easiest tasks and it may be one of your most difficult tasks at the same time. Consider hiring a professional website design company such as MJM Design in Cleveland, Ohio (Google MJM Design Cleveland) to pick out a quality domain name for your real estate website. Choosing a catchy domain name will help draw in visitors and we all know it, it’s a fundamental truth, the more visitors the more business you will bring in. It’s like fishing, if there’s no fish why put your hook in the water in the first place? Real estate domain names are sometimes hard to get because they are registered already. If you realize that the domain name that you absolutely must have is already registered, you can try contacting the owner of the domain name. How you ask? Well you would use a service called WhoIs which tells you the name, address, phone number and sometimes even the email address of the website owner. Otherwise, you might try GoDaddy’s Back Order service where GoDaddy will wait until the domain name is about to expire then try to register it immediately. This is most likely only effective if the domain name is about to expire which WhoIs will also tell you the date to.
3. Real Estate Website Hosting: Every site needs hosting, regardless if its eBay, Amazon or your website. Real estate web hosting is not a type of website hosting only created for real estate oriented websites. Website hosting accounts can be purchased from my company for as little as $240.00 per year which includes storage, unlimited email access, unlimited email accounts and unlimited databases. Real estate hosting allows you to link your Domain Name to your website. This means that when someone types into their web browser, http://www.yourrealestatewebsite.com it will take them directly to your site on your website hosting account.
4. Dynamic or Static Website Content?: This is a question of usability and interaction of your website with its visitors. Will your real estate design require a database to showcase available properties or apartments for rent? If so, then your website will be a dynamic website which pulls information from a database stored on your site hosting account. I recommend a PHP real estate script to run your website. These real estate scripts range in complexity from basic integration of a basic layout and table structure to a complex solution consisting of landlord contact forms, tell-a-friend forms, custom amenities list, Google Maps integration and more. Using a dynamic system also allows for easier updating as these systems usually consist of an administration panel which is protected by a secure username and password. The administration panel is where you will be able to login, navigate the categories of the website to change, modify and administrate different settings on your real estate website.
5. Converting Visitors into Customers: This fifth and final step covers converting your real estate visitors into actual customers or leads. When someone visits your website, they are basically nothing to you – completely useless unless you can capture their information to contact them. You can track your traffic through statistics programs that your real estate hosting company will provide you with. If your hosting company doesn’t provide you with the appropriate advanced traffic tracking software, then its time to move on. The most common way of capturing your customer’s contact information is through the use of a Contact Us page. This page usually consists of an HTML form where the visitor can fill in their name, phone number, email address and a message and click Submit to email you right from the website. Most visitors don’t prefer this style of generic contact form and would much rather use a custom “Request a Free Consultation” or “Have Us Call You Back” form. This makes them feel special and let them think they are getting something for free. Implementing one of these custom forms will help you get leads from your new real estate website.
I hope that the information contained in this article helped you understand the 5 basic steps to establishing a profitable real estate website and bringing a real return on your investment.
If you have any questions, problems or concerns with your real estate website project, please feel free to ask by following the link below. Enjoy!
This Article was Authored by Matt McWilliam. Copyright 2008 Matt McWilliam & MJM Design Cleveland, Ohio.