Did you know that 36 million people visit Zillow every single month? People love to browse real estate listings, day-dreaming about that perfect home.
And if you’ve got a substandard real estate website you haven’t put much thought into, you’re missing out on what could be an outstanding revenue stream that really wouldn’t take much effort to tap into.
I know, it’s intimidating. You didn’t get into real estate to design websites, so you just created a basic site with maybe a few pictures and left it at that. But take heart, it’s not that hard to create a killer site that can boost your lead generation.
We’ve compiled seven tips that will have a big impact on your bottom line for just a little bit of effort on your part.
1. Start a blog
You could get as many as 55% more leads if you have a blog than if you don’t, according to research from Hubspot, and that’s just if you blog one or two times per month. The reality is you can’t get leads from your website if you don’t get traffic, and one of the best ways to get traffic is to offer some fresh content that will draw people to your site.
However, don’t just blog about your cat. You need to connect with your potential clients.
Commit to writing at least one post per week on topics that are of interest to anyone visiting your site. A good way to come up with comment is to ask yourself what questions your clients have asked you. Take one of those questions and turn it into a blog post, and you’ll be speaking directly to your customer.
Reach out to other real estate professionals you’re connected with and invite them to guest post on a topic they’re interested in. It raises the authority of your blog and takes a little bit of the burden off of yourself.
2. Show, don’t tell
Great blog content will get people in the door, but once they’re on your site, they want to see some beautiful homes and neighborhoods. And one great way to show is to create videos — after all, listings that incorporate video get 400% more inquiries.
With video, you can take visitors on a tour of the house, walk through the neighborhood, or talk about the local restaurants and schools.
And it doesn’t take much to do it. Buy a tripod and mount your phone to record your videos, and then just upload them to YouTube for easy embedding on your site. You can also walk through a house or a neighborhood with your phone in hand, providing commentary along the way. There’s plenty of excellent virtual tour software to help you do this.
3. Provide step-by-step guides to buying a home
Most new homeowners are intimidated by the whole process. It’s a massive financial commitment, probably the biggest they’ll make in their lifetimes.
Put their minds at ease by creating easy step-by-step guides on what the home-buying process looks like so it doesn’t seem so daunting.
You might even incorporate the tips above and do a series of blog posts or videos on each step in the buying process, so it’s almost like you’re holding your customer’s hand through the entire process.
4. Avoid excessive ads and pop-ups
I know you want people to subscribe to your newsletter, but sites that are too spammy are a real turn-off to people coming to your website.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t use pop-ups at all. They’re a great way to capture emails that could turn into sales.
But there’s a limit. Did you know 68% of searchers want to block a site from search results because of too many ads?
Make your site an unobtrusive experience for your prospective clients, and they’ll appreciate you for it.
5. Optimize your site for mobile
The Internet landscape has greatly changed in the last 10 years. About 52% of all home buyers use an iPhone to find listings. That means more than half your customers are going to be searching on a mobile device, and if your site is not optimized for those little screens, it’s just going to be a mess that your customer doesn’t want to deal with.
Google changed their algorithm last April to rank mobile-friendly sites higher than those that aren’t, so that’s another incentive: more traffic.
Is your site mobile-friendly? Run it through Google’s quick test. If it’s not, you’ll need some software. One option is to use the popular publisher WordPress on your site, which automatically makes your content mobile-friendly and even offers mobile-optimized themes for visitors who browse your blog on their smartphones.
6. Combine your testimonials and your contact page
Potential clients will be more motivated to reach out to you if your contact page is filled with glowing reviews.
You should have a contact form on your site where people can enter their name, address, and other contact info. And testimonials are a great to convince them to fill out that form.
Reach out to people you’ve helped find homes in the past to ask for a quote you can put on your website, and place the quotes you get above your contact form for all to see. Or, better yet, record a video of them saying the same thing and embed it.
7. Speak Google’s language
If people can’t find you, they can’t visit your website, and therefore can’t buy homes from you. People use Google to search for homes, so you’ll need to make your site Google-friendly in order to be found by prospective home-buyers.
It’s called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and just about every business uses it to rank high in Google search results and draw more organic traffic.
How do you learn how to use it? We’ve got a crash course for optimizing your site to make it more attractive to Google that will help you get started.
But here are the basics:
- Use one or two keywords you know your customers will be searching for, and go for a longer keyword phrase that has less competition in Google
- Use a keyword phrase for people searching for your particular area, like “homes near the Hollywood Bowl”
- Post fresh, helpful content regularly on a blog on your site
How do you get people to visit your site?
Do you have a real estate site that is doing well traffic-wise? We’d love to hear some tips that other people can incorporate into their own sites in the comments below. Or, tell us some things you tried that didn’t work so well.