Websites for real estate agents have evolved from being simple billboards on the internet. Today, a website is the hub of an agent’s marketing efforts. Selecting the right real estate website requires careful research. Consider the following items before making a purchase decision.
1. Ease of Use
Let’s face it. You have many things on your to-do list. If a website and its components aren’t easy to use, you won’t use it. Don’t apologize for recognizing that fact. It takes time to learn how to use a new tool; just make sure the learning curve is reasonable.
Every consumer-facing function on a website today needs to be mobile-responsive. Your prospective buyers and sellers are now using their mobile devices more often than a desktop to surf the internet. If they land on a site that isn’t easy to use on a mobile device, they will simply keep surfing.
In addition, your website’s ability to gain authority in the search engines depends on how well it works on mobile devices. For example, Google first started giving preference to mobile-responsive websites in mobile searches. Now, however, there are indications that it’s doing the same thing in searches done on desktop computers.
3. Integrated IDX
Real estate agent websites with IDX are another requirement in today’s market. Typically, the first thing anyone landing on a real estate website wants to do is search for homes. Integrated IDX ensures that’s possible.
Here’s what to look for in a full-featured IDX website:
- Quick home search: A simple home search that can be prominently displayed on all pages. This gives visitors an easy way to do a search from any page on your website. For example, you may display the quick search at the top of the home page, then in a side column on other pages.
- Personal search accounts: Visitors to your website should be able to create their own search accounts that allow them to save searches and favorite listings. In addition, the system should send automatic email listing updates when homes hit the market that meet their search criteria.
- Flexible lead capture: People will create a personal search account because it saves them time, making it one of the best ways to capture leads on a real estate agent website. A flexible lead capture feature will let you choose when a visitor must register. If you ask for registration too soon, you may lose the prospect. If you don’t require registration at all, you’re not taking advantage of an important marketing opportunity.
- Custom searches: You can impress your visitors by making searching easy with custom searches. Good IDX solutions allow you to create custom searches based on criteria such as neighborhoods, price ranges and more.
4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Converting leads to clients requires time and effort. It’s also much more effective if you have an automated tool to support your ongoing marketing efforts. Incorporating CRM into your website makes sense because you can gather all leads in one place. Leads from your real estate website and IDX will automatically be entered into the CRM system. Leads from other sources can be entered manually if necessary.
CRM software allows you to track interaction with individual leads and schedule times for follow-up. The system can do some follow-up automatically, such as sending predefined emails at specific times. In addition, it will remind you to make a phone call based on your prior instructions.
The usefulness of websites for real estate agents goes far beyond providing a place for internet visitors to search for homes. The right website will provide a system that supercharges your marketing.
Learn more about real estate websites from the experts at Pro Agent Solutions. Call us at 800-245-1526 or send an email.