The introduction of the internet changed everything, and that includes the real estate market. Long gone are the days of brochures being, newspaper ads and for sale, signs being a necessity. Nowadays, many realtors have all their listings visible on their website for interested buyers to view on their own time and easily gather all the information they need on a particular property. Not to mention, sellers can simply perform a quick google search and within 30 mins can send multiple emails requesting quotations for their property.
Did you know that 90% of buyers use the internet as part of their home search? We are going through and have been for a while now, a period in which the customers now hold the upper hand. They have instant access to 1000s of homes within their area of choice, and a simple google search will reveal website after website, all showcasing their selection. So, how do you stand out in a sea of competition? Well, first of all, you can start with your website!
In this blog post, we are going to be discussing some of the most important features a real estate website should have.
Detailed Property Profiles
One of the most important aspects of any real estate website is its ability to effectively showcase its current listings. You may have a brilliant property that would be the perfect choice for many potential buyers, but unless your listings communicate that, you are going to have a hard time attracting them. A well-formulated property profile must include the following as a minimum:
A detailed listing description. To an extent, a picture does say a thousand words, but a picture alone isn’t going to help you to tie the knot on a property. A thorough and thought-provoking description really help any potential tenants/buyers imagine themselves living in that property. As a real estate agent/brokerage, it is your job to make sure that your clients' listings stand out from the crowd. And this means making sure every avenue is considered and optimized for.
Property Features. You should always make sure to include a well-written list of features that a potential buyer/renter can view. This will give them a good idea of the amenities of the property, what it offers to them and whether or not they are the right fit.
Location. It goes without saying that the location should always be listed, but make sure to properly highlight this within each listing. It should be easily visible.
Great image gallery. When looking at a property online, potential buyers/renters are only able to have their interest sparked. In order for them to really get a feel for the property, they need to see it in person, and in order for them to reach that stage, they need to be impressed by what they see on their screen. Your image gallery should include high-quality property photos and provide enough visuals of the property itself to entice a viewing to be scheduled. Video is also a great piece of content to include in your property gallery as this will set you apart from others and also give the potential buyer a lot more of an insight into whether the property is worth viewing.
Property Floor Plans
Floor plans allow buyers and renters to understand the essence of the property, the spaces, how the spaces interact, outlooks, and the flow of the property. The most important aspect of a floor plan is its accurate scale. A well-written description and great image gallery will massively increase your ability to reach interested buyers/renters for your listings, but why not take it a step further? Property floor plans add that extra layer of detail that ties everything together.
A survey undertaken by Rightmove, where they spoke to 10,000 respondents, indicated that more than 33% of potential buyers would be less inclined to ask about a property if there was no floor plan. The same survey also suggested that 20% of potential buyers would ignore a listing if it didn’t provide a floor plan.
If you want to make sure that you create the best possible environment to sell or let a property, then providing a floor plan will ensure that potential buyers and tenants receive all the information they need to make a decision on a home.
Advanced Property Search
Being able to filter property searches by price, location, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, amenities etc. is a must for any real estate website.
Customers should be able to find the information they seek quite easily from the property listings on your site, and having an advanced property search is the first step you can take towards achieving this. By having advanced search and filter options, you allow customers to reach specific properties easily and in such a competitive market as the online real estate market, if your site is not search friendly, then your customers will go elsewhere and visit the websites that are friendly.
Most real estates websites will make sure to include their property search front and centre within their website, and even at the top of their homepage. We recommend that you do the same because this will again make it easier for people to search for exactly what they are looking for.
Google Maps Integration
To ensure your website is more search friendly for the customers, make sure to integrate it with a proper online map service (like Google Maps, for example). This will allow people to find the exact location of the properties they are viewing, thereby increasing your site’s appeal. At VEVS, we already support a total of 4 different map providers for you to choose from.
Not only will this lead to better functionality and user experience, but it will further help to improve your site’s visibility within the search engine results pages (SERPs) which is critical to increasing local exposure to the said listing.
Additional Features To Include
Alongside the features mentioned above, we also recommend to include the following features as well:
- Videos. Videos are a great way to generate interest among customers as they can be engaging as well as informative. A virtual tour of a property can help create a brilliant first impression, which is critical to generating interest for any property.
- Social Media Sharing. Your website should have links to the popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. This allows people to share the listings and as more people share your webpage link to their social media profiles, the popularity of your site increases.
- A Blog. Posting interesting blog posts on trending real estate topics can help customers gain a better insight into the real estate market. You can use blog posts to educate, inform and even entertain, and this will have a direct effect on helping to increase your web traffic and improve search rankings.
- Mobile-Friendly. More and more people are using their phones for browsing online and a website that is optimised for mobile usage will allow potential buyers or renters to seamlessly access the properties listed on your site from any type of device.
- Visible & Easy To Find Broker Contact Details. It is highly important that any interested buyers or sellers are able to contact you or your brokerage as easily and quickly as possible. Make sure to include your contact information in multiple areas of your website, such as a phone number on the navigation, contact information within the footer and a dedicated contact page.
Did you know that all the features mentioned above are included within VEVS Real Estate Websites? Yes, that is 100% true! We have made sure that our Real Estate Websites include all the features that are needed for you to publish your listings online and start getting interested buyers, renters and sellers as soon as possible.
Plus, all websites created by VEVS are fully optimized for mobile devices and developed in line with the latest technology trends.
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If you are interested in finding out how VEVS and our team of experts can help your business when it comes to marketing, please visit our digital marketing page for more information.