Four things all good estate agent websites need in 2016
31 October 2016 1860 Views
All estate and letting agents now have a website – but just how effective is yours?
Your 'virtual shop window' is now more important than ever as a higher proportion of consumers research estate and letting agents online.
Gone are the days when a carousel of featured properties and some basic contact details would suffice.
As the market becomes more crowded and agents continue to embrace technology, a website that offers advice, engaging content, glossy images, a smart layout and design as well as lots of helpful information is fast becoming a necessity.
Does your website incorporate tips for sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants? Does it provide the latest news from your agency alongside all the required information on your services?
With all of this in mind, here's our list of four things that every good agency website now incorporates...
1. Slick design
Does your website capture the attention of visitors? Remember, prospective vendors and landlords who visit your site will be looking at every aspect of the way your firm portrays itself. You will be representing clients in an extremely important transaction – so an eye-catching, professional and slick website is definitely needed to get their approval.
Some things that are likely to impress in the design and layout stakes are large locally identifiable images, glossy local maps and well-presented blog-style content. On the other hand, easily identifiable and cheesy stock photos are a no-no, as well as large chunks of dense text.
2. Easy navigation
Now, you may have already taken the above points about design and layout on board. But if your website is not easy to navigate – no matter how good it looks, it will all be a waste of time.
So, you need to combine aesthetics with practicality. Interested parties want to be able to find your contact details as quickly as possible. If a really 'hot' lead lands on your site but can't find your contact number instantly, they're likely to move on to another agent's website where they can.
It's advisable to have your contact number and an email address on your homepage. Then you can have more detailed info – such as opening hours and address – on a dedicated contact page.
What's more, visitors need to be able to navigate around your site easily, finding all the information they need without getting stuck or confused. Does your 'user journey' make sense, is it logical? It would be wise to get some friends and family to check this as their feedback could prove invaluable.
3. Vendor and landlord focus
In the past, many agents' sites have focused on the wrong part of the market, namely buyers and tenants. Property searches and featured properties are not what is required to make your website a commercial success.
It is widely accepted that the majority of buyers and tenants now look for property via third party websites and portals. Prospective vendors and landlords, however, are much more likely to check directly on an agency's website before contacting them.
This means that a focus on your core clients is really needed. How can you take their contact details or keep them on the site as long as possible? Some popular vendor and landlord website focuses include free online property valuations, free sellers' packs and stamp duty calculators.
4. Live chat
The proliferation of live chat services on estate agents' websites is a direct result of changing consumer habits and lifestyles. People now want to speak to agents outside of traditional hours – at evenings and weekends – and a live chat service allows you to achieve this and not miss out on potential enquires.
As more people carry out research online at a time that suits them and are less likely to pick up the phone or visit an office, live chat is helping agents to take the details of prospective clients while they are not at work.
Here at Gnomen we offer a range of estate agent website templates as well as bespoke designs created by our team of experts.
Our cutting-edge property websites incorporate many important features which could help to make your firm stand out from the crowd.
We also provide estate and letting agent software – you can book a free demo here.
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