Why do agents need a fast, responsive website?
22 November 2016 1224 Views
In the world of property and estate agency, competition is always fierce. It’s the same when it comes to your website. If your page doesn’t stand out from the crowd, then people – potential clients – will simply click elsewhere.
Nowadays, in a world of social media, superfast broadband and 24/7 news, instant gratification is more important than ever before. You need to lure people in with a slick, well-designed, attractive website, offering them a hook, offering something that piques their interest.
Your website acts as your ‘virtual shop window’ and, with so many people now searching for property online, its importance cannot be underestimated.
Not only will your website need to be eye-catching, glossy, informative and engaging, it will also need to be fast and responsive. Slow, clunky websites are very off-putting and frustrating, only serving to deter eyes elsewhere.
What can you do, though, to make your website highly responsive and user-friendly? We’ve taken a closer look…
Fast and responsive
Simple, intuitive, easy to navigate and easy to explore – these are the main attributes your website will need to have.
Less is more when it comes to text and pictures; after all, you don’t want to overwhelm visitors with information. Your user journey will also need to be smooth and clear – the last thing you want to be doing is confusing or frustrating those visiting your page.
Practicality, and responsiveness, will be just as important as attractiveness. There is no point, of course, in drawing visitors in if you are subsequently going to befuddle them with a complex, unwieldy, hard to move around homepage.
Social media savvy
A solid social media presence is a requirement for most businesses these days, offering the instant interaction and regular news updates that many people require. It’s a great way of reacting quickly to key industry news and events, interacting directly with vendors and landlords and responding to queries and questions.
By having, and regularly updating, your social media presence, it allows you to show how on the ball and responsive you are. Your social media accounts and your website should be closely linked, to the point where they appear one and the same. In many cases, firms will show their latest social media activity – tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, etc. – on the homepage of their website.
Whether it’s a property search with Google Maps integration – helping clients to easily find, view and share their ideal property – easy to use registration and valuation forms, client login areas, fast and efficient property searches, glossy, attractive property galleries or a free mortgage and yield calculator, your website should include rapid, responsive features that really help to enhance the user experience.
What’s more, it’s vitally important that your website looks as good on a smartphone as it does a tablet, a laptop or a desktop. People like to view property when on the move, so it’s crucial that your website is fully optimised and fully responsive for iPhone and Android use.
Live chat services are becoming increasingly common on websites, especially amongst estate and letting agents. Live chat windows can either be embedded or popup. An embedded chat window, which is similar to something like Facebook chat, remains in one place on the screen and follows users as they switch the pages of your website – from, say, your homepage to your contact page. A popup chat window, meanwhile, opens in a separate browser.
Embedded chat windows tend to work better for agents, because they provide that instant responsiveness. A live chat is a great way for agents to speak to prospective clients outside of traditional working hours, which becomes doubly important as more people turn online rather than picking up a phone or visiting an estate agency branch in person.
We also offer a wide range of cloud-based software, helping you to manage your staff, office, customers and multi-channel marketing in one place, at any time, from anywhere in the world. To find out more about what we do, you can book a free demo here.
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