5 key questions when buying a new estate agency website
13 December 2021 8655 Views
A good website is no longer optional for estate agents, as no single aspect of marketing to new customers is more important than having a current, beautiful, and easy-to-navigate website. Quite often it will be the first port of call for any potential customer as they start their house-buying journey, so your website should be able to provide valuable information to help guide buyers or sellers throughout the buying or selling process.
Google data found that 53% of all consumers do their own research before they approach businesses for a purchase, which emphasises the importance of getting yours right from conception to delivery. With that in mind, here are five of the most important things you should be asking when considering a website:
What are the non-negotiables and what’s your budget?
Before your new website or improvements can be mapped out it is essential to be clear about what you want your new website to deliver on. What are the ‘must haves’, ‘like to haves’, and what is your budget. With a clear brief, you can start shopping around to get an idea of how much of your list is achievable with your budget. As far as possible, be upfront with website agencies about your budget and requirements as that will enable them to give you a more precise quote – which will ultimately help you to compare apples with apples in the end. Starting with a budget and a plan established in advance will lead to a robust, pain-free development process from quote, through to design, build and launch.
Will I own the website once it’s launched?
Many businesses don’t fully own their websites once built. Ownership is important as it determines how much control you have over the website, and it determines who holds the ownership rights for the design and code. Having full ownership of your website means that you can do whatever you want with it after development is complete. Whilst the visual layout and content may be the first thing that comes to mind when approaching a website developer, the legal question of ownership should come into play before any development begins. Pay close attention to the intellectual property clauses in any contract prior to signing, including provisions on coding, data, and content – a good website provider will offer you full website ownership as part of the agreement.
Will my CRM integrate with my website?
A big one for estate agencies; having your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system integrate with your website should be a top priority as it will allow for the automated collection and processing of the various data that your customers submit on your website. Working with your website provider to ensure they have a clear understanding of how your CRM should integrate with your website will help you to collaboratively develop ways to improve your sales funnel, giving emphasis to the tools required to nurture your leads and report on your testing, interactions, and ROI.
What sort of security will my website have?
Security and maintenance are critical components in a website’s performance and success, and they are vital in a time where hacking attempts are increasing, and consumer trust is a top priority. Not all web providers are proficient in this area and it’s important for your agency to fully understand what security measures will be implemented to prevent damaging activity. Your website should ideally be SSL secure, as an SSL certificate will enable your website to move from HTTP to HTTPS, which keeps user data secure, verifies ownership of the website, prevents hackers, and conveys trust to visitors.
Other elements to consider that will support website security include:
Plugins are updated to the latest versions and unused plugins removed
Modern and updated themes are used
Install website protection and malware monitoring software and scan regularly
Enforce multi-factor authentication for website users
Choose a good web host that regularly updates and maintains their servers
Take backups regularly
How will people find us?
Advertising and listing your completed website are essential to get noticed, because if your potential customers can’t find you then your business is going to suffer. As an example, your website should be enhanced for search engine optimisation (SEO), as a good SEO ranking will determine how high your website sits in search engine rankings and will help your target audience finds your website in a relevant search. Finding out how and where your site will be listed should be on your list of questions to ask your potential website provider. No marketing channels return a better ROI than a great SEO strategy.
Interested to learn more of the key questions, must-have features and quality content you need to consider before buying a new website?
Download Reapit’s free Estate Agency Website Buyer’s Guide (2022 Edition).
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