From our friends at RealSavvy, here are the top 10 features that Real Estate Agents and Brokers need to have!
1.) Lead capture and lead convertibles.
If you’re investing time and money into driving traffic to your website, then it’s important that you have the means in place to turn those visitors into leads. Be sure to add lead capture popups to any page on your site, giving visitors an easy opportunity to sign up for your newsletter on helpful real estate tips or any helpful content piece. Unforced registration is usually the preference of the potential client, but you need multiple ways to grow your database organically. Add “calls to action” throughout your site that give clients easy-to-read messages urging a specific action: download your mobile app, search your custom IDX, read your biography, fill out a contact form — again, the possibilities are endless!
2.) Mobile responsiveness + branded mobile app.
Clients & potential clients are fully mobile. It is a must to have a full website that looks great on a mobile device. And, it’s even better to have an actual mobile app to share with your contacts. Don’t have $50K to build your own custom iPhone and Android app? Have no fear, there are plenty of app options – just make sure you choose a native mobile app*, like the one that RealSavvy provides. Asan added bonus, your clients won’t have to rely on other mobile apps to search for homes while on the go!
*This is an actual mobile app, not a mobile version of a webpage in an app form.
3.) A better-than-Zillow, accurate, and collaborative home search experience (also called an IDX).
Your clients want real-time data that is tailored to each MLS market. The most successful industry experts have this figured out are including and IDX on their website. This tool allows agents and brokers to create saved searches for engaging and sharing properties with clients. Whether map based or the more graphically appealing photo grid, your client has the option to take their home search by the reins, with your guidance, of course. Collaborating with clients in any manner leads to higher engagement and lead conversion.
4.) Configurable SEO for organic, cost-effective growth.
Each page of your website should be individually optimized to boost it’s Google search ranking. Make sure you can choose titles, descriptions, keywords, images, and text to display when a potential client Google’s a real estate related request. Boost your site’s Google search ranking by programming the keywords that work best in your market with your clients, and then monitor the results with Google Analytics (more info on Google Analytics here). If you advertise on a search engine, link your account to Analytics and monitor the most popular search terms — then simply program those keywords into your website.
5.) Indexed listings to enhance organic search.
Once you have confirmed your site is SEO optimized, make sure that your IDX provides fully-indexed listings. This will be the additional SEO juice that your site needs to maximize your organic SEO performance. And, the increased number of clicks that your IDX generates will be the icing on the proverbial cake. Page 1, here you come!
Give your visitors the information they’re looking for quickly! If your site takes forever to load a property, chances are your visitor is going to bail and look somewhere else (thereby affecting your bounce rate). Google takes into account site speed for overall site ranking so skip the software bloat, huge images and unnecessary data links. Opt for a speedy IDX to give your clients a frictionless user experience when browsing for properties.
7.) Simple-to-maintain Content Management System.
Not a programmer? Not a problem. Your website’s backend tools should be user friendly and allow you to manage and control your own site to the degree that you desire. Change images based on the season or local events, change marketing tag lines and mission statements, add and remove agents from a broker site, and create custom landing pages for specific marketing campaigns – these are all a must have in the world of real estate technology. Use this simple process to create a custom landing page, with a custom URL that you can use to market — for example, “4 Bedroom Homes Under $300K” can be targeted at growing families. As industry technology evolves, so should your website (without additional checks!)!
8.) Blog (yes really!).
Use available content, articles, curate common features in listings – copywriters not required: Google search will rank your site higher if you have blog content embedded on the site. Get a site web sites have a blog feature built in; no need to maintain another site that drives traffic away from your primary site. Blog using your current or past content and publish it instantly to boost your search ranking.
9.) Dynamic neighborhood search.
Buyers want to be able to search by neighborhoods, even subdivisions. Create a custom IDX grid within your site so clients can have a shortcut to their favorite area. Give your neighborhood pages a fresh look with custom images for each neighborhood — this ads a level of authenticity and experience to your website that many clients crave.
10.) Social-sharing enabled with customizable “OG” images that stand out.
Make sure your site allows for user-programmable social media controls. As an agent or broker, you should be able to choose custom images, titles, and descriptions to enhance your social media posts that promote your website content. Each page of your website should have individual settings that allow for different messaging, if desired. OG (open graph) is a Facebook standard that your web provider should support, allowing you to customize the Facebook user experience (or any other website that follows the OG standard). This allows for quick and easy seasonal changes to your social media-based marketing messages and campaigns.