Congratulations! You’ve received your license and now are an official a Real Estate Agent or Broker. You created your company or maybe even got hired by one of the larger brokerages out there. So what’s next?
Every Agent or Broker needs to develop their own brand. Think about soda, for example: Coca Cola, Sprite and many other beverage companies come to mind. It’s because of their long-standing and consistent brand signatures that they’ve stood the test of time and still drive consumer demand.
You’ll want to do the same with your brand, but in your arena you’ll be attracting real estate buyers and sellers. When they want to buy or sell real estate, you’ll want them to have you and your company top-of-mind. Is it easy this? No! If it were, everyone would be successful. But is it worth it to pursue this goal via branding? Absolutely! Look at the massive commission checks for selling high-end real estate properties.
So first things first. Especially in the era of the internet and new technology, you’ll need to find a real estate website design that fits you.
As you begin your journey to becoming a successful real estate professional, branding should become one of your top priorities. The best real estate branding will take you a long way in boosting your recognition and making you stand out against your competition. It’s best not to cut corners here—not investing in quality branding would be like going to a five-star restaurant in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Good real estate branding will supply you with assets and content that you can use everywhere from your website to print materials and even to paid advertising. Choosing a logo, fonts and colors are just the tip of the iceberg and won’t cost you a fortune.
However, there are more, higher-level things to think about beyond those basic tenets of brand identity. What is your sales voice going to sound like? What will your property photography look like? Will you make use of email campaigns? Will you have billboards? Print ads? Targeted ads deployed online?
These and other questions are best suited to be taken care of by who you choose to partner with for your real estate marketing as you embark upon your branding journey. Trust your real estate website designer, copywriter and other marketing professionals to give you their professional opinions on what you should do to best attract the buyers and sellers in your market. Of course, you don’t have to accept everything they say—but if you are working with marketing pros who are truly invested in your fledgling business, it’s worth it listen to what they have to say and be willing to test out different strategies to see if they are right in their planning. You wouldn’t be a telling to a builder how to construct houses—and the same principle applies to your marketing.
If you are just beginning your real estate journey, you’d be unwise to approach your internet marketing strategy with the mindset of “I want it all.” The truth is—you don’t. Doing so would only cost you unnecessary dollars, because each business and each market are different. It won’t benefit you to have the flashiest real estate website out there, when you don’t yet have any clients. Likewise, you’ll have only wasted money if you implemented every online sales tactic from the get-go without testing them for effectiveness. In our experience, we’ve seen that clients who are just beginning only need a few nicely designed pages along with a property search. From there, you can start trying out different tactics on a small scale to see if any work for you. And when you find that something does work, then you should scale your investment in the tactic up. All in all, it’s just better not to count eggs before they’ve hatched.
On the other hand, if you already have an established client base and you know exactly what type of features you are looking in your real estate website design and online real estate marketing strategies, along with data to prove the effectiveness of those strategies, feel free to pump as much spend behind them as you feel is necessary for you to keep scaling up. However, keep in mind that working with MLS requires very thorough and specific knowledge—and you’re the expert here. This is when should take the lead and make sure that your real estate website designer and online marketing team know the nuances and ins-and-outs of what works best for your business. Before hiring them, vet them by asking for samples of work and references, and be sure that your voice and expertise are heard in initial meetings. Again, partnership is a two-way street.
As you create your real estate website and work with your designer, developer and marketing team, highlight why you are the best in the biz. Put all necessary and pertinant information about yourself and why buyers and sellers should go with you and not your competition. Brag about your business. Don’t be shy!
This is where your branding—inclusive of your look and feel as well as voice—has a real chance to truly shine and stand out. People in the market for anything that can be bought and sold appreciate things that look nice, are informative and tell a story and, most importantly, that display integrity. Trust begins here, and first impressions matter. If you play your cards right, you’ll be on your way to a thriving web presence and increased leads in no time.
Everything is mobile these days. This isn’t news. But it’s absolutely true. Mobile and tablet visitors combined take up to 70-80% of all web traffic across all platforms. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to make sure that your real estate website and online listings will look good and be functional on any type of mobile device upon which your audience may be accessing your business’s online presence.
The speed of your website also matters. If it’s properly optimized and smartly developed, navigating between pages and listings will be easy for your audience to use and will encourage users to keep exploring your listings once they’ve landed on them. However, if your site pages take more than two seconds to load, the chances that your audience will exit your online property and go searching elsewhere increases significantly.
The best web designers and developers take this matter of fact very seriously. As we’ve already covered, it’s important to vet the marketing and design professionals you hire to do this work for you. This is one reason why. Pay attention to how easy-to-navigate and quick to load their samples of work are. If they don’t meet the two-second rule, and if their work samples are confusing to navigate, you’d be wise to move onto the next vendor.
At Broker One, we utilize the latest technology available, and IDX real estate websites built on our platform consistently score between 97% and 100% in Google Lighthouse tests. For those who don’t know, Lighthouse is an open-source tool that evaluates the quality of web pages. This means that Broker One’s output of work so far can be trusted. (Of course, still ask us for samples—ultimately, you get the last word in your choice. We just hope you choose us.)
Gone are the days when, to stay visibility, brokers and agents sat in front of large-windowed offices and located on busy streets to be seen. Now, most real estate professionals find themselves out of their offices and in the field more often than not. Your real estate website, then, is your new storefront. And as with any traditional storefront, sometimes it needs to be cleaned-up and tweaked here and there. Images will need to be swapped out, and text will need to be added or even replaced completely. Make sure that the company you hire has a real estate website maintenance plan ready for you so when you need changes, they can be made swiftly and in a manner that won’t break your site and slow down your business.
We at Broker One hope you’ve learned something new from these 5 key components to consider when building your online storefront. Of course, if we missed anything, if you have further questions or if you’d like to consider us to be your partner agency to help you grow your business, please contact us today and we’ll be glad to assist. We hope to hear from you soon!