There are a lot of benefits to having a real estate website other than internet visibility, such as building your brand, establishing your authority in the industry, generating leads, and boosting sales, just to name a few.
In today’s market where online presence is a critical success factor for business, it’s not enough to just launch a website without careful planning; having an actionable strategy is key to getting ahead of the competition.
Getting it right
Let’s repeat it again: having a website just for the sake of having one is not enough – it can end up wasting your time, money, and resources. Worse, it can affect your reputation and harm your real estate business.
It’s critical for those in the real estate industry to realise why having a website is vital in today’s market and how it can make or break your brand.
A major goal of a real estate website is to make it convenient and accessible for visitors to find the information they need, especially when they are looking for a reliable agent that is relevant to their property and an established authority in the market.
Common yet damaging mistakes in building a website
As with any website, the key to making it work is to avoid mistakes that can impact its performance. If you underestimate the value of your website, you run the risk of committing these mistakes, and they won’t work out in your favour.
Mistake #1: Forgetting property data
We see this mistake time and time again: you’ve built a really nice looking website, you’re ready to launch and then you suddenly aren’t sure exactly how your listings are going to get onto the website.
Missing out on listing data and related elements such as agent profiles, search capabilities, inspection times, floor plans, and images can result in a website that isn’t really relevant to bother buyers and vendors.
This mistake is possibly the easiest one to make too, because it is so easy to get swept up in the bright and shiny design of your new website. So before you embark on that new design, make sure your website builder will be able to handle property data from day 1 – literally, we can not stress this enough, make sure it can be done from day 1.
Mistake #2: Making it all about the property
We’re going to sound a bit contradictory with mistake #1, but we’re going to the opposite extreme: don’t make 100% of your focus on how property data looks.
Stick to the basics, and make sure your property data looks good. Make sure the search engine works properly. Make sure your galleries look snazzy. There are hundreds of real estate websites you can draw inspiration from, so don’t try and re-invent the wheel.
If you get hung up on the design and layout of your listings and search results, it becomes extremely easy to then neglect the remainder of your website. It is a fine balancing act that you will need to navigate when building a real estate website from scratch.
Mistake #3: Mystery navigation
UX, or user experience, is so important to ensure your website is easy to use and navigate – you need to constantly think about “how does this work” from the perspective of someone who has never seen it, and sometimes this can be lost when you have spent weeks designing a feature that makes sense to you, but has turned out to be overly complicated.
One key example of this is your website navigation: keep it simple, and keep it consistent.
Ensure your navigation is the same across the entire website. Don’t opt for a vertical menu on your homepage, and then revert to a horizontal menu for the rest of your website.
Keep it simple with menu options and make good use of sub menus to spread your content into their relevant categories: put everything rent and tenant related under a ‘Rent’ menu, and consider group items into further sub-menus (such as rental forms) if the need is present.
Always keep in mind, the more menu items you have, the harder it will be for a new visitor to find what they are looking for.
Mistake #4: Poor sitemap planning
Sitemaps are not just vital in organising your website’s page structure, but it also contributes to helping search engines find and crawl your content quickly.
Establishing the flow and order of your website by classifying pages and clarifying required content for your real estate website will make it easier to build out our new website, and will be a lifesaver when setting up your menu for the first time.
Your sitemap will also dictate your content-plan, what type of content you want for your visitors, and will help ensure your content is going to be compelling.
The added advantage to planning your sitemap before you start building your website, is the ability to generate the content with separate team members or contractors parallel to the build process. This reduces hold-ups later on when your website is ‘ready to launch’, but the content isn’t ready.
Mistake #5: Poor content (and failing to update it regularly)
As stated in mistake #4, you can’t have a good website without having compelling and engaging content to attract and entertain site visitors.
Having poor or low-quality content can be bad for your site’s SEO performance and, in turn, result in lower lead conversions (something you want to avoid at all costs).
Understand and embrace the absolute minimum requirements of content for your website if you want to stay relevant and be more competitive. If you need to, engage the services of a good content writer for not only the content, but also content ideas. You can also look to competitors for content ideas: What content do they have? What reads well? What looks compelling?
If you’re going to have a blog or latest news section on your website, ensure you have it updated at least once a month.
Only use high-quality images and ones that are relevant to your region or locality. For instance, avoid using images of homes or landmarks that are not found within a community or country you are featuring in a blog article.
Create useful and compelling content to win the trust of your readers and visitors and establish your authority in the market. You can strategically use news updates, white papers, case studies, and statistics to engage your audience.
How iDashsites can help you avoid those costly website mistakes
Finding the right people to help you build an amazing real estate website is the smartest and most practical choice you could make – and this is where iDashsites comes in.
Our real estate websites already take all the important aspects of property data into account, and come complete with property search, results, property details, galleries, and hundreds more real estate focused featured to help you get the most out of your website.
You’ll take a huge load off your shoulders by letting iDashsites take care of the property data aspects of your listings and allow you to focus more on your content and branding.
If you don’t have a sitemap and content plan or simply find it difficult to create one, you can talk to our team, and we can help you create one. And if you’re not sure where to start with writing content, we can help you with that too.
Our team at iDashsites will help you determine and incorporate success factors that are vital to your real estate website, helping ensure that you have a responsive, performing and effective website. Remember that your website reflects you as a business, so make sure that you get it done right, and enlist experts to help you achieve your goals.