Website Design

5 essentials for a real estate brokerage site

Your website has the power to make or break your business. In the real estate industry, it’s not just a place where buyers and sellers get a first impression of your brand and learn about your offerings, it’s also where agents serve their clients.

An intuitive, user-friendly website that strategically combines data with technology can enable agents to better serve their customers with enhanced information, real-time data, and seamless communication. Below, I share five must-haves for a brokerage website.

Search alerts

As agents, notifying our clients of new listings as they become available is an essential feature in today’s fast-paced marketplace. Look for alerts on our site, The agency, allow agents to configure a single list search based on the criteria desired by their customers. These alerts can include neighborhood, price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, keywords, amenities and more.

As soon as a new property that meets the search criteria is online, agents receive automatic alerts that allow them to check the property immediately and send them to their clients in real time. Such a feature is important to keep agents top of mind with customers’ concerns and to show them how responsive they can be to market conditions.

Connect via IDX or VOW search capability

With a wealth of information available anytime of the day in the hands of our customers, having a website search portal that connects directly to MLS and displays all available listings is no longer a good thing, it’s a necessity.

Customers are used to searching for portals that show them all the houses available on the market. As a brokerage, we must meet our clients’ expectations. That means, connecting our website through IDX (Internet Data Exchange) or VOW (Virtual Office Website) and displaying each listing including sales history, days on market and other relevant information, so customers can make informed decisions.

Include clear calls to action (CTAs)

While it may sound like Website 101, many websites fail to accurately and clearly present their calls to action (CTAs). A CTA is a button, link, or form on a web page that asks web visitors to take action.

Whether it’s searching for homes, entering email addresses, finding out more, or getting in touch, including a CTA on your website is a great way to capture leads, learn more on your audience and improve your website experience.

Your website should grow your business, and including clear CTAs on every page is a guaranteed way to increase conversion rates and collect data. Give customers a reason to enter their details and leverage that to build your database.

Use consistent and professional images

Your website is a reflection of your brand and the type of homes you sell. While it might seem like a no-brainer, the images on your site — agent portraits, lifestyle photos, and even your featured listings — should all be consistent and in-line with your brand.

So many brokerages use headshots that look like they were taken with a cell phone camera and store photos on their listing images. Customers can make a difference! Avoid making your business look shoddy and unprofessional and always take advantage of professional photos that enhance the brand.

Capture sales leads

Historically, most brokerage websites have focused on buyers, leaving the entire target seller segment ignored. When designing your website, make sure to meet the needs of buyers and sellers. After all, it takes two parties to make a deal.

Carefully craft a value proposition for sellers – whether it’s a partnership with a buyer, bespoke marketing capabilities, a global network of connections, or something else entirely – and leverage your site web to clearly communicate, capture and nurture those leads.

There is no doubt that your website is integral to the success of your business. When it comes to your brokerage website, set yourself up for success by using the latest technology and using consistent branding and clear messaging.

And it’s important to adapt your website as your business grows. Recently, the Agency completely relaunched its website to provide enhanced functionality to make it easier to find and share ads and for agents to receive customer information.

Ultimately, websites that create a seamless and intuitive user experience are the ones that will outperform their competition.

Philip Lang is co-founder and chief commercial officer of The Agency. He was COO of Triplement, the New York-based brokerage firm that recently merged with The Agency.

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