If we consider the comments above we can see that it actually solves a major issue that business owners suffer from when trying to improve productivity of their websites. The fact is that consumers want to research deeper when dealing with property means that you need to be providing the right kind of content to engage their curiosity.
“You have two or three seconds to grab their attention, so make it flow.”
Content is the key
To be seen as an authoritative figure or firm in the property industry, as is the case with other major sectors, will massively increase your firm’s chances of engagement and
sales, and so with this in mind the following recommendations should help estate agents to maximise their marketing efforts online:
- Share regular blog content and especially towards topics relevant to the homeowners and the styles of property you are marketing, thus increasing your chances of being found online when it comes to relevant localised searches.
- Think community and embrace sharing information locally on your website that would prove to be an interesting read for people looking to move in to the area that you cover. If someone is searching for schools in your local town during their online property search then aim to capture their attention by listing local schools on your website or even better a brief description and contact details of each one on a dedicated page.
- Social Media increases the chances of content held on your website being shared out to active target audiences. The likes of Facebook and Twitter help to build you an active audience of long term readers and site visitors, especially if you engage them with regular updated news and information. Make sure you are active on social media and deliver interesting and localised content on a regular basis – at least daily.
- Home staging and interior design. A highly popular topic and always a key interest to homeowners so as this subject touches upon your target market. Think about engaging with your local company or person that deals with taking care of the presentation and style of people’s homes and gardens – who better to share blog content with on your website and engage browsers for longer!
- Prompt your website visitors in to ‘action’. Be creative in how you create interaction and think along the lines of asking people to regularly cast their votes, i.e. do you prefer this style of kitchen or another from the local supplier you are sharing content on. Alternatively, you could offer a ‘win a meal for two at your local restaurant’ competition, or equivalent, by asking people to vote on their favourite town park/museum /historical building that you can then go on to share with your local newspaper reporter, as a genuine study, if the voting is busy enough.
Try and understand the visitors who are likely to take time to view your website. For instance, buyers care about the property first, then the estate agent, whereas sellers care about the estate agency who markets their property first until they meet their buyer.
Capture your audience’s attention
I think it is very important to remember that when people visit your website they are generally busy, so make sure that not only do you keep navigation and content easy to understand, but that you get people to where they want to be sooner rather than later as you do in fact have only a couple of seconds to grab people’s attention online – so make your website flow!
Encourage users to stay on your website for longer
Do not neglect the visual standard of internal web pages as not everyone will be landing on your website at the front/index page! Make sure these pages have engaging content too and are also designed to prompt people to go on to similar pages by ensuring that all ‘related content’ is clearly highlighted – do not just give them the option to return back to the homepage.
Content for social media should include activity on as many platforms as you can dedicate time to, or you could look to use the services of social media management agencies which specialise in the estate agency industry. Look at investigating Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn at least and make sure these are all correctly branded to the theme and style of your agency.
Create engaging content
Social media appreciates latest news and views on interesting subjects as well as visual media. So it may be a case that you find that by releasing some great photography your agency has taken of your local area on a daily
basis, you could well engage your target audience far better than if simply releasing property news that you may have shared from the likes of say, The Guardian or The Telegraph online. Then again, you may also find that some audiences prefer and engage better with relevant property industry news and updates over images and so make sure that you understand your potential customers’ ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ on social media.
You’ve got to be in it to win it
Competitions are great on social media, especially if localised prizes are on offer. Use Facebook to initiate polls and surveys – a favourite of mine still is creating dedicated local area themed groups on the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, such as ‘Historical photos of Birmingham’, ‘Living in Kettering’ or ‘House buying for those under 21’ and so forth.
To have what would be considered an up to date and user friendly website the following items should have a presence ideally on the index page:
- Video /Animation Video.
- Latest Blogs.
- Social Media tabs.
- Easy to find and use contact details.
- Promotions and call to action prompts, i.e. ‘register with us to win an iPad’.
- Confirmation of industry memberships, usage of property portal logos and customer testimonials to build trust.