Building a Killer Real Estate Website

Here are a few things I believe are critical in the design of “Killer Website”:

Simple Layout– The basic layout of a page is among the most important aspects of its usability and visual appeal. Having information organized well and placing the most important information in places that easy to see and access will go a long way for the consumer.

Less is More– Trying to cram everything you can into a page makes it difficult for people to find what they are looking for and it also greatly diminishes the overall experience of the visitor. Decide what information is most important and prioritize that information on the pages. If it’s getting difficult to find room for something new, maybe you don’t need it.

Branding– Many websites fail to establish the brand of the company or people offering the site. Of course, some sites go too far trying to brand themselves, but in most cases the brand is not established well enough. Have a great logo and display it prominently so when people visit your website they remember where they are.

Reasons to Return– Create a website where people will have reasons to come back again and again. One of the easiest ways to do this is by incorporating a community resource blog into your website. This is a blog that gives insight into the community and creates a loyal readership of people who live in that area. Another great way reason for people to return to your site would be to get information about their transaction or the real estate market they live in. Having printable coupons or drawings from local businesses might attract return visits.

Pleasing color combinations– Color plays a large part in the feel of a design. Colors set the mood, and can turn people off when the wrong colors are used. Some companies, such as Weichert and Exit Realty, would do well to change their brand colors completely, while other brands, such as Prudential, Alain Pinel, and Keller Williams, have done well in selecting colors that enhance their brand.

Easy Navigation– Make it incredibly easy for people to find what they want. Large buttons and icons placed where they are easy to see will ensure people can find what they need. Being clever with your navigation can result in confusion by the visitor. It’s okay to be different, as long as it is very easy for visitors to find what they are looking for, and to return to the homepage. Make it easy to get back to the start.

Very visible contact info – Your contact information should be very visible, on many pages, including a phone number. Websites that only have a support email address are insulting to the visitor. It is lame to only offer support through email. Here’s an example; I have been trying to place an ad on ActiveRain for about a month now but their system is completely screwed up and nothing works correctly. And I can deal with the technical problems, but the only way to contact them is through a ticketed email system. It takes no less than three days to get a response- every single time. I like the ActiveRain platform, but they need some serious help when it comes to service. My ad is still not running.

Have some fun– Nobody likes looking at a spreadsheet. And most don’t enjoy looking at plain, ordinary, boring content. A great website offers a great experience for the visitor, and that includes keeping them interested and entertained. Add fun elements to your site with images, colors, and icons. Use fonts and font sizes that make it easy to read your content, and break up long areas of text with some images and fun elements. Put some personality into your website through a blog and text, but also with your design.

Websites are becoming more and more important as real estate professionals are beginning to leverage the internet to grow their business and their brand. Consumers have a lot of choice when choosing where to spend their time online, so it’s imperative to have a website that they’ll want to come back to again and again.

Improving Localized Marketing: Simple Suggestions to Improve a Local Profile

With a number of companies looking to build their total marketing profiles online these days, many businesses seemingly hit the wrong target points. For small businesses and restaurants, a failure to focus on some local marketing techniques can also lead to a failure to experience full potential and returns on business development and technology efforts.

Engaging in social media efforts are a must for any business trying to improve its digital footprint these days, but even more so for those trying to improve their local footprint. With localization of social media efforts, it’s always crucial to have a profile that’s geared specifically to the customers. With a small scale company, using these social media profiles should be first used to build a local image.

With social media, one of the growing trends in major marketing is the use of check-in services. These services have allowed many companies, from restaurants and retail stores, to really build up a larger local reputation. With check-in services, businesses can offer discounts and benefits in exchange for check-ins at the location of their business. With a high number of check-ins, businesses will see impact from two separate ways. First, repeating customers will come back because of discounts and friends of patrons will see the business throughout social media platforms, attracting new customers.

Along with social media improvements, businesses should also put a large focus on their online profile, just like companies looking to improve national marketing strategies also do. Local businesses often struggle to take advantage of some customers because of a failure to build an online presence. Even though it may not seem normal, local businesses can still find major profits by expanding their websites and digital footprint.

With a good website, many businesses are starting to look to mobile devices to further spread their profiles. In a local setting, a restaurant or retail store can benefit from a mobile site by helping to increase their search optimization. Also, mobile information is critical for potential customers who are on the go, looking for either information or directions.

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Once social media campaigns and a good website are setup to improve brand development, the site can be spruced up in the content department to reach out to the customer base. The information on the website can be targeted to remind visitors of the area where the business is located throughout the site. Also, websites local information can be improved by putting the business’ directions on most of the pages. By using this strategy, visitors to the website are continually reminded of exactly where the business is.

A number of businesses are in search of strategies and suggestions on how to properly improve their marketing footprint from a localized perspective. Many retail stores and restaurants often lack the proper manpower or knowledge to truly have a great impact in their marketing efforts. For those companies who may be short on staff or time, using professionals is a great option. For example, a store or restaurant looking to break into a Florida market could use a Tampa, Jacksonville or Orlando Development platform to really kick up their online profile.

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