Real estate plugins and data can have a major impact for brokers and agents considering a makeover for their website as we begin a new decade. We are entering into an exciting era in real estate technology. There is technology now available out there, on the shelf that can instantly improve an agent’s website. Which begs the question… Are you still operating a website built ten years ago? Is your website outdated? Bland? Most importantly, is your website producing the leads you need to succeed? Could be the right time for a makeover!
Don’t panic. Many brokers and agents might balk at the thought of going through yet another web design. Or, they know such an effort will be incredibly time consuming. Don’t fret. One of the simplest solutions is to ask a real estate website design firm to give you an objective, third party review of your website and make recommendations. (Home Junction, with more than a decade worth of experience in this field, will provide a review for FREE by the way).
Still not convinced you should do a makeover? Well, ask yourself these questions. Because these topics cover the key issues brokers and agents will face in this coming decade. It’s a whole new ballgame out there.
Why to Have a Real Estate Website Makeover
Responsive Web Design
You might look at your website in your office and think, hey, the site looks great. I never hear any complaints. My colleagues all like it. I do manage to generate lead forms and phone calls from the website.
If you have a big red buzzer on your desk, you should hit it now. Because in 2020, a website that looks great on your desktop is only HALF the equation. Which also means you could be losing half, or even more, of the business you could be generating. And it could also mean your competition is taking away prospective clients from you without you even realizing this is taking place.
How? The mobile phone space. More and more consumers now use their smartphones to search the web. How does that great website of your looks on an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy? Does it load quickly? Are all the pages aligned correctly? Can users read the text? Can they see the whole photograph of a house, not a part of it? Is the navigation easy to find? Are the calls to actions and contact forms easy to find and use?
Bottom line – if your website does not look good not only on your smartphone, but other versions of smartphones (and tablets as well), you will be left behind this coming decade. Check your Google analytics. See how many people are looking for you on their mobile devices. Google knows this is a major trend. That is why Google now bases their search algorithms on mobile devices differently, based on how well a mobile website meets the criteria above. (To check the speed of your mobile website, use this Page Insights tool from Google.)
More and more people sit in a Starbucks or at work and search for homes on their smartphones. If your mobile site is slow, scrambled or difficult to read, they will leave. In a matter of seconds. If you need help with this, contact Home Junction immediately. They are experts in mobile responsive design.
Special note: when it comes to responsive design, in this decade, you need to not only pay attention to desktop search and mobile search but also voice search.
Be sure your website is designed properly when people speak into their phones and ask for local real estate agents “near me” or with similar phrases. Trust us, voice search is BIG, and only going to grow.
Here’s another question: How well are you generating leads from your website?
Are the calls to action very clear? Are you offering consumers anything in exchange for them to fill out a lead form? Are you offering homeowners and buyers a way to get an estimate on the value of a home? Providing a way to monitor those estimates to see the direction of values in a neighborhood they live in or want to move into? What type of local real estate data are you providing consumers that is important for their decision-making? Do your plugins or code snippets include School data, School attendance zones, Recent home sales, Trends in home prices, boundaries, neighborhood demographics, home value estimates, etc.?
Surely you know by now we are in the era of Big Data. The technology today allows for the gathering, analyzing and distribution of massive amounts of data. Real estate data providers such as Home Junction have aggregated billions of bits of hyper-local data. Data that will help consumers make a decision on buying a home. Neighborhood real estate plugins and data that can help an agent market someone’s listing better.
One of the great advantages for real estate agents doing business in 2020 besides incredible smartphones, drones, free social media and email distribution is access to hyper-local real estate statistics. A local agent can now be an incredible resource of hyper-local real estate plugins… just like the big mega real estate portals. Those agents don’t have to go out and find that information on their own. (And keep it updated.)
Real Estate Plugins
There are data providers such as Home Junction who have already gathered all of that information for you. All you have to do is add a few snippets of code or a plugin to your website. In fact, brokers and agents can now order real estate plugins that can instantly provide school data, charts showing trends in recent homes sales, stunning photo galleries, maps, maps that show amenities within a certain proximity to a home, and much more.
And, just like the big mega portals, agents can also add home value estimate tools to their website so consumers can request a quick estimate of the value of their home and compare it to other properties on their block. As we all know, this is a tremendous lead generation tool. It’s also an incredible branding tool.
You know that if a homeowner continually visits an agent’s website to check on the value of their property, at some point in time, they are going to be ready to ask for a more formal CMA. And they are going to list that property. Chances are, they are going to list that property with the agent who has already started a conversation with them and has supplied them with relevant and reliable real estate data in the past.
In the movie “Back to the Future,” the Doc urges Marty to go forward in time for a crucial event. Guess what day that was? Oct. 21, 2015. It’s 2020. Folks, we are in the future. However, is your website still stuck in the past? Probably time for a makeover. (And as we said, the experts at Home Junction will be glad to review your website and make recommendations for no charge.)
Ask yourself this final question: Does my website have all the latest tech bells and whistles plus tons of hyper-local real estate plugins with great mobile functionality to appeal to today’s modern consumer and optimize lead generation? If not, call Home Junction at 858-777-9533. If you are not sure, don’t face the possibility of getting left behind. Call us anyway.