The vast majority of real estate agents don’t take the necessary steps to improve their websites. Most of us are so busy dealing with clients and potential customers that we don’t put time or thought into tweaking our sites. But there are a few ways that you can upgrade your site to get more contacts and business.
It’s hard enough to get people to your webpage in the first place, and you certainly don’t want them leaving without reaching out to you. Here are some fairly easy changes you can make to your site that will prevent you from losing business unnecessarily.
1. Make your phone number easily visible
We all want customers to contact us. Many people don’t want to read anymore. They just want to connect with you. So make it easy for them.
Your phone number should be placed at least once on every page on your site. We recommend the top right-hand corner. Users, including you and me, are trained to look at this section of the page. This is where the phone number should appear.
But this simply isn’t enough. According to Google, the majority of web traffic is coming from mobile devices. Is your phone number clickable from your iPhone? If it isn’t, then you might lose business. Creating a click-to-call link is actually pretty simple, especially if your web platform is simple like WordPress.
Imagine a customer on your website who is trying to contact you, but when they tap on your phone number, the inevitable happens, nothing. Be sure and take care of this ASAP.
2. Don’t forget about text messaging opportunities
Many potential customers today don’t reach for the phone like they used to. If you offer text messaging abilities, you can harness those potential users who want to reach out but aren’t comfortable enough to pick up the phone.
By offering a text messaging line, you have just created another avenue to create leads. If you don’t want to offer your personal mobile online for texting, then keep reading.
3. Apply for a Google Voice
Google Voice is an exciting program that has been around for awhile. You can apply for an additional phone number that can be used to reach you on your mobile or office line. It also offers answering services, can be used to facilitate text messages and can even send voicemail transcripts to your email address.
Many people enjoy Google Voice due to the fact it can act as a voicemail system and even screen calls. You can actually listen in as someone is leaving you a voicemail. You might actually decide to pick up the call while the caller is in the middle of leaving that voicemail.
In addition, you won’t have to give out your mobile phone number for those of you who value privacy. The Google Voice number will simply forward to the numbers you specify.
You can certainly imagine the opportunities that this can provide a real estate agent.
4. Use a simple contact form
Users are also trained to fill out forms. The placement of the form and how many “fields” are included are also a vital part of every site.
Many of us aren’t familiar with the term “form friction,” but all of us know what it is. Do you remember the last time you were about to fill out a contact form on a webpage, and then were turned of by the sheer number of blank spaces required. If you bailed on that website, then it had too much “form friction.”
We recommend the vital pieces of information:
- First and last name
- Email address
- Phone number
- An empty text box where the user can type in a custom message to you (optional)
Anything more than that, and you are risking your customer bouncing off your website.
Now where to place the form. There is no best place. But we prefer the center, or possibly on the right side of your site. You possibly could play around with the location of the form. Many of the big players test this.
You might locate the form closer to the top of the page to begin with. You can actually install some analytical software that shows where most of your customers are looking.
5. Heatmap Software
If you want to get even more technical, our agents recommend Hotjar software. Here is how it works. You can visually see what your users see and do. Where they click, tap and move their mouse. It really doesn’t get any better than this.
We are not affiliated with them, but it will take the guesswork out of the entire process. You can see what your users are doing and make changes that increase customer interaction with you.
Remember that you probably have a website for a reason. Help your users navigate your website, and increase the calls and contacts.
6. Offer lead magnets
Not sure what a lead magnet is? You probably are aware what it is, maybe you are just not familiar with the term. A lead magnet is a resource that you offer. In exchange, the user offers you their name and email address. It can be an e-book, downloadable resource, podcast or even some sort of free offer.
Usually, there is some sort of large button that is also known as a call to action. When the user “clicks” the button, a lead form appears. Here the user will enter their information that usually includes the first and last name plus an email address.
There are different ideas to implement when it comes to producing the best call to action technique. No doubt you probably will change yours over time to increase the response rate. But just think about this: A great lead magnet will generate interest immediately.
If you are offering homebuying resources, you pop-up lead magnet might say “10 tips for buying a home in (your area).”
7. Leverage customer testimonials
All business should be creating trust and credibility. A potential customer will feel more comfortable once they see that others had a great experience with you with the same type of transaction.
Be sure to place these customer reviews on your home page. This page will usually receive the most amount of traffic. You want your users to be able to see what is most important. This will lead to the greatest amount of conversions.
If you implement these changes and want to do more to prevent losing potential customers who visit your website, look into options for adding a chatbot. Here’s an article that explains how it works and how to set one up.
Remember, having a website is just not enough in today’s competitive real estate market. The vast majority of real estate agents don’t take the necessary steps to improve their personal website.
By configuring your site properly, adding in easy-to-use contact forms, adding customer reviews and using software to personally see how your users are navigating your website, you are taking the necessary steps most people won’t. Constantly tinkering your site can improve your conversion rate and result in more sales.
Andrew Reichek is an agent with Rentkidz in Houston, Texas. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.