Sometimes it’s just too easy to let your website presence slack off a little. Especially with today’s fast-moving market. There are many mixed messages about what you should have on your website; content; videos; or even if you should HAVE a website. Blogging falls off; we don’t add our listing photos or videos; and there it sits. Yawn.
But, there are some exciting new trends happening, and, truth be told, agents are business owners who need to market their services online. It’s the billboard, the storefront, the treasure trove of your expertise and personality. It could be time to find ways to inspire your website visitors in NEW ways, with new content, and shift the perspective of the old website. Engaging your visitors in new ways can increase traffic, inspire them to take action, and give them a little fun at the same time. Below are some colorful finds with fresh ideas that turn old websites into new, sexy, trendy places to find a home.
1. Check out the newest website trends: FUN! Color! Action!
Some of the newer WordPress or Tumblr themes (or custom-developed ones) have fun new layouts. For the most part, they take the “categories” of your website and turn them into visual destinations, rather than the old drop-down menus in navigation menus. Add in some fun graphics or photography, and suddenly you have eye-catching calls to action that are discoverable rather than just “Communities.” Check out DC Lifestyles’ new home page. As a site visitor, my eye draws me in to all the things I can search; I want to stay and play, and see what’s under all the fun “windows.”
2. Bring in your reviews from other sources.
Reviews on sites like Google, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and Yelp are yours and yours to keep. Display them proudly on your website. Kendyl Young of GlendaleandBeyond.com has integrated her reviews with a WordPress plug-in, and then LINKS BACK to the original review on the associated site. This is a great way to add some extra SEO juice to your site as well. Alternatively, using your own user-generated reviews through a service like RealSatisfied, you can bring in widgets, plug-ins, and other tools to display your great service. Make your visitors search easier by giving them exactly what they want: information about you.
3. Invite visitors to your office or space — show them what you are like to work with.
Alante Real Estate is in Massachusetts. I’m not looking for a home there. I know their website, and found their Facebook page. But if I were, THIS would be someone I would call. Just by the photos alone. Warm, inviting, fun, trendy and casual professional. Don’t be afraid to step out the “norm” of the stuffy, stale, boring website. Add your special pizzazz in a fun and delightful way. It doesn’t matter if you’re a luxury, second-home or condo-selling agent. Set the tone before they pick up their smartphone. You’ll be halfway there to making a strong, personal connection. Even if your website structure is still the old one, add some new content to freshen up your doorstep.
4. Create some fun quizzes or ask thought provoking questions.
I recently went on a search for eyeglasses. I didn’t know what style might be right for me, but I landed on the Lenscrafters site. Instead of searching articles or looking through pages and pages of styles, I took the “Find Your Look” quiz. From my face size, my clothing style, and my likes and dislikes, I was able to narrow down my search in a fun way. I had a handy, expert analysis of what I might like. I liked that. You can do the same on your website. Whether using a plug-in for quizzes, or a fun blog series that goes through the different “homebuyer styles.” Ask thought-provoking questions that are fun, and turn them into fun ways to engage your clients with the homebuying process in your area.
These are just a few fun ideas that are trending in websites. It’s a challenge to engage in personal, fun ways online, but with online homebuyers their searches all look the same, and over time can be frustrating. Whether using these ideas or your own, don’t be afraid to personalize, and inject a splash of fun for your visitors searching for their home.
*The sites above are semi-custom to custom websites*
Do you have a few ideas of your own? Feel free to leave them in the comments!