Real Estate Webdesign Canada | Website Tips
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Website Tips

A Realtor recently commented to us that our websites are…”a little girly”. Our response is that maybe they aren’t girly enough.

The reason we responded that way is that Realtors SHOULD be catering their websites towards women (at least in part). And there are a couple of ‘girly’ reasons why…

An example of a website from a woman that women like (and men as well–because it needn’t be one or the other) is for Smart Women Buy Real Estate. This client used beautiful colours, mobile optimization and content that appeals towards female sensibilities.

Why YOU Should Build your Website for Women

So, there is more than one reason why you should build your website with women in mind…

1. ‘There is One Person Right in a Marriage—the other person is the husband’

While the above may have inspired a giggle…or rage…most married couples would nod their head in agreement. In a typical relationship the woman is often the one doing research on a Realtor and on available homes. This means that the woman in a relationship has a large influence on both the home they choose and the Realtor they use. So, cater to this.

What this means for your website, is that it should have a design that appeals to women. This doesn’t mean ‘girly’ necessarily, but super-aggressive Realtor images and hard colours like blacks and reds likely won’t appeal to them. Also, cater the content on your website towards a female perspective. Be empathetic and by aggressive but approachable. But of course balance it with facts, figures, and stats that will appeal to men as well.

2. The Number of Single Women Buying Homes is Skyrocketing

Homebuyers in North America consist of over 20% single women. So, not only are married couples influenced heavily by the woman, but 1/5th of your market is also single women.

 

So—Women Huh?

Whether you want to target the 20% of homebuyers that are single women, or couples looking for homes that have the woman doing a large percentage of the home-searching work—catering your real estate website towards women is simply a good idea.

For some inspiration on content and design that will appeal to women—simply ask us.

The real-estate web community seems to be split on whether a real estate website can benefit from live chat. We say….absolutely.

live chat for real estate websites

Even if you aren’t convinced by the end of this that a live chat would help turn your passive website into an active lead-collection tool—try it, it’s free.

 

Reasons YOUR Real Estate Website Needs Live Chat

1.    People are Afraid of You

Like it or not customers are afraid of contacting vampiric, shark-like real estate agents. Live chat is a very unimposing way of asking a question that encourages them to do so.

2.    They Can Multitask

We live in a society of multitaskers. How many of us even watch TV anymore without being on our computer, iPad or smartphone? A live chat allows them to open up a channel of communication without taking their entire attention span—which is extremely precious of course.

3.    Transcriptions

If you’re a busy agent and have trouble keeping track of leads, who they are, where they came from and what you talked to them about then a live chat tool (ahem—like the one we use) can help you keep track of all conversations. Not only does it track what you said but it also tells you how they found your website—an invaluable analytics tools to help you refine your marketing efforts to the highest-pay off campaigns.

4.    After-Hours Service

Many potential clients are hesitant—to say the least—to call a Realtor during off business hours. A live chat makes you available evenings and weekends. Our apologies to your social life, but hey—it’s the biz right?

5.    Increases your Productivity and Return-Inquiry Time

For someone to send you an email (if they actually do it), wait for a response, you to take the time to answer and then go back and forth—is a completely nonsensical waste of time. Cut out the in-between time by using a live-response tool like live chat. You may just get back to them quick enough to keep them from moving on to another potential agent.

6.    A Heaping Pile of Steaming Data

live chat for real estate websitesIf someone told you that there was a super-simple way to learn what forms of marketing are bringing you the most live leads, and it was free—and easy to use…you would do it. That’s what live chat is. It provides you with invaluable data to find out how to improve your online marketing campaigns, in an easily-measurable way.

7.    Pre-Emptivity

With our live chat tool, not only can people message you (which comes to you as a text message-like message on your smartphone)—but it also has the option to create an alert when someone enters your website. It will also tell you how they found your website and what page or pages they are looking at. This allows you to pre-emptively strike up a conversation, especially if they are looking at a listing. “Hi, I see that you’re looking at 123 Madeup Avenue…just so you know we’re doing a major overhaul of the kitchen to include granite countertops and cork floors—you absolutely have to see it if you’re an amateur chef!”

 

 

So…

So, live chat is a phenomenal tool to help build your online lead generation for your real estate website. But, of course—it isn’t perfect. It takes some time to figure out what type of responses and pre-emptive messages work for you. But, it’s free. And within a couple of weeks you could be…FINALLY, getting leads off your website.

 

Give it a try.

 

Ask us how.

 

 

Realtor websites are your best chance to make a first impression, to distinguish yourself…yadda yadda yadda. Insert any additional cliches that you can think of here. Since here at Real Estate Websites Canada we loathe vagueries we thought we’d just get right down to business and offer you tangible advice about what to look for in a website—even if it isn’t one of ours. Oh, and while you’re here…check out our websites (which are available a one-time fee of $2500).

Realtor Websites— 8 Things to Look For

So—without further preamble, fluff or crap, here’s the top things you should look for in realtor websites…

 

realtor websites bad example

…don’t do this. 

(And don’t do this either)

  1. Responsive Design Responsive design ensures that your website looks perfect across all devices. This is because it adjusts depending on the screen size—without looking stretched or like a shrunken head. Responsive design is an alternative to designing a specifically mobile website (which is a different version of your website for only smartphones), which is another excellent option…depending on your needs. Note that mobile websites may need to be updated in addition to the non-mobile version.
  2. Clean Lines Modern web design is all about clean lines that allow your visitor to be visually-impressed by your site—instead of scared away. They also empower the user to easily find the content they want.
  3. Flow Clean lines assist with proper ‘flow’. ‘Flow’ gives the users a place to begin looking, and then guides them through the website. This is accomplished by properly using element size and colours.
  4. Creativity and Uniqueness If you think that your website is the only realtor websites that your potential clients are going to, you’re quite mistaken. The average user will look at, at least, 10 realtor websites before they choose their agent. Make yours stand out with clever branding.
  5. Great Content The ‘wow factor’ visuals of your website will keep a user around for a few seconds—but you need to convince them to stick around (and hopefully call you!) with great content that offers them tangible advice. Avoid cheesy realtor fluff…they saw enough of that on the previous 9 Realtor websites they visited. Great content will also vastly help your SEO. If you have no idea what to write…we’ll scribe you some brilliance for $35/page.
  6. Features (click-to-call, live chat, etc.)So you hooked them in with your flash, kept them there with your content…but now what? Well, now you need features that help reel in the fish. These include things like click-to-call, live chat, email sign up for information they truly want, etc.
  7. Function
    Another element you want to look for is functionality. To give you an example, we worked hard on functionality for our website about condos for sale in Regina. This website has compare listings feature, a ‘favourite’ listings feature, advanced search functionality, call to actions and more.
  8. Integration You surely have at least five different types of technology—ideally you want them to all integrate together. A great example of this is to integrate your lead-capturing technology into your website, and then hook them both into your CRM. Zapier is a great technology to link together nearly every technology you have. Another way to integrate your existing technology and marketing into your website is to integrate your social marketing—so that when you post on your website it automatically pushes it out to your social networks.
  9. Lead Capturing The whole point of your website is to capture the users. So, use carefully-tuned lead-capturing forms and technology to help make the most of your website.

 

So—sounds good…but where can you find all these things? Well, prepare yourself for the shameless self plug—but with us.

 

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Young buyers are an important percentage of the home-buying market—so your real estate marketing needs to cater (at least in part) to them. If you’re rolling your eyes thinking “yeah, easier said than done…mutter mutter…young punks…grumble grumble”–never fear…it’s easier than you think.

If you found this blog post randomly on the internet (*woohoo this proves our marketing is working!) and haven’t seen our website yet—check it out, then come back to this blog post.

Http://real-estate-websites.ca

Done? Great.

You likely noticed the ‘pow’ of our design. Clean lines, humour, a bright pop of colour (but not too much), integrated video, clear navigation, a responsive mobile design that shows brilliantly on mobile devices, the modern logo, etc. These are all geared towards a Web 2.0, younger audience…because if the technology and design can impress a young, technology-oriented agent…it will surely impress some of the *ahem* ‘progressive in years’ agents.

The truth is–if your marketing can impress even the young, hip kids–then everyone else will likely follow suit. Modern is good–to everyone. So, how can YOU do it?

 

Real Estate Marketing: How to Attract Young Buyers

To keep this simple we’ve come up with 3 somewhat simple things you can do to upgrade your real estate marketing to a 2.0 version that will impress the young crowd…

  1. Get Modern Headshots
    If you’re leaning on a sold sign, with teased hair, a screwed-on smile and a thumbs up—it’s time to update the pictures. So, ditch the ‘power poses’, 90’s brick cellphone pictures and other canned images. Get modern-looking headshots that show you out in the field—you know, actually working! Or, make this the year where you go for a funny approach and take a joke picture. Or—if those sound too risky, just get a modern picture, with bright colours or warm tones and a nice background (exposed brick always makes for good pictures). Outdoor headshots are always nice too—although this doesn’t always work well in Canadian winters.

  2. Social Media Marketing
    Every single young person is on Facebook. So, create a Facebook page with good, modern branding that shows your expertise in the business combined with your personality.

  3. Get a Stellar Website
    Every single young person will also Google you and check out your website. A dated website shows that you’re behind on technology—which is a huge detraction for the younger generation. It is a problem for them because technology is a big part of marketing these days, and they want to know that you use technology well and can do things like text, email and ‘chat’.

    So, ditch your old website that looks like it was created in the late 90s (and the template probably was!). Get a custom-branded website that is modern, and that truly represents your personality, approach and expertise. An example of a website we made that attracts young buyers is our niche website about condos for sale in Regina. This website’s overall look is catered to young buyers–which was a smart decision considering young people make up the majority of condo buyers in Regina (and other cities for that matter).

    If you’re worried that this all sounds too expensive and time-consuming. Headshots are a one-off cost and can be done fairly cheap (you can check Groupon for a photography deal if you want to save some cash), social media marketing is free (and fun!)–and our custom-branded websites are only $2500 and we do all the work!

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If you’re looking for advice on how quantifiably-effective real estate slogans are—we can’t help you. We don’t know how successful they are. But, what we can tell you is that they can be a highly-effective element of an overall branding campaign.

 

When it comes to branding, we highly recommend selecting a niche before choosing your real estate slogan. This is because real estate slogans are secondary to your overall branding strategy. It is much more effective to decide to become the condo agent in your city, or the foreclosure agent—or the relocation agent, than to try to brand yourself as “the 24-7 realtor”. Whether you choose a vertical like condos, or a geographic region—do this before you pick your slogan. Then, pick a real estate slogan to suit.


Real Estate Slogans


Below are a few of the most-common options available in the market place. These serve purely as an inspiration creator—but we highl
y encourage you to customize a slogan to yourself. If you get stuck….just ask us for some ideas.

Just before we jump into some examples, know that the most effective real estate slogans target a geographic area, use a rhyme, paint a picture or tug on the heart strings.

 

Example slogans to get your creative branding juices going are:

 

  • To sell fast—call the rapid Realtor
  • because nobody does it better!
  • Past performance means future guarantees
  • Because your home is worth it
  • Reward yourself with experience
  • Delivering (consistent) results
  • The low-commission agent
  • Solutions—not promises
  • Profit from ourexperience
  • …because your home is your best investment
  • Bigger homes, for less
  • The Condo Queen
  • Your full-service agent
  • Everything I touch turns to sold
  • Move in the right direction with ____
  • Real estate solutions—simplified
  • …dedicated, to results
  • Meet with the rest—sign with the best
  • Coming soon—to a closing near you
  • Intuitive investments
  • Beyond the sale…
  • Click or call…we do it all!
  • Real estate relationships—not transactions
  • Welcome home.
  • Turning your realty dreams into reality

 

For more tips on real estate slogans and overall real estate branding—stay tuned to our blog! 

 

real estate slogans

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As professional real estate Marketing pros we’ve done the research on responsive real estate website design—and the verdict is in, responsive web design is a good idea. But first, we’ll explain what it is…

real estate webmasters responsive design

What IS Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design is an approach to website design that allows the website to automatically readjust itself in size and display to be optimally viewed across all devices and their varying screen sizes. What it does it allow one website to look great whether you look at it on a 20” computer monitor, a 13” laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. The adjustments it makes will be fluid and will use percentages to readjust its sizing.

Here are some examples you can check out.


Real Estate Marketing Tips: 6 Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is Awesome
To help you understand why responsive web design is an awesome new technology that every Realtor should be leveraging, here are the top reasons we came up with to switch to responsive design:

 

  1. If you use responsive web design then you don’t need to have a mobile-optimized website version that you will need to update each time you update your original non-mobile website.
  2. You decrease the amount of scrolling and adjusting the screen size that your users have to do, which causes them to get frustrated and leave your website.
  3. It is more cost effective because with responsive design you don’t need to purchase a separate mobile website.
  4. You will be ‘future proofing’ your real estate website because responsive websites are designed well and will more easily incorporate new and emerging technologies.
  5. It helps your SEO, because Google likes optimized sites better than non-optimized—which means you’ll appear higher than non-responsive and non-mobile-optimized sites when mobile users do a Google search.
  6. It will assist other marketing campaigns, like email marketing—as the average person now reads more emails on their mobile device than computers. This means that when they click-through your content they need a good mobile viewing experience.

 

As real estate Marketing we’ve fallen in love with responsive web design, and so should you. If you’re interested in offering your users and potential customers a better online experience on your website—then you’ll want to leverage responsive design.

 

To incorporate responsive design into your website—just call us, the real estate Marketing here at Real Estate Websites Canada (street name: REwebsites). 
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The best real estate websites have one thing in common—they deliver potential clients. If you’re website isn’t delivering leads—then you’re missing out on clients, and it is likely for one of the following three reasons:

1. Bounce Problems

‘Bounce rate’ is web terminology for when someone clicks on your site, it loads, and they leave within a few seconds. It happens when people don’t like what they see, or what they see doesn’t pop out at them. The best real estate website avoid these like the plague.

The sites with the highest bounce rates generally have one or more of the following issues:

No flow. A website, like any graphical element needs to have a specific flow that the eye is supposed to follow. To accomplish this you need to choose colours, sizes, fonts, pictures and videos that attract the readers to the most important part of your site and then provide a natural visual flow. Websites with multiple items that jump out at you will make users ‘bounce’.

Cheese. Nobody like cheesy. A website that looks cheesy will encourage people to bounce immediately.

Similarity. If your website looks like every other agents’ website then you won’t capture people’s attention immediately. To avoid similarity stay away from templates used by other agents in your area (like MCS or Real Web websites).

2. Failure to Communicate

People are surfing the internet for information. If you don’t provide them, quickly, the information they are looking for then they will find best real estate websites that will. To offer them the information they want in record time, your website needs:

– Excellent navigation. Your navigation should preferably be at the top of your website, and be clearly labelled and easy-to-read. If you have more than 5 or 6 pages then you will want to use drop-down menus to avoid your menu being too cluttered.

– Use sub headings to help people skim the page for the information that they want.

– Use clear fonts without funky colours to make your text easy-to-read.

 

3. Failure to Convert

Attracting people to your website is one challenge. Getting them to stick around for a few minutes is your second challenge. Your third, and final, challenge of the best real estate websites is getting them to take the next step and contact you.This conversion stage is the most difficult, especially since many homebuyers browsing the web are still in their informational phase and aren’t ready to begin contacting Realtors yet. This informational stage however is exactly when you need to strike.To aid your conversion rate, you need to focus on the following:

Expert status. To help aid in conversions, you first need to offer information and advice on your website that makes you an expert. Avoid generalizations and marketing fluff. Instead give them tangible reasons to make you their agent.

Contact. You need to have methods to contact you on every page of your website. This means phone number, email, live chat and social profiles—because you don’t know which method each user will prefer (and not all of them will prefer the same method).

Call to actions. Every good website needs some call to actions. These are generally brightly-coloured buttons with some text that grabs you and convinces you to call. Ideally you want multiple, different call-to-action buttons on your site. On your listings you can hold back a piece of information and say “call for X piece of information”.

Downloadable content. Adding content that can only be accessed by entering your email and then downloading it, or having it emailed to you, is a great way to build your email marketing list.

4. Page Load Time — A Habit of the Best Real Estate Websites

Pages that take a long time to load are bad. First, many people won’t wait–they’ll just bounce to another website. Second, Google doesn’t like pages that take too long to load, so they will suggest other ones to people performing Google searches. So, to ensure success, the best real estate websites load lickety-split.

 

So, is your website doing all that? No…then you need us. Check out our portfolio for some examples of the work we’ve done, then head on over to our services or pricing page to see how much we can offer—and how extremely affordable it is (hint: it’s $2500—with no expensive monthly fee). If your website IS doing all that—kudos! But check our pricing page because we can likely save you a ton of money that you can reinvest in other areas of your marketing.

 

 

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Should Real Estate Agents Use Website Builders?  — Real Estate Website Builders

 

real estate website builder
Should real estate agents use website builders? In our opinion? No, of course not.

 

Our knee-jerk response isn’t what you think though…

 

Yes, we—of course—want you to purchase a website from us instead of a website builder, but we also know that eventually most agents who use website builders will turn to a professional web development company anyways. And since we’re rockstar awesome, have the most economical prices in the business and offer top-level technologies—they’ll come to us eventually. So—we’d rather save you the time by telling you which real estate agents should use website builders…and which should use US.

 

Real Estate Website Builders: Who SHOULD Use Website Builders

  • Agents just starting out who have absolutely zero budget for a website.
  • Agents with plenty of time on their hands to build the website.
  • Agents with a reasonable level of technological know-how.
  • Agents looking for a simple website with basic functionalities (for some—that’s all they need and want, and hey—that’s cool!)

If you think a real estate website builder might be for you–allow us to point you in the right direction with this great chart of different website builders and what they can do:

http://www.top10bestwebsitebuilders.com/

real estate website builder 2


Real Estate Website Builders: Who SHOULDN’T Use Website Builders

  • Agents who don’t have the average of 15-25 hours that it takes to create a reasonably high-quality website with a website builder—and would just rather fork out the $2500.  Because sometimes having a pro do a pro-grade job is worth more than paying yourself slightly above minimum wage to figure out how to build a website.
  • Agents who have an image to uphold and need a professional-looking website.
  • Agents who want a number of top-level technology website features like lead-capturing, CRM, Live-Chat, Mobile Click-to-Call buttons—and more.
  • Agents looking to leverage on-the-go online marketing with a mobile website and QR codes.
  • Agents who get frustrated easily by technology (you know who you are).
  • Agents who aren’t sure exactly what they need on their website! (You know who YOU are too)
  • Agents who want more control over the look and feel of their site.
  • Agents who see the value in owning their website instead of renting it.
  • Agents who need on-going support to manage and continue to expand their website and online presence.


Real Estate Website Builders….hmmm….Not sure which one you are? Feel free to give us a call…we’re honest and will give you a no-nonsense answer to what you really need. If you understand technology (which we can determine from a 2-minute phone conversation) and all you truly need is a website builder—then we’ll tell you just that! (And then we’ll kindly ask you to refer us to less-technical agents in your office, of course).

If you’ve tried a website builder and aren’t happy with the results or simply ‘weren’t able to quite figure it out’ (no shame in that game—we know how much knowledge it takes to build a website), then welcome home—like family we’ll take care of ya’.

 

To see examples of the kind of website you can get for just $2500–with no expensive monthly fee–click here for pricing, and here for portfolio examples.

real estate website builder 3

Author: Robin

Want some super-crazy-mad-awesome real estate web design tips? Well you’re in luck.

When our bad mama-jama web developers aren’t busy creating internet-based masterpieces they occasionally impart a few pearls of wisdom on us. And here they are, in the form of 5 super-amazingly-awesome real estate web design tips from Canada’s slightly-more-than-mediocre real estate webmasters:

  1. real estate web designEmotion Works BetterOur real estate web design web guys can be surprisingly sappy—but it works out well. When they are able (and allowed) to incorporate heart-string-tugging elements into the design of our client’s websites, those website turn out more leads than non-emotion wrenching sites. A few tips on how to work a lil emotion into the sale are:
  • Work the women and kids angle
  • Appeal to a man trying to please his wife
  • Lifestyle-enhancing elements

So, instead of using generic photos use ones that convey a certain lifestyle, or appeal to women or mothers. Pay attention to small details of your website design as well. For example, if you’re trying to appeal to the woman (and let’s face it very few real estate deals have ever gone down when the wife hates the house or agent) then use softer colours instead of harsh metallic-coloured themes.

  1. Design with Women in Mind
    Aww heck—let’s face it, women make the majority of home-buying decisions (or at least have veto power over the decision), so play up to it. Don’t be too intimidating appearing on your website or women could go running from the hills. An example of catering towards women can be seen on a niche website we made in Regina, about condos for sale in Regina. This website caters to women especially as they represent a large percentage of the condo-buying population in the city.
  2. Leverage your Content
    Pretty pictures will only get you so far. In fact they’ll only hold a viewer’s attention for about 7 seconds. After that you need legible content that they can easily skim. This means clearly-named subheadings and to-the-point information. We’re a Nintendo- and microwave-generation society, so be sure everything on your website can capture our flighty attention-spans in mere moments—and keep them.A great example of this is a website that we’ve helped sculpt some of the content for: Mazeon.ca. A sample page is their page on White Rock homes for sale–which is full of recent and relevant stats, trends and homeprices.
  3. Make it Mobile
    The days of opting for a mobile website are over. You now need one. Period. If you meet a potential client they aren’t going to read your business card they are going to scan the CR code and go to your website—on their mobile phone. If it comes up with tiny, scrunched-up letters and illegible fonts they will simply give it the pass. These days mobile is super easy, and extremely affordable—so there is no excuse.
  4. Don’t DIY
    While you might recommend DIY projects to your clients to fix up their nicked walls and cracked bath tub—a realtor’s website isn’t the time to be all DIY about yourself. Your website needs to be über-professional. It needs to convey that you are a dedicated professional who takes their job seriously and thoroughly understands key marketing concepts (like professionalism).

If you’re considering hiring a pro for your real estate web design project—give us a call. You’ll love us, and we’ll create a website that will represent you, perfectly. 

And our best tip? To use one of our websites–they have no expensive monthly fee, cost just $2500–and come with all the FREE bells and whistles you could ever want! Click here to find out more.

Article Written By: Author: Robin

Posted by Robin in Uncategorized, Website Tips Read More