April 5th - 2013

Taking your website from static to standout

Taking your website from static to “standout” was the subject of a talk I heard recently in New York. Nicole Nicolay (@nik_nik), founder of Agent Evolution, spoke about ways to transform your website from the same old static venue into something that stands out from the rest and helps generate more business leads.

iPad and iPhone with question marks

by Amie Ferris

Is your website in need of a reno?

Taking your website from static to “standout” was the subject of a talk I heard recently in New York. Nicole Nicolay (@nik_nik), founder of Agent Evolution, spoke about ways to transform your website from the same old static venue into something that stands out from the rest and helps generate more business leads.

I realized that most of the advice was common sense and that I had not been following it. Hearing what you should already know from someone else is both a motivator and a refresher. Here are Nicole’s five key tips to move your website from static to standout.

  1. iPad and iPhone with question marksIs your platform responsive? People today search for real estate from many different sources. Can your website be viewed on all sources (tablet, phone, laptop etc)? Decide which items should be viewable on which platform. For example, when potential buyers view your website from a smartphone, first and foremost they should be able to search the site for listings. If your site is not responsive, consider using WordPress. WordPress is an open-source blogging platform but also functions as a content management system. 

  2. Is your branding obvious and consistent? When people visit your site, can they immediately see your brokerage name, your specialty, and whether you are an owner? Marketing yourself and your expertise effectively gives you a better chance of turning these viewers into clients. If you’re not part of a large brand, consider redesigning your logos or slogans so they are eye-catching and obvious.

  3. Is your content unique? You can have a template site without having template content. Template content will not allow you to stand out. Consider adding neighbourhood content and “about” pages. Give your visitors something unique. If your site is not unique, start sharing your story. What differentiates you from a “run-of-the-mill” REALTOR®?

  4. Is your IDX home search worth using? IDX is an MLS® application for your website that allows the public to search listings. Do you utilize home search options in an ideal way? Make it snappy! Consider a quick search on your home page or a search that requires people to sign up to get listings by email – giving you the opportunity to build up your potential client base. Consider setting up specific areas with predetermined searches. For example, if you specialize in a specific neighbourhood, provide a page of homes in that neighbourhood alone. If buyers don’t have to enter any criteria and can just click on the neighbourhood name, they can see what’s available for sale.

  5. Does your website contain a clear call to action? A call to action invites viewers to do something and suggests a path to get them there, such as a link on which they can click. Your site should include a value-added call to action, something that promotes your strengths in exchange for an email address. For example, you can invite viewers to sign up to receive a free home buyer’s guide or a free market valuation. This allows you to create or increase your pool of potential buyers or sellers. If your site lacks a call to action, create one. Be sure that the call to action and your entire site plays to your strengths.

All of these tips will help transform your website so that it works harder for you and helps you to grow your business.

Amie FerrisAmie Ferris is a real estate salesperson from Port Rowan, Ontario, president of the Simcoe and District Real Estate Board, and a member of the OREA Young Professionals Network.

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