How to compete with Rightmove online

30 June, 2015

complete_with_rightmoveFor most people moving house is a life-changing event. If you’re buying or selling you want to be able to trust the estate agents involved.

Consumers judge brands they are unfamiliar with by the quality of their website. When using the website they unconsciously rate the experience. They ask, "Does this website look like it belongs to a company I want to do business with?". If it doesn’t they will take their business elsewhere.

Customers apply the same high standards they receive from retail websites to estate agents. Consumers expect to do everything they want on estate agents websites with the least amount of fuss and effort.

Over the years Evoluted have a developed a large number of estate agency websites. We have put together a list of points to consider when having your website developed.

1. Focus on buyers / renters

Most estate agents want to focus on attracting new vendors but a website focused on vendors isn’t appealing! A potential buyer wants to see a website that showcases properties and markets them as well as possible.

The Fit Property website puts finding a property front and centre on their homepage. This prominence shows the importance they place on letting the properties on their website.

fit_property_search

2. Drive enquiries with clear calls to action.

All pages should have a clear call to action for those looking to enquire about a property. Make sure you don't forget the vendors, include prominent links for those looking to sell or rent their property!

3. Harness the power of a single website

Many estate agents cover the rental and sales markets, the temptation is to have two focused websites. This approach leads to a website that becomes challenging for users to navigate. A single website with a strong navigation will help users find what they are looking for. A single website also allows you to concentrate your website authority on one domain. This in turn will lead to higher rankings in the search engines.

4. List properties in an instant

Make sure your new website will integrate with your property management system. You don’t want to have to enter the property information in two places, it won’t happen as quickly or effectively. The day you have the property information in your property management system it should be on your website. Systems such as Jupix and Vebra make it easy to connect them to your website.

5. Make sure your website works on the go

Over 50% of Google searches are now carried out on mobile devices. This is especially true for users looking for properties to buy or rent. Users will search on the train, bus, at the pub or even on their mobile phone lazing on the sofa.

6. Use your local knowledge

Being a local estate agent you have a wealth of knowledge that the national websites will never have. Capitalise on your local knowledge, for example make sure your website search system recognises colloquial names. The large national websites like Rightmove and Zoopla will never be able to match your local knowledge.

The Wilkins Vardy website developed by Evoluted correctly locates a number of areas. For example Walton in Chesterfield which Google Maps positions incorrectly in some nearby woods!

wilkins_vardy_walton_chesterfield_map

7. Capture user interest

If a user is searching for a property but the website returns no results then make sure there is a next step for the user. For example offer the user ability to sign up for email notifications if any properties become available matching their search.

Make sure you keep these seven points in mind when developing a new website for your estate agency. You’ll end up with a website that elevates your brand in the eyes of your customers. And in turn generate a steady flow of enquiries and reduce your reliance on Rightmove.

Written by Ash

Having co-founded Evoluted in 2006, Ash’s passion for the digital world and obsession with client satisfaction has since helped the company grow into one of Yorkshire’s leading digital agencies. An advocate of ROI-focused delivery and a firm believer in the use of bespoke technology, he was nominated for ‘Business Person of the Year’ at the 2017 Sheffield Business Awards.

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