Last week, I wrote about the value of neighborhood and school information on real estate websites, and pointed out that the majority of prospective buyers using a real estate website likely have no interest at all in that type of information based on their age or lifestyle.
As I thought about that more, I thought I could distill this further into something that seems to often get missed in real estate website design: Who is the primary visitor to your website?
Looking through website visitor stats, it’s clear to me that
– The primary visitor is someone who’s searching within a market where they already reside. (Based on locations of visits.)
– They’re often familiar with the company behind the website they’re using (based on search referrals and direct visits).
– They know what they’re looking for. (Based on internal searches conducted on the site.)
– They pour over photos. (Based on internal stats.)
– They share properties that are well-merchandised. (Based on internal stats.)
– They contact agents most often about listings that are well-merchandised. (Based on internal stats.)
When I add all of this up, I see the biggest opportunity in real estate marketing coming from getting the basics right. Syndicating additional data onto the site from third parties doesn’t help your primary visitors achieve their goals and is probably more of a distraction than an enabler. Look no further than the differences between Google and their competition in search to see how effective doing the core service right can be. It doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles you have if people can’t find what they’re looking for.
Are all of your agents doing the best job they can of merchandising their listings on your website? If not, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to win over the most important visitors in your market one listing at a time.