Real Estate Website Design Tips from BrandCo’s Ken Granger
By Matthew Bushery
About Website Design
What separates a good real estate website design from a great one?
To provide a solid user experience and convert more leads, basics like color scheme, fonts, and images are important.
But as BrandCo‘s Ken Granger shared with us during our Q&A, great real estate website design goes well beyond those components.
Read on to get expert real estate website design tips, and watch our on-demand webinar with Granger for even more advanced website marketing tips and tricks.
Start with the basics: Do you need a new real estate website, or just a design refresh?
Too many agents put the horse before the cart when it comes to their real estate website design, says Granger.
Thinking too far ahead before nailing down the basics can hurt an agent’s marketing rather than help, he adds.
The first thing Granger recommends agents do to make their websites the best that they can be is to take a step back and analyze them first.
“I think a lot of agents get some paralysis when they start to think about the website being technology they have to work,” says Granger. “Really, what it comes down to is it’s a communication method between you and your client that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Granger notes that, while industry pros may not want to spend the time and energy necessary to regularly update their real estate websites, doing so is an absolute must.
He says, “Even though you may not be thinking that you’re going to be blogging or driving traffic to your website through search engine optimization (SEO), or pay-per-click (PPC), your website is out there promoting your business 24/7.”
As Granger notes, your website is a digital business card — but it can be so much more.
Simply getting your website up and running is an achievement that deserves a pat on the back, but the work doesn’t end there.
“You may have handed a business card to someone who passed that business card to someone else, and they go and check out your website, and it’s a super important piece of your marketing,” Granger shares. “Even if it’s not something that you’re focusing on to drive traffic or leads, it is a huge credibility source.”
Granger says that every agent should optimize his or her real estate website design so they have something they can be proud of.
“A lot of times, agents — whether they’re getting a templated website through Placester or even some of the folks we do custom sites for on Placester — they feel like it’s a set-it-and-forget-it thing,” says Granger.
“They put their credit card in and they just go the other direction,” he adds. “But I think it’s really important that they put some thought into what they’re hoping to have their visitors experience and feel when they come to the website.”
Granger says the most important thing an agent needs to have is a memorable, locally focused domain name.
Without one, he notes, the potential for getting found by the right people and developing a strong reputation is lost.
After the skeleton of your site is set, Granger advises turning your attention to lead capture.
Making it simple for your visitors to navigate from one page to another and find the info they’re looking for should be one key concern when you’re working on your real estate website design.
You should also be optimizing your website for lead capture, and that starts with adding forms to each and every page.
“Lead capture is what everybody’s looking for on their website,” says Granger. “If you talk to a real estate agent and you ask them how their website’s doing, they usually kind of give you a frowny face — they’re not super-happy with it.
I always go back to that value question: What are you giving in order to receive that lead? A lot of agents just expect they can put their site up there … [but] it’s very unlikely the stranger on the other side of the internet is going to give all of their contact information so a REALTOR® can contact them.”
Granger says leads are often far too early in the process of hiring an agent to want that kind of interaction.
“They’re just interested in properties,” he elaborates. “So allowing them to search and explore different things on your website while continuing to provide value, the more you’re going to get back.”
Behind every lead capture form there should be a unique and compelling offer, says Granger — and that’s where your content marketing comes into play.
“Those [value-add] things [can be] market reports, market snapshots, average home values — the stuff you guys know as a real estate agents and experts in your community that’s not necessarily public information or information that can be found in portals,” he explains.
The visuals of your real estate website design are important— but not as much as your value-add.
Be a valuable, always-reliable resource for your real estate prospects, and they’ll come back to your website for more.
In other words: Don’t just focus on making your website look beautiful — make it educational so your audience views you as a trusted source of information.
One way to offer website visitors value, says Granger, is to create local, SEO-friendly content that attracts new leads consistently.
“There’s this fear in the industry that you might exclude some people if you go [the hyper-local] direction in your marketing,” says Granger. “I would encourage you to do so anyway.”
He advises, “Become an expert in an area, go super hyper-local, and then build the brand around that, with the domain name, with the logo, with the photography, with the imagery, with the content, all around that mini commitment you’ve made. And then do that for another neighborhood, and another neighborhood, and another neighborhood.”
The truth is, you’re much more likely to capture high-quality leads from your real estate website by creating original, captivating content about your specific market.
“It goes so much deeper than the logo and the color scheme and the fonts and the imagery that we use,” Granger says. “Those things are really important because they elicit emotion, they establish credibility and recognition, but then they stop there.
You have to back all of that up with the services you provide, the knowledge that you have, the experience that you give that buyer or seller throughout the process, how quickly you answer the phone.
All of those pieces of how you interact with your client is an extension of your brand. We can do the best job on the planet of making the look and feel and identity pieces of your website and your brand look like a million bucks, but you’ve got to back it up so you deliver a delightful experience.”
Watch our webinar with BrandCo’s Ken Granger for more real estate website design tips:
Published on October 25, 2017
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.