Establishing Credibility in Your Real Estate Website Part 2
In the first 5 guidelines of establishing website credibility, the personal aspect of your real estate website was examined. We examine the credibility factor in your overall website design in the final 5 guidelines.
6. Design your real estate site so it looks professional and is appropriate for your real estate market.
One of the biggest factors is a website visitor’s initial Go-Nogo decision is the look and feel of the design. IMCD Web Design has studied the effects of real estate website design, from the type, size and number of graphics, the typography, the overall color theme of a website’s design, the design’s consistency, to the balance of navigation items and content. IMC’s real estate websites strike a proven effective balance between the design presentation and the design content that perfectly serves the real estate market.
7. Make your site easy to use — and useful.
This is really 7A Easy to use and 7B Useful. Easy to use is based on the clarity of the navigation and the ability to reach any page in 2 to 3 clicks. Useful means your content serves your client’s needs, gives them the information they need, and doesn’t force them to go elsewhere to find all the information they need to make a decision. IMC designed sites avoid the graphic artist’s trap of providing very artistic sites filled with Flash slide shows, but that fail to deliver basic information necessary to make real estate buying and selling decisions.
8. Update your real estate site’s content often.
Nothing makes people wonder is you are still in business like a website that has not been updated. Make sure your listings are up to date. IMC’s real estate websites designs include Neighborhood News tools for adding newsworthy articles and real estate blogs that allow real estate agents to update their sites without taking a large amount of time from their busy week.
9. Use restraint with any promotional content such as banner ads and offers.
Granted banner ads have been touted as a great second income stream. But the purpose of a real estate website is to sell your real estate agent services and promote your listings of homes for sale. Popups, banners and various offers detract from your main message and one lost potential client may lose you more than any banner revenue will bring in over the course of a year. Restraint also applies to writing style – honest, clear and direct are credible. Wordiness in the content and making large claims detract from your website’s credibility.
10. Last, but not least: Avoid all types of errors, no matter how small they seem.
A frustrated visitor is a gone visitor. Broken links are very frustrating. IMC websites are link checked prior to posting. A good place to start checking your real estate website’s links are any government links. Just like the new Egyptian pharaohs and Roman emperors would quickly replace their predecessors statues with their own, government sites seem to follow the same pattern with website replacement and pay little attention to a link’s legacy out on the Internet. Also spell check your website. Experience has shown that the more creative and artistic a person is, the more they are apt to misspell words. Unfortunately website visitors interpret misspellings as lack of detail oriented thinking (needed in real estate contracts) and general sloppiness, not that you are a really creative real estate agent. And, as your sixth grade teacher told you so often, make sure your verb tenses match.
And most of all, under guideline #10, trust your website hosting to a reputable firm. People visiting your website finding it gone, or worse the domain name lapsed and was snatched up by a marketing company selling domain names is a bombshell in your marketing campaign.
Follow these guidelines and work with a proven real estate website design company to assure the success and credibility factors on your website.
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