The Guild of Property Professionals CEO, Iain McKenzie is joined by Steve Ryan, Sales Director for Websites and SEO at nurtur.tech, to discuss the importance of an estate agency’s website.
Getting straight to it, McKenzie asks, “How important is it for an independent agent to have a brilliant website of their own, bearing in mind how many agents use the portals to promote their listings?”
In response, Ryan says that portals should be seen a standalone aspect from the agent’s website, adding, “While they are both on the internet, portals are a central place where people would go to find property, whereas the agent’s website should be promoting their business, and everything that an agent does with regards to marketing, whether online or offline would ultimately lead back to their website. So, whether that is leaflets they distribute with a QR codes or for sale boards, all marketing material would point people back to the agent’s website. If people are being directed to the website, it is important that it is good, user-friendly and reflects positively on the business, otherwise all other marketing actively has essentially been a waste of time.”
He adds that an agent’s website is as important as their office was before the digital evolution, commenting, “You would never have had out-of-date window cards, and you would have kept your office spotlessly clean. Effectively, an agent’s website has now become their online shopfront and window to the world.”
So, what is difference between a good website and a great website?
Ryan explains that a good website would tick a lot of boxes and cover the general bases an estate agency would require, however, to elevate the website, it would be optimised for the business, their services, their location, and segment of the market they are targeting. “If there are two estate agencies in the same location but one is focused on retirement properties and apartments and the other on the upper quartile, their websites should reflect this and be targeted to these segments of the market. The website should be optimised for searches related to the location, as well as these segments of the market, and it should be mobile-friendly, given the vast number of people who use mobile devices to search. It is about thinking about the customer’s journey and how they would interact with the website,” he comments.
McKenzie responds saying that there is a high volume of people who would visit an independent agent’s website before instructing the agent they want to sell their property.
“That makes a lot of sense,” says Ryan. “People probably wouldn’t be wandering around town looking for an estate agent like they used to, the internet would be the first port of call for most. The internet has made it easier, and people expect to be able to do things from the comfort of their own home at a time that suits them. Interestingly, a lot of people move within a very small radius of where they currently live, on average around three to nine miles. This means that the people who are looking to purchase in an area, could also potentially become a future vendor. So, if your website is not set up to show in the search result of ‘properties to sale or let in your area’, you are missing out on a lot of potential business.”
McKenzie and Ryan go on to discuss several aspects such as ways to effectively promote a website, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), local searches, paid-per-click advertising, reducing bounce rates and many other elements.
To listen to the rest of the conversation in full visit The Home Stretch podcast.