“Hurrah, A Balanced Market!” said no estate agent ever.
To anyone outside of the property industry, a balanced market sounds like an ideal scenario. The reality is very different as competition for listings becomes a ferocious fight for buyers too. Double the struggle for estate agents.
However, we also all know that when the going gets tough, the tough get going and seriously up their game.
How do I up my game when I’m already working harder than ever before?
Let your website take the strain by leading the browser-to-client/customer journey.
Your website has always been your most valuable marketing asset, and investing in it has been a no-brainer for the last two decades, as the way we make significant life choices such as moving home has shifted online.
However, simply being online is not enough. Demand dictates that agents must also now provide the tools and services they once delivered in person on their websites, 24/7.
If you think this sounds impersonal and cost-inhibitive, maybe it’s time to think again.
When it comes to the cost of an extra pair of hands or losing just one or two sales, ramping up your website’s pulling power is more than cost-effective, it’ll pay you back in spades in next to no time.
Out of hours but not out of mind
Let’s set the scene…
Tom and Dick have had a long and busy day at work, followed by a grueling commute home, and are finally sitting on the couch with their feet up at 9 pm, eating a microwave meal and flicking through their phones and tablets.
They’d love to move closer to work and cut down on travelling time but they haven’t got time to get to a local estate agent’s office or even call them during the working day. They need to sell their property to move but aren’t quite sure what it’s worth, nor what is available closer to their individual offices. So, they just keep putting off the decision to move.
How can your website turn Tom and Dick into vendors and buyers, without you lifting a finger?
Catch the eye of search engines and be an organic winner with browsers.
It goes without saying, the first thing you need to do is be found, and if your website isn’t built using the most up-to-date responsive, mobile-friendly code, you could find yourself sliding down or even off first, second, or lower page results. Your old website may still look fabulous on the outside but under the bonnet, it could be a clunky old diesel engine that search engines are beginning to avoid.
Therefore, if your website is more than 2-3 years old, it’s time to start planning for your next upgrade.
Don’t Dumb Down your Website. Content is still King!
We regularly see estate agents trying to dumb down their sites and make them more like a pretty picture book than a useful tool for movers. Movers aren’t under 5’s. They will have finished looking at the pictures in a minute or two and will have moved on to a website with something more substantial and informative.
PLUS, do you know a house hunter or vendor who has ever searched online for ‘man holding keys smiling at happy couple’? No, and nor does Google, so although fabulous images are a must-have, they are there to complement words, not replace them. Alt tags and captions are helpful but they are no substitute for text.
In fact, the age-old rule of 300 + words per page as a bare minimum matters just as much, if not more, in today’s hard-fought market.
Cover all areas, and improve your Google presence at the same time
It’s unlikely that you only want to cover one specific town or village and will want to widen your net. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t play ball and likes to keep things extremely location-centric.
However, adding our ‘Popular Search” tool to your website takes care of that by giving Google a separate local URL for each area’s search results to help you get found more easily.
So, back to the boys…
Whilst casually browsing the internet, Tom looks up “is Mytown a nice place to live” and lands on your area guide. Bingo! The Chase is On! (other gameshows are available)
Tom then shares the article with Dick who notices a ‘Property Search’ banner on the same page, so enters in the area they were thinking of moving to. Nothing seemed to fit what they were looking for, but luckily, at the bottom of the page, there were ‘Similar Properties’ which weren’t in their initial search criteria but looked great. On a closer inspection, one of them was perfect and was simply on the other side of the town where they hadn’t thought of looking, and it was an even quicker and more direct drive to their places of work!
While Dick was taking a virtual tour of the house and its beautiful garden, and planning their first soiree as they would have so much more time to socialise if they moved, Tom was seeing how much their current home might be worth with the instant valuation tool.
Between them, they then used the stamp duty calculator, and booked an expert in-person valuation and viewing for the following weekend, and all while you were relaxing at home on your sofa, and not a finger needed to be lifted. Plus all of Tom and Dick’s details are now secured on your database and appointments booked, saving you even more time in the morning.
So, for just a small amount of investment in your website, you could have Tom, Dick, Harry, Mary, Amhil, Saamvi, Peter, Phillip, Jackie, Andrzej, and more…
Want to know more about Popular Searches, Similar Properties, or any of our other fantastic add-ons that can help you take on the ‘Balanced Market’ check them out HERE.
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