What Real Estate Web Users Want

by : Andy Asbury

Home buyers and sellers spend a lot of time on the Internet, but they can only do so much. Once you get someone's attention online you have to work to keep things interesting, and convince them to come back again. In online real estate there are many strategies you can employ to keep people on your website, but be careful - too much information or eye candy can confuse potential clients. The best policy is often to keep things simple, and make sure visitors get what they want.

Many Realtors think they can get more business simply by having more websites, but it doesn't work that way. Too many slightly different websites offering the same service can dilute a company's brand, and confuse people. You might also spend a lot of time building websites that compete against each other, while another company takes all the business with a single prominent site, and a clear message. Having multiple "company" websites might also lead a user to believe that your services are in fact controlled by someone else, or that you operate online for affiliate purposes - never a good thing if you want people to contact you directly.

What most successful real estate professionals do instead is put all their effort into a single, excellent website. This way they can keep all their best imagery and content in a single place, refer everybody to the same website, and really polish their brand. These agents and brokers might blog all over the place, and participate in social networking sites and forums, but everyone knows they keep their best material on their own website.

It's also important to make sure your website content is informative and fun to read. Users may not want to a lot of copy when they arrive on your homepage, but they'll appreciate clear, catchy directions to the reading material. The challenge for many Realtors is figuring out how to present their services and information differently from other Realtors. Real estate marketing material is often presented the same way over and over, so it's important to emphasize your own voice and quickly get to the point of what you can do for the user.

Another strategy might be to turn your site into an information resource that web browsers turn to on a regular basis. In doing this you'll attract more traffic that knows your site well, and you'll become more skilled at quickly connecting with the user.