Lots of people know about the necessity to have a commercial real estate website as part of a brokerage strategy. In saying that, they typically overlook the important strategies and elements behind the scenes that can and should be optimised as part of that website design and selection.
The online marketing structures of a brokerage website are very special. You can have a good website that appeals to the eye of the reader when they visit, and or you can have an extraordinary website that pulls in the search engines consistently and feeds new property enquiries to you. What choice do you make? Shouldn’t it be both?
Online Website Rules
The message here is that a property website can look good, but without a few extra strategies applied to the site it just won’t pull in the business from the internet. Here are a few specific ideas for brokers to feed into their online strategy and website build:
- Domain Name – You have a couple of choices here. Many real estate businesses choose a website name that is the same as their business name; whilst that may seem a good idea and perhaps even logical, website domain names that are ‘location specific’ can be more far more relevant and attractive to the search engines. Understand and consider what people enter into search engines when they are looking for property locally. For example a domain name such as ‘newtowncommercialrealestate.com’ is likely to be far more successful in attracting the search engine exposure than ‘mycommercialpropertybusiness.com’. The core message here that your domain name is really important if you want to attract a location specific property enquiry.
- Mobile Friendly Design – Today the larger search engines are selective when it comes to mobile friendly designs. They have algorithms set to pick and prioritize websites in the search results that are ‘mobile friendly’. The assumption is that a larger degree of property enquiry is now coming from smart phones and tablets. Is your website ‘mobile friendly’?
- Fresh content – Whilst you will load your property website with continually new property listings, add a lot more content by way of informational articles and blogs. Write about property types and locations so the website search engines know that your online services are more comprehensive than just a batch of listings. Provide information in your website that is helpful.
- Professional images – Understand the value of having high quality photographs on your website. Pull in the eye of the reader. Use well-crafted and considered professional images on your landing pages and home page. Load your images into a good website layout that is functional and practical for people visiting.
- Landing pages – Set up a number of special landing pages inside your website that are worded and designed with special services and single property types in mind. For example you could have specific pages for retail shopping center leasing, investment sales, tenant advocacy, plus many more special property types. The wordage on those landing pages should be focused entirely on the selected topic.
- Popup informational offer – Have a popup informational offer that appears on your site when a new visitor arrives online. It could be a specific report or free property information for your town or city. Make sure that the offer is of interest and value to the greater local property community. In exchange for a person’s email, you can then provide the promised report. What you are doing here is building an online database from the valuable offer made. You can then feed that prospect data into an auto responder and stay in regular contact.
- Keywords – Use plenty of keywords in your website copy that are focused on your location and property speciality. Those keywords should be similar to those words that people would enter into search engines when making property enquiry.
- Meta tags – These special tags are set for and within web sites, web pages and blogs. They are deliberately designed to add more attraction to and about a webpage. A website designer will know how to set those meta tags for your property speciality and location.
- Listings – Load your new listings into your website, and in doing so use good quality photos and professionally written advertising copy. Get away from the ‘generic’ advertising mistakes of the average brokerage. Make your listings stand out as more attractive and relevant.
- Social Media – It is doubtful if the typical social media channels are ever really successful in attracting new business in commercial real estate brokerage. Most of the investors and business leaders that we work with are not driven or influenced by social media marketing (conversely the opposite is the case with residential property). Understand your clients and prospects in commercial property, and use the social media channels as a communication tool only. Link your social media activity to your blogs and articles. Provide helpful information in your social media channels.
So there are some good things that you can do here with website design and construction in commercial real estate brokerage. Make the right choices as you work with your website people so that your new online presence builds plenty of inbound enquiries.