All too often you see commercial real estate websites that have been neglected in one of a number of different ways. That will then have a direct impact on the levels of inbound property enquiry, and the business brand for the brokerage. It is wise to have a simple checklist of key factors to address and check regularly with the online promotional side of the property business.
The comments below here are specifically focused on the websites established for individual brokerages.
- Search engines like to see property related information that is regularly updated. If you want to lift your search engine exposure online, then it pays to load into your website updated information relating to the local property market. Focus on your location and any specialised property type as you write your articles and load them online. It is better to be specific rather than generic when it comes to online articles and editorials. The algorithms for the search engines can easily see and identify generic low quality information. Load information to your website that is quite comprehensive, useful, and detailed for the local area. Focus that information on the location and talk about the current market conditions, any new projects, and interesting events or property market campaigns.
- Update your property listings regularly with new information and advertising copy. Any exclusive listing should be refreshed every two or three weeks. Change the advertising copy and the layout to attract better levels of enquiry and readership online. Track the number of hits for each listing type, and location. Soon you will see the listings that are of high value to your website and converting more enquiries.
- On the homepage of your website have a specific placement position for promoting the chosen property of the week. That property should be specifically selected from your bank of exclusive listings. A premium should be paid by your clients to feature at the top of the website homepage.
- Always use professional photographs as part of your promotional campaign for any of your exclusive listings. It is an established fact that professional photography on your website will attract readership and convert better inbound property enquiries at a greater level.
- Treat open listings and exclusive listings differently on your website. When a client agrees to the exclusive listing process with your brokerage, and pays vendor paid marketing then they should receive specialised treatment online and within the website.
- Remove redundant listings and any old open listings when campaigns have been completed. Understand when the property has been on the market for too long. Search engines regularly access busy websites, and will overlook old information. If a listing is still on the market for sale or lease, it is better to remove the listing or refresh the listing on a regular basis with different layouts, information, and photography. Keep your website fresh understanding that is a marketing tool and a big part of your promotional strategy.
- Social media alternatives should be merged into your website structure and listing marketing initiatives. Make it easy for people to follow your website on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google. The secret to being successful online with social media is in doing things with regularity and relevance.
So these are the ‘big issues’ to consider when running a commercial real estate website successfully and professionally.