Websites today are a critical part of commercial real estate brokerage. For this reason they should not be overlooked or under estimated when it comes to design and use. Many agents and brokers will get a website created by a professional and yet they overlook the ongoing strategies required behind the site to bring in the new business opportunities and leads.
Most particularly there are things such as:
- Search engine optimization
- Database integration
- Keyword integration for listings and articles
- Blog use
- Site layout updates
- Search engine listing advice
- Social media integration
Many web designers are not good at the ‘optimization’ side of the equation. You may need to have a separate person or professional helping you with the site ‘optimization’ after the site has been created and loaded. A website can look good, but it does need to work for you in branding and inbound enquiry.
In every town or city there will be a commercial real estate portal for advertising listings for sale or for lease. That being said, there is still a need to feature the listings on your own website if you have one. Your website therefore needs to be attractive and user friendly to the visitors that reach it. It needs to retain their interest to look around.
So, it is not just a matter of creating a website and using it. There are some very important things required to optimize the process and get the best results for the commercial real estate brokerage.
Here are some ideas to help you get more from your website:
- Think of your site as a ‘brochure’ about your business. It will have pages, and location based information. Most of your leads will come from the local area so ensure that your site is oriented to your location, and the property tenants and owners in the area.
- Recognise the differences in informational needs between a tenant, property investor, business owner, and property developer. All categories should be serviced in special segments of your site, including the differences between office, industrial, and retail property.
- Ensure that the site ‘description’ has been created by a ‘professional’ with due regard for the keywords relative to your location and property listings.
- Get the site ‘description’ advised and loaded to the search engines. Your website designer can advise the search engines of your site location and its new description.
- Always integrate a blog into your website. This will be a critical part of loading content into your site. That will then help a lot with optimisation of hits and visits. Load blogs to your site at least 3 times per week. Those blogs should be helpful and informative for property investors, tenants, and buyers. The regular process of loading blogs will be observed by the search engines and that will help with your ranking.
- Google analytics should be integrated into your site so you can comprehensively track the visitors to your site, where they are coming from, and what they are doing. The service is free and quite simple to install however you will need a website professional to help you do that.
- Integrate a ‘private access’ portal into your site for your clients. This can be a special point of difference for your clients and investors.
Websites in commercial real estate brokerage do not need to be complex, but they do need to be professionally planned and implemented. They then need to be ‘managed’. In that way you will get more enquiries going to and from your site.