Every business trying to operate in modern America knows by now that they must have a website. However, it can be hard to know where to start, especially when much of the information out there is generic and not tailored to a specific industry.
Web platform and mobile app development for real estate can be a real challenge, no matter what type of company you run. This guide will go over all aspects of website or real estate app development for a variety of real estate companies to help you create an online home base that meets the needs of your business.
Where to Start?
The type of website you set out to build should be reflective of the type of business you are building it for. For example, are you a property management company? A private real estate investor or landlord? A real estate company? All of these different types of companies dealing in real estate will approach the creation of a website slightly differently.
Design It Yourself or Hire A Professional Web Developer?
This is probably the first question you need to ask when preparing to get a website up and running. Most businesses are better served by hiring a professional web designer to design a site for them.
However, there are plenty of free or easy-to-use web builder tools out there that allow just about anyone to build a professional-looking website. There are two main concerns with these tools and services; however, even though you can be very successful in using them.
One is that these sites often use free subdomains. This is an issue because it does not look as professional, and the search engines do not give sites with subdomain URLs preference. A professional business should have its custom domain name: i.e., www.yourbusiness.com.
The second concern is that websites built with similar tools and themes will likely look similar, if not identical, to other sites out there. Consider how you will avoid these issues if you choose to build your site.
Don’t Overdo It
A common problem in real estate web platform design is the desire to overinform. Don’t be tempted to put every last bit of information about your business or your properties on your website. This leads to a website bloated in information or blocks of text that visitors will not want to read.
The purpose of your website is to be a marketing tool for your company. You want to showcase the highlights of what sets your real estate business apart from others in the area and then encourage visitors to contact you for additional discussion or information.
In the case of terms and conditions or other legalese that might be necessary to post on your site, you can do that on separate pages users can access if they wish to.
What About Mobile Apps?
Many real estate businesses wonder if they should start mobile app development on their own apps. The answer is that it depends.
Like everything else in business, it is a cost-benefit analysis. It is true that many, if not most, users will be perusing your site on mobile devices. Mobile apps are especially helpful in real estate because they allow tenants, potential buyers, and others to access information relating to properties while on-site.
Real estate app development can be time-consuming and is an additional expense. Therefore it is better to entrust this to a company such as Yalantis. In addition, apps need to be updated with relative frequency. But if justified from a business perspective, a mobile app can be a powerful tool for increasing your customers’ ease of use.
Aspects of Your Site to Consider
There are a lot of moving pieces that all come together to make a successful, beautiful website. The following are some of the key factors to keep in mind.
Ease of Use
A website must be user-friendly and intuitive to use. Users should be able to find what they are looking for easily. If they are left with a confusing website where they can’t find what they are looking for, they will click away and no longer be interested in your business.
You can reach out to both professional and informal testers and give them specific tasks to see what they like and don’t like about how your website handles.
Your website also needs to look nice and professional. Ugly, outdated sites are going to be a turnoff for potential customers.
Media should be embedded in the site – it shouldn’t all be text. Include pictures of the properties you sell and manage, for example, or videos giving a tour. Be sure to incorporate your logo and branding colors into your website’s design to tie it closed in with your company.
One problem customers frequently run into is not being able to find effective methods to contact you. Communication is key in the real estate field, and you want to be sure you facilitate that with your customers through digital channels.
The more ways you offer for customers to contact you, the better. For example, you can have an e-mail address or two, social media pages, a live chat option, and a phone number. This information should all be included on a contact us page. It is also a good idea to include the main contact info at the bottom or top of every page on your site.
Customers are more likely to do business with a company that has come recommended to them. Always ask customers to leave an online review if they liked the service you provided them. You cannot underestimate the importance of online reviews.
A helpful trick is to not post only positive, glowing testimonials on your website. Post nuanced, honest reviews as well that are generally positive but still mention a thing or two the customer didn’t like. This builds trust and credibility with potential clients.
Plan to incorporate a blog into your website. The reasons for doing this are several. For one, it serves to drive traffic to your website. A blog is a constantly-updating source of content and keywords that can bring customers to your site. Two, content on your blog can show off your professional expertise in the real estate field, which impresses customers and makes them more confident in doing business with you.
Who to Follow?
Now that you have some idea where to begin, you may be wondering who you should follow to gain more important information, tips, updates, and more. The following are some of the key resources that can be helpful to real estate companies of all kinds.
– Website Developers
– App Builders
– Your Competitors
– Industry Publications
– Professional Real Estate Organizations
– Other Internet Resources
Any company or contractor that helped develop your website and app are worth following. You will likely have questions or need of their services later. It is always important to track your competitors and closely monitor what they are doing.
This can help you determine what is expected of your business and your website as well as give your ideas for how you can offer superior service your competitors do not. Industry publications and professional organizations are also important to follow.
These publications and organizations cater to certain areas of the real estate field, such as investing, property management, property sales, and more. There are also countless other resources, including seminars, training programs, blogs, and industry professional’s worth following online.
Building a website or an app for a real estate business is not particularly difficult. However, building one that looks good, functions well, tells customers everything they need to know, and works effectively to drive revenue to your business can be a delicate balancing act. It can require some trial and error. With these tips in mind, however, you can build a suitable website or app for your real estate business. If you don’t want to use Shopify? You can checkout those reviews for the best eCommerce website builders by BestWebServices.