13 Tips for a Great Web Site

The 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that 88 percent of home buyers used the Internet to search for a home. Here are 11 tips to help you attract those buyers to your site and make them want to come back:

  1. Recognize that you have less than 20 seconds to grab prospects’ attention, notes Randy Engfer, a sales associate with The Hasson Co., REALTORS®, in Portland, Ore.
  2. Repeat and reinforce your marketing message by matching your Web site’s look to that of your print and other personal marketing efforts. The same marketing principles apply to both.
  3. Make your Web site accessible through multiple domain names such as yourtownhomes.com, yourtownrealestate.com, and yourname.com.
  4. Trade links with other business sites in your area and with your town’s main home page; consider testing an ad on the town Web site.
  5. Add a privacy statement telling visitors you’ll keep their e-mail address and personal information confidential. (Seek the guidance of a qualified attorney to make sure your privacy policy is up to snuff.)
  6. Post current neighborhood information from reliable sources. On the Web, content is king.
  7. Promote your site on your other materials, and make it worthwhile for those who take the time to visit by keeping it timely and relevant.
  8. Post a response form that prequalifies prospects and lets them request additional information from you.
  9. Put your name, your brokerage company, your business address, your social media accounts, and your e-mail address in the footer of every page of your Web site.
  10. Post informative articles about home buying and home selling. If you use articles from another source (including REALTOR® Magazine) first get permission from the author or copyright owner.
  11. Incorporate a blog into your Web site — but only if you enjoy talking about the business and your community and you can commit to updating the blog often. A stale blog sends a bad signal to potential customers. Allow for comments underneath blog entries as another way to connect with potential and current clients or even browsers who happen to stumble upon your Web site. If you allow comments, though, set a sensible policy on what you'll allow and what you won't (e.g., profanity) — a monitor comments closely so that you can reply to questions and remove unacceptable posts.
  12. Don’t skimp on maintenance. There’s no sense in having a great Web site if it’s inoperative or littered with broken links.