In today’s competitive real estate market, it is crucial to have a website for your business. Not only will this help you stand out from the competition, but it also helps potential clients find and contact you in order to set up appointments or ask questions about your services. This blog post will cover everything an Estate Agent needs to know about having a successful website including what makes a good Estate Agent Website design and the process for creating a high-converting Estate Agent Website.
Should real estate agents have their own website?
Yes! Having your own website is a must for any real estate agent. Not only does it help potential clients find and contact you it means you can take back control of your marketing by not solely relying on large property portals to list properties and close instructions.
May estate agents are put off from getting a website, citing cost and complexity as the main reasons. However, with proper planning, all estate agencies can have a website to be proud of!
What are key elements in real estate web design?
The key elements of estate agent website design include;
Understanding your audiences user journey
To create a high converting website you must first understand your audience’s user journey, their needs and wants as well as the emotional triggers which will prompt them to take certain actions. You should be able to identify your desired objectives for your website design in order to create a solution that matches those goals.
The goal of real estate web design is often about converting leads online into buyers or sellers offline so it’s vital you know what the user journey is.
The user journey is the way that a person finds, researches, and decides to buy or sell property online. It can take days or weeks and people often have many questions along the way so you need to make it easy for them to find answers quickly on your website design.
Once you understand what they are looking for then ask yourself how this translates into a call to action. Ask yourself what will you need them to do when they find the answer?
Easy-to-use website navigation
A site navigation menu is a must as it’s crucial for guiding visitors around websites, directing them where they need to go next while moving towards their goal of finding what they’re looking for or completing an action like making an inquiry for a property.
A website must have clear and concise navigation to help users find what they are looking for quickly.
A simple menu system is often overlooked but it can do wonders to help your conversion rate.
If you’ve got a lot of pages then make sure that the menus are deep enough so people can find what they want but not too long or complicated where they become overwhelmed and give up.
It’s also worth considering how important each page is in relation to others as this will change the order of the menus.
If a visitor can’t find what they need quickly then they are more likely to move on and find the answer elsewhere.
Lead capture is crucial for any business, not just real estate, and having a website that collects data from prospective clients is an important step in any digital marketing strategy.
Without a way of harvesting leads your property website is nothing more than just a brochure site that adds little value to your marketing efforts.
Responsive website design ensures your site is easy to use and navigate, regardless of the mobile device being used.
For example, a user on their smartphone will have different needs from someone browsing with a desktop or tablet computer which makes responsive design indispensable.
Quality content and resources
You need to have quality content that will engage your visitors and have them converting into customers. Quality content is the most important aspect of most marketing campaigns.
Examples of quality content and resources for estate agents would include;
- Detailed area guides
- Valuation tools
- Up to date property listings
- Agent biographies
- Selling guides
- Buying guides
High-quality images and videos (not stock imagery)
While stock imagery can be useful it’s much better to have your own quality imagery. This is because people like to be able to relate and identify with what they see.
A professional photographer will know how to take high-quality images for the best effect.
Video marketing can have a huge impact on conversions from your lead generation as it’s an excellent way that you can show off your services in real-time, leading more visitors into becoming leads.
Strong call to actions
Websites for estate agents must include compelling calls to action’s throughout the website to encourage visitors to take the desired action, such as enquire about a property or download a property guide. These should be positioned strategically and they need to deliver value and always look to move the sale/transaction further forward,
Automation (sync with CRM)
Users are likely wanting to see property listings on estate agents’ websites and the easiest way to keep your site updated with the latest inventory is to sync with your chosen estate agents’ CRM.
You can have your website automatically pull up the latest listings that are available for viewing at any time on your site, and you’ll be able to add new properties as soon as they’re listed. Any changes made in your estate agent CRM will be synced back to our website.
Fast loading pages
Fast-loading web pages are important for keeping visitors on your site and helping them find what they’re looking for. Page speed is a known ranking factor for Google so is crucial if you want your website to rank.
A good way to keep pages loading quickly is by designing a website with optimized imagery.
The fewer images you have on the page, the quicker it will be to load.
Caching plugins help to increase page speed as well as quality, WordPress-specific web hosting platform.
Simple & logical page structure
Keep web pages as simple as possible and with a logical structure. remember the purpose of a website is to serve the information a user wants in a way that is easy for them to consume while advancing them to take your desired action.
Good website design will keep the customer on the page for longer, before asking them to click over to another for more information or purchase something.
SEO optimized web pages
Optimizing your website for SEO is important to make your website rank higher on search engine result pages.
SEO is a long and complex process, but there are some low-cost steps that you can take immediately such as adding keywords into the page title or creating meta descriptions for each web page on your site that will help Google index it more quickly.
Ensure you have a logo and branding that your audience relates to and that your company logo appears in a consistent place through the site in line with the guidelines presented by your design team.
Easy to access contact information is important for establishing trust in the minds of your visitors.
A contact form with simple fields such as name, email address, and phone number will just about do it but make sure you also have a physical street address or office location too to back up your claim that you are professionally established. Don’t forget to include the company registration number.
What makes a high-converting estate agency property website?
A good estate agency website design is one that is optimized for lead generation and to convert visitors into clients and instructions.
Estate agent website design should have a clear message, show what the company does and why they are different from competitors, is easy to navigate and easy to understand for potential customers.
We have developed a unique process for creating high-converting websites for property agencies.
A successful estate agencies website project should include the following components;
- Determine goals & objectives
- Define your target market
- Craft a unique value proposition
- Sitemap & functionality
- Wireframes and prototypes
- Build and launch
- Grow your list with a compelling lead magnet
- Local SEO – dominate the local SERPs
- Review funnel for boosting conversions
1. Goals & Objectives
To create a successful estate agent website we need to figure out your goals and objectives. Goals should be specific and measurable and accomplishing your goals should mean real growth and success for your business.
A good way to figure out your goals is by asking yourself the following question:
What are my business objectives? What do I want this website to accomplish for me and how will it make a tangible difference in my life or that of my clients?
This is a great opportunity to evaluate the goals and objectives of your business.
Once you know what they are, it will be much easier to begin designing a website that is tailored to support them.
Your business goals are the bedrock to build a successful website and indeed marketing strategy, so make sure to take your time figuring them out.
2. Target Audience
There’s a saying in marketing “Stop trying to be everything to everyone”. Powerful things happen when you work out what you do best and who you do it best for. Working out who your ideal client is and nailing down your target audience is crucial for any business.
The audience you choose to market your website to will have a massive impact on the design of the site so it’s important that you get this right, otherwise, all your efforts could be in vain.
Scope the pain points and problems of your target audience. What does your target audience need from your web presence?
The data you collect about your target audience for your website project should cover:
- Who are they?
- How old are they?
- Male or female or both?
- How much do they earn?
- What expendable income do they have?
- What do they like to spend their time doing?
- Who are their role models and influences?
- Where would you find them on the internet, in what forums or discussion groups might they be lurking?
- Psychographics – how does your product make them feel? What is their personality type or behavior or attitude towards life in general?
The more you can learn about your audience the more chance you have in producing marketing materials and content for your website that will appeal to them.
It’s not just about the target audience but also understanding their psychology, what they want and why.
This is where you’ll be able to tailor your marketing materials in order to get a better response from your potential customers, with messages like “I understand your pain” or “I can solve all of your worries or problems.
3. Message & Content
knowing your audience will help you understand their pain points.
With this information, we can work on your messaging.
What problem will your estate agency website solve for your target audience? what is your unique value proposition (UVP)?
A unique brand message communicates your value proposition and is critical to set you apart from your competitors.
Nailing down your UVP will allow you to craft the right messaging for your target audience.
Once we know who your ideal customer is, it’s important that you are able to speak directly to them in a way that will make them want what you’re offering.
The key here is knowing and understanding your customer inside out: their frustrations, desires, needs, etc.
Using the UVP we start to work on your site content.
The content you put on your site should answer these questions:
- What does my company do?
- Branding to match your target audience
- Clear and defined brand values
- Why should our potential customers care what we do?
- How is our service better than others out there?
- Who are the best people to contact within the organization with an inquiry or a question about what we offer?
Content that speaks directly to potential clients will help you to produce a high converting website.
This will help them in their decision-making process as well as provide valuable information about what you offer, how it benefits them, and why they should trust you.
4. Sitemap & Functionality
A sitemap is a blueprint for organizing the structure of your website, ensuring your site is a pleasure to explore, and includes all the functions your customers need to get what they need from your estate agency site.
A sitemap contains a hierarchical list of all the pages on your website, including their titles and links to them. This will help you keep track of what pages you need and where they should reside in relation to each other.
A sitemap should include the following:
- All pages on your website, including those you created yourself and any third-party integrations such as social media sites or property listing platforms.
- The title of each page, along with a brief description outlining what its purpose is. For example “Properties for sale – Page for listing all properties for sale”
- The type of content each page displays – e.g “static” or “dynamic”.
- If a page can be found on the homepage, mention this in brackets after its title.
- A brief description outlining what your estate agency website’s main vision for customer experience is and how it will achieve that through different web pages.
A sitemap also helps potential visitors find exactly where they need to go quickly by providing easy navigation through your website.
The sitemap will help you understand what functions you require from your website, and how the different pages will work together to create a strong customer experience.
Note down all the functions that your user would expect to see on your site or are crucial for supporting your marketing efforts.
Additional functions or features might include;
- Advanced property search
- Property listings
- Sync to your chosen CRM
- Link/sync to external property portals
- Agent biographies
- Area information
- Landing pages
- Lead magnet sign up forms
- Newsletter signup
- Funnel integration
- Custom post types for displaying custom information
5. Wireframes & Prototype
Wireframes and prototypes provide an overview of the layout, functionality, and other requirements of a property website to give an idea of where things should go, and what interaction users can expect from your website to make sure we have all requirements covered for an optimal web presence.
A wireframe is a rough sketch of the layout or architecture, which can be used to test ideas. Prototypes are developed wireframes that users interact with and provide feedback on at an early stage in development.
These tools help us get buy-in from stakeholders quickly and encourage collaboration across disciplines such as design, coding, and UX/UI work before we start investing in development.
The wireframes and prototypes we create will have a big impact on the site’s design, usability, conversion rate, and ultimately your business.
It is important to note that these are just sketches of what the website might look like so don’t be afraid to make changes or leave comments with feedback as you go through it. Remember this is the time to test ideas and make changes, not when we develop the site.
Some tools for designing wireframes and prototypes are Balsamiq, Axure RP, or Sketch.
6. Build & Launch
With a working prototype website, we work on the final design elements and start to build the website and add the features ready for final testing.
Each developer might need their own set of tools but it is common to have two types: editor/code editors which allow you to edit the code of the site and design software to create design assets.
We build websites for property agencies using the WordPress content management system (CMS) and a variety of essential plugins for functions such as property/lettings search and CRM sync.
WordPress is a great choice for estate agencies because of its ease of use and wealth of plugins, many designed specifically with the needs of a property agent in mind.
We also use Elementor Pro to develop rich, responsive page layouts for estate agency websites.
Depending on the requirements we may use the following plugins in a typical property agencies website;
- Houzez Theme (for theme and estate agents functionality)
- Property Hive Data Bridge For Houzez Theme Add On
- Property Hive Property Import Add On
- Custom Post Type UI – for adding additional custom post types (agents bios)
- Advanced Custom Fields Pro
- Ele Custom Skin Pro
We also use a variety of plugins to speed up websites to ensure great UX.
Depending on the website’s requirements we may use the following plugins;
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer
- WP Fastest Cache
To help with digital marketing we would integrate the below plugins with the website;
- Yoast/Rank Math SEO plugin
- Cart Flows for creating funnels/flows
- Google site kit
- Integration with estate agents chosen CRM and mailing program
Once the site is built and fully tested we would finish by ensuring the following;
- Direct all forms to the correct email addresses,
- Link to Google Analytics
- Link to Google Search Console
- Manage WP for hourly backups and safe updates a
- Provide access to our support team (additional paid-for service).
- Create a marketing plan for a long-term impact (additional paid-for service).
7. Compelling Lead Magnet
A lead magnet acts as a lead generator on your website. People visiting your site for the first time need a good reason to hang around and they’ll need a compelling reason to provide their contact information (if that’s your goal).
Website visitors rarely take your desired action without being offered something in return, so it’s important not only that your website is tailored to your ideal customer but that you offer something to them in return for them giving you something, such as an email address or phone number.
A high-value lead magnet that helps your audience address their biggest issue, delivering your clients from their pain to the desired outcome will help you connect with your audience.
Providing your audience with the high-value lead magnet will help you get more visitors and convert them into leads for your business.
Your lead magnet is the most important tool for generating new subscribers and leads on your site. This piece of content should be highly relevant and valuable to your customer, while still easy to consume and “advance the conversation” (move them toward the sale/sign-up).
Lead magnets take many guises, including;
- Tool kit
- Area guide (“home prices in London”)
- How to (step-by-step) guide
- Video series
- Test, Quiz, or Survey
- Free Trial (software, subscription)
A step-by-step guide to creating a lead magnet
- Outline your content
- Create, proof and format
- Save as PDF (or upload video)
- Create cover art (Fiverr for some else to do it or Canva if you are creative)
- Upload to website and link to funnel
Lead magnet best practices
- Deliver on your big promise
- Deliver great value
- Position yourself as the expert
- Always advance the sale (CTA)
8. Local SEO
Local search engine optimization is the process of getting your website to rank higher in organic search engine results and targeting specific keywords that would result in your company being shown on Google.
Local SEO is crucial if you want to appear for searches with local intent, for example when someone searches “Estate Agents near me” or “Estate Agents in London”.
When someone searches with local intent the results are usually the first three results shown after the paid ads at the top.
Local search results are also shown on the map in Google, so you want to make sure that your website is listed on this when it appears.
To have a chance of ranking locally for your chosen keywords you need to consider and include the following in your digital marketing strategy;
- Google My Business
- Social media
- Name, address phone number (NAP) consistency
- Directory submissions
- Local-specific content on your website
- Reputation management (reviews)
- On-page SEO
- Voice Search Optimisation
- Promote content in relevant online communities
- Guest posting
9. Review Funnel
Reviews are gold dust for all businesses, providing trust and proof that you are the ones to help your clients get from their pain to the desired outcome.
Why are online reviews important for SEO?
One way to rank higher in search results is by getting reviews on popular review sites, such as Yelp and Google.
Doing a simple google search for [business name] + “reviews” will give you an idea of how many reviews a business has online.
The more reviews a company has, the higher its chances are of showing up in Google Search results for their industry or region.
Most of us will choose a business that has many positive reviews over one with zero reviews.
Having an automated and robust way of collecting reviews is crucial for any digital marketing strategy and especially for estate agencies looking to improve their online presence and authority.
Reviews are also a great way to improve customer service and collect data from all kinds of people, website visitors, vendors, and buyers.
For many agency owners, the thought of building a website for their estate agency can be overwhelming. There are so many different elements to consider – from deciding on your audience and lead capture process down to designing the site in such a way that it is clear, easy to use with consistent branding using quality non-stock imagery and video.
Luckily, we’ve created an Authority Accelerator Framework which helps you simplify this entire process by giving you all these components and more. Let us help make launching your new estate agency website easier than ever before! Investing in our framework will allow you to focus solely on what matters most – finding qualified leads who are ready and willing to purchase properties just like yours today.
Get in touch with us on email@example.com if you have an estate agency website design project in mind, we’d love to hear from you!