Vancouver

Real Estate Websites: So Many Pages, So Many Tabs

You might think clients want a wealth of information, but most are just on your site to buy or sell a home, says real estate marketing guru Jeff Kee

By
Brixwork
August 19, 2015






Online real estate website on tablet

A good number of real estate websites out there contain a wealth of information, whether it be buying processes and tips, selling procedures and costs involved, open house set-up tips, or perhaps even breaking down commission structure. While the agents’ instincts cannot be blamed for wanting to educate customers, the reality is that most visitors do not look at these pages.

We have dissected a random collection of some of our most active websites and their pageview distribution by content type, and the results show that the vast majority of pageviews are focused on listings and photos, rather than informational pages.

Source: www.brixwork.com study of six prominent website’s pageviews between July 14 and Aug 13, 2015

 

In fact, 94.58 per cent of page views go towards the homepage, listings gallery and listing detail pages. The homepage naturally has a high density of pageviews as it is often the entry point of a website. Apart from the “About Us” or other forms of bio pages, and the contact information pages, the other informational pages actually get less than 3.8 per cent of pageviews (excluding blog pages, which are constantly updated and propagated by social media – more on blogging here). And this figure is generous, considering many of the sample group websites we chose actually have very robust informational pages apart from the bread and butter of listings.

Why Are Information-Rich Pages So Unpopular?

1. Shorter attention spans, quicker gratification with photos

Research shows that the general public’s attention spans have reduced significantly with the advent of social media (often shorter than that of a common goldfish). There’s often more engagement on Instagram than on Facebook, and Instagram is just all about photos.

2. A picture is worth a thousand words

After all, a picture says a thousand words, and people are soaking in the pictures quicker than they will take time to focus and read, especially on real estate websites. Rather than being told how an agent can help find the perfect home, people want to look at the beautiful kitchens and gorgeous views themselves.

3. They are hiring a Realtor, not learning how to be one

People hire Realtors to get the job done. They expect the professionals to take care of the paperwork, the deposits, the funds transfer, the title exchange upon subject removal, etc. Most people, save a few, are not interested in learning how an agent does their work. The most interesting part of a real estate transaction is either “Which home do I want?” or “How much can I get for my home, and can it be sold in 30 days?”

With these primary interests in mind for buyers and sellers, the foremost things people want are:

  • How easy is it to find the homes I want on this website? (inventory)
  • How many listings has this agent sold in my target region? (experience)

Using This Viewership Habit To Your Advantage

Listings, or links to listing pages, on homepage

The homepage always has a significant pageview count, as it is often the entry point when people visit your site. If it is listings and photos they want, that should be the first thing visitors see. Whether it is links to listings categorized by type and city (check out Port Moody listing slideshows on this page) or straight to featured listings (check out the Vancouver condo/townhomes carousel on this page). Providing them what they want right away can lower your bounce rate (the rate people leave your site) from the homepage.

Photo- and video-oriented listing detail pages

When viewing the details of individual homes, the main picture or video tour (if a picture says a thousand words, a video says a million) should be the first item on the page for your visitors. Showcase the best portion of your listing data, and keep your visitors interested.

How Do I Deliver The Other Information?

If you still feel the need to deliver the buying/selling tips, personal credentials, awards and statistics, there are better ways than to create new pages with long blocks of text. Here are two valuable ways to do this.

1) Leverage infographics

Dave Jenkin’s Port Moody Real Estate page contains a quick and neat infographic of the agent’s last performance statistics on the homepage, under the slideshow:

Without requiring the visitors to navigate to other tabs (which they may never even do), the key message (“I sell homes fast, and at the target prices”) is delivered in a more visually effective way.

2) Add on to existing pages in short form

West Vancouver agent Brock Smeaton’s biography page contains more than just a bio. Scrolling down, it subtly adds messages on his growth and family background in West Vancouver, which sets him apart as a long-term resident, not just a Realtor. The paragraphs are kept relatively short as well, with headings in between. This technique also helps the website navigation remain clean and crisp, and if people want to skim through the headings only, they have the option to do so without feeling daunted by the paragraphs.


With a decade of experience in helping real estate professionals, Jeff Kee is the CEO of Brixwork Real Estate Marketing Inc., specializing in boutique websites, branding, graphic and print media design and digital marketing for the real estate industry.
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