Today, 9 out of 10 home buyers are researching property listings online before making their purchase decision. As real estate professionals, we all know the importance of having our listings online. To reach consumers directly, you must have your listing advertised on the big 3, Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia…and to reach agents, you need to be on the local MLS.
But what about a standalone website for your property listing? Do you really need a website dedicated to your listing, or is it good enough just to exist online on one of these major platforms?
In this article, we’ll dive into 3 reasons why we think it’s worthwhile to have a standalone website for your property listing.
Separate Your Listing from the Competition
When a prospective buyer finds your online listing, the purpose of your online listing is to get that buyer into your open house. Consider the typical buyer journey. A buyer either finds your listing online or is shown your listing by their agent. The buyer then pores through the listing details to make sure it fits all their criteria. Finally, the buyer whittles down their list of properties to view in-person.
When you consider that last step…your property is competing against the sea of other similar properties for the buyer’s attention and time. Getting a potential buyer to actually come to your open house is not a trivial task. To get the buyer to commit to your open house viewing…you must do all you can to get the buyer emotionally engaged with your property in the online research phase of their buyer’s journey. Your listing must stand out from the crowd somehow, and it must connect to the potential buyer in a deep way.
Single property websites do a great job capturing buyer interest and making your property feel truly special. When a property has its own website, potential buyers can fully engage in the all details of that single property, and not be distracted by the other similar listings on listing aggregator site like Zillow, Realtor, or Trulia. If your listing is on the same site as dozens of other nearby listings, your potential buyer is just a click away from checking out another property.
The strategy is to set your listing apart from the dozens of other properties they are likely considering. By pulling buyers away from these aggregate sites and focusing their attention on a dedicated property site, you’ll have a higher likelihood of capturing the buyer’s interest, time, and commitment level. It’s important that the buyer can initially find your listing on those aggregator sites…but a good strategy is to immediately pull the buyer away into the property’s own site.
Just think, it’s already common knowledge that home staging helps buyers emotionally connect to the home. Dedicated property websites are the exact same thing…where you “stage” your property’s online profile to help emotionally capture buyer interest.
Use Your Listing to Collect Emails
When buyers show interest in your property listing, it’s a great opportunity to collect the buyer’s info and email address. Traditionally, these are called “inbound leads”…where buyers are interested in something you have, and they are willing to trade their contact details for more information.
When your online listing is only on these aggregator sites, you won’t get all the inbound leads of interested buyers, unless you pay for a premium account to receive all those leads. Sites like Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia charges you, the seller’s agent, a fee to exclusively get all the inbound leads…otherwise, those leads are often sold to other agents.
When you have your own site, you own ALL the leads that come through your site…giving you a great contact list of potential customers for this property and potentially for other properties. Many agents see email lists as their lifeblood to their sales and referrals business, and so should you.
Having your own property website also gives you opportunities to cleverly harvest inbound leads. You can ask potential customers to give their contact information for purposes ranging from open house RSVPs…to get updates about the property…to sign up for your agent newsletter.
If you haven’t started collecting potential customer emails…it’s really the first step you should take in conducting a successful online marketing and leads nurturing strategy.
Add Value as a Seller’s Agent
Along with helping your property stand out from the crowd…single property websites also make you, the agent, stand out from the crowd of other agents. More than ever, sellers are looking for tech-savvy real estate agents to work with and help sell their property. If one of your main professional services is putting up a “for sale” sign in the front yard, you might want to add more to your professional services.
These days, sellers expect agents to really help make their property shine…whether it’s offline or online. Everything from home staging and remodeling, to professional photography services…agents typically offer this expertise as part of their professional services. Being able to also offer single property websites to all your clients can make you look like the tech-savvy agent they’re hoping for…and someone they’ll gladly do business with and refer to their friends.
There are many other reasons you’ll want to consider creating standalone websites for all your property listings, including SEO, branding, etc…but these 3 reasons are hopefully compelling enough to get you experimenting with it.