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OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®





Better Web sites
9 Ways to Make Your Web Site ‘Stick’

BY MIKE ANTONIAK

What makes a real estate Web site sticky? There’s a combination of factors that separate the good from the bad. It’s the good ones that “stick” in consumers’ minds so they’ll return again and again.
  • Effective Home Page and Design. First impressions matter most. Consumers won’t get past the home pagethe main entrance to your Web siteunless it promises that time at the site will be well spent. Consumers have a good idea of what they’re looking for when they arrive at your site. The design and layout should make it easy for them to go right to the information they want, without wasting time trying to figure out where it is.
  • Quick Load Time. Not everyone has broadband or wireless Internet yet. For those still using dial-up services, the longer they wait for pages to load, the less likely they’ll come back. Don't overload your site with animation, sound effects, background graphics, and oversized images so your Web site and pages always load quickly.
  • Lots of Listings. Buyers and sellers want to see what’s available and what the properties are selling for. Point them directly to that information and it will help establish the value of everything else your Web site has to offer.
  • Photographs. Use pictures and virtual tours at every opportunity to convey and compare the selling points of different properties and to highlight the appeal of the community. Use thumbnail images that link to a larger view as much as possible to improve loading time.
  • Search Capabilities. Offer your site visitors the ability to search the MLS or your listings database for criteria like price, size or style of home, and neighborhood. If your search function is easy to use and produces reliable results, the visitor will be more likely to return. Combining search capabilities with an e-mail alert system will really keep them coming back.
  • Solid Information. Consumers may turn to listings first, but once they have an idea of what’s available, they’ll want to learn more about the area and the services you provide as a real estate practitioner. Additional information, such as general advice to buyers and sellers, community profiles, and school reports, also will help demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
  • Regular Updates. Timely updates give visitors a reason to return to your site. A featured home of the week, market report, or blog in which you describe new housing trends will promote the perception that you are on top of your market and industry trends.
  • Your Contact Information. Let consumers know you are there to help them with their real estate needs whenever they are ready. Make your contact information and an e-mail link a prominent feature of every page of your Web site, but don’t require that they fill out any form, or initiate contact, until they are ready.
  • Extras. The latest mortgage rates, financial calculators, home-value estimates, maps, etc., are tools that enhance your Web site’s appeal as a one-stop resource for all visitors’ real estate needs.


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