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98 percent of homebuyers start their search online. This means compelling, informative and visually appealing real estate websites are the new industry standard. They can make your business look good to your clients, but have you actually tried looking at your site from a visitor’s point of view? Chances are what you and your potential customers think about your website may greatly differ.

In today’s post, we’re sharing the latest research, Small Business Consumer Expectations Report by Vistaprint Digital. The insights will help you audit your real estate websites at a glance and improve them based on real-life customer expectations.

Building better real estate websites

Do customers have lower expectations towards small business websites as opposed to large franchise networks?

A common enough reasoning among agents is that they can’t afford to invest heavily into a cutting edge website. However, today’s industry is pushing the marketing boundaries higher and customers don’t think it’s justified for small businesses to have a worse website:

customer expectations towards real estate websites

Source: Small Business Consumer Expectations Report

Don’t let a poor website ruin your first digital touchpoint with potential customers. Remember that people often refer your business just by browsing through your site, without even talking to you in person.

When visiting a small business website, what is most likely to leave people with a good impression?

About a third of potential customers have said to find a business online. Even if they don’t, most will make sure to check it out top to bottom.

When people do visit your website, this is what they appreciate most of all:

Good customer experience with real estate website

Source: Small Business Consumer Expectations Report

So the next tasks on your agenda should be:

  • updating your contact info, blog content and neighborhood pages;
  • optimizing your real estate websites for mobile;
  • upgrading your website design;
  • adding high-quality real estate images.

When visiting a small business website, what is most likely to leave people with a bad impression?

Speaking of a bad experience, users are most unhappy with outdated contact information (49,7%) and missing address, directions and business hours (41,5%).

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When visiting a small business website, what is most likely to leave you with a bad impression

Source: Small Business Consumer Expectations Report

For a real estate agency, this information can typically be listed in NAP – name, address and phone number – and is displayed site-wide. Remember that for the purposes of SEO your NAP must be consistent everywhere on the Web, both on your real estate websites and beyond.

How a bad impression of a website affects the decision to sign up with the company?

A real estate website which fails to deliver a good customer experience can seriously undermine you online lead generation efforts. According to Vistaprint Digital, almost 60% of potential customers say they’re less inclined to work with that business:

vad experience with websites

Source: Small Business Consumer Expectations Report

Make sure to blog consistently and add essential lead generation features to engage with your site visitors before they leave.

What info do people find most important to be listed on a website?

Not surprisingly, most are looking for a straightforward product info, address and business hours:

2. Website info

Source: Small Business Consumer Expectations Report

But of course, it takes much more than that to actually make people interested enough to contact you. Most are also looking for a variety of local information, market updates and neighborhood guides. You can hardly call a real estate website informative without this kind of content.

What makes visitors think of a website as outdated?

In order for a real estate website to rank high, it has to be updated frequently. But not only search engines favor constantly updated sites; potential customers also make a mental note of when the site was last updated. Based on that, they decide whether the business is credible or not:

Updated website

Source: Small Business Consumer Expectations Report

The bottom line? The importance of consistent blogging can never be overestimated. Commit yourself to a permanent blogging routine to enhance your brand reputation and get more leads online. Adding market updates and neighborhood guides to the mix will also do a lot of good.

What’s next?

Knowing your audience’s expectations is good precisely because you’ll get a better chance to exceed them. So if you want to generate online leads consistently, don’t leave your website’s functionality and appearance to chance.



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