I design websites for estate agents across the UK
Property has always fascinated me.
So much so that when I finally left teaching in 2013, I worked first in a local high street agency and then set up a partnership in one.
Both enjoyed a modicum of success, but what I most enjoyed, looking back, was writing about and marketing property.
I loved (and still do love) penning a witty property description. So much so, that up to a few years ago, many estate agents outsourced their property descriptions to me. I’d have a walk around an area on Street View, have a look at local schools and their Ofsted reports, check out transport links, things to do, the photos. Then boom. Write a decent description.
I liked meeting vendors too and looking at their properties.
Writing about news in the property market was satisfying too.
Websites for estate agents
What each experience did, above all, was make me “oven ready” (please forgive me) for designing websites for estate agents.
I’ve done about 30 in all with stand outs being:
- Moving Home Advice for property commentator Russell Quirk
- A website for a leading light in Keller Williams: Michael Bailey
- Another for Dewhurst Homes in Preston
- Nest in Norfolk and Nest in Essex for top bloke, Nick Cheshire
- Hogan’s in Leeds
- Nick Ponty in Glasgow
I’ve also ghostwritten (many under NDAs) for estate agencies across the country.
There’s more in my Portfolio.
Why estate agents need websites
I honestly believe that if estate agents are to climb Google organically and build a model that is not dependent on the fiscal albatross of robbing Rightmove, they need to invest in one.
A good WordPress website from a freelance web designer like me allows you to grow.
You can display your team on there, your awards, your properties for sale or to let, but mainly blogs.
Google rewards fresh content
If you’re serious about being found in a search for “estate agents Preston” or “Portsmouth estate agents” you’ve got to invest in a website and a blogging strategy. I did this with the now long gone Farrell Walton estate agency, landing our fledgling company on page one for estate agency searches locally. It worked too. People googling estate agents found us, looked at our website and booked valuations with us.
When I walk round the new development we live on in Bradwell, near Great Yarmouth, I see For Sale signs from about 10 estate agencies.
Now they may have picked one because a neighbour sold with them or they have used them before or they were recommended, but some will have done a Google search.
I guarantee that the ones with the best ranking websites will get valuations and listings.
You may ask what does it cost to build a website in the UK and I can tell you here.
How would you search for someone to sell your home with?
Would you pick on fees? Check out reviews? See For Sale boards? Call, email or visit their websites? I’d do all these and more as someone with an avid interest in property.
So what does a good website for estate agents look like?
- A contemporary design. Your estate agency website needs to look fresh and modern. Many still look like they were created in 2008 – and that’s because they were! A website, like your For Sale boards, liveried Minis and shopfront, needs regular refreshing. This website has been through three iterations in 5 years, and is due a fourth when time permits.
- Optimised for local search. If your target audience of sellers, buyers and investors is in Coventry and you’re based there, cheesy photos of keys and front doors of ubiquitous houses make a poor impression. Invest in good photography of the area, as these can be alt-tagged for search and used in promotional campaigns. Make sure the copy reads well and is optimised for local search. If you’re in Great Yarmouth, for example, talk about Bradwell, Belton, Gorleston and Caister to get local eyeballs on your website. They may not sell with you as soon as the blog is launched but they may 2, 3 or 10 years down the line. I know already who I’ll sell my home with locally, based on website, reputation, etc.
- Fast loading. Those landscape panoramas of the Manchester skyline are arresting for any city centre agent and website visitor, but if they’re 2MB, you’ll lose traffic. People have a nano second of attention to give and if your website takes an age to load, they’ll go elsewhere. Images need to be compressed and you need a pre-caching tool, fast hosting and minimal bloat so visitors land – and stay.
- Content rich. Google and people alike generally love anything informative and engaging. Estate agents are expected to take photos, win listings, make sales, design floorplans, chase leads, liaise with solicitors, buyers and sellers. No wonder, writing content is low down on the list of priorities. Your home page matters. It’s where people land. You need engaging headers to get people scrolling. Your About page needs to showcase your team, your vision, your approach, your testimonials.
- Visible on search. This is a long game to play. Obviously you want your estate agency name to come in a Google search, but you need to be found for long tail search terms like “What does an estate agent charge to sell a property?” “Is 1% fee reasonable?” “Should I use an online or high street agency?” as well as “Estate Agents Norwich” etc.
Finally, I know estate agents, like so many businesses, are facing tough times.
You need to decide whether to invest money in a website and will it get you more business?
The answer is an emphatic yes.
Chuck £1000 + VAT my way and I’ll sort you out a top notch website with fresh content, great design, fast loading, stunning images to put you above your local rivals on Google search, Google Maps, and on Bing.
I’m an expert in websites for estate agents.
Contact me anytime.