In all my time of auditing real estate websites for conversion improvements there is only one website that I have audited where I simply said ‘there is nothing that can be improved on this site’.
Just like with anything in life – in order to improve we should learn from the best – so in this blog we discuss what the best real estate agency is doing right with their online presence and how you can sky rocket your own conversion rates by copying what is all ready working.
Upside does everything correctly when it comes to ROI (return on investment a.k.a most seller listing appointments booked).
Here I will show you exactly what they do right and how you can incorporate it into your website.
You don’t need to spend $100K+ on a website like Upside – these are elements that any real estate agent can apply on their agency site right now.
1. Create the connection and grab attention
Unlike the majority of real estate agent’s homepages – which begin their websites with photos of properties -they’ve sold or are currently selling-, or local city buildings and skyscrapers Upside sets the tone of their website with a smiling staff member wearing professional attire and looking directly at the website visitor.
The reason Upside does this is to create an immediate and personal connection with the prospect.
Being in the service industry – Upside understands that their value doesn’t come from the properties they sell but the personal service they provide.
Everyone wants to deal with a friendly, professional real estate agent that gets results – and real estate agencies are really about the people and right off the bat Upside differentiates themselves int his manner.
2. A strong UVP
For most real estate agents their UVP (unique value proposition or headline) are extremely generic and interchangeable with other real estate agents.
While a headline like “Discover Your Coming Home Feeling” or “We Help You Find Your Dream Home” sound good on the surface and are better than simply saying “Welcome”, in reality they say nothing about a real estate agent and what makes them unique.
Upside’s Unique Value Proposition headline is quick, to the point and establishes the tone for the rest of their website copy about why people should choose them.
With Upside their unique value proposition is quick, to the point and establishes the tone for the rest of their landing page of why people want to work with them.
You don’t have to be unique to have a UVP – the important thing is to be different in the mind of the prospect . Most real estate agents – if asked if they have hidden costs will answer that they don’t – yet Upside is the only agency that specifically claims this which gives the customer confidence and builds trust – and fits in with Upside’s focus on saving the client money.
3. One Main Powerful Call to Action (Do You Know What You Want? Then Ask For It!)
Most real estate websites have a property search as their primary call to action on their home page:
This is the wrong approach for two reasons.
Firstly – most internet users do the research phase of buying a property on major internet portals like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au – competing with these websites is next to impossible.
Secondly – a property search on your home page is targeting home buyers – not sellers. Since most real estate agencies make the bulk of their revenue through seller listings.
So why would you focus on buyers on your home page when your main revenue source is sellers?
Instead of attempting to target sellers with property search you should be targeting home buyers with an appraisal appointment call to action.
Upside’s home page speaks directly to the buyer and asks for minimum commitment and piques the prospect’s curiosity with a bright ‘Get Started’ button – to take the prospect to the next step in the sales journey and begin the process of booking an appraisal appointment.
Soon the prospect is asked to book an appraisal appointment with the professionally attired man smiling at them – and they see a very small form that’s not asking for anything other than their property address and they think “Why not – this seems quite easy let’s see how this goes” – and now they are on the path to becoming a listing.
This multi step form is different from the Market Appraisal pages that most real estate agencies have as it is asking only a few questions to take the prospect to the next stage.
4. Client focused copy
The purpose of your website copy (copy is the text on your website) – is to communicate to the prospect how you can help them and persuade them to take action.
Most real estate agents don’t pass the “so what” or “why should I care” test by talking about things the client has no interest in such as how long they’ve been in business, their company history and other un-necessary things – especially on the About Us page.
Upside side steps this all together by getting right to the point – even on their ‘About Us’ section of their home page they dive straight into the big question – “Why Sell With Us?” – after all that’s what the client is asking.
Every piece of your website copy should be entered around the prospect’s wants and needs – and play its role in moving the client to the next stage of the selling process.
5. A calculator that actually makes sense
Most real estate websites have calculators on their ‘Resources’ or ‘Tools’ page – such as a mortgage calculator for example.
Unfortunately most real estate agents use calculators on their website incorrectly because if a client is looking for a calculator or to conduct research they will not do it on your website. Domain.com.au invests a lot of money into a whole plethora of tools to help prospects calculate their mortgage payments and other information.
Most home buyers begin their home buyers journey – including using these calculators before they even get to your website.
However you can make use of a calculator by using it as a tool to show the prospect exactly how much money they stand to save or make by choosing your real estate agency.
Upside’s calculator passes the “what’s in it for me” text by giving the prospect the most vital information – how much they themselves would save using Upside – using an adjustable slider.
The slider then also states exactly how this number is arrived at with the fine print.
When using a calculator make sure it relates directly to your prospect’s needs/wants and make it serve the purpose of persuading the client to take the next step.
6. Testimonials Done Right
Because clients these days are more sceptical than ever about what businesses say testimonials are a powerful form of third party social proof (just like Real Estate Awards or appearances on major television or radio stations) – which lend a stamp of approval to your business.
Prospects won’t even bother to put you on their short list if your website doesn’t exude trust – yet most real estate agents do testimonials incorrectly.
Because prospects will do their own independent research on your business using a third party tool like RateMyAgent.com you should make this third party information available on your home page.
While Upside’s testimonials section is not perfect – as they don’t have a dedicated Testimonial page or pull any of their fantastic Google Reviews to display alongside their RateMyAgent.com reviews they do three things very well.
Firstly – they make use of the RateMyAgent brand as they understand testimonials need to be third party verified to be relevant to the customer – as otherwise anyone could put any review on their website – not only do they use the RateMyAgent logo but they also link directly to their RateMyAgent.com page.
Secondly Upside uses photos with people in them – as humans respond much better to faces. This is in contrast to most real estate agents who use photos of the property that was sold as their testimonial which drastically decreases click through and recall rates.
Finally every review is result specific and speaks to their client’s needs and UVP (unique value proposition) by stating how much the client saved in fees.
Even if your UVP is not based on price you could still use this technique by stating how much a property was sold at $x above asking price – focusing on how much more money you put in a prospect’s pocket and highlighting these testimonials on your home page.
Studying what your competition is doing right is important for inspiration. In this blog I have broken down a leading real estate agency when it comes to having a strong internet presence – Upside – and showed you exactly what they do and how you can replicate it for yourself.
Making a strong first impression by using the right photos on their header – calling attention to their call to action and having a strong headline immediately connects Upside’s message to the prospect.
Then the various sections on their home page like their savings calculator, their strong copy and their testimonials section with third party verification tools helps to strengthen and persuade their prospect to take the next step – just in case they weren’t convinced all ready.
Upside’s website works because all the elements work together to achieve a common purpose – get the prospect to engage – using all of these elements together is the most powerful – start from the sections of your website prospects are most likely to visit and see – which is the top of your home page – and then work your way down.