I’ve had my real estate website up for about 5 years now and over 80% of our closings originate from the site. Over the years, we have had several redesigns – some major and some small and numerous tweaks and testing along the way. One constant has been the most important page on the website. It isn’t your homepage and it doesn’t have anything to do with YOU.
The most important thing on the site is the page from which consumers search for homes. It’s called your IDX page. IDX stands for Internet Data Exchange. It’s the reciprocal agreement between brokers in a given MLS to allow the sharing of their listings on other broker and agent websites.
The link title to this page is usually ‘Listings’ or ‘Search Listings’ or ‘Search Homes’ or something like that. The name you give it is less important – although I think it’s important for the title to be clear and descriptive. This page will receive the vast majority of your traffic. On our website, about 85% of the traffic goes to the various search listings pages.
Optimize to Get Users to This Page
Instead of using your homepage (the most likely page users will land on first) to talk about you, make sure there are nice Call to action images and language to get people to what they want to see or, if you have a custom IDX, make sure you have some sort of quick search for users because if they can’t easily find your listings, they will simply find another website that makes it easier.
In my opinion, images work better for this than text. It’s faster to see a large, well designed button that it is to ready itty bitty text which may or may not have an underline indicate a link depending how your website is styled.
Don’t leave it to chance either. We have multiple places and ways for users to get to our listings. Everyone uses websites a little bit differently and you want to be sure you have as many types of users covered as possible so don’t skimp and do test. Nothing works better than a little bit of testing to make sure you have things working right so don’t be afraid to change things up.
What Users Don’t Want
You. It’s that simple. Until you get their contact information and call them or they inquire about a property, very few of the people who come to your website have any interest in you. The exception here would be if you have a blog that you keep updated with timely and relevant information, but that is for a different day. For now, you need to make sure that the pages your users land on have an easy way for them to get to the pages that really matter. The actually real estate, of course!