With the dominance of portals in the online property market, some agents actually question whether they even need their own website. “Rightmove does it all for me,” we sometimes hear. Wrong! It may be true that portals can generate a lot of enquiries, but your own website should be even more successful in certain key business areas:
- Helping vendors find you: Potential vendors and landlords will often search for agents on Google by typing in a search like “estate agents in Richmond”, or “lettings agents in York”, using your local town name. You do not want this potential new instruction to find a portal, with all your competitors: this is a prime opportunity to attract them to your site, and to win that business.
- Projecting your own brand: Every page of your website represents an opportunity for your agency to express your brand and your values. It gives you the control to deliver brand consistency, from your home page through to your recruitment or contact page, promoting the right image at every touch point, through professional design.
- Building a personal relationship with vendors and buyers by encouraging registrations at every interaction, and ensuring that visitors to your website are treated in the same personal way that you would treat them in your branch.
- Establishing your independence: Agents need to generate online enquiries from their own website, independent of the portals, to prevent an unhealthy reliance on these third party portals. Rely too heavily on portals and they’ll eat you for lunch!
Your website is fundamental to successfully marketing your business and building a trusting relationship with potential new business. It should be treated as one of your flag ship offices, as more people will look at your website than visit your office. So, don’t rely on portals to project your brand, but ensure your website is working as hard as it can for you.