Personalising Agency Websites

Once you have the basics nailed: How you can take it personal

What’s in the video?

In this video from the Move with Us “Propel” seminar, Homeflow’s joint MD, Jeremy, talks about the topic of advanced personalisation in agent websites.

In this segment, we move beyond the basics, assume that a solid foundation of great design, speed, usability, support, SEO and Social media integration are sorted, and instead we look beyond at 5 example stories showing how, once the fundamentals are strong, you can really get up close and personal with your vendors and applicants on your site.

 

Topics covered include:

(1)  Applicant Profile systems

How to build really smooth applicant profile systems, which allow saving searches and properties so seamlessly, that the user barely even notices they are being enticed into registering.  We talk about the in page application that creates an “active basket” of properties, much like a shopping basket on an ecommerce site.

(2)  Role of Staff Profiles

As we all know, people buy from people, so on the flip side of applicant profiles, we have your own staff profiles.  Having good staff profiles, on uniquely addressable URLs is important.  They not only help create “one-more-click” on each visitor session on your website (which is increasingly important if you are trying to push the boundaries for superior performance with your SEO), but they also increase the proportion of enquiries you get by circa 30% over sites without them.  All part of building a more effective vendor trap on your website.

(3) Personalising emails

It’s easy to forget how important email is as a first point of contact with your applicants.  They’ll often approach your brand by email first, then enter your site as the second step.  And email, when done well, can haul them back to your site time and time again.  But doing good emails, requires personalising them.  Your site should work out what they are looking for, and send relevant email alerts with property, or relevant content updates if they are potential vendors.  It should do this with beautiful HTML.  And if you have staff profiles, why not have those profiles go out to welcome people within the emails themselves too?

(4)  Interesting properties

If you’ve invested time personalising your site – and latching onto user accounts smoothly, then you can take this one step further, by creating an implied search for the user.   You do this naturally in branch, watching which sets of details people pick up from your shelves, or what catches their attention in your window.  And you adapt your behaviour accordingly.  We believe your website should be able to do exactly the same thing.  Tailoring the properties that appear elsewhere during their visitor session (not just a trivial “similar properties” capability on an individual property page).

We call it getting your site to “Act like a Chameleon“, and it’s beautifully simple by design presentation, but deeply sophisticated stuff in the engineering behind the scenes.

(5)  Dialogue based registration

You spend a lot of money building your site, using adwords to drive traffic to it, setting up great email systems, integrating everything to your agency software system, and generally working to drive people to your website.  And only a small proportion of that traffic (typically 1-2% will be driven into actually filling out a contact form).  More often than not, that contact trigger will be a specific property enquiry or viewing request.  So in this final story, we look at a really simple idea for simply asking a question about whether an applicant would like to get regular email alerts for similar properties AFTER they have made an enquiry about a specific property.

You would do this in your sleep in branch (“that’s great sir, here are the details, can I add you to our mailing list?”).  So why on earth shouldn’t you expect your website to do the same?

And when you do it online, over 80% of people say “yes”.  (Remember these are already people who have agreed to fill out a form on your site in the first place, so they are disproportionately in a “yes” kind of mood).  Given that, it’s amazing just how few estate agent websites in the UK do this.

What next?

If you have enjoyed this video, you may enjoy more of the materials and guides in our resources library.

And if you are interested in chatting to us about these, and many other similar ideas for your website, please do get in touch.