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Consumers sold about 5.7 million homes in 2015 in the U.S. In 89% of cases, a real estate agent helped.
And, currently, there are about two million active real estate licenses within the nation.
While that might seem like an even split of about 2.5 (or 5, if you have an agent on each side of the sale) deals per real estate agent per year… it’s not.
As The Balance points out, “20% of agents do 80% of the business.”
Of course, that isn’t surprising. When someone uses an agent once, they aren’t very likely to change. 70% of house sellers, for instance, said that they’d use the same real estate agent again in the future.
Which means that the real estate agents that get the business first, keep the business.
But how do you make sure you get to the client before the competition?
Two words: the internet.
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How To Design Your Own Real Estate Agent Websites
90% of homebuyers use the internet during their journey to buy a home.
And that makes sense. MLS browsing options, virtual tours, and housing photography make the web the perfect place to browse for homes and even choose which agent to work with.
Which is exactly why your real estate website is so important.
- What does it communicate to visitors?
- Does it immediately build credibility for the agent?
- Does it load fast enough that people won’t bounce from the page?
- Is it optimized so that it will even show up in Google when prospects search for “Buy house in market_city”?
Those are just a few of the things that you need to consider when designing your own website. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s review a few of the best real estate agent websites this year.
First, Sheerin Feizi.
Other than being a beautiful website, there are a few noteworthy things about Sheerin Feizi that make it stand out from the rest.
Most noteworthy is the “Quick Search” option near the top of the page.
When people visit your real estate agent website, they only want to do one of two things.
- Browse listings.
- Get to know you as an agent to determine whether they want to work with you or not.
Ideally, you want to let them do both of those things easily. And in the case of Sheerin Feizi, the “Quick Search” bar allows visitors to dive right into browsing through listings.
So too does Sheerin Feizi’s “Featured Properties” section closer to the bottom of the page.
Scroll down a little bit further and, as you’ll notice, Sheerin Feizi then aims straight for supporting the second potential goal of the visitor: to learn about the real estate agent.
Take Dreamliving as another example of a real estate agent website that caters to visitors who either want to learn about the agent or dive right into browsing through listings.
Right under the Dreamliving featured image, you’ll notice a button that says, “Find Your Dream Home” and a button that says, “Why Work With Us?”
Clearly, Dreamliving is trying to encourage listing-browsers, house sellers, and agent vetters to go straight where they want to go.
The best thing that your website can do to help visitors is… well, get out of the way.
When people visit your website, they usually know what they want to do. And the faster you let them do that, the better.
Similar to Sheerin Feizi from the previous example, Dreamliving also has a meet-the-realtor type section if you scroll further down the page.
Again, the website is accomplishing just a couple simple goals.
- When people want to browse listings, let them.
- When people want to learn about why they should work with you, guide them.
Mostly from conversion tests, we’ve run here at Carrot, but partly as inspiration from the best in the business, we create real estate agent websites that accomplish those simple goals.
The benefit, though, is that you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to design a website and you don’t have to try and create one yourself.
Carrot gives you just enough customization to stand apart from other realtors in the business, but enough of a template to make the design process easy and effective.
Well, we’ve generated over one million leads for our customers since we started a few years ago and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
You can find out more about our real estate agent websites and what it’s like working with us.
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In fact, here is one of our current AgentCarrot websites from G.Stiles Realty.
As you can see from the above image, this website follows a very similar pattern to the websites we looked at earlier.
First of all, it builds rapport with visitors when it says, “Roseburg’s #1 Independent Real Estate Brokerage.”
Then, it allows people to easily choose whether they want to buy, sell, or learn more about G.Stiles.
Finally, the page finishes with trust-building testimonials as proof that the visitor should work with G.Stiles and a bio that exudes professionalism and friendliness — two sought-after attributes of any real estate agent.
Your website needs to allow people to do two simple things:
- Search listings.
- Decide whether they trust you.
You can, of course, create your own website.
Or… we can do it for you. The choice is yours, but we’d love to work with you if you think it’s a fit.
7 Things Your Real Estate Agent Website Needs To Dominate The Competition
Now, we’ll discuss seven things that you can do — Carrot member or not — that will help your website perform as you want it to.
1. Build Credibility The Moment Someone Lands On Your Website
Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions that people make in their life. Clearly, people want to work with someone they can trust.
In fact, a study by Trulia revealed that people consider honesty and credibility to be one of the most important factors when choosing a real estate agent to work with.
Here are three ways that you can immediately prove to visitors that you are trustworthy.
- Video Content
- Authentic Photos
- Compelling Testimonials
(1) Video Content
Nothing builds credibility quite like video.
Not only does it prove that there’s a real person behind the website, but it also is a remarkable way to engage new audiences.
Because people love video.
They love it so much that video content accounts for 74% of all internet traffic.
And you can use that to your advantage.
Publish a video on your homepage that talks a bit about who you are and why people can trust you. Of course, don’t say, “This is why you should trust me.”
Instead, build rapport with your audience by talking about some of your accomplishments, why you love helping people, and how you got into the real estate industry in the first place.
Your end goal? Make them feel good about choosing to work with you.
The G Team — a real estate group in Roseburg — does this on their website.
Here’s the actual video so that you can watch it for yourself.
Similar to The G Team’s video, keep it under five minutes — people have terrible attention spans — and, ideally, make it as short as possible without losing any of the quality.
You want to convince people that you’re the best real estate agent in their area. But you want to do that as quickly as possible.
(2) Authentic Photos
People don’t just love video. They also love photos.
And, generally speaking, the more authentic the photos, the better.
What do I mean by authentic?
Well, authenticity comes in many different forms. You might, for example, publish a photo of yourself in the middle of the job. Or you might take a picture of a real customer signing real papers.
Those kinds of photos don’t just communicate that you know what you’re doing (which then builds trust), but it communicates that you’re a hard worker and people like you.
Here’s an example of this from G.Stiles.
And another example. Here, G.Stiles puts their team mission over a personable photo of the people in the group.
Remember this: when taking photos, authenticity beats fakery every single time.
Of course, there’s a balance. You don’t want to freak people out by a photo of you just getting out of bed. But you do want to come across friendly and professional. Above all, though, you want to come across as a human.
For that reason, avoid stock photos at all costs.
(3) Compelling Testimonials
Before people work with you, they want to know that other people have worked with you and been remarkably satisfied with your service.
That gives prospects the confidence they need to give you a call or opt-in to your online form.
Testimonials are the best way to give them that confidence.
Much like G.Stiles does on their website.
As well how Krista Mashore of Homes By Krista does it on her website.
If you’re looking for a real estate agent who you can trust to help you make one of the biggest decisions of your life, those testimonials work wonders for building credibility.
In effect, they say, “All these people love me. You will too.”
How, though, do you get great testimonials?
Well, Copyblogger recommends asking your customers these six questions.
- What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product?
- What did you find as a result of buying this product?
- What specific feature did you like most about this product?
- What are three other benefits of this product?
- Would you recommend this product? If so, why?
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
Asking those questions will help you land remarkable testimonials.
However, consider including more than just the testimonial on your website.
You won’t always be able to find each of these elements, but when you can, add them.
- A picture of the person who gave the testimonial — Check Facebook or other social media platforms. Maybe even check your email if you conversed with the person in your inbox.
- First and last name, whenever possible — Don’t do things like “Lucas J.” or “Samantha G.” if you can avoid it. And definitely, don’t just use first names.
- The person’s profession — Add a quick one-line bio about who they are and what they do. Maybe even hyperlink this to their own website to add another layer of realism.
We have most of these elements on our own website testimonials, for example.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself,
People should just trust my testimonials without all of that extra effort.
Unfortunately, though, people are wary of trusting anything online. As you already know, there’s a lot of liars in the digital space and they ruin the game for the rest of us.
This means that you need to add extra elements (Image, bio, first and last name) to your testimonial to show people that you are trustworthy.
2. Increase The Speed Of Your Website
You want to design a website that destroys the competition.
In terms of page speed, that means a couple of things.
First off, if your website is too slow, it’s easier (and faster) for visitors to exit your URL and go somewhere else.
Clearly, you don’t want people to do that.
But there’s another problem with slow load speeds. Not only does it surge your website’s bounce rate, but it hurts your Google rankings.
In fact, even milliseconds count in Google’s eyes.
This means that the slower your website is, the lower the chance that Google will rank you on the first page of your target keywords.
A fast load speed is one of the most important SEO ranking factors for your website.
Because of this, we recently updated our Carrot websites to run even faster than they did before.
Well, we tested them and received a score of 94 out of 100.
With Carrot, you’re in good hands.
If, though, you want to design your own website, then make sure you do these things to increase your load speed.
- Optimize images.
- Clean up code.
- Use fewer plugins on your site.
- Reduce the number of redirects you’re using.
- Minimize HTTP requests.
- Reduce server response time.
3. Use Real Estate Agent Website IDX
Once, prospective homebuyers had to jump around to different listings in order to browse through houses.
Or, they had to find a cohesive MLS website that delivered all of the listings at once.
Now, though, Internet Data Exchange (IDX) is changing the way that homebuyers browse through listings.
Instead of having to jump from website to website, with IDX, visitors can view listings natively on your own website. Which further means that they don’t have to leave your URL to browse through houses.
The best part, though, is that you don’t have to do anything to update these listings. With IDX, they update automatically.
Of course, IDX integration is more of a maintenance strategy — since other real estate agent websites have it, you should too. Still, most people search for listings on Zillow or Realtor.com.
But, there are a few reasons — beyond maintenance — that you should have a real estate agent website with IDX.
- It encourages people to browse around your website’s listing options instead of going elsewhere to do so.
- It gives you a way to encourage email list opt-ins. With IDX, you can offer to send people email updates about recent listings that are relevant to their preferences.
- It also allows you to easily choose properties to feature on your website. With a pool of automatically uploaded properties, you’re just a few clicks away from featuring ones that you think will sell.
About nine out of ten homebuyers use an online resource during their house buying journey.
With IDX, you won’t only stay in line with the competition, you’ll get ahead by featuring remarkable properties, growing your email list, and encouraging people to browse your website instead of bouncing.
Take a Tour of Carrot’s real estate website templates with IDX!
4. Leverage A Design That’s Built To Convert
When people land on your real estate website, you don’t just want them to browse and you don’t just want them to trust you.
Ultimately, you want them to convert. But to make that happen, you need a real estate agent website design that’s built to convert visitors.
Here are two things you can do to build that website.
- Mobile Optimization
- The Buying Process
(1) Mobile Optimization For Real Estate Agent Websites
The average American owns 3.6 internet-connected devices. And 36% of Americans have a desktop, tablet, and smartphone.
This means that people don’t just browse your website on their laptop, they do it on their phone.
Why is this important?
Because if your website doesn’t adapt to the device that people are using to browse, then they will have difficulty navigating your website, get frustrated, and leave.
In fact, of the 127,907 leads between April and June 2018 that Carrot generated, over 58% were from mobile devices.
Which is exactly why we’re so intentional about making our customer’s websites mobile friendly.
If you don’t have a mobile-responsive website, then you’re not only behind the curve, you’re likely losing business.
You can test your website on our Carrot mobile-responsive website tester.
Just type in your website and click, “Start Test.” On the right, you’ll see the iPad version and on the left, you’ll see the iPhone version.
If your website isn’t mobile responsive, it needs to be.
(2) The Buying Process
When someone visits your website, where do they look first?
It’s an important question to ask and a difficult question to answer. Where people look can impact how many leads you generate and how many of those leads you convert.
Of course, everyone will look in slightly different places. But, by and large, we here at Carrot have found that there’s a system to the madness.
In fact, for our real estate investor websites, we found that people go through these stages.
- Problem aware
- Solution aware
And when people visit investor websites, they either want to sell their house as fast as possible or learn about the investor before working with them.
Which is exactly in line with how we’ve designed our real estate agent websites.
As you can see in the screenshot below, we help the eye travel from the most important CTA — “Sell Your House” — to easy ways to learn about the investor — “How It Works,” “Compare,” “Testimonials,” “FAQ,” “Contact Us,” and “Our Company.”
And that system isn’t just hot air and mirrors. Instead, it’s based on vigorous conversion and heatmap testing we do here at Carrot.
Here’s proof that the testimonial section is remarkably important, for instance.
And similar proof about the “How It Works” tab.
We’ve created our real estate agent website builder with a similarly relentless focus on converting visitors.
First, we help you build credibility.
Then, we cater to the immediate needs of the visitor.
And finally, we allow people to easily navigate where they want to go.
You’re welcome to use the same system on your own website.
Remember, since it’s your website, it’s your job to guide the visitor. Think about it like having a guest over to your house. You wouldn’t invite someone into your house without telling them where they can hang their jacket, take a seat, or get a drink of water.
Your website should follow similar rules.
When someone visits, show them where they need to go to do what they want to do. Then, more people will convert and fewer people will bounce.
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5. Consider Using This Real Estate Agent Website Template
Knowing where to start when designing your real estate agent website can be a real pain.
Often times, having a tried-and-true template to work from isn’t just easier, but more cost-effective. For that reason, I’m going to walk you through how our templates at Carrot flow.
You are, of course, welcome to design your own website that follows a similar flow. Otherwise, we’d love to work with you.
When someone first lands on your website, they should see a quick explanation about what you do and why you’re awesome. At the top of every real estate agent Carrot website, we encourage putting words to those two things.
Then, we give you a place for featured properties so that people who want to look at houses easily, can.
From there, the rest of the homepage should work to build credibility around your real estate business. Which is why our Carrot customer use testimonials…
And descriptions like this…
Put more simply, your homepage should flow similar to this:
- Briefly tell people what you do and why you’re awesome.
- Give them a simple method for taking action.
- Explain in more detail why you’re awesome (testimonials).
- Finish with a CTA.
6. Streamline The Real Estate Lead Generation Process
Yes. Your website needs to convert.
But your website’s management system should also allow you to easily streamline the lead-generation and follow up process. Here are two ways that you can make that happen.
(1) Use Notifications
The back-end of your website needs a system for sending you notifications the moment you generate a lead.
After all, the faster you follow up with prospects, the better.
Just consider that salespeople who contact a prospect within one hour of generating the lead are seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with the prospect.
Sadly, only 37% of companies respond within an hour. Which is probably why 8% of salespeople land 80% of the deals.
Don’t be in that 63%.
With notifications, you can follow up within the hour and give yourself the best chances of turning a lead into a deal.
The best real estate websites for lead generation leverage notification systems.
If you’re a Carrot member, then you can simply go to your website dashboard and click, “Forms” and then “SMS Notifications.”
Then click “Add New.”
Finally, select a form, enter your phone number, and choose which information that you want the notification system to send you when you receive a new lead.
With that, you don’t have to constantly check your website for leads. Instead, the software will notify you when you generate a lead and you can contact them immediately.
Which means you have a better chance of landing the deal.
(2) Create Genuinely Helpful Content
In the real estate world today, there’s a lot of people putting out a lot of content.
But, you don’t want to just be another blind content machine. Rather, you want to create content that actually helps people make meaningful decisions.
Because creating genuinely helpful content builds rapport with the people who visit your website. If you help them out, they’ll probably want to work with you when the time is right.
Remember, you’re trying to show your audience that you know your stuff. But you don’t want to say so outright. You want to build a relationship with your audience and prove to them that they can trust you by creating content that centers around their concerns.
Consider content like this, for instance.
It might sound counterintuitive, but the more that you help your audience (genuinely) the more that they’ll trust you and the more they’ll be willing to work with you in the future.
Your content needs to build a trusting relationship between yourself and your prospects. With that, you’ll generate more leads than you would otherwise.
7. Design A Real Estate Landing Page For Each Location
Here’s what you don’t want to happen. You don’t want people to navigate to your website and then leave because they don’t think you manage deals in a certain location… when actually, you do.
For that reason, to dominate the competition, your website needs to have multiple landing pages if you work in multiple locations.
Usually, when people search for real estate agents, they search based on their location. Like this.
And if you want to rank on that page, then you need a dedicated landing page for each city you operate in.
Let’s imagine, for instance, that you work in Irving Park and Chicago.
One landing page might look like this.
While the other one looks like this.
This will help your SEO results — making your real estate website rank for high-commitment searches. But it will also ensure that when someone searches and finds your website, they won’t leave because they’re confused about where you help buy and sell houses.
At Carrot, we offer an easy location landing page feature for our customers.
We allow our customers to quickly and simply create multiple landing pages that look identical, except for the location that they advertise.
This ensures that you never miss out on a lead for such a silly reason as not marketing the correct location to each prospect.
The reality is, 20% of real estate agents are doing 80% of the business.
Which also means that 80% of real estate agents are just doing 20% of the business.
Clearly, you want to land in the former category. But to do that, you’re going to need a website that drives leads, converts visitors, outranks the competition, loads quickly has IDX integration, and has location-based landing pages.
At Carrot, we help thousands of investors and agents generate leads and build their businesses every single month.
And we love it.
If you want to focus on building your business and leave website design up to us, then consider working with us.
If you want to design your own website, though, then the same rules apply. Use this as your guide to creating a website that ranks in Google, drives passive traffic, and generates leads.
What do you think is the most important part of a website for real estate agents? Let us know in the comments!