If you want to launch a successful marketing campaign for your property, there is one thing you need to know:
An effective commercial real estate website is the cornerstone of successful commercial real estate marketing foundation and, without one, you stand to miss out on the 80% or more of tenants and investors who start their searches online.
While there are many options in the market that enable quick and easy property website creation like ListingLab for example, it needs to meet certain standards if you want to stay competitive.
From accessibility on different types of devices to visibility in the world’s largest search engines, you need a website that successfully represents your property wherever your prospects might search for it.
Does yours hit the bar, or are you behind the digital curve?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the signs that your website may be overdue for an upgrade.
1. Your property presentation is a PDF
If your property presentation currently consists of only PDF documents with important property information, you need to get it optimized for the modern internet user.
While a PDF is a great way to provide that information in easy-to-share and print format, it doesn’t work nearly as well online. Limitations of certain devices, load times, and the lack of indexable content for search engines mean a poor user experience, and content that is overly hard to find.
2. Your property website isn’t presentable
You spend a lot of time making sure your properties are as visually appealing as they are functionally sufficient.
The same should be done for your property website, and if you currently feel embarrassed to share your website with prospects, and haven’t bothered to put the URL on your business cards or brochures, it is well past time to make an upgrade.
There are several changes you may need to make sure to ensure your site is ready to share with the world, including:
- A shareable URL – If you are using a third-party service to host your website and your URL isn’t share-friendly, it’s time for an upgrade. Buying a domain name that matches your property is a must and will make it easier to showcase on social media and in your collateral material.
- Modern design – An unattractive website with an outdated design, low quality images, and minimal or poorly written copy can be more of a detriment than a tool and should be updated as soon as possible. Opt for something modern and clean that showcases the most important visual elements of your property while supporting access on all device types.
- Provide useful information – Detailed property descriptions, ample photography, and contact details are a must to ensure anyone who visits your website gets all of the information they need to make an informed decision.
3. Your property website is in Flash
Fifteen years ago, Flash was all the rage. It was a slick, new, and looked pretty cool (when done properly).
Today, it is considered a non-starter in web design because it isn’t supported on mobile devices, slows down load times and limited to certain browsers. Static images and well-crafted headlines should be used instead.
4. Your property listing pages are not responsive
A responsive property website is one that adjusts to the size of the screen on which the site is being viewed. It will look as sharp and feel as accessible on a 4” phone screen as on a 28” desktop monitor. With 20-30% of all web traffic being by mobile device, this is more important than ever.
A truly responsive website is compatible not just with mobile devices, but with a range of possible resolutions, from tablets to older phones to chromebooks with 10” screens. The goal is to provide an optimal user experience regardless of medium.
If your site doesn’t currently do this, it’s time for an upgrade.
5. Your property website isn’t indexed in Google
A website is only as good as the traffic and visits that it can bring for you. If your property website currently isn’t listed in Google search results, then the odds of generating the high quality, free organic traffic that is so important to the growth of your business is low.
To start capturing quality traffic you need a comprehensive SEO campaign that leverages a well-built site with an active link building campaign.
While there are dozens of SEO ranking factors that can impact where you appear in these searches, the first step is a full optimization of your website, addressing issues such as:
- Keyword distribution in your content
- Content quality and volume addressing important topics
- Photo quality and tagging to describe images
- META tags and title descriptions for every page of your site
- Links to relevant internal and external pages
- Fast loading, mobile-friendly design
6. You don’t have control of making edits
What do you do if you need to make a quick change to your site?
Do you have to contact your design agency, submit a formal request, wait a few days for someone to be available to make that change, and then pay for whatever hours it took to process?
For many commercial real estate companies that rely on third party agencies, this is the reality, and it can be frustrating.
Especially with frequently updated information or an active property that is being heavily promoted, these kinds of design bottlenecks can be frustrating – slowing down your marketing efforts substantially.
Having full control of your website’s design and layout within a structure that is accessible for you and your team is a must.
7. You have no insights on leads generation
If your website is also responsible for lead generation, how do you make sure you know who is visiting it and who is a qualified sales lead?
While the primary goal is to drive leads through your sales funnel, you also want to know as much as you can about these new leads. On what page did they originate? How many pages on your site did they view before converting? What was the total conversion cost of that lead if you are running ads?
The answers to these questions can help you streamline future marketing efforts, reduce cost per conversion, and generate higher quality leads over time. Some of the key changes that will provide this data include:
- Ensuring proper installation of analytics software that tracks lead source and goal conversion.
- Use of tracking tools that provide data on pages viewed, actions taken, and exit points.
- Marketing software that provides insights on specific landing page conversion points, as well as overall ROI from specific channels.
- Install forms that capture key pieces of data you need to know about your prospects. By adding a web form to your website, you can decrease the number of phone calls or emails you receive that lack this data.
A good website that is mobile-responsive, visually appealing to your prospective tenants and investors, accessible in Google search, and easy to update and keep this way makes all the difference for a commercial real estate marketing campaign.
If yours has any of the above warning signs, it may be time to consider an upgrade.
Learn more how a commercial real estate marketing software like SharpLaunch can help.