Today’s modern online audience is significantly more sophisticated now than in the past. They are looking for more than just a property search (because they can get this in 1,000 different sites now) or a pretty design.
What people are looking for is an experience. In today’s connected – yet disconnected – society we’re looking to connect with something…or better yet, someone. And cookie cutter websites with property searches and calls to action like a free home evaluation simply aren’t cutting it any more.
People want to know who you are, what you’re about, what they have in common with you and what you have to offer. Does your website portray that?
A “cookie cutter” website is one that doesn’t break the mould but simply copies it. The first and easiest way to tell if your website is cookie cutter is to look at it and think, “If I replaced my headshot and name, could it be any other sales rep’s website?” If you answered yes, you have a cookie cutter website.
If you passed the initial test, you need to do a deeper analysis and determine what your website offers beyond the bulk of your competition. Open up at least five competitors’ websites and compare them to yours (you may need an impartial eye to evaluate for you). Is yours stronger? Does yours showcase who you are and what you do better than theirs? In what way(s) is yours different? Simply, if you were in the market for a real estate salesperson, would you pick you?
If you have a copycat website, don’t fret; there are several ways to help you rise above the competition:
Leverage your life:
People can search for a property anywhere these days. Let your differentiator be you. Highlight your personality and lifestyle. For example, if you’re a dog-loving mom of two who volunteers with Girl Guides, show that! People work with people they like. Don’t be afraid to show them who you are. Most people want a nice person (often someone who reminds them of themselves) who just happens to be awesome at real estate…not a slick person.
Use call to actions that aren’t the typical ones:
If your calls to action are copy cats of your competitors and if they aren’t working, try something different. Think of the most common things you’re asked by leads and clients and turn those into call to action/lead gen forms. For example, this might be investment properties for student rentals if you live in a university town, homes with legal basement apartments, homes under a certain dollar amount or homes on ravine lots or with big backyards.
Get better headshots:
Is your headshot more than 10 years old? Is it in a cheesy power pose from the ’90s? Does it look like a ’90s Glamour Shots image? People don’t want to see a fancy suit or makeup, they want to see you. They want to look into your eyes, from a clear, high-res image that looks like you. Bonus points if it has a disarming smile and/or makes you look approachable.
Highlight your skills:
What makes you stand out? Is it your patience with buyers and sellers? Is it your incredible negotiation skills? Is it your marketing platform? Figure out your differentiators in your market and let your viewers know…that’s what they are yearning for! That’s what turns them from website visitors to leads, then to clients.
A website that really highlights who you are, what you’re about, why to use you – and develops a connection with the viewer – makes a significant difference.
As seen in REM