Even people not directly associated with real estate know the internet is the way to get a listing out to the world. A real estate website should show the originality and innovation the agent has behind their marketing. Using a typical common template will put a site in the same league as so many others, but with customization, a listing site can step above the crowd and draw new clients who will appreciate the agent’s ingenuity and commitment to excellence.
A customized website should emphasize the strengths of the agent and their firm. It should be built specifically for the agent by a trained professional team. Using the same template is disastrous since so many other agents go the easy (read lazy) way and simply copy and paste their information. Certainly, having a website is better than not having one, but boring or cookie cutter websites will not do at all.
Real Estate websites should first focus on usability. Visitors should be able to find what they need and fast. There should be some kind of search bar as well as pre-set search parameters such as square footage and price of units or homes being sold. Having analytics done on the site will let you know if users are returning to the site because they like the listings and the usability of the site. If users keep coming back it is because of those two reasons. A difficult site to use will lose the interest of potential buyers.
A good site will also be Search Engine Friendly. An SEO (Search Engine Optimized) site will get in touch with the Google (or Bing or Yahoo) algorithm and be connected to people local to the listing. This will also hold true for people looking to move into the area as they will most likely insert the selected city into the search bar. It is a good idea to have some content on the site that is not listings which can harness the power of SEO. Also, the listings themselves can incorporate SEO as long as they do not overdo it on the keywords and disqualify themselves as viable search results.
Good SEO will draw the computer algorithms, but good writing will keep the human eyes from straying so do not skimp on the SEO trained writers hired from various companies or freelance writers looking to get their work out into the world. You never know whose words might be the ones to help you make that sale.