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Keys to Real Estate Sites - Ten Must Haves of Real Estate Sites

Web sites in real estate come in every shape and color. Some are very good at achieving the intended goals and some aren't. Some of the best designed sites are not the best sites either. Why? Because they don't result in the achievement of the intended goal and that is sales!

If you have a web site and it's not generating the leads that you think it should it may be a simple function of some missing parts to your site. The result might be that the Users you are attracting (attracting users is another topic) might not be staying long enough to see just how good your services can be. Making your Users stay is difficult but, giving them reasons to stay is relatively easy.

There are certain things that your real estate site must have to be successful in keeping Users. Not that this guarantees success. What it, in fact, does is help to eliminate one potential roadblock to goal success: Users leaving your site to satisfy their needs. These "guidelines" boil down to 10 main must haves in order to be successful:

1. Listings

Listings accomplish two purposes. The first is the one that we all know, it markets the properties that you represent. This is always important because it lets your sellers know that you are doing everything you can to represent them and it also can potential sell the home.

The second reason is one that is often overlooked and it is the psychological impact of listings. Think from the Users perspective for a second and you will see why. How would you feel about two Realtors, one with many listings on their site and one with one or none? Exactly, you would expect that the one with all the listings was busy which then means that their service is good and their contacts wide. Now, who would you be more likely to use for your next house transaction?

2. Testimonials

The Golden Rule "if you can't say anything good don't say anything at all" applies to your site. Think of a visitor to your site, she has seen 10, maybe 20 sites for Realtors so far. Now, how do you think she sorts through the masses?

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you stay in the running to represent the client is to show that your previous clients "loved" your service. Remember what the impact will be if your visitor can't find anyone to say anything good about you.

3. Non-Form Contact Information

This may seem absolutely obvious and it is. So why do so many sites not have something as simple as an email address on them?

A lot of sites revert to a contact form where users can fill in the information easily and then simply zip it off so that the real estate professional can answer the question, get the work, close the deal and make money. It would be nice if it worked!

Did you know that a majority of people refuse to fill in forms because they believe that their privacy may be compromised? Did you know that most forms ask for personal information that people aren't willing to divulge?

If you are planning to use a form, give your User an out by also offering a clickable link to an email. If you have nothing at all for contact information then do something!

4. Information Forms

There is a difference between "contact forms" which I discussed above and "information forms". In the latter case you give the User a new option to seek information from you. Through a contact form you force the User to use a method to contact you that they might not appreciate.

An information form gives your User the option to seek specific information that you want to give such as a relocation package or a list of homes available in the area.

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