Your website is the window to your business and should be treated as your ultimate marketing tool. For the majority of buyers, the home search process begins online so your website should attract, engage and nurture buyers, as well as assist you in closing the sale.
We live in the information age and if your website doesn’t offer the information your buyers are looking for then you’re just providing them with reasons to rule you out. With infinite options and low attention spans, today’s audience needs content that will grab their attention for more than a nanosecond.
Your website needs to be both user-friendly and a source of information that inspires buyers to take the next step in the buying process towards building a home with you.
Here are the essentials that every home builder website should have:
- Easy Navigation
Right away, a visitor should know where to find the information they’re looking for. You can do this by presenting your most important info on your header and homepage so its 1-click away.
- A Clear Message
With an effective tagline that explains what you do that makes you different.
- Contact Info On Every Page
A phone number and/or contact button should always be visible. You can do this through a sticky header or a hovering button that never leaves their vision no matter what page a visitor is on.
- Responsive Design
Ensure your website is mobile and tablet friendly. This will help with your website’s SEO and provide lower bounce rates and longer average session durations.
New Vs. Used Page
Stop giving up market share to used homes. Address this head on and educate your buyers with a dedicated page on your website about the advantages of purchasing a new home.
- High Quality Home Photos
Among buyers who used the Internet during their home search, 87 percent of buyers found photos very useful.
- Video Gallery
This includes walkthroughs, aerial drone videos of the community and testimonials.
- Social Media Icons
It simply provides another organic avenue for traffic to your site. Additionally, users tend to give your website and business more credit if you’re involved in social media and do it well.
- Why We’re Different Page
Whether it’s your communities price, product or location every builder has unique selling propositions. By highlighting yours you’ll stand out to show what makes you different.
- Path to Ownership Page
Prospective buyers, especially first time buyers want to be educated on the process of building a home. Whether its 5 steps or 20 steps, its important to educate them on the process so they feel comfortable and confident in building with you.
- A Blog
Plain and simple, blogging drives more traffic to your website via SEO and content marketing through your social media channels.
- FAQ Page
A good FAQ page will benefit your website further by allowing extra content to be picked up by those important Search Engines. Additionally, it helps prospective buyers answer the simple questions they expect in this informational age we live in.
- Clear Calls To Action
This is your chance to drive your visitors in taking the next step in the sales process and convert them to prospects. This can be an exclusive online incentive or even as simple as turning the contact button to a brighter color.
- An Email/Newsletter Sign Up Form
Successful email marketing relies on a large customer database, so attracting new signups should be a high priority for most businesses.
- Buyer Testimonials
Testimonials strengthen the credibility of you and your business and as you know, people will not do business with you if they don’t trust you and find you to be credible.
- An Online Sales Counselor
Having an online sales counselor or someone that represents your business on your website is important in humanizing your brand and will also help in nurturing your leads.
- Virtual Walkthroughs
Bring life to your homes. Virtual walkthroughs are much more affordable these days than they used to be. Matterport (http://matterport.com/) provides services in countless markets nationwide. Reach out to get a quote from one of their many providers.
- Local Points of Interest Map
Location is key for homebuyers. This includes the location of their new potential home AND the location of surrounding entertainment, shopping, hospitals, restaurants and more. This can be done through display maps (pictured below) or interactive maps like this.
- Community Interactive Plat Maps
These are the new standard for every community. Prospective homebuyers expect real time data regarding availability of lots and pricing.
- Community Photos
Show at least 20 photos of happy homeowners, events and unique selling points about the community with the goal being to convince a buyer to picture themselves and their family in that lifestyle.
- Design Center Page
Designing a new home can be nerve racking for buyers. Give them confidence and educate them with an informational design center page with steps involved in the process and high quality photos to inspire them. If you don’t have a design center, create a page for options/upgrades so they know this is available and part of building a home with you.
- Awards Page
Awards add credibility, but pick the awards that make the most impact on potential customers. For instance, builder of the year in your local HBA or maybe you won an award for design.
- Google Analytics
Last but not least, make sure this is connected on your site so you can review analytics and benchmark performance to help you in future decision making.
If you aren’t getting enough web leads then chances are your visitors are not falling in love with your homes when they visit you and you’re missing the elements on your website that do this. Don’t encourage them to continue looking for another builder that gives them more of what they want to see.
Remember you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
*National Association Of Realtors 2015 Profile Of Home Buyers and Sellers
By Andy Bergen – Group Two Advertising