Any good realtor will be acutely aware of how important their image is. Most realtors will have the ability to make a great first impression with their face-to-face interactions. Increasingly however, that first chance lies in your online image.
- Buyers are twice as more likely to go online first, as opposed to finding an agent first when looking for a home (36% online vs. 19% agent).
- 89% of homebuyers used the Internet as an information source.
- 41% of buyers first found their home on the Internet.
Today’s realtors are faced with the issue of creating an online presence that will engage and stand out amongst the masses. While website templates and homemade sales and marketing materials are cheap alternatives, they can’t convey the type of professionalism that will inspire confidence in clients. Utilizing an agency or in-house designer can be costly as there are high mark-ups due to overhead and fringe benefits. As a result, more realtors are hiring online professionals to get better results at more affordable prices.
The following are 3 ways realtors are sucessfully using online professionals to manage their image, and the key components of each:
1. Logo Design
Think of your logo as the front door of a property you’re trying to sell. It will be one of the first things along with your picture, any potential client will see. Logos communicate a sense of stability and establishment, brands your business, and most importantly distinguish yourself from the crowd. The best logos are ones that honestly represent the realtor while engaging their clients.
When presenting the brief to your graphic designer, consider the following:
- Target Client: Provide a simple but thorough description of your client in order for your designer to understand the audience at hand.
- Message: Create a 1-sentence phrase that encapsulates how you want your client to respond based on first-impressions. Does it revolve around professionalism? experience? enthusiasm?
- Color Scheme: Provide a colour palette or ask your designer for suggestions based on your message. Certain colour palettes convey different meaning. For example, red evokes passion and strength; green evokes health and freshness; and blue evokes authority and security. Depending on your area of specialization (ex. residential or commercial) and your target market (ex. luxury, first-home buyer, etc.), be explicit in how you want to be appear. A good designer will know which colour schemes fit best.
- Examples: The best way to get your idea across is through visual examples. If you can provide sample logos, fonts, images, colour schemes or various other elements, you are more inclined to get the product you desire.
2. Web and Blog Design
With 70% of people saying they would not buy from a badly designed site, the image and user experience of your website is ever so crucial. In addition to considering the important elements above, what does it take to get a great realty website?
- Positive Image: When buyers and sellers reach your site, an image that conveys a sense of reliability, commitment and establishment best represents a worthy realtor. Sophisticated themes suit this best.
- Search Functionality: While maintaining your professional image, your site should also be functional. A capable search function is an imperative tool to have within your site. Allowing users to search by particular areas and within a certain budget are very important functionalities. No one wants to waste time trawling through every listing.
- Photos and Videos: Clients want to get a good idea of what properties are like without leaving their computer or mobile screens. Large image slide shows and panoramic videos are particularly good for this.
- Calls to Action: Strong calls to action within your site are a necessity which most realtors neglect. It is essential to convert incoming traffic to your site from casual visitors into leads. One effective call to action is to ask for information before offering something of value to your clients. This could be a property search, special offer, home valuation or mortgage calculator. It is imperative to have top-of-page placement for these calls to action on every page, while using eye-catching designs. Graphic links are also 10 times more likely to be clicked than text links.
- Blog: A blog within your main website is also an increasingly important tool in promoting yourself online. Clients get to know you more, and it allows you to share information that establishes you as a leader in the field. A web designer can assist in creating or customizing existing blog themes to provide continuity with the look of your main site.
3. Supplementary Sales and Marketing Materials
Employing the best design talent shouldn’t be a practice that starts and ends online. If you want to close sales, the image you present online needs to hold up through your face-to-face interactions with the client. This includes sales materials you present to them in person such as your business card, letterhead, flyers, brochures and signage. Good design influences decisions.
With all these ways to revitalize your brand image, consider the help of online professionals to see how they can improve your business. Here are a few examples of how HiretheWorld has connected realtors with online professionals to create great outcomes to attract clients:
(Sources: Realtor.org, Realwire, RSSpieces and Smashing Magazine)