Elite AgentReal Estate Tech & Social

The New Web: Anton Babkov

UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF ANTON BABKOV Siteloft provide website infrastructure for over 500 agencies around Australia. And their research has found that more people visit your site to find out about you, than to find out about your listings.

On paper, it makes sense: turn your website into a mini portal and promote current listings to generate more enquiries. But buyers and renters flock by the millions each month to portals like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au.

By all means highlight your properties and let people search, but don’t lose sight of the fact that from a business generation standpoint the most valuable use of your agency’s website is to attract potential sellers.

Your website is an extension of you: according to Eight25Media, 70 to 80 per cent of people will research your business online before they ever pick up the phone. You only get one chance to make a first impression; think about the business you’re not even getting the chance to pitch on because you’re not investing in the right presence, or the right content. Think about the people who never pick up the phone after they visit your website.

If I’ve got your attention, here are four simple things you can do to attract potential vendors.

1. GET MORE CLIENT TESTIMONIALS AND USE THEM
Testimonials are the most important element of your website. Reading about past clients’ satisfaction with your work builds credibility, creates a human connection and gives visitors a clear indication of what to expect from your business. According to Turnto Networks, online reviews can influence as much as 90 per cent of a person’s decision to purchase – outranking every other form of marketing.

If you’re not doing so already, every time you help a client sell their home send an email asking for feedback:

  • Why did you choose me to represent your home sale?
  • What did I do best to help your home sale?
  • Would you recommend my business to others?

That content isn’t any good in folios or listing presentations. Post your reviews to your website and your agent profile. Broadcast them on your social media channels.

You don’t need to go overboard. According to BrightLocal, 90 per cent of visitors read fewer than ten reviews before forming an opinion about a business. But 73 per cent think reviews older than three months are no longer relevant, so you’ve got to keep them current.

2. REFRESH STATIC CONTENT
You should be refreshing the static content on your site every two to three months, making sure your website reflects your agency (and the market) as accurately as possible. This means making sure:

  • agent profiles highlight all recent achievements
  • information about market trends is up to date
  • your welcome message (or ‘About Us’ section) remains relevant and engaging.

This type of content is often added as an afterthought during the process of getting a new site up. We always intend to change it – but in our experience those good intentions are forgotten as soon as the site goes live.

We always invite Siteloft clients to consider the amount of time and money they invest in prospecting for listings. Then we ask them to consider the time they spend preparing the content that will likely make the first impression when their potential clients are researching them and their agency.

3. DEVELOP A CONTENT SCHEDULE

It’s crucial to have a regular content schedule. Great content draws eyes to your website – and keeps them there.

Fresh, relevant, useful content is one of the most important Google ranking factors. To put it bluntly, if you want your website to show up in Google searches, you need to start writing relevant, targeted and comprehensive copy. To get started, think about what your audience wants to know.

4. START. NOW.

Or even better, yesterday. You might have no problem winning listings right now, but don’t let that fool you. A new generation of homeowners is about to hit your business with a bang.

According to Domain, millennials will make up 43 per cent of all homebuyers by 2018, so it won’t be long before they’ll need your help selling their first home. If you haven’t invested the time to make your website attractive to potential vendors, you’re not going to be their agent of choice.

Think about how many hours a week you spend crafting the perfect ad text – and how much time you spend tailing photographers while they snap your listings. You should be spending at least double making sure your website appeals to potential sellers.

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Anton Babkov

Anton Babkov is CEO of Rex Software, a real estate software provider with 60 staff servicing more than 1,300 agencies. He talks regularly with Rex users and leading industry thinkers about the state of technology and innovation in the real estate sector. Until 2008, Anton practised intellectual property and internet law, working with tech companies from early-stage startups to some of Australia’s largest telecommunications and media companies. When he’s not busily jet setting across timezones being an international man of business, you’ll find him doing typical CEO things - inhaling tech news and jumping up and down with excitement.

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