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August
17

A great real estate website is a must in today's industry. Millennials and Generation Z are the majority of homebuyers, and virtually all real estate transactions start online. A website creates an opportunity to build trust with potential customers you haven't even met yet.

Website design is a big topic, and it might be a long way from your interests. But a website is your digital first impression, so every detail should be thought out with care. Luckily, everything gets easier once the planning and setup are complete. Then, your website can start building momentum.

It's no secret some of the most successful real estate agencies find most of their business through their website. By attracting the right prospective customers at the moment they are most interested in what you have to say, a website supercharges your relationships.

Since a website is working for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it extends your ability to win leads and move them through your sales funnel. Combined with a repeatable strategy to get regular referrals, a good website means less time chasing down leads and more time really connecting.

Features a Modern Real Estate Website Can't Do Without

It may seem like lots of work to launch a website or improve one that isn't performing. With a plan in hand and the right technology on your side, however, it's easier than ever. Your website is much more than an ordinary brochure: It should make your life, and those of your clients, easier.

Include these features in your website, and you'll be off to a powerful start:

  • A Video Introduction
    Video is the next best thing to being there. It helps you form a humane relationship before you even get a chance to talk to someone in person. Independent agents need to work even harder to establish their brand and identity, and a video intro is the right way to do it. In three minutes or less, you set the tone and explain who you are, what you do, and who you do it for — zeroing in on your ideal customers.

  • Helpful, Informative Blogs
    Your website is your very own publishing platform. By writing and sharing helpful, informative content, you can preview the expertise you'll provide to customers who choose you. What's more, each blog is a fresh way to get attention from search engines. You're more likely to appear in online searches relevant to your business if you are answering questions and solving problems with your blog.

  • Easy Ways to Contact You
    When it comes to first contact, speed makes a difference. You maximize your odds of getting a customer if you respond to them within five minutes. With that in mind, it's wise to set your website up so it can text you the moment someone uses it to send you an email or schedule an appointment.

  • Your Hot New Listings
    Naturally, your website is also a place where you should highlight all the terrific new listings you have to offer. You can use your MLS access to show active listings directly within your own website. Plus, putting listings on your own site enables you to capture more details about how people reach those listings and interact with them. This can help you optimize listings and appeal to your unique customers.

  • Complete CRM Integration
    Today's real estate agents are turning away from time-consuming, old-fashioned approaches to keeping track of their network. A Customer Relationship Management suite for real estate is the key to growth, giving you complete visibility into your customers, leads, and contacts. Your site should communicate with your CRM, so the details people enter as they browse your website are automatically imported to the CRM.

  • Your Social Media Presence
    If you're blogging and posting new listings on your website, then you have all the fuel you need for a bustling social media presence. Whether you find your customers on Instagram, LinkedIn, or even Twitter, be sure your social media credentials are on full display on your website. A live social feed showcasing your recent posts makes it unmistakable that your brand is active and on-trend.

  • Your Email Marketing List
    If you're not using email marketing yet, the time to start is now. The average business can yield more than $30 in ROI for every dollar spent on email, and the potential returns are far higher in real estate. Trade useful, informative content like a neighborhood report in exchange for visitors' emails, and then contact them weekly with helpful content so they'll choose you when it's time to buy or sell!

Delta Media Group combines all the features and technologies you need for your breakout real estate website under one roof. Contact us to learn how a better website can empower you and your practice.

July
15

The days when buyers needed to set foot in a house to fall in love with it are long gone, thanks to all of the online resources now available to shop for homes. Many buyers spend countless hours browsing listings, analyzing photos, taking virtual tours, and finding reasons to fall in love before they even consider going to an open house or showing. Are you doing everything that you can to inspire confidence in buyers who discover properties on your website?

Properly showcasing your properties online is an essential step in generating interest, inspiring action, and standing out from the competition. Here's how to make your properties shine on your website and help modern buyers fall in love with your listings.

Start with Great Listing Photos

While buyers spend significant time checking listings specs, descriptions, and agent comments, there's no doubt that they focus on listing photos above all else. Professional, high-quality listing photos are one of the most reliable ingredients for generating interest in properties online, so it's critical to have a real estate photographer you can count on to make properties look their best.

There are a few key factors to remember for producing great listing photos. Ideally, the home will be staged in advance in order to highlight its best features. Every photo should be well-lit, and everything in the image should be clearly visible. Of course, you also want to make each room look as large as possible. These are just a few of the many factors that a professional photographer will consider when presenting a home in its best light.

Be Descriptive and Take Advantage of SEO

You want buyers to be able to easily find your properties when they're searching for homes in your markets and be able to learn as much as possible about the property when they arrive. Taking advantage of real estate SEO by conducting keyword research and integrating the right keywords will help your properties stand out from the crowd online.

The listing description is your opportunity to use creative content to highlight anything that's not captured in listing photos and go in-depth on the features that appeal to buyers the most. Sending a draft of the listing description to the seller before you publish is a great idea because they can point out any features that you might have missed. Lastly, make sure that your listing title is catchy, captivating, and highlights the best features of the home.

Showcase Features that Make the Home Special

When describing a listing on your real estate website, try to capture all of the things that make the home unique. If the kitchen is loaded with high-end appliances, include the brand names. If there's a beautiful breakfast nook, a great place to enjoy a morning coffee with a view, or a well-equipped outdoor living/entertaining space, describe it in detail. When a buyer is considering two similar homes, these features can make all the difference in their decision.

Never Forget that Location Matters

For the overwhelming majority of buyers, location is a critical factor in choosing a home. So if you want to make your properties shine, it's worth pointing out all of the perks of where the home is located. Is it a walkable neighborhood with great parks and restaurants? Is the home located in an excellent school district, with ample attractions for families to enjoy? Just as with the home itself, you want to point out all of the things that make the neighborhood special.

Share Your Listings in All of the Right Places

SEO isn't the only tool for helping buyers find your properties. If you've been keeping up with your social media marketing, then you already have a built-in audience on the biggest social platforms. Make sure that you're sharing your best listings on any social platform where you've built up a presence.

Enhance the Online Shopping Experience with Virtual Tours, Showings, and Open Houses

Not every buyer who's interested in a home will be able to drop everything and come visit it in person. Virtual tours are great for helping buyers fall in love with homes, while tools like virtual open houses and showings can help encourage buyers to take the next step by making an offer or traveling to visit the home in person.

The Bottom Line for Making Your Properties Shine

There's no one magic tool or solution to guarantee that properties shine on your website. Instead, it's a combination of all of the little things that you do to present a property in its best light. Start with great listing photos, captivating descriptions, and a focus on all of the things that make the home/neighborhood special. Mix in the right promotional strategies, and you have the recipe for generating maximum interest in your properties online.

May
12

Are you doing everything that you can to connect with, inform, and convert the many prospects who visit your real estate website? Integration of a live chat feature can help you accomplish all of those goals and more while transforming the lead generation potential of your website. By providing instant, reliable customer support through live chat, you increase your appeal to the many prospects who expect to be able to handle the bulk of the real estate process online.

Still on the fence? Here are seven ways that live chat can boost lead generation, help your team connect quickly with prospects, and make the lives of agents easier in the process.

Build Instant Connections By Answering Key Questions

Your digital marketing and content can help answer general questions that prospects might have. But what about when they want to learn more about a property or have specific questions about the neighborhoods where homes are located? Live chat makes it easy to provide prompt, informed answers to those questions at a time when prospects are clearly demonstrating interest in your services.

Bring Listings to Life

Today's online listings contain a wealth of information, often paired with multimedia features that allow buyers to explore properties online in more depth than ever before. However, even the most robust listing can't cover everything, and discerning buyers will often want to know more about the little details regarding the home. When an agent can provide those details in real-time through live chat, the buyer has all the more reason to fall in love with the listing.

Turn Online Interest into Visits and Open Houses

While online interest is a great start, most buyers will still need an in-person visit to the property before they're willing to take the next step. Live chat provides a seamless way to progress from answering questions to scheduling buyers for a showing or open house. The buyer doesn't have to make an extra effort like making a call or sending an email, so live chat removes some of the obstacles that may normally get in the way of scheduling a visit.

Build Prospect Profiles and Get Valuable Data for Your CRM

Prospects aren't the only ones who can learn important information through live chat. These online chats are also excellent for learning what makes a prospect tick, what type of properties/neighborhoods they're interested in, and what they want from their real estate agent. All of this information can help you build a profile of the prospect, giving you the best possible chance to earn their business. It will also help you populate your real estate CRM with the data agents need to close the deal.

Give Your Team an Edge Over the Big Real Estate Websites

The biggest real estate websites, like Zillow and Trulia, make it easy for buyers to browse countless listings. However, live chat allows you to gain an edge by providing a level of personalized service that those websites can't match. At best, the big-name real estate websites allow buyers to send a message to an agent that will be answered later. With live chat, you can answer those questions right away, build connections through conversation, and encourage buyers to take the next steps at the moment they're falling in love with a listing.

Extend the Reach of Your Real Estate Team

More than ever, real estate is a global business, and in competitive markets, buyers are increasingly willing to make offers on homes that they haven't visited in person. This is especially true for buyers who are relocating to one of your markets from far away. They may conduct their entire property search online, or they may be willing to plan a trip only after being sure that the property is worth the significant time investment of coming to visit in person. Either way, live chat makes it so much easier to accommodate the needs of buyers who are shopping from a distance and convince them to take the next step.

Show Sellers That You Mean Business

While we've mostly focused on how live chat can connect agents with buyers, it's just as dependable for showing savvy sellers what you have to offer. After all, sellers have questions too, from marketing matters to fee structures. Just like with buyers, being ready to provide answers at the moment through live chat can help you earn their business.

Discover the Difference by Trying Live Chat

We can talk all day about the benefits of live chat for real estate, but there's no substitute for experiencing those benefits firsthand. Give live chat a try for your real estate website to experience the many ways that it can make life easier for your team and your clients.

May
5

It's a sure thing that the majority of your future clients will first encounter your brand online.

Even with the personnel and resources of a large brokerage, in-person events can only achieve so much coverage within your community. Experts estimate only about 1% to 10% of people you encounter on a daily basis will be ready to enter the market when they make contact with you for the first time.

Knowing all that, your brokerage website has a number of big jobs to do:

  • It must attract the right targeted traffic to your digital doorstep
  • It must explain precisely what you do and who you do it for
  • It must help maintain a relationship over weeks and months

Your website is the centerpiece of your digital marketing strategy. While it doesn't "do it all," nothing else will get done without a website to serve as the hub of your online brand. Its role goes far beyond being a "digital brochure." Done right, it has the potential to deliver immense strategic value.

Here's how to make it happen:

Post Helpful, Informative Content

Content marketing is the name given to building a relationship of trust by providing a foretaste of the value you can offer clients before they even sign up with you. This content should be both helpful and informative, helping visitors solve problems or overcome challenges in their real estate journey.

  • Promote Your Content with SEO
    Search engine optimization (SEO) is a collection of design and technology techniques that signal search engines about your high-quality content. In order for your content to raise your search engine visibility by appearing in relevant searches, you must have an SEO strategy you follow consistently.

  • Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
    A responsive website is one that automatically adjusts in both navigation and appearance to suit the way a smartphone or tablet browses the Web. Without this adjustment, mobile users can get frustrated and click away — and an increasing number of younger buyers use mobile as their main source of connectivity.

  • Capture Lead Details Throughout Your Website
    As someone interacts with your website, you should be learning more and more about that person's needs. One way to capture leads is to develop a "lead magnet," a rich, detailed piece of content website visitors can receive in exchange for agreeing to join your mailing list.

  • Build Your Opt-in Email Marketing List
    Email marketing is one of the most powerful opportunities in real estate, especially for large brokerages with the staff power to handle the increased volume. By segmenting your list for buyers, sellers, new leads, and other use cases, you can ensure each subscriber receives only content that matters to them.

  • Turn Subscribers into Customers
    Email subscribers are somewhere in the middle of your digital marketing funnel. While you can't "make" them take action, you can inspire them with the right opportunities. Be certain they are receiving event invitations such as virtual tours, open houses, and featured listings in their area.

  • Make Your Text Content Stick with Video
    On the internet, people don't read — they scan. They are looking for the information that's most relevant to them and will simply tune out anything else. Video content is much more likely to inspire action than plain text, and it is usually more memorable for your visitors, too.

  • Showcase Your Featured Listings Prominently
    A good real estate website makes it easy for visitors to browse listings of value to them. Your MLS access gives you the tools you need to highlight new listings, enriched content like video and virtual tours, and relevant updates in real-time. Give your most crucial listings prominent billing on your website!

  • Be Smart About Social Media
    Instagram is the overall winner when it comes to social media marketing for real estate, but Facebook and LinkedIn both hold opportunities for the right brokerages. Expand the reach of your best content and listings with social media, staying focused on platforms where your audience is highly active.

It's Not Too Late to Turn Your Website into a Lead Generation Powerhouse

Ready to put your website to work?

Even if your website hasn't reached its full potential just yet, it is not too late to make a positive change. With the right guidance from digital marketing experts, you can revitalize your real estate website so it produces a bottom-line value that moves the needle on your goals.

There are many different aspects to getting the most value from your website. For the best results, they all need to come together effectively. But once the initial work is done, your team can benefit from the power of digital marketing automation, reach more people, and save thousands of hours a year.

Contact us today to find out how your brand can benefit from the best real estate websites.

March
31

What sets your real estate website apart from the competition? While features like MLS search are essential and reliable for getting your foot in the door, you'll need more than the basics to truly set your real estate brand apart online. Adding a personal touch through customization and the content you create is the best way to make your real estate website stand out for all of the right reasons.

Let's start with content. Even if you don't normally fancy yourself a blogger, your knowledge base on real estate topics, neighborhoods, and market trends put you in a unique position to inform your target audience on the topics that matter to them. In addition to being informative, the content that you — or your custom content creator — develop is the perfect platform to give your website that all-important personal touch.

Inform and Engage

Expertise inspires confidence in your audience, and you're an expert on so many of the topics that are important to real estate clients. Content that informs also tends to convert. In that way, think of the informative content that you create as a preview of the expertise that clients can expect when they choose your brand.

Informative content can be customized to suit your target audience and the places where you do business. If you cater to first-time buyers in budget-friendly markets, then your content can help walk them through the early steps of the purchasing process. If you aim to reach experienced, luxury clientele, then you might choose to focus on more advanced topics. Catering your content to your audience adds a personal touch and keeps them coming back to learn more.

Become a Trusted Source on the Markets That Matter to Your Brand

Your expertise also extends to the communities where you do business, and the neighborhood knowledge that you share through your content is a vital asset for your audience. It's also one of the ways that you can set your brand apart online.

Whether you're discussing local attractions, services, community spaces, small businesses, or events, all of these things matter to people who are considering buying a home in that market. Buyers will be able to visit your website to learn all about the neighborhoods where they're shopping for homes, and sellers will appreciate the way that you showcase the communities where they're selling a home.

Of course, market knowledge also applies when you're discussing the latest real estate trends in your local communities and providing key data that can help your audience make informed decisions. Integration of market data into your content provides another valuable resource while also reinforcing your real estate expertise.

Showcase Your Core Values and Culture

Remember, too, that content doesn't always have to be about providing advice or market data. It's also a great tool for showcasing the personality of your team, and the values of your brand. Share stories about how your team has participated in community events, discuss local non-profits that you support, or simply have some fun with a more personality-driven blog post that peels back the curtain on life in the real estate industry. These may seem like small things, but they ultimately add up to provide a more vibrant impression of your brand.

Customize Your Website to Create a Unique Identity

Customization is one of the core elements of our website design philosophy, and you don't want to post all of that great content on a cookie-cutter website that looks the same as the websites of your competitors. You want a seamless website that is uniquely yours and one that shows off all of the best aspects of your real estate brand.

Our customization options make it easy for you to personalize your website with custom, full-screen background images/video, an editable homepage welcome message, editable page content, and customizable site navigation. You can also easily integrate your latest blog posts, market activity stats, featured listings, and so much more.

When you combine that customization with key features like IDX listing integration, mobile-friendly design, live chat, strong SEO, and robust listings search options, you have a website that offers everything your audience needs in one convenient package.

Give Your Brand a Boost with a Fresh Real Estate Website

Your website is an essential element of all your digital marketing and lead-generation efforts, so getting the design just right is well worth the effort. As we've hopefully shown today, designing your website also presents extensive opportunities for customization, and adding a personal touch. So if your current website isn't quite distinctive enough or lacks some of the features that modern real estate clients want, now is the perfect time to develop a website that truly reflects all of the best things about your real estate brand.

March
3

Your real estate website is your digital first impression.

Today's buyers are more likely to meet you online than through a showing or other face-to-face event. This is only growing more true as Millennials and Generation Z buyers enter the market. Technology is essential to the lifestyles of younger buyers.

No matter whether you're a solo agent or work within a large brokerage, you already know you need a website. But is your website actually producing the business value you expect from it? For many in the industry, the answer is no. The website isn't making the strong first impression you want and deserve.

When agents first get started, it's not out of the ordinary to post a simple website as soon as possible and hope for the best. But your website is more than just a brochure that introduces you. It draws the right people to your door and helps turn visitors into customers.

Even if your website isn't doing much for you right now, it's never too late to change your strategy. Done right, your website has the potential to work for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even while you sleep. It is the key to growing your practice while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Your Website Tells People What to Expect from You – Is It Sending the Right Message?

Your website communicates more than just what's on the page. Yes, visitors are looking through what you have to say about yourself and your business. But they are also reading between the lines, making decisions in seconds. They judge your digital brand based on your website's user experience.

User experience is everything that impacts a person while they use a website, yours or anyone else's. It includes the look, feel, navigation, speed, ease of use, and how well the website helps someone to meet their needs or answer their questions. Some of these factors can be very subtle.

Developers and designers spend thousands of hours figuring out how to deliver the best user experience for a given website. Luckily, because user experience incorporates so many different elements, there are always plenty of ways you can improve it — even if you don't have dazzling technical skills yourself.

Let's look at some of the biggest elements that influence your digital reputation:

  • Ease of Navigation
    The most important topics on your website should be reflected in the top navigation bar, where they only take one click to find. It's wise to avoid having any information that takes more than three clicks to reach. If you can't avoid having some "buried treasure," make sure your site has a good search function.

  • Mobile-Friendliness
    An increasing number of people use a smartphone as their primary or even only method of going online. A truly mobile-friendly site is responsive, meaning it changes to fit the display size and inputs available for a smartphone or tablet user. Even older websites can often be made responsive in a few clicks.

  • Professionalism
    What does it mean for a website to "look professional?" Professionalism is communicated by things that are easy to take for granted: The site has a consistent layout, color scheme, and fonts, relevant imagery is used, and everything is organized in a way that makes sense.

  • Trust Markers
    "Trust markers" are things that help frame you as a credible and established expert. In real estate, the most important are seals and logos you're entitled to use as a member of a professional organization or holder of a recognized certification.

  • Helpful, Informative Content
    Content is anything you publish with the goal of helping others make more informed decisions. Blogs and video are the most common forms of real estate content. They provide a reason to explore your website in detail. They can also help you capture traffic from relevant online searches.

  • Information About You and Your Practice
    You are your most important brand asset — the star of the show. The best way to make an introduction is with a video message first-time visitors can use to learn about you. Answer their big questions: What makes you different? Who do you help and how?

  • Easy Ways to Get in Contact
    When someone contacts you for the first time, seconds count. Make it easy for them to connect by phone, email, social media, or text. Alerts from your website can help you respond more quickly.

  • Your Current Listings
    Last, but certainly not least, your listings should be reflected right on your own website. MLS gives you plenty of options to incorporate your active listings. When visitors can browse listings directly from your website, they are much more likely to reach out to you or subscribe to your email marketing list.

Contact us to learn more about boosting your online reputation.

December
9

Your real estate website should be one of your greatest assets for generating leads, informing prospects, and making it easier for your clients to accomplish their real estate goals. If you're building a website for the first time or your existing website is in need of an update, it's important to make sure that your new website has all of the modern features that will help you generate more business online. There's plenty of room to customize your website, as long as you make sure to include the essentials. Here are 5 essential features that every real estate website should have.

  • Mobile Responsive Design
    For anyone who's buying or selling a home, real estate is always on their mind. They want to be able to visit your website on any device, and still get the same great user experience. Mobile traffic has long since passed by desktop traffic in terms of volume, and that trend is only likely to continue. So mobile responsive design, which ensures that your website offers a seamless experience on any screen, is an absolute must for a modern real estate website. With responsive design, the features of your website will shine whether the user is accessing your website on their phone, their tablet, or their desktop computer from the comfort of home.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    No matter how great your website is and how many resources it offers, it can only boost your business if people know where to find it. Given the level of competition for the attention of real estate prospects, finding ways to stand out online is more important than ever. SEO helps ensure that when people search for real estate services in the markets where you do business, your website will be one of the first that they see.

    Through your content, on-page SEO, and all of the SEO that happens behind the scenes of your website, you can rank higher in search results over time. Local SEO is also essential because it helps you stand out in your markets and boosts your visibility with people who are shopping for homes there. Since so many people begin their search for real estate services by visiting their favorite search engine, SEO helps them discover your business and is key to driving traffic to your website.

  • IDX Listing Integration
    While there are many features that drive traffic to your website, many of the prospects and clients who visit your will be there specifically because they want to search for homes. IDX listing integration makes it easy for them to search for homes based on location and use a wide variety of filters to find homes that suit their unique needs. By pulling listing information from MLS databases, IDX integration provides a comprehensive look at which homes are available in a given market. And it's not just a perk for buyers who are searching for homes. For sellers, the exposure that IDX provides means that a larger pool of potential buyers will be able to find their listings online.

  • Market Stats and Information
    Buyers who visit your website will often be searching for more than just a home. They will also be looking for the ideal community or neighborhood to live in, based on the factors that matter most to them. That's why it's so important to provide resources that help buyers get to know what your markets are like, both in terms of real estate trends and what it's like to live in those places.

    Your blog posts and real estate videos are great places to showcase your markets, but you will also want pages where website visitors can quickly, easily find key information on specific neighborhoods. Sellers also benefit from your market resources because your website content and market reports help buyers fall in love with the communities where a seller is listing a home.

  • Review and Testimonial Integration
    Ultimately, you want your real estate website to play a key role in converting prospects into loyal clients. Social proof like reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients is one of the biggest factors in the decision-making of many real estate prospects. So you'll want to be able to easily integrate all of those glowing testimonials and reviews into your real estate website, where they will be easy to find. When prospects can quickly find out what others are saying about your brand, they're more likely to convert with confidence.

With all of the right features, your real estate website can drive more traffic, generate more leads, and serve as the hub of all your online marketing efforts. These 5 features are essential, and there are plenty more that you'll want to include to provide the best possible experience for your audience.

June
10

When you create a website for your real estate business, it's crucial to make sure that everyone has equal access to all of the features that your website offers. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes standards for website accessibility, and following key guidelines can help ensure your website provides a reliable, equal experience for all visitors. Whether you're creating a new real estate website or updating an existing one, this guide can help you get started with website accessibility.

Why Website Accessibility Matters to Your Real Estate Business

Your website visitors will come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and some of them will be people with disabilities which makes it harder to access certain website features. With the integration of accessibility standards throughout your website, visitors with disabilities will be able to consume all of your content and use all of the features that your website has to offer. In addition to simply being the right thing to do, making your website accessible can help avoid lawsuits and liability issues that can arise when a website isn't accessible. Meeting ADA standards helps ensure that your website is up to date with accessibility and provides a robust experience for all users.

Key Elements of Website Accessibility

The ADA provides extensive guidelines on website accessibility, and those guidelines are worth reading in full. Here, we'll provide a look at some of the key standards for website accessibility that are especially relevant for real estate websites.

  • Adjustable Text Size
    The ability to adjust text size is crucial to making sure that users can easily read all of your text-based content. And it's not just the ability to adjust the size of the text that matters. It's also important to ensure that your website still offers all of the same features and functionality, even if the size of the text has been adjusted.

  • Clear, Consistent Navigation Options
    A clear, logical navigation layout is important for all users, and navigation is also part of ADA standards. It's important to provide the same seamless navigation options in the same locations on each page so that users can easily find what they need on your website. It's also a good idea to provide more than one option for navigating your website. This can include a website search function and an HTML sitemap, in addition to your standard navigation menus.

  • Captions for Video Content
    Captions make it easier for people with certain disabilities to enjoy all of the video content that your website has to offer, and you can use software to provide captions even for live video content. For any pre-recorded video or audio content, you should also provide an audio description for the content, along with a link that makes that audio description easy to find.

  • Avoid Images of Text
    It's important to avoid using images of text because the text in images can't be resized with the same consistency as regular text. Some exceptions are made for images that are essential to the website, but few images fall within those exceptions. Rather than use images of text, you can use the same text conventionally, with attribution if necessary.

  • Error Suggestions for Website Forms
    Any website forms, like those used to contact your business or sign up for your newsletter, should have error suggestions to help people fill out the form successfully. Error suggestions can be text-based and should help with basic input errors that often come with filling out things like phone numbers or addresses.

  • Use Descriptive Headings and Labels for Content
    Using descriptive headings and labels for content helps all users, including those with disabilities, understand the purpose of content and navigate through that content more easily. Try to make headings as simple and descriptive as possible. Also, make sure you label all elements of your website, like contact or sign-up forms.

How Our Team Can Help Your Website Stay Compliant

Worried about accessibility with your real estate website? Let our experienced team at Delta Media Group help you handle all of the key details. We strive to make every website we build as accessible as possible by providing adjustable fonts, detailed image descriptions for screen readers, forms that are not time-sensitive, testing every website with the WAVE suite of tools that helps evaluate website accessibility, and taking additional steps to ensure accessibility throughout your website. We stay up to date on the latest accessibility standards, and we make sure that your website does, too. Contact us today to learn more.

May
20

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 93 percent of real estate clients from all generations rely on real estate websites as a primary source of information when buying or selling a home. How does your real estate website stack up to the competition? In order to capitalize on the immense online interest in all things real estate, there are some essential features that every real estate website should have. With the right mix of features, content, and smart design, you can turn your website into a constant, reliable source of leads for your real estate business.

  • Responsive Mobile Design
    One more interesting statistic from the NAR: 76 percent of all buyers found their next home using a mobile device. And that number is even higher for Millenial and Gen X home buyers. So if you want to maximize the potential of your real estate website, it needs to look and function as great on mobile devices as it does on bigger screens. Responsive mobile design allows your website to scale to any screen size and makes it easy for website visitors to access key features on any device.

  • IDX Listing Integration and Convenient Search Filters
    While many website features pique visitors' interest, the number one reason most people visit real estate websites is to search for listings that match their needs. So IDX listing integration is absolutely essential for any real estate website. It's also important to make sure that people can filter their search based on the features they want in a home to easily fall in love with homes that match their needs.

  • Informative Real Estate Content
    Informative, educational real estate content is key to informing website visitors, demonstrating your expertise, and showing them why you're the right choice for their real estate needs. Whether you maintain a real estate blog, post video content on a reliable schedule, put together information-rich infographics, or ideally all of the above, your content provides a window into what potential clients can expect from your real estate business. Clients especially appreciate content that answers real estate questions, helps them overcome challenges, and dives deep into what buyers can expect when purchasing homes in the markets where you do business.

  • Social Proof and Social Media Integration
    Social proof is one of the best ways to turn website visitors into clients by showing them exactly why your current clients love your real estate business. Featuring testimonials from current clients is a great way to showcase what you have to offer and show prospects the quality of service they can expect when choosing you for their real estate needs. It's also important to make it easy to find all of your social media feeds so people can seamlessly connect and engage with your business on their favorite social media platforms.

  • Neighborhood Guides for Home Shoppers
    While making it easy to search for homes is a great start, it's also crucial to help buyers learn more about the neighborhoods where those homes are located. Neighborhood guides are a great way to help buyers get acquainted with your neighborhoods while finding locations with the attractions, services, amenities, and characteristics that match their needs. Your blog posts and video content are also great places to go deeper into what local neighborhoods have to offer by highlighting local attractions, dining destinations, traditions, events, and anything else interesting about those neighborhoods.

  • Lead Capture, Calls to Action, and Subscription Forms
    With great content, IDX integration, responsive design, and social proof, you already have many of the ingredients that will help turn curious website visitors into strong leads for your business. Now it's time to capitalize on all of those important features by capturing leads and encouraging website visitors to take the next step. It's important to include calls to action throughout your website that encourage people to take that next step, add forms that make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your newsletters, and provide incentives for them to learn more about what you have to offer.

  • Uncluttered Layout and Intuitive Navigation
    All of the great features on a website are only valuable if visitors can easily find them. Making it easy to find everything will also encourage them to stick around on your website for longer periods of time. Avoid cluttering any one page with too much information, and make sure that visitors can easily, intuitively navigate all of the features that your website offers.

While there are essential features that every real estate website should have, there are also many different ways to customize your website within that framework. With the right mix of features and design, your website can be a major asset for your brand. Contact us today to learn how to make the most of your website.

May
4

When you're showing a property face-to-face, curb appeal is indispensable.

There are many different aspects to curb appeal, but it all adds up to that essential first impression. From the moment potential buyers lay eyes on the home, right before walking through the door for the first time, they are primed for a memorable experience — and ready to find the home that's "the one."

No doubt, your mind whirls into action to improve curb appeal whenever you look at a property.

You might think of things like:

  • The exterior paint job, how fresh it looks, and how well it matches the rest of the neighborhood
  • The roof — its style, colors, and materials, and whether or not it looks ready for another ten years
  • Landscaping and lawn care appropriate to the season, with no yard waste or other obstructions
  • Presentation — how well the all-important walk to the front door is framed, and the door itself

When care is taken with curb appeal, it really can be a case of love at first sight!

It might surprise you to know that the exact same effect is at work in the digital world.

Yes, digital curb appeal is real. And it makes a winning difference for your sellers.

Digital Curb Appeal Sets Properties Apart in 2021 and Beyond

Digital curb appeal is a simple concept, but it takes creativity and hard work to master. In short, it means:

  • Making your online home listing as appealing as it can look
  • Ensuring it has a powerful preview in-home search results

Even though online home listings are extraordinarily common — most home searches now start online — not everyone has gotten the message about digital curb appeal. Look at condo listings, for example, and you're very likely to see a preview photo that only consists of a community's sign out front.

What a missed opportunity!

Similar problems can crop up with a single-family residence. If a photo is blurry, distorted, or shows only one tiny part of what the home has to offer, it won't seize the attention of would-be buyers browsing through dozens of listings. As the listing gets little attention, it ends up at the bottom of results, even less likely to be found.

First, remember what a listing preview usually shows:

  • A feature photo along with the option to scroll through all the home's photos
  • The asking price
  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms, including half and quarter baths
  • Total square footage
  • The address

Special identifiers like "Hot!" or "Video tour" are also added to listings automatically. So, getting familiar with the different identifiers and how your listing can qualify is a terrific way to craft your strategy. People are far more likely to check a listing they know others are interested in!

Four Ways to Help a Listing Excel with Digital Curb Appeal

When it comes to digital curb appeal, you'll need to find new and exciting ways to help your listing tell a story. Luckily, it's not all undiscovered territory: many of the things you would normally do to prepare and stage a home are also helpful. Combine trusted techniques with new technologies and you'll stand out!

Here are our four biggest tips for digital curb appeal:

  • Collaborate on Pre-Listing Home Improvement
    Minor cosmetic issues can sour buyers and sap a listing's mojo. In your early walkthrough of a property, make notes on anything that can be solved with a little elbow grease before your listing goes live. Major renovations should take a back seat to simple fixes, like a splash of exterior paint or new bathroom fixtures.

  • Invest in Exceptional Real Estate Photography
    The digital world is extraordinarily visual. These days, even the best phone photos won't do — professional real estate photography is a huge advantage. Photos should be taken of every room and every exterior angle, ideally at different times of day. Aerial photos snapped by drones are especially captivating for some buyers.

  • Add a 3D Walkthrough and a Video Tour
    These two features are highly in demand for today's savvy buyers. They also happen to be ideal ways to perk up your listings with two special identifiers buyers can see at a glance. Time spent on a 3D walkthrough is one of the biggest indicators of sincere interest in a home, so don't pass up the chance to stoke a buyer's imagination.

  • Stage Each Home as "Move-In Ready"
    Staging for your digital listing doesn't require fresh cookies in the oven, but there are still plenty of techniques that work. Clean up, declutter, and use natural light to your advantage, giving rooms a sense of size with mirrors where necessary. And, as always, hide the cat box and any other tell-tale signs of pets.

Contact us to learn more about digital marketing for real estate.

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