How To Refresh Your Real Estate Website

October 22, 2020

Who’s ready to improve their real estate website—for free?

The online world doesn’t stand still, so if your agent or team website has been sitting stagnant on the internet over the past year (er…or more), it’s time to dust it off and start making it work for you.

You don’t have to get into tech nonsense or back-end IDX feed complications to improve your real estate website. It’s rarely ever about all that. But human-centered content, strong layout, and attention-grabbing signposts that honor short customer attention spans? 

Those things are everything.

So pour yourself a cup of coffee️ while you’re waiting for the appraisal to come in and tackle these short, high-impact brand assignments with big benefits:

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Do you have any team changes, service area focus points, or general brand messaging tweaks that need to be reflected in your RE website copy? Or maybe you’re looking to overhaul your copy and create a more thoughtful guide to buying and selling processes, while telling your personal brand story more effectively. Here are my best tips for curating a memorable digital presence that stands out from the swarm of agent homes online.

Revise your brand statement.
If you don’t have a CLEAR statement of who you are, what you do, and who you do it for on your homepage or somewhere incredibly obvious on your website, then fix that right now. I have a blog post in the works on this very topic, but for now, refer to my post from yesterday about making an offer “above the fold.”

Snag some new social proof.
The only thing more valuable than you telling your brand story is the people you’ve served, telling it for you. You have to ASK them. And you have to give them a framework for responding. Ask specific questions to give you more thoughtful intel than just, “You were an awesome agent.” Here are some sample questions I used in my past agent life:

“What was your favorite part about working together?”
“Were there any surprises or things you didn’t expect about the transaction experience?”
“What would you tell someone else considering working with me?”
“Out of every agent you could have picked, why were you drawn to work with me?”


Make an offer above the fold.
On a website, the images and text “above the fold” are the things you see and read before you start scrolling down. The text should be bold and the statement short. Promise to solve a problem (“We take the hassle out of selling”), state exactly what you do (“by providing busy homeowners with efficient solutions”), and promise an aspirational identity (“that put the FOR SALE sign in your front yard”).


Have obvious calls to action.
Your “GET STARTED” or “INQUIRE NOW” button should be a different color from any other button on the site. Don’t hide it. People don’t read websites, they scan, so repeat your call to action many times in a visually cohesive way.

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SEO UPDATES

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Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a massive role in how your website ranks in Google searches. Don’t skimp on ways to maximize your brand’s visibility amidst a sea of agents — keep SEO up to date throughout your website and blog. Here are some important areas to consider to ensure your site is reaching its full SEO potential.

Update Keywords.
Your website SEO is dependent on keywords, which are a reliable way for potential buyers and sellers to find you. Unsure what your keywords should be? Just think backwards. Why would a local buyer call you? Why would a high end seller hire you? You’d probably Google “San Francisco Realtor” or “Top rated Realtor for San Francisco home sale.” Hint: don’t waste keywords on your business name. That will appear enough in your site for Google to pull it.

Update Broken Links.
This is probably only relevant to the blog portion of your real estate website, but it’s quite beneficial to link to other websites with related content to your posts. For instance, in a blog post on favorite nightlife hotspots in your city, you’d link to the social profiles or web pages of the businesses you highlight. But sometimes links change. Nothing is more annoying as a reader (or as Google) when you click on a link and it leads nowhere. Take the time to ensure all your links are in working order sitewide.

Cross-Reference Blog Posts.
As you continue to create new posts and content, it is a good practice to return and cross-reference these in older posts. The more times you can encourage a visitor to click within your website, the better.

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AESTHETIC UPDATES

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Brands evolve, tastes change…chances are, your overall aesthetic may, too. It’s a wise idea to take stock of your RE website every few years and update your color executions, visual layout and imagery. As the foundation of your marketing strategy, your website is a true reflection of your personal energy and ethos, and you need to keep it both polished and relevant. Here’s a quick checklist of what to consider:

Color Palette.
Screen colors shift as technology changes, which is something to consider when updating your site’s color palette. A color story that translates beautifully in print may look very different online. Personally, I always opt for a softer white background (rather than the standard #FFFFF pure white) on my website and recommend this for my clients’ sites as well; it’s a more natural light and easier on the eyes. 

Visual Layout.
Page content has changed drastically over time and it’s now increasingly less important to have 5 individual pages on a website. Some sites are even opting to keep all content on a single landing page with one long, seamless scroll. Stand back and assess the ease of your layout with a fresh eye. Do your photos need to be larger? Is there enough negative space to guide viewer eyes through the site?

Photography.
One of the most common mistakes people make is not updating their website photography. However, there’s no need to stress this — don’t pick ALL new images. Don’t redesign your entire site. Just pick 10 new favorite images and put them on the Home page, your About page, your Community pages. You’ll be shocked at how much life new images bring to your site. Like a miniature rebrand.


Also consider the nature of the images themselves and curate a more lifestyle-driven collection. If folks visit your real estate website and all they see are pics of staged but empty houses, you’re likely wasting some of their mental bandwidth. Sounds simple, but images of happy customers = emotional destinations your people want to reach. Make sure the truly human element comes through in your site photos.

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Remember, a refreshing update to your real estate site never has to be complicated. A few small yet mighty tweaks are all it takes to sharpen your content, improve your SEO and elevate your visual presence online.

If you’re looking for a brand refresh or web page copy help, we can help, too.

Here’s to your brand success online and beyond —

BLUEPRINT is a boutique creative studio serving the real estate industry. Visit our website for information about our services and to learn how our team can support your real estate branding, social media and editorial needs.

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