How much have you thought about this? Most estate agent’s websites feature an almost identical set of pages: property search, about us, buying, selling, renting, contact. The more advanced might have something about their neighbourhood.
So, does every estate agent make a strong analysis of what people look at their website for and then come up with exactly the same answer as everyone else, or are they simply following form? I think it’s the latter.
Do you know how many people are looking at your website? And do you know what pages are the most popular? What pages nobody looks at? Or where people spend the most time? If not, I strongly recommend you get this information together and start understanding how your website is used and viewed.
So, who is your website for? Who is the copywriting aimed at? What is it designed to do? My thoughts are that pretty much every piece of text on your estate agent’s website should be aimed at winning vendors, landlords and property developers as clients. Even if you have text advising buyers and tenants about the process, this text should be written in a way that would impress potential fee paying clients in case they decided to take a look.
In a very blunt nutshell, nothing you write in a buyers or tenants section is likely to have a buyer or tenant choose to use you; they simply want a new home. They most likely found you through a property portal and may never actually interact directly with any estate agent’s website at all. Everything they need will be on Rightmove or Zoopla or Onthemarket.
On the other hand, vendors, landlords and property developers will be making a point of looking at your website to decide if they want to entrust their property to you. They are much more likely to read the stuff about your company, and go deeper into your website. Clearly the text should be aimed at winning these people over.
So how do you do that?
Well, your About us page needs to be a positive picture of your estate agent with plenty about what makes you worth using. The USPs about your company, your place in the market, your attitude, etc.
But what about the seller and buyer pages? Well, sellers need to know they’re going to be well looked after, loved, respected and kept in touch. But they also need to know you’re on their side. You can do this by telling them you’ll vet buyers, you’ll market their property well, you’ll give regular and prompt feedback, and you’ll get them the highest price you can.
But the buyer pages are also an opportunity to show how you’re on the side of sellers. You can say you won’t take them to unsuitable property, in fact you won’t even contact them about unsuitable property. You can tell them that although your duty is to the vendor, it doesn’t mean you won’t do your darndest to find them the perfect home. You could tell them to get themselves in a good position before viewing: get some financial advice; agree a mortgage in principal; ensure their current home is under offer. Tell them these are the people who take priority when new property comes onto the market: they get the first call. This reinforces your estate agent to sellers as one that won’t be coming round with any old Tom, and that every viewing you book will be with a ready, willing and able buyer whose requirements match the property you’re taking them to. That’s a good sell.
As the property portals take away buyers and tenants as an audience, the copywriting on estate agent’s websites needs to adapt to its new role. The best thing you can do is act on that, before your competition does.