Mobile-friendly design, an image-centric layout and property alerts for users – these features have become must-haves for all real estate websites.
For agents and developers looking to market their business online, global property portal Lamudi Uganda has compiled a list of the top 10 features every real estate website needs.
1. Responsive design: Responsive design enhances the viewing experience by adapting to a user’s particular device. Mobile data usage has been steadily rising in Uganda. The mobile Internet penetration rate increased 3.7 percent between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015 to hit 5.9 million subscribers. As smartphones become more popular, real estate professionals need to design websites that cater to varying screen sizes across mobile, tablet and desktop.
2. Great content: Developing a content strategy is a smart way to drive traffic to your website and promote your business online. Start by introducing a blog with strong content that positions your business as a leader in the field, and integrate this with a social media strategy.
3. Image-centric: Not getting enough inquiries about a property you have listed? Think visually. House-hunters expect to get a virtual tour of the property before they decide to inspect it. Always incorporate high-quality, professional images of the interior and exterior of each property.
4. Customised search: Make it easy for visitors to your website to find properties that match their requirements. Allow them to filter by a wide range of criteria, including the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, car spaces, the price range and more.
5. Good SEO: Employing search engine optimization, or SEO, will make it easier for house-hunters to find your website. Boost your Google ranking by introducing SEO techniques such as improving page titles and optimizing images. If in doubt, follow this guide from Google.
6. Integrated maps: As the old mantra goes, location means everything in real estate. Adding maps to your listings gives the clearest possible picture of where a property is located.
7. Property alerts: Introduce property match alerts that notify your client base when a home that matches their needs hits the market, either via text, push notifications or email.
8. Easy contact: Make it as easy as possible for your clients to get in contact with you. Introduce a contact option on each property listed on your website, allowing visitors to send an inquiry about a home directly from the page.
9. Mobile-first approach: More people worldwide now search the web on a mobile device than on desktop. This means mobile-friendly design is now an important concern for any business setting up a website. Design your website to cater for mobile first and desktop second. This means your website should load fast and be low bandwidth.
10. Start a newsletter: Use a customer newsletter to reach out to your existing client base and keep them informed when new properties go up for sale or to rent.
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