Here’s an uncontroversial statement: Listings are the lifeblood of real estate!
Not only is this true for an agent’s business, but it’s true in the sense that real estate users really care about one thing: seeing homes for sale or sold.
There are competing reasons why, of course, which can include:
- Shopping for a home
- Seeing how a home is marketed
- Discovering comparable prices in a neighborhood
Essentially, listings are one of the top reasons why someone would ever visit your site.
The first step is to ensure you have a website to showcase them in the first place.
We’ve detailed before how your site really only needs manually-added listings, and other ways to ensure your listings hit the top of Google’s search results.
Today, though, we want to discuss what happens on the page. What constitutes a strong listing page? Here are seven ways to start hitting the mark…
1. High-Quality Photos
After all, a picture says a thousand words, doesn’t it?
Users come to real estate websites to look at one thing first, always, and that’s photos. So, your listing photos need to blow them away.
It is vital to ensure that you have photos that showcase the home you’re selling in the best light possible. They should be of high quality, and of every relevant corner of the home.
Here’s the important thing: It’s important to ensure that your images are sized correctly for the web — if the files are too big, you may end up slowing down your site (and user experience).
2. Including Rich Media
In the era of COVID-19, rich media (like videos and 3D tours) are becoming even more important.
That’s because fewer people are willing to go to open houses, as more want to see homes for themselves online (and on their terms).
So, your listing pages need to do a great job of not only embedding YouTube or Vimeo videos but emphasizing them on-page to ensure people can find them readily.
Many agents miss the point, in that creating a video is the same as promoting it. We’ve been way too many property videos that you can only find on YouTube or Facebook.
At its core, your website should be the main place that someone can find this type of information — and, if you post about it on social media, it should point to this page (not just the video).
3. Narrative Listing Descriptions
One of the biggest mistakes that agents make is settling for the MLS description of a listing on their own website. Let’s explain why…
MLS descriptions are inherently restrictive, due to the character count, so most end up reading very blandly as you can only say so much (and want to fit in the important things).
This isn’t novel insight, because many agents know the same-old-same-old copy that inundates these descriptions.
Your website, on the other hand, offers you so much more room to run. We embrace offering a more “editorial” style of listing page, which allows you to really tell a story about a home.
It doesn’t need to be an essay, but it does need to offer a bit more information, spaced out cleary to allow a user to skim it, and offering more meat on the bone to give them a reason to come back to this page (and your site, more generally).
Retaining a professional copywriter is often a great idea. Our team writes listing copy for agents on a daily basis and helps tell the story of homes so they hit the market with confidence.
4. Local Insight & Information
Building on the aforementioned point, including more data on your listing can ensure that more people spend more time on the page (increasing your likelihood of a conversion).
Whenever possible, we advocate that our clients include more information about local schools, amenities, and hotspots that only they (or other locals) know about.
It needn’t be super fancy, and it doesn’t have to involve integrations that pull things automatically (these are often a mistake because you have less control of what you see).
What you want to have is a highly-curated selection of the best of an area. It’s as simple as bullet points of a couple sentences, but it can make a world of difference.
That’s because, to a user, it can feel like incredibly proprietary information and can paint a picture that goes beyond anything the photos can articulate. It situates a property in context.
5. Downloadable Optionality
In the same vein as rich media, offering downloads to users on your listings is always a good idea (if you have access to them).
This could include land surveys, floor plans, even a feature sheet or booklet put together for this home — anything a user can take is fantastic.
It’s something of a two-pronged approach.
Not only did someone download information about a listing you represent, but they now have something that is branded to your team (should they want to reach out to work with you).
Therefore, downloadable content not only affords you the opportunity to promote a listing but to promote the work that you do.
Say, for instance, that a potential buyer downloads your feature booklet of a home, loves the way you marketed it, and is looking for an agent to sell before they ever think of buying.
Now that they have this takeaway, and so long as it looks good, you may have just put yourself in the running for another listing (without even realizing it).
Passive lead generation like this is the kind of thing many agents strive to achieve in their business.
6. Opportunities To Explore
It is of increasing importance to keep a user on your site.
In that sense, your listings page should never simply exist to promote one listing and nothing more.
It’s one of the reasons we push back against landing pages for specific listings. This is because they can be limiting to the overall user experience.
Here at Artifakt, we believe in offering users the opportunity to really expand their search — that includes being able to research other properties from a single property.
After all, the more pages a potential user visits on your site, the more likely they are to convert. It’s the best of both worlds!
7. An Everpresent CTA
This is something that many real estate websites miss: they bury the CTA!
In pursuit of doing everything they can to promote a listing, they lose the most important part of the page: a place for someone to submit their information to learn more.
A CTA on a listing page is incredibly precious, and it needs to either stand out or be done strategically.
There are multiple ways to do this, but if you bury the CTA or make it feel less prominent, users are either going to never find it (or, worse, never trust it).
Placing any kind of CTA on your site is a commitment, which is why you need to do it wisely. It’s for this reason that we always emphasize the importance of forms and CTAs on listings pages.
Make Your Listings Stand Out
One of the most valuable opportunities an agent has on their website is showcasing their listings, and tying it together with their value proposition as a whole.
In fact, the way you present listings on your website, how they are “framed,” is likely to have a large effect on if users spend more time on your website.
Offer them a user-friendly alternative to Realtor.ca, you may find someone who wants to entrust their search (or their home) to your team.
Your listings are a vital part of your website strategy, and they deserve both great design and thoughtful strategy.
Want to drive traffic, build your brand, and engage your target audience? Download our eBook: ‘The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Marketing’. It’s a collection of some of our best marketing articles, tips, and tricks that we’ve collected over the years.