This is a series in response to one of the most asked question in real estate at the moment, “How do I stretch my marketing dollars?”

Be Prepared For Business: Don’t Invite People if Your Shop is a Mess

Is your website like the "Little Shop of Horrors"? Many luxury real estate professionals are spending money on pay-per-click advertising and Search Engine Optimization to help drive traffic to their sites. However, their web sites are not customer/user friendly. It’s like shopkeepers advertising to invite people into an uninviting messy store.

Instead of being focused on the clients’ primary need, which is usually to search for homes, many web sites confuse the visitor by running news feeds, weather reports, etc. With the popularity of videos, they often clutter their home pages with distractiing features of local attractions.

Many of these “bells and whistles” are a turn-off. Have you ever visited a site where someone walks across the home page and starts talking at you? This may have been novel the first time you saw it, but once the novelty wears off it is downright annoying and often horribly done. In fact, it can be a deterrent for repeat visits which is the whole purpose of having a website that is a resource, not a special effect show. Instead of a 'sticky' site that encourages visitors to hang out, it becomes a slippery site, where customers want to slip out the back.

Furthermore, if the type is so tiny that you need a magnifying glass to read it, even if you are blessed with 20/20 vision, you can expect a no-show if you invite someone to return to your site. Like walking out of a store in a shopping mall, we can immediately click away, and look at the more user-friendly competitor site. Your marketing dollars may have brought business to the door. But, will the customer walk in and stay? Or, have you just wasted your money? If you are going to pay for your web site to be optimized, make sure you reap the benefits of a clean, tasteful site!



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