The membership-based sites all work in essentially the same way. A commercial real estate agency buys the rights to post property listings for other agencies and the public as a whole in an attempt to put properties they represent in front of potential tenants and buyers. Does this seem rather biased and short-sighted? You are correct, because there is a very good chance that your property may be listed on some real estate websites but not others, meaning it could be completely overlooked by a potential user who doesn’t know of its existence. Another potential issue? If your agency pays for only a basic membership, your property may only appear at the bottom of a very long list – and we all know about the short attention spans of website surfers. As a whole, these pay-for-view sites create detrimental scenarios for getting your property in front of potential tenants and buyers
Here’s a better idea.
The 12 Keys
There are specific factors that greatly increase your chances for success, and they need to be carefully considered when you list your commercial real estate. In finding the right agency, ask about online services to which they subscribe, as well as membership levels. But beyond that, inquire about what an agency’s own website does to get properties in front of prospects. This is something over which an agency has direct control, after all, and it can have a significant impact on locating the right buyer or tenant for your property in a timely manner.
There are multiple online features that impact the overall performance of a website. The more visibility a website has, the greater the likelihood that the content it shares gets in front of the right audience. Here are 12 keys that your industrial or commercial real estate agency’s website should have because they maximize your chances of success.
- The site hosts listings internally instead of using an outsourced service
Why? Hosting listings on their site means visitors stay on your property listing, without incentive to browse dozens of similar properties.
- The site design is functional and attractive to attract visitors and offer incentives to look around
Why? An unattractive, confusing or difficult to navigate site will lose visitors much faster.
- The site features relevant calls to action and offers
Why? These incentives engage site visitors, with valuable information that is fast and free in exchange for specific contact information. That information can help move them further along the sales/lease funnel and closer to a property like yours.
- The site maintains a high visitor count
Why? The more visitors to the website, the greater the chance for more views of a given property.
- The site features professional property videos shot on location
Why? Visitors get a virtual property tour without having to leave their site. If a property looks appealing on a video, it’s likely to make it to the prospect’s short list.
- There are QR codes on marketing materials
Why? These small codes provide instant access to property information on mobile devices.
- The website has been established for many years
Why? A domain that has been around for a long time likely has pages with deep roots, meaning they rank well for specific search terms.
- The site offers instant online chat
Why? Offering visitors access to instant chat means they don’t have to wait to have answers to their questions (hopefully about your property).
- The site features property spotlights to highlight featured listings
Why? High visibility and prominent placement of featured listings increase exposure to your property.
- The site offers flyers that are ready for downloading or printing
Why? Visitors have immediate access to all printed sales material and collateral so they can get all the details about your property when it suits them.
- There is a high level of site activity from the agency
Why? A site that with updated content will be regularly crawled by search engines, which means increased visibility in searches. In particular, a regularly updated blog keeps prospects and clients engaged and keeps the agency top of mind.
- The site uses best SEO practices
Why? Property search engine optimization and management keeps a website’s visibility in online search high, putting your property in front of the prospects searching for related keywords.
The Bottom Line
In today’s competitive commercial real estate environment, clients need every advantage their real estate agency can provide. In addition to hard work and dedication to achieving successful results for your real estate needs, an effective agency website can be a huge advantage. If you’re considering an agency, ask them about their site and how they’ll use their online presence to get your property in front of the people most likely to act. If you can’t get a very specific answer, consider carefully what that implies.
For examples about free offers designed to engage site visitors, visit our Resources page.