Vancouver and the Lower Mainland have a unique and thriving real estate market with many new developments going up every year. There is fierce local and international competition amongst both buyers and developers with bidding wars on new property and vacant land.
Most developers know that they need a comprehensive marketing strategy and strategic brand guide in order to generate interest from buyers and maintain a competitive edge. An attractive website, ads and social platforms are essential, however, many do not know exactly why these are so important. Your website is the central hub of your development. It’s where most users will find you online. It is so important to make sure it is properly optimized and tracking to ensure you get the ROI you need.
Let’s explore the key factors that make up a good real estate development website, and why it is the key to selling out your development.
Why Do Real Estate Developments Need Websites?
Apart from simply being the standard in this digital age, there are many different reasons why you need a website as a real estate developer.
A Central Hub
Your new development will be listed on all of the local real estate websites in the area. Local listings need a place to send the leads that are interested in your development. Sites like REW share the latest information about local, upcoming listings and developments. They are a great way to attract new leads. Your website acts as a central hub that captures leads from multiple channels and gives them a place to learn more about your development.
Powerful Lead Generation Tool
Your developments website is where interested potential buyers become leads. A webform and phone number to speak to sales is a vital part of your website. Once you have an intake form, you will be able to gauge the level of interest from the form submissions you receive and use it to inform your marketing team.
Social proof and credibility are so important, especially when it comes to real estate. Prospective buyers are looking to purchase a home or investment property and they want to know, oftentimes without even seeing the unit, whether or not it is a quality investment. There have been many unfortunate scams in real estate, with developers selling presale units and then not fulfilling the project - leaving buyers without their deposits. A credible, informative website helps to reassure your leads that you are a credible developer with a history of successful projects.
Real Estate Website Must-Haves
The website does not have to be elaborate, a simple site that explains who you are, what you do and gives buyers more information about your development is all you need to get started.
Attractive User-Friendly Design
It’s not always fair to judge a book by its cover but an overwhelming percentage of people do, and it’s important to consider when building your website. The visual appeal of the website speaks volumes to your prospective buyer. It gives them insight into your brand, and they will either connect with it, or navigate away. Judgements are made within the first 15 seconds of the user being on your website, so a visual appeal and captivating value proposition is the first thing you want them to see. In a similar vein, you want the website to be formatted correctly so whether the user is on their phone, desktop or tablet, the website is appealing, clear and easy to navigate. This will retain users longer and increase the chances of conversion.
Centralized Tracking and Remarketing
Now that you have users on your website, do you know where they’re coming from? You need to install tracking to be sure you know which channels are driving conversions and which can be improved upon.
You will want to have your phone number and contact information clearly displayed on your website. However, additionally, you will also need call tracking metrics. These tell you where users come from when they click to call you online. This is simple to set up on your website once you’ve chosen a call tracking provider.
Social Media Tracking
Social ads are some of the most effective tools for developers looking to sell units. They are visual in nature and offer incredible levels of targeting so you can get in front of the right people. If you are running social ads for your development, you’ll want to see how many of those leads go on to visit your website and convert as interested buyers, right? Your website is the key place for tracking sales metrics and the effectiveness of social ads. Facebook Pixel is used to track these metrics for Facebook and Instagram ads and it simply requires a short snippet of code to be installed on your website.
Google Ads Tracking
Just like social ads tracking, if you are running Google Ads, you’ll want to be sure you have accurate campaign tracking on your website as well. In this case, you’ll want to install Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to assist with your Google Ads tracking.
All websites need content, let yours stand out by emphasizing value. Leads want to understand the value of their potential purchase and that’s why it’s so important to have informative and accurate content on the website. Describe the location and type of atmosphere leads can expect when living there. Do not forget to include necessary information such as square footage where needed.
Whether your development is pre-sale or already constructed, photos or renderings of the units and floor plans are an absolute necessity. Images let prospective buyers get a sense of what they will be purchasing.
They can picture themselves in the units and even fantasize about where they would put furniture. The more immersive and interactive the visuals are, the better.
Video tours of the property, amenities and surrounding area are an excellent addition as well. Get your leads dreaming about their new home. Visuals aid in helping them picture their life there. They also add to your credibility, reassuring the buyer that this is a legitimate development with quality images, floor plans and visual content.
Contact Information & Form
You will want to have a contact form in a clear and visible place on your website. This is where interested leads can reach out to learn more. Give them something to talk about. Often, developers will withhold pricing information on the website and will instead ask leads to inquire for further information. This gives them greater curiosity and incentive to fill out the form.
Be sure this form directly alerts your sales team when a new lead comes in, and have a fast follow-up process to quickly inform leads and answer any questions they may have.
This could be connected to your contact form, or simply be a separate form on your website. You’ll want to have a place where leads can stay in touch and be notified of any updates with the development. A newsletter is a great way to capture a list of interested prospective buyers and nurture them with content about the development. It all starts on your website where a simple form can feed your mailing list.
Testimonials / Previous Projects
If you are an experienced developer with several successful projects under your belt, it is worth highlighting this on your website. Buyers will be looking for credibility and an image gallery or short section about your previous projects is an excellent way to share this.
Links to Social Media
Lastly, if you have set up social channels for your development, link to them with icons on your website. If a lead is interested, it’s likely they’ll want to know more about the development. Social media gives them a place to interact with your brand and stay up to date on the project. Direct leads from your website to your social channels and vice versa, giving them multiple outlets online to explore and share your development.
Your website is your central hub for information about your development online. It fuels your campaign tracking and provides vital information for your prospective buyers. It reflects your brand and acts as a place for those who are interested to connect with sales. Whether you are a presale developer or a real estate agent, your website is essential to your success. We’ve covered some pretty important use cases today, but that is really just the tip of the iceberg. Your website can do so much for you and your team.
Make Your Website Your Most Important Asset
Whether you choose to design your own website, or you’re looking to have it done professionally, it is truly your most important asset as a real estate developer.
If you want to level up an existing website or build out a new one for your development, the team at ElementIQ has over 10 years of real estate marketing experience to help you. Based in Coquitlam, BC we have worked on projects all over North America.
Most recently we sold out 31 pre-sale units in under 6 months for a new development in Maple Ridge. We also revived a marketing campaign for a development on Vancouver Island.
We offer website design services, digital advertising, content creation and metrics you can rely on. So you can focus on what matters most - building a beautiful new community.
Contact us and let us know more about your marketing goals in a consultation.