Your commercial real estate website is the digital front door to your business, and if location is the key to the commercial real estate business, then technology is the key to a successful commercial real estate website. New and innovative technologies are redefining how brokers, asset and property managers do business. Gone are the days when establishing a social media presence was an option, it’s now a necessity.
Website visitors expect more than LoopNet listings, lease rates, pricing guidance and successful transactions, they’re looking for real-time market information and other data (comparable transactions and market reports for example) that’s easy to understand and easy to access. Special features like space planning applications, video floor plans and 3-D rendering tools are common resources on today’s industry websites.
A well designed commercial real estate website isn’t strictly for the benefit of your clients however, its primary goal is more traffic, more business, and ultimately a higher conversion rate, meaning more commissions for your company. After all it’s your name out there – so you want to make sure it’s working for you. One of the ways to accomplish that is to build lead capture technology right into your commercial real estate website. With this technology you can achieve high quality through high quantity from buyer and IDX leads in addition to niche leads which can be automatically captured by customizing the technology to identify specific clients. This is just one example of the tools available to maximize profits.
In order to fully realize the impact of a well-designed commercial real estate website, consider incorporating the following tips and industry trends.
- Branding – if you haven’t figured out your “brand” rest assured others in the industry have. Now is your opportunity to define your brand if you haven’t, and reinforce it if you have. The key to branding is consistency and it’s critical for your commercial real estate website to reflect your brand.
- Device compatibility – your new commercial real estate website will at least need to be compatible with mobile phone and tablets. Preferably you will need a mobile app. It’s just that simple. In addition, your website has to be compatible with all the typical media platforms. Millennials are digital savvy and they are the largest workforce demographic.
- Social media – to be competitive you have to be present. A well designed commercial real estate website can cover a lot of the legwork associated with social media, like automatic updates and announcements. Prospective leads will look for you in a variety of media locations; Facebook and LinkedIn for example. It pays to be where they can find you, literally.
- SEO – search engine optimization (SEO) is about to become your new best friend. This activity is almost solely responsible for determining your position on the page when someone does a nonspecific Google search for your industry. A commercial real estate website with no continuing SEO efforts will grow old and die before it’s time. Identify the resources you’ll need to meet your optimization goals upfront during your design phase.
- Integrate media and video – video if is one of the most powerful types of website content available, because it has the power to keep eyes on the page. Consider embedding how-to videos and industry related podcasts. Your commercial real estate website can also be designed to provide video conferencing and calling, an effective tool for communicating with busy clients.
- Get your drone on – commercial real estate photography has vastly improved since the days of drive-by photography. Aerial photography provided by drones is quickly becoming the industry norm and it’s this type of hi-tech, high quality images you want populating your commercial real estate website along with virtual tours and renderings. Pictures will always sell.