In today’s online world, a broker website is a necessity. It forms the foundation of your online presence, giving your clients a space to find and explore your business.
Almost two-thirds of small businesses now rely on websites to connect with customers. So, you need to make sure your broker website stands out from the crowd and serves your customers. Whether you’re setting up your first broker website or want to revamp your existing one, here are nine elements every broker website needs:
1. Choose between bespoke and CMS
When it comes to developing a broker website, you need to decide whether you want to build a site from scratch or use one of the many content management systems (CMS) available.
There are pros and cons to each approach. While developing your own site gives you complete control over your design, it’ll also require a load of development work and constant maintenance. Most brokers tend to work with a third-party website developer to carry out this work, which can be expensive.
A simpler option is to use a CMS like WordPress, Square Space, Weebly or any of the other many options out there. Then, you just need to pay a monthly fee to start using the drag-and-drop CMS interface to design your site.
2. Get a good domain name
You’ll need to pick a good domain name for your broker website and business. There are plenty of options to choose from, but pay special attention to the end of your domain name. You may want to use a country code like co.uk or com.au if you’re a local vendor, for example.
If you decide to use a third-party CMS, the domain package is usually included in your monthly fee.
3. Choose a professional theme
If you’re working with a web designer, you will need to develop a theme for your website. This basically indicates the aesthetics and provides a blueprint of your website.
If you’re using a CMS, you can choose from a selection of pre-made themes. Depending on the service you use, some of these themes will be free but you may have to pay for a more feature-rich theme.
Just make sure you pick a professional-looking theme for your broker website, which will give you the opportunity to showcase your business and properties in the very best light.
Also, research reveals almost half of the world’s website traffic comes from mobile devices. So, make sure your broker website theme is optimized for mobile.
4. Create your homepage
Your homepage will probably be the first page a visitor comes to on your broker website. This is the make-or-break time for your site. Research reveals it takes a fraction of a second–about 0.05 seconds–for a user to form an opinion about your site and, ultimately, decide if they want to leave or stay.
So, first impressions really count. Take time to create your elevator pitch, which is a quick synopsis describing what distinguishes you and your business from others in the market.
Also, make sure there is a clear call-to-action on your homepage. For example, do you want your users to contact you? Or do you want them to click on your listings? Or download a particular piece of content? Your call-to-action is usually a button or link that should compel your users to carry out the main objective of your website.
5. Create a services page
Your services page gives you the opportunity to expand on your skill set and what you offer your clients. Make your processes clear so potential clients know what to expect and what you’ll provide.
You may want to incorporate some storytelling elements here to build a clear picture of how your business works and what you offer.
6. Get testimonials
Testimonials from previous and current clients build trust and credibility with your users. So, you may want to reach out to your clients to get some testimonials, remembering to make it clear their words will be used on your new broker website.
Testimonials are also an opportunity to get feedback on your business. If you get a bad review, don’t be disheartened and instead learn from that feedback.
7. Create a contact page
Your broker website needs to have a clear, visible link to your contact page. Here, you should include all the channels you’re happy to be contacted on. For example, your cell number, landline, email address, and physical address could all be included. Alternatively, you may want to create a simple form for users to fill out their inquiry.
8. Consider video content and a blog
If you want to stand out, you may want to incorporate some video content on your broker website. It could be a simple piece where you introduce yourself and your business, create an overview of a neighborhood you work in, or you could use video tours of your properties.
Video is an important online tool for a broker website. Research shows visitors are 85% more likely to buy a product if they see an explainer video first.
A blog is another way to showcase your industry knowledge and experience to your users. It can also help your SEO efforts, helping users find your site in the search listings. Research also reveals those websites that publish more than 16 blog posts every month get three-and-a-half times more traffic than those that only write up to four times a month.
9. Include social media share buttons
To help boost your brand exposure, you may want to include some social media share buttons on your broker website.
But make sure you proceed with caution when it comes to placement and usage of your social media share buttons. You don’t want to slow down your website or create a poor user experience.