By Kyle Hiscock
It’s 2016 and almost every real estate website is equipped with an IDX feed which provides the viewer with information on MLS property listings that are currently for sale. This is certainly a great feature that a real estate website should have, but ultimately this is not something that is going to “wow” the user.
The primary reason a real estate agent has a website is to build credibility with consumers, which in many cases will lead to a consumer becoming a lead, and hopefully at some point becoming a client.
One of the top ways to build credibility with local consumers is to show that you’re the local expert. Showing local consumers that you’re the local expert can be done by creating detailed community pages about your local neighborhoods and towns. Not only does a detailed community page show local consumers you’re a local expert, but it can also generate high quality leads.
Read on to find out what a community page is, why community pages are a necessity for a real estate website, and how to get your community pages noticed.
What is a community page?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that community pages are not created to showcase the latest and greatest homes for sale in an area. A detailed community page should be packed with information about the area on a variety of topics, including but not limited to:
- Overview of the housing market
- Transportation statistics
- Healthcare facilities
By providing this information to local residents or people who are thinking about moving to a community it shows that you have taken the time to understand the “ins and the outs” of the local community.
For example, if someone is thinking about moving to Rochester, N.Y., information about the local the economy and job industries, things to do in the area, real estate market information, and other detailed information about the area would be very helpful. If someone decides that Rochester is the perfect place to call home, and the information you provided about the area was one of the resources they used to make their decision, the chances that they’ll call you if they need to buy a home are extremely high.
Why is a community page necessary for a real estate website?
The number one reason why a community page is necessary for your site is the organic search engine traffic it can generate. A well designed community page can and will rank high in search engine results for some excellent local keywords.
The best way to understand the power of local community pages is to put yourself in the shoes of a local buyer or seller. If you are a homeowner in Webster, N.Y. and you’re looking for a real estate agent to sell your home, an obvious place to find one is the internet. A simple Google search of “Webster NY real estate agents” would provide hundreds of results. If a seller were to find your detailed community page on the first or second page of search results about the Webster community, there is a good chance they would click on your site and contact you – or at the very least, ask you some questions or setup an interview.
How to get your community pages noticed
Creating spectacular community pages and expecting them to be found online with no effort is not going to work. It’s important after you create local community pages that you know what real estate marketing strategies to use for getting them noticed, otherwise spending the time to create the pages is a waste.
One of the best places to get your community pages noticed is on social media. In virtually every community there are local Facebook groups that welcome posts about the area. These Facebook groups are a great place to share your community pages and provide an excellent opportunity to show residents that you’re the local expert in your area.
If the information that you provide is helpful, the possibility that the local residents share it are strong. Recently, I shared a page from my website about the dog parks in Rochester, N.Y. to a local Facebook group that was shared dozens of times. While this is not a page about a local town, it does provide helpful information to residents and reinforces that I’m a local expert in the Greater Rochester area.
If you haven’t taken the time to create local community pages for your real estate website, do it immediately. The payback, without a doubt, will be worth all of the time and effort you spend creating them.
The results may not be immediate, so don’t get discouraged. However, if you take the time to create community pages and use the proper SEO techniques and marketing strategies, you will see results.
Source: “Why Real Estate Websites Need Community Pages” (realtor.org, June 2016)