5 Website Must-Haves for Home Builders
August 1, 2019
Consider this the second part in our unofficial series on why home builders need websites and what should be on them. This time we’re tackling the five website must-haves for any home builder. From basic website layout tips to content you absolutely need to include, we’re here to help you create a simple yet effective website customers will love.
If your first question is “but do I really need a website?” we’ll give you a few minutes to read our last post, “Do Home Builders Need a Website? 5 Reasons We Say Yes,” and assume you’ve come back convinced.
For this post, we’re consulting Rico Burnett, our UX design and marketing specialist here at HomeSphere. We’d call him a ninja but this isn’t a job listing, so we’ll just say he knows his stuff, including digital marketing for home builders.
According to Burnett, these are your five website must-haves.
Include photos of your homes
Does this seem like a given? Believe us, it’s not. But for home buyers, this is the most important thing. Photos let buyers see your product and visualize themselves living in it. Buying a home is an emotional connection, and a photo is the quickest way to create that spark, short of the home buyer seeing the home in person. We touched on this in our last post, but it bears repeating: homes with high quality photographs sell 32 percent faster (via RISMedia and the Center for REALTOR® Development).
By providing photographs on your website, home buyers can start making that emotional connection before they’ve even talked to you. Once you meet in person, you won’t start at ground zero with them, they will already be somewhat invested.
For custom home builders, photos are an opportunity to show off what you can do, and users will be able to determine if your style fits theirs.
Show your floor plans
Oftentimes home builders don’t have floor plans available on their websites. Pictures, while great, don’t always convey how homes actually flow and connect, and buyers want the details. They want to see if their family and lifestyle will fit with your property’s layout. Making this easy to find is key. Provide this information — or make it available in one click — in the same part of your website that lists specific home plans (bonus tip: get specific on the home plans you offer).
Have site plans available
Noticing a trend? Basically, we think you should provide as many details about your projects to potential homebuyers as possible. The site plan should be available in a prominent spot on each community page so website users better understand if the community is a good fit. Is there a pool, community center, playground or dog park? Buyers love these details. It’s also worthwhile to show nearby landmarks and prominent stores that help market the property and to let potential buyers know about added conveniences like easy access to prominent bus stops or highways.
We see this all the time: sellers who create high-price products don’t want to be upfront about the actual cost, and buying a home is a big investment. The worry is that knowing something is costly will discourage people from pursuing your product, and you want to be able to talk to a potential buyer before they cross you off their list.
But the reality is you don’t want to waste time on people who can’t afford your homes. Every homebuyer has a budget, and being upfront about pricing lets them know whether or not they should schedule a tour or keep moving. This allows you to focus your energy on your target customers who are serious, have the funds and want to make a purchase.
Include a form to capture leads
It’s very important to educate buyers on what your company has to offer, but what if they’ve got an itch to write a check? Be sure there is an easy way to collect their information and set them up with a quick meeting or tour.
A contact form is a great, passive way to capture a lead. Use the form to ask for the basics, like their name, email and phone, and which property they’re interested in. Place a link to the form in your main navigation bar, or place it on-page next to information on your properties. With a form in place, a buyer or agent can reach out to you when they have a genuine interest.
Additionally, make sure your own contact information is easy to find. Include your address and phone number, and if you really want to get fancy, a map to show them where you’re located.
Bonus tip: Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Up to 70 percent of online traffic originates from a mobile device, and it’s estimated that nearly three-quarters of the world will only use their smartphones to access the internet by 2025. This makes it more important than ever to have a mobile-friendly website. Often, clunky, old websites can be hard to navigate on smartphones. By making your website mobile-friendly, you’ll be able to create an easy and pleasurable experience for your potential customers as they learn more about you.
What other tips would you add?