Practically every REALTOR® that I’ve ever known has driven a fancy car.

They roll up to open houses looking fresh and proudly park their beautiful ride right out front for all to see. They also are, for the most part, very well-dressed and well-groomed (…we all have our rough days). Based on this obvious information, I deduce that an impressive vehicle and a sharp look are important to the brand identity of a modern real estate agent. Yet the truth is, important as they may be, these factors alone do not earn you leads and business.

Us Ninjas have the pleasure of speaking about websites with numerous real estate agents and brokerages across Canada on a daily basis. When agents are thinking about moving their site over to RealtyNinja, we always ask them why they are leaving their current provider. The number one response we hear:

“My current website does not get me any leads.”

Now don’t get me wrong, we love seeing you join the Ninja-fam and we will work tirelessly to keep you satisfied. In fact, our websites feature some awesome lead generation features for REALTORS®, but they are also beautifully designed, highly customizable and provide you with unlimited pages to help brand your business online. There is a general misperception occurring and I would like to help set things straight with the following two sentences:

  1. A great real estate website can absolutely earn you leads, but that is not it’s only purpose.
  2. If your real estate website isn’t earning you any leads, that doesn’t mean its broken.

Let me put it this way: Would you throw away your fancy Lexus or Audi if you didn’t get a client all month, even though you parked it right out front of every open house? No, I certainly hope not. That car is a part of your brand identity, and so is your real estate website. The fact of the matter is that you can’t just keep that car in the garage and expect it to impact your business – you actually need to drive it and park it in the right places. The same is true of your real estate website. You can just “park it in the garage”, and some friends will come over and see it from time to time – but until you actually “drive” it, it’s not going to help earn you qualified leads.

We often refer to RealtyNinja websites as high performance race cars with an awesome pit crew – but it still requires an awesome driver to race it into the first place position!

If you’ve never considered your REALTOR® website to be anything more than a form that collects leads, I have some suggestions for you. The good news is, your website can actually do more for you than a sweet ride. Follow along the checklist below for some ideas on how you can leverage your real estate website to reflect your brand and position your business online.

Share your Brand Colours

Make sure you’ve identified a brand colour scheme for your business and that those colours are being used throughout your website – from the wallpaper to the fonts and everything in between. Colours are very psychologically charged, and can invoke subconscious feelings of warmth, trust, excitement, fun and more… feelings that people connect with. Check out the awesome infographic below to get some insight on the brand colour spectrum and the emotions it can evoke.

Brand Colour Emotion Guide for your Website
Click to Enlarge

Express your Brand Character

Do you think that your brand has a character? I believe it does, whether you planned for it or not.

If your brand were a human being, what would it want to talk about? Would they be an optimist or a realist? Would they drive a Mercedes or a Mazda? For some of you, your brand character is you! For others, you may be part of a larger company, or you may have defined your brand independently from your personality. Whatever the case may be, ask yourself some questions and identify your character. Then use that character throughout your website. Every image you share, video you embed, sentence you write, and page you create must express your character. Make sure it’s representing you correctly – you wouldn’t drive a lemon to an open house would you?

Show your Brand Value

A nice outfit might get you the initial interview, but you are so much more than that. What really satisfies the customers of REALTORS® is an awesome business interaction that accomplishes their objective without compromising too much . And you are an expert at doing that for people. Use your website to accurately describe what you’re going to do for people. Show them all the hard work you do to make the process feel light and effortless for them. Explain the steps involved in what you do, and particularly how you do it uniquely. This is a really important part of a real estate website – not everybody is just coming to check out your listings. What if one person was vetting real estate agents, and maybe by chance they happened to land on your site. Sadly, you don’t tell them anything about yourself, about what you do, how long you’ve been doing it, or why they should hire you. They land on the next real estate agent’s site and get to see a 2 minute video introduction from the other agent… they are blown away and hire this agent. Would the potential commission of their business have been worth not writing a couple pages about yourself and your business?

Check out how one RealtyNinja client, Danielle Menzel Tait, uses the “About Danielle” page on her site to showcase her value, character, and even brand colours very neatly all on one page. Admit it – you want to buy a Whistler condo from Danielle now as well.

About Danielle - Danielle Menzel Tait's Website
Click to Enlarge

Align with your Community

I’ve never been one personally, but from what I’ve observed over the years, REALTORS® need to be very connected to the community that they serve. If you specialize in selling condos in downtown Vancouver, chances are you are spending a considerable amount of time there. This is an integral component of your brand, and it shouldn’t be ignored. I see many real estate agent websites that only tell me what community they serve when I check out their MLS search or when I check the area code on their phone number. This is a opportunity missed if you ask me.

Regardless what type of community member you are, there are others just like you. Connect with those people, and show the rest of the community who you are and where they can find you. Are you an avid hiker? Do you enjoy climbing? Play hockey? Volunteer at the soup kitchen? Take your kids to the park? Do you dine out often? Play golf? Go swimming in the ocean? Teach Yoga? Donate to the SPCA? The list could honestly go on forever.

No matter how it is that you are involved in your community, share some of that with your website visitors. Explain to them what made you fall in love with your community, and show them why they should fall in love with it as well. Use your own experiences and pride to create excitement for your visitors. And remember, you’re not just doing it to stimulate your readers and create trust – the community section on your website will also align you with local Google searches, so that the people looking for your content will find you much more quickly.

Check out how these three RealtyNinja customers have dedicated some of their website to their community:

  1. Craig Veroni – Charities & Community Involvement
  2. Will Gibson – About Vancouver
  3. Katie Burkard – Hoods

If you are a REALTOR®, I hope that this article will inspire you to take a good long look at your website and think about it as a tool to showcase your brand identity – not just a tool for generating leads. If your website was your vehicle, would you proudly park it in front of the open house? If not, that’s okay – it just means you have a bit of work to do.

If you are a RealtyNinja customer, feel free to e-mail any time to discuss some updates for your website. We’re always here to help you so that you can focus on your real estate business.

Until next time, Ninjas [-_-]~~