Websites for REALTORS® have come a long way since the early days of the Internet, when fewer people used online research as a way to find homes and apartments. While many in the English-speaking world naturally think of English as the only way to present type on their website, creating a website multilingual has a multitude of benefits that may not be apparent at first. Since the Internet is the “world wide web,” there is a better than fair chance that many people visiting your REALTOR® site will not be speaking English. For that reason, it is a good idea to make your website multilingual.
The Whole World Does Not Speak English
The Internet was invented by the American military, and American and English-speaking users dominated it as it started to grow. However, that’s changing as more people from different countries start to go online. This includes countries as diverse as Iran, China, France, India, and Japan. Note how many hundreds of millions (billions!) of people make up the population of just these five countries! Business-wise, tapping these markets can be even more promising than tapping English-speaking markets that have already been explored. After all, when there are fewer websites catering to a specific language, the few sites that go out of their way to accommodate those native speakers will be a big hit.
As a Marketing Tool, It’s Cost-Effective
Any time you run a new marketing campaign, you want to keep costs down as much as possible. You can never predict how successful said marketing campaign will be anyway. Having a multilingual REALTOR® website is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools around. Think of it this way: It encourages your site visitors to positively market your site by simple word of mouth. Let’s say someone from France is looking for a real estate agent and comes across your website, sees that it also caters to French-speaking site visitors rather than only English-speaking ones, and then tells all his friends and co-workers about it. You’ve just been marketed to a bigger circle of site users.
A Multilingual Website Makes You More Trustworthy
Anytime you are asked to sign up for or purchase anything on the Internet, trust issues are immediately in play. Let’s say you want to offer free real estate ebook or email newsletters to your site visitors to help generate leads. If you offer those only in English, that immediately alienates everyone who is not comfortable with English because they may not be proficient enough in it. As a result, those site visitors will be less likely to give you their personal information in exchange for the free ebook or whatever it is that you’re offering in return on your site. Having a multilingual site encourages trust in site visitors, too.
Remember that the Internet is the “world wide web,” not the English-speaking web! It’s tempting, naturally, to provide information only in English, particularly if you are a native English speaker yourself. However, you are limiting the business connections and client base that you can grow if you only concentrate on the English-speaking world.