I looked at, and meticulously studied, a ton of real estate broker websites from a variety of different real estate agencies before I even started to think about a concept for how I would want my own to look like. I can honestly say that I opened every website with an open mind.
But like. OMG, you guys. Real estate websites are soooooooooooo busyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! 😱
Four times out of five, I was met with long navigation menus, mortgage calculators, downloadable PDF guides for buyers and sellers, pop up windows, scrolling photo galleries, virtual visits, search menus, flashing headlines, and hideous clip art...a true visual assault on the eyes, and that was often just the home page. I would call this the "everything but the kitchen sink approach".
I understand, as a real estate broker myself, that all of this information - which is actually excellent, pertinent, and thoughtful - is meant to communicate our position in the real estate industry as an expert in the field.
But I also viewed these websites from the perspective of a potential client, and I seriously thought I was going to have a stroke. (Then I realized, I was just burning my morning toast.)
As brokers, we have a lot to communicate to our clients and potential clients via our virtual storefronts, but having gone through this exercise, my overwhelming impression was that the old adage still holds up. Even in this day and age, less is actually more.
They say that you can only make a great first impression, once. And I for one, want to put my clients at ease when they see me.
So, I've consciously decided to turn down the noise on my new website.
Well, before I answer that question, let me ask you this. Would you prefer walking into a store to purchase something where everything was neatly organized and edited for you, or would you prefer walking into a retail environment that was brimming from floor to ceiling with tons of stuff that you need to dig through? Both are very different consumer experiences.
I could be wrong, but I think it's just easier for me to hear what you're saying and listen to your needs when there are no pop up windows to close between us.
It's also easier for us to have a dialogue about what you're looking for, or why you're selling, when you aren't clicking through all of these long drop-down menus.
I also happen to have a long list of mortgage brokers who are eager to meet you in person, so how about we let them do all of the fancy calculations, so that we can enjoy our coffee together, shall we?
Buying, selling or renting a home should be a pleasant experience. My job is to turn down the noise so that you can enjoy this journey. Or I can turn it up. But first, I want to meet you. In person.
In the end, my philosophy is simple, and it's this. My online website is a compliment to the personalized service that you will receive from me as a real estate broker for one of the biggest purchases of your life. My website doesn't replace me.
And that's the difference.
Holler at me: firstname.lastname@example.org.