Portals drive applicants, but your website drives valuations and instructions.

Friday 22 July 2016

Yes, that’s right: your website is almost certainly a crucial driver of valuations and instructions – and if it isn’t, then you’re missing some real opportunities to pick up more business.

Given your website’s potential importance to the heartbeat of your business, do you know how well it works for you? Does it generate as many enquiries as it should? Even more importantly, does it perform as well as your competitors’ websites?

You can now measure your website and how it works for you, and compare your website’s performance to that of other estate agents. Homeflow, the estate agency website specialists, run a completely free benchmarking service that means you can compare your website to other agencies’ websites; you can even narrow it down to compare yourself against other agencies of a similar size, to make the comparisons even more meaningful.

Homeflow Benchmarking lets you compare some of the key metrics that you’re probably already monitoring for your own site:

Reach

First step is to ensure that enough potential clients are visiting your site – your reach. It’s useful to know if you are reaching as many potential clients as your competitors, and whether they come back to your site as often – are you missing a trick? The raw number of visitors can help you understand if you’re advertising yourself online in the best way, and if your website is really working for you to get your brand better known in your local markets.

Engagement

When visitors are on your site, you can judge how engaged they are with your brand by seeing how many pages they view on each visit, and how long they stay on site. By understanding how this compares to industry averages, you can decide what resource you need to invest in making your brand more engaging online. First impressions count for a lot, and given many, many more people will visit your website than visit you in branch, you need to understand exactly what impression you’re giving online, and how that compares.

Performance

An important factor in the success of your website is its technical performance: this affects whether pages load quickly, for example, so that visitors don’t get impatient waiting for search results or requested content. Whether you realise it or not, everyone punishes slow websites by not waiting around on them to view more pages – they simply move on to other sites! In fact, Google observes this behaviour, and ranks your website accordingly – it also punishes slow websites.

As vendors, landlords and applicants all become more and more comfortable using websites to conduct research, to build relationships, even to manage parts of a transaction, the performance of your website becomes an integral part of your business’s success. Take the opportunity to use our partner Homeflow’s free online tool to monitor your online performance, and to keep an eye on the competition.

For more information, visit www.homeflow.co.uk/benchmarking