Goodness! 2014 rushed by, didn’t it?!
And, in saying that, I come to the sudden realisation that our website – once dynamic and cutting-edge – is another year older and, bearing in mind how quickly technology advances, is in need of being sharpened.
Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s a good website. Basically it does what it needs to do.
But in this day and age, when so many people start their property searches online, and when there are estate agents who operate solely on the internet, “basically” isn’t necessarily enough.
So … much like someone who has decided to start looking for a place to buy or rent … I have commenced searching online for a company that can provide us with our dream home-page.
Unfortunately, unlike a homeseeker, I don’t have the luxury of a portal, like Rightmove, Primelocation or Zoopla, that collates ideas from lots of different companies “under one roof”. All I can do is a Google search…
One of the first businesses to come up when I type in “websites for estate agents” is a company who, under their “Client Portfolio” page, have managed to misspell one of their client company’s names.
This is a bit like me searching for my new home in a given area, but not being able to find anything because the agent can’t spell the area they’re working in.
If this were an estate agent’s website, I would be worried about their lack of attention to detail. As a company providing estate agents’ websites, I fear I have the same concern.
Another provider proudly boasts that they were shortlisted for an award a few years ago. I have no doubt they deserved the accolade at the time, so well done to them.
But if I were looking for a new, up-together, sparkly abode, I don’t think the description “refurbished to a fairly high standard about three years ago” would necessarily get me all a-quiver with excitement.
To someone far more cynical than me, the pronouncement of a near-success back then, and nothing since, might suggest that either they’ve gone downhill, or their website has not been updated for three years.
As an agent wanting something cutting edge, I’d be a bit worried.
So, as yet, I haven’t found what I’m looking for: my dream home-page. But, maybe, that’s because I don’t exactly know what I’m looking for.
If only I really was a househunter, and I had access to someone I could ask for advice. Someone like an estate agent who knows about areas, amenities, styles of property that fit into my budget. Someone who knows what’s what. If only there was such a person to ask for guidance about what our new website should have. What it should do. What it should contain. How it should look. How it should function…
Hang on. There is somebody I can ask. In fact, there are many people. I can ask the people who matter, the people who actually use the website, the real homehunters. I can ask you, the readers of this blog.
Leave a comment, tweet me, phone or send an email. What are the things you expect from a really good estate agents’ website? Is it video tours, large pictures, large print, floorplans…? Is it lifestyle shots of glasses of wine that excite you, or straight-talking “this is a house and it has three bedrooms”? Do you like bells and whistles or is simplicity the key? Do you want to know, up front, how much we charge for selling or renting property, or would you prefer to see straight away photos of what we currently have available? Is there a website you love and if only ours was as good you’d visit it again and again?
Your feedback will be very gratefully received.<