“Trust is the Most Valuable Currency Online…” (Seachenginewatch)
People do business with those that they like, know, and trust.
When we talk about the pillars of a real estate website we use the acronym G.L.A.M.R and the L stands for legitimacy. The act of being legit. Or genuine, or trustworthy.
The internet is a bit of a Wild Wild West. Often times you’re not real sure who or what you can trust online.
I’m sure most of us have been burned by some scam that we thought was trustworthy. The last time I can remember was, getting an email from UPS that my package was shipped and if I wanted to track it to click the link. I clicked it. Then bam my laptop was filled with wonderful malware.
Obviously, the email was not actually from UPS… but I trusted that I could click the link because I thought it was from UPS. And I trust that UPS would never send me a link that would corrupt my computer.
I trust that if I visit Amazon.com, Youtube.com, or Chase.com that they are not going to put malware on my computer, or generally try to rip me off, or deceive me.
It is safe to say then that trust online is important.
The reason that I am writing this article is to build trust.
Building SEO and getting traffic are 2 important factors with our website… however, it would be moot without trust. Getting people to our website does not generate income in our business model. We need them to buy a product.
How To Build Trust On Your Real Estate Website
There are many ways to start building that confidence with your potential clients online.
Ways to build trust online:
- Sharing Useful Information (blogging).
- Robust Social Media Profiles.
- Past Client Testimonials.
- Add An SSL Certificate To Your Site (https:).
- Add Trust Badges (BBB, Chamber of Commerce, Zillow)
- Not Having Spammy Lead Capture Tactics
- How Long In Business
- Correct Spelling and Grammar
While all the above are important and should be addressed, according to a survey by Huff Industrial Marketing, KoMarketing, & BuyerZone in April of 2015, they are not the most important.
What Are The 3 Most Important Factors To Building Trust Online
1. Product or service info
86% of survey respondents said Product of service info when asked, “Once you’re on the Home page, what information do you want to see available?”
47% of respondents said they look at products and services when asked, “When you get to a vendor website, which section of the site do you look at first?”
33% said they view the home page first.
46% said that a lack of clear messaging regarding products and services is a red flag and will cause them to hit the back button.
50% stated they use the navigation menu to orient themselves with a website.
You should have your services clearly laid out on both your homepage and in your navigation menu.
Your buyer services, your seller services, and search should be clearly laid out. In addition if you do property management, credit assistance, investment properties, etc.
2. Contact information
64% of respondents stated they wanted to see Contact Information when they were on the home page.
54% of users surveyed stated that a lack of thorough contact info made businesses appear less trustworthy and would cause them to leave a website.
51% of respondents indicated that thorough contact information was missing on most company websites.
You should have complete contact information in both your footer and header of your homepage and navigation menu.
One of my big pet peeves is when our clients complain that we put their contact information in prominent locations. What is the point of having an online presence in real estate. It is not to sell houses, it is to have people contact you.
3. About pages
52% of respondents stated they wanted to see About / Company Information.
54% of respondents indicated that a thorough and honest “About” page or “Company Information” page builds trust.
16% surveyed said they look at the About / Company pages first when they visit a website.
29% said that the about page was the content most lacking on websites.
Create a thorough about page with bio, images, your social proof, contact information, and testimonials. Add your about page to your navigation menu.
Most Important Trust Building Factor
I think it is important to point out that you can not have your services page, about page, and contact information on your website without a website.
You need a Real Estate Website to carry out any of the trust building items outlined above. But it can not be just any old website. Hopefully that has become abundantly clear.
- A beautiful and well thought out website
- A website that loads quickly
- Listings on your website
- Your contact information prominently displayed
- A site that you can easily add pages full of useful information
- Well branded website with logo and matching colors
- Blogging capabilities
- Social Media integration
- To meet Google Webmaster Guidelines
- An About Page, Buyer Page, Seller Page, Search Pages, Community Pages
Think about it. When you go to do business where is the first place you look the majority of the time? Online.
When you are looking for someone to do business with what is the most important factor? Price or Trust. I mean you have to trust the business before price becomes a factor, don’t you?
How would you decide if a business was trustworthy online?
Real estate agents do have a built-in trust factor often times. Their connection with their brokerage, or being associated with a brand that people trust. It is not enough.
Please don’t think that just because you have a page on your brokerages site that makes you seem trustworthy. I have met many untrustworthy real estate agents that are associated with good brands.
If trust is the most important factor to generating business online than it something that every real estate agent should be paying attention to.
There are many ways to build trust online and I would suggest that you can not just do 1 or 2 of the things mentioned above. That you should do most of them.
According to data having your Products and Services, About Page, and Contact information prominently displayed on your home page and on a navigation menu are 3 big factors to building trust on your real estate website.
The most important part is having a high quality website.