As a real estate agents, you wear a lot of different hats. At some point you’ll probably find yourself working as a marketer, sales representative, counselor, financial adviser, photographer, landscaper, and as much as you may hate to hear it, a web developer. Now, I realize that you aren’t actually a web developer, and that’s perfectly fine. When you order your website from Homes.com, it’s pretty much ready to use; all you have to do is connect your MLS’s IDX and a custom domain name. But…if you want a fantastic, amazing, customized website, you’ll need to do just a bit more, and we’re here to help. Here are three ways to enhance your website’s menu.
- Determine What Should Be on Your Menu
When you first sign up for a website with Homes.com, your menu has five main items: properties, buyers, sellers, about, and contact. This is a good place to start, but every menu could use some customization. One addition I recommend for every website is a “Home” button to help visitors find their way back to the main page of your website.
Now, before you start building your menu, think about your business. What information do your leads and clients really want? Do you work with a lot of first-time home buyers? If so, make sure basic real estate information, guides, and processes are easy to access. If you work with a lot of military families, they may warrant their own menu category with the information that is specific to their home buying/selling experience.
- Add Relevant, Custom Information to Your Site
For example, if you have specific neighborhoods or zip codes that you work in, consider adding a “Featured Communities” option to the main level of your menu. Create separate pages for each of your areas with relevant neighborhood information, events, news, etc. Make each of your main service areas a sub-level menu item for your Featured Communities button. Also think about creating featured searches for each of your areas to make it easy for your clients to find properties in their desired location.
Another way you can add great content to your website is through blogging. Write articles or reviews about local parks, theaters, schools, or skating rinks. Highlight that cool new restaurant that just opened and add a link to homes for sale nearby. Show people all the amazing opportunities nearby and link to this content in your menu.
- Make Sure Your Menu Makes Sense
It’s important that visitors to your site are able to easily find the information they are looking for. There are several ways you can make sure your navigation makes sense.
- Write each of your main level and sub level menu items on index cards. Have family/friends/coworkers organize them in a way they think makes sense and look for common trends.
- Find other successful real estate websites and analyze their menus. See how yours compares. Keep in mind that your menu doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) be a copy of other websites’ menus. Your competitor may have their mortgage calculator under “resources” while yours is under “buyers.” Either way is fine; just make sure your system makes sense.
- Limit your main menu to seven items. There is all sorts of research on this point that boils down to: if you have more than seven items, people will get overwhelmed and won’t remember what your menu options are.
- Put your most important menu items at the beginning and the end of your menu. People will pay more attention to the first few and last few options.
Taking time to personalize your website can alter the course of your business. Adding strong local information to your menu helps make your site more relevant to your visitors and can help increase your visibility in search results. For questions about editing your site, visit support.homes.com or give us a call at 866-774-2947. Don’t already have a website from Homes.com? Check out Homes.com Fusion websites!