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By Peyman Aleagha

RISMEDIA, July 21, 2008-When someone visits your real estate website, you get exactly one chance to grab their attention. The one or two seconds it takes a visitor to scan the contents of your home page is all the time you have. If they don’t find something interesting in those few seconds, they’re off to the next site. The chance of having them as a prospect-gone.

To prevent this from happening, look at your home page critically-through the eyes of a visitor that doesn’t know you or your firm. Ask yourself: “Would I click into the website from here, or click away?” (For the really daring, get the office receptionist or a friend to do the same test.) If the answer is click away, you had better make some changes.

What should your home page do?

First and foremost, your home page should “tease.” Someone viewing your home page should see information that makes them want to go deeper into your site. It’s like the display window on a retail store. You want to put things in the window that will motivate visitors to come in. A typical teasing item of home page content might look something like this:

“Looking for a new home?
Mumblefritz Realty can help you find your dream home faster, and at the best price. Find out more about our Best Buy program… >click here<”

Your home page should have a little something for everybody. Whether it’s a seller, a buyer, another agent or broker, or a local business, your website home page should demonstrate that there’s content in your website that’s useful for them.

Your home page should clearly say that you are “credible.” In those few seconds that your website visitor is deciding between going deeper and going elsewhere, they need to see that the site – and you – are credible. To do that, make sure you include a little something about yourself or your office. Remember, your visitor is on a computer; include something about yourself that makes you human (and likable!).

Your home page should demonstrate that your website (and you) can be useful. Your visitor has come to your website with a goal. Your home page must show that you have the wherewithal to help them meet their goal. If they a buyers, for example, they need to see feature listings. If they are sellers, they need to seem some sell-through statistics. In addition, using “gadgets” like rate calculators, property comparison tools, and up-to-date weather forecasts will make your site useful. If they find the website useful, chances are good that they will find you useful, too.

Last, but not least, make your homepage “fresh.” Just like the window in the retail store, if it never changes, eventually people will stop seeing it. Change it up. Freshen it up. Add content regularly, or rewrite the content you have to reflect the season. Especially change headlines. All of these can help your website appear fresh to the visitor.

Always remember, your homepage may be the first thing your website visitor sees from. Do a good job on the page and it would be the last.

Peyman Aleagha is the founder and President of http://www.RealtySoft.com. RealtySoft provides Web-based marketing solutions including agent and broker websites, IDX, contact management, listing management, and syndication to real estate professionals.

For more information, visit www.RealtySoft.com.

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