An Opportunity For Commercial Agents x
20 June, 2012 | Web design
Its amazing the huge percentage of commercial agents and chartered surveyors still happy for their company to be represented by a poor website featuring out-dated technology and dire design.
Yet could this actually present a huge opportunity for those commercial agents who want to be proactive in a depressed property market? Is this an opportunity to take advantage of the rival agents complacency?
Your website is the physical embodiment of your company. It is projecting a market position, business ethos and level of professionalism to the wider market on a daily basis. In many cases what Commercial Agents are projecting via their website is very far from how they actually perceive themselves.
So, to those of you that what to get ahead of the pack, here are a couple of quick tips to enable you to take this opportunity for you business.
1. Make The Right Impression
We all respond to visual stimulus. In conscious and sub-conscious ways design stimulates our reaction to brands, products and services in every part of our life. Design affects our decision-making processes, constantly influencing the products that we buy and the services that we engage.
Your potential clients are constantly making decisions affected by this sort of stimuli, so why should it be any different when they are looking for a purveyor of the services that you offer?
Great graphical design offers a huge opportunity to the commercial agent who wants to set himself apart from his competition. Great design will communicate a personality, position and attitude far faster than the most expertly crafted prose every can. Furthermore, even the greatest prose will struggle to change the negative perception that bad design has instilled in the mind of your potential customer. Design is powerful because it communicates on an emotional level.
There is a plethora of evidence that proves that a poor website will have a negative effect on the clients overall perception of that company.
2. Be Seen
Your website looks amazing. It is picking up D&AD Awards year on year, but if no one can find it what’s the point.
Getting seen presents a huge opportunity to the proactive commercial property agent. Part of a websites job is to actively sell your services and catch potential clients. A great Chartered Surveyors website should be delivering a level of unsolicited enquires on a regular basis.
One of the ways to ensure that your website will ‘Be Seen” is via a high search engine listing. And with over 90% of the search market, that means a high Google ranking.
Commercial Agent SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the main contributor to high Google rankings and getting you seen. It is probably the most important part of website design as it influences the design and structure of your website. It also influences your content and the way that you manage that content in the future.
The opportunity lies in the fact that aside from the large companies, most commercial agents and chartered surveyors have no on-going SEO policy or support. Furthermore they have websites that are so poorly designed from an SEO perspective, search engines get confused when they review them.
Now, I get tired of Commercial Agents telling me that all their business comes via their network or recommendation. That may be the case, but what kind of commercial agent would turn away as much as 25% of new business enquires that could come via organic search?
Who Provides SEO
SEO is an on-going process. Consider that your market is constantly evolving, you clients needs change and your competitors are constantly changing their response. In addition, search engines change the algorithm they use to review and rank websites on a regular basis. Google alone makes literally hundreds of changes each year.
A good website design company should include SEO within the support package they offer, but many don’t. Find out what you get for your money, because what seemed like a good deal can turn out to be an expensive solution when all the extras are added. Also beware of a designer that says they fully optimise your new website at the build stage. That won’t help six months down the line when Google have made algorithm updates and the market has moved on.
In conclusion, if you can make sure that your website will “Be Seen” by potential clients and that you “Make The Right Impression” when they do see it your business will gain a significant return.
Philip Burrows, Marketing Consultant