Even those who want to party like it’s 1999 don’t want a website that looks and runs like it’s stuck in the same year. A commercial real estate firm’s website says something about the company, the people who make up the company and the way in which the company does business. A website that appears and reads outdated, that operates sluggishly, with images and pages slow to load tells those who land there that the same traits will apply to the firm and its people. A website like this sends a message to prospective customers to move along.
This isn’t just talk. It’s documented fact. Impressions matter online, none more than the first. Researchers have found that users form an impression of a business within 50 milliseconds – or 1/20 of a second – after landing on a web page. That first impression is lasting. Prospects lost at this stage almost surely are gone for good. Research offers insights into human behavior, but the number of lost prospects is a great unknown. This much is plain: Lost prospects are lost opportunities.
When users don’t like what they see, they bounce. That’s the term for web users who leave a site. A company website is competing with some 1.9 billion other websites for attention from more than 4.6 billion users worldwide, and the numbers are constantly growing. The web is where customers go, and customers have choices. So, they demand speed and convenience. Deliver it, or those prospects will find someone who will.
So, Houston, how do we know we have a problem? Here are some clues:
No one can remember when the website last was redesigned. Understand, a website isn’t a home that’s built once, and then the hard work is done forever. Websites are evolving and fluid. They require constant attention. And they require periodic freshening to keep pace with web design that constantly is advancing. If there’s no one in the firm who can recall when the website last was redesigned, it’s time.
Go surfing. No one needs to tell most commercial real estate professionals that it’s a good idea to cruise by the competition. Take a trip around the web to view competitors’ sites. If those sites are visual and exciting; if those sites command and keep attention; if pages, videos and images load seamlessly; if there is an urge to keep exploring … well, there’s the answer. Those sites are ahead of yours. It’s time for an update.
Does it feel fresh? Outdated websites feel stale. Their appearance looks retro, and not in the ways the kids think are cool. They are slow and clunky. The copy is outdated and uninspiring. The visuals are of poor quality and take forever to call up. A healthy way to view a site is to ask: If I were a prospect, would I stay here or would I go looking elsewhere?
If you’re asking these questions … then, psssttt, here’s a secret: You know already that something needs done. The smart play is to turn to pros who know both the art of producing a website with pop and professionalism and the business of commercial real estate and how to bring together the expertise in these two critical areas. That’s the ticket to a website that works.
Want to bring your website to life? Give us a call or shoot us an email. We are ready to help you get the most out of your commercial real estate marketing efforts.