Every business has something that sets them apart from their competition; it’s the reason why people come to you over your competitors. It might be the level of service you provide, you might be more community focused, you might even be revolutionising the industry with entirely new ways of serving your clients. No matter what it is, there’s something that makes you “you” and it’s those differences that need to be celebrated!

Being the experts you are, you understand that you really need to stand out in this crowded market. So knowing that, why is it we still see so many template websites!

Given the fact that roughly 95% of property searches begin online these days and over half of those come from mobiles out-of-hours, the first time you deal with many of your clients will be in digital form. The luxury of a fantastic office and a great brand will do very little to change the fact that your potential buyers and sellers are all seeing the same template over and over.

A local street to where I live has 5 different agencies on it, all within a minutes walking distance (some just on opposite sides of the street). Can you imagine if all of them took this same “cookie-cutter” approach?

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Something like this? Very boring…

The problem with online is that your agency is even closer to your competition than “just across the street”, it’s only a click away. The similarities are going to be ever more apparent and the differences that make you stand out are going to be lost.

Now we’re not saying that templates are all bad, our sites even use some template features like property search and some generic content pages. What we will say though is that no two sites we’ve designed look alike.

Take a look herehere and here. That’s three separate websites that we designed using our platform and they all do a great job of showing an agents individuality, separating them from the rest of the market. The home page is incredibly important for representing your business, which is why you’ll never see two websites from us that look the same.

As the internet becomes faster and easier to access for consumers, the more businesses will have to appeal to an online market. We’re already seeing a low tolerance for poor and un-engaging websites with users leaving sites within 8 seconds of seeing something that doesn’t interest them. “Off-the-shelf” websites, as well designed as some of them are, just can’t compete with a custom product.

If you take anything away from reading this article today, take away this: treat your online brand as well as your physical one. The brochures, sale boards and window cards you use are all designed to grab potential clients attention, so why let the standards slip online?

You wouldn’t buy a brand logo that’s already been taken. No one has ever seen something like Foxtons and said “I want to do EXACTLY what they’re doing”. So why is it you’re happy to settle for the exact same website as your competitors? To be the best agency you have to be different, make sure your clients know you stand out from the start.

If you want any advice on what you need change to get the most from your digital presence, feel free to get in touch! At Estate Apps, we’ll be happy to help.