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Your website can be more functional by having useful tools such as mortgage calculator, property alerts, booking viewing.

By anticipating and catering for the needs of your target market, you are telling them that you care about their home-buying / renting experience, you are a professional in your field, and that they donít need to go elsewhere.

Once someone has to leave your website in order to get additional information, they might never come back.

These are some of the basic tools that every estate / lettings agentís website needs:

Mortgage Calculator
Buying a house is not the same as buying a sandwich. People know straight away whether or not they can afford a sandwich, but they need help to figure out what they can afford in terms of a mortgage.

A mortgage calculator widget does not constitute financial advice, but it does provide a potential buyer with very useful indicators with regards to the repayment amounts over a specified time-period and how it will vary according to the type of mortgage they choose. This information will help them feel empowered when making decisions, and they will have little need to leave your website at this point.

Property Alerts
The big property search websites offer this service to house-hunters, but whatís in it for you? These alerts will bring up properties from a number of different agents, which may drive some traffic to you. However, the potential buyer has had little (if any) direct interaction with your company up to this point.

Whether the buyers come to your website directly, or they came via a big property search engine, you need to give them a reason to come back. Register them for property alerts through your own website, promoting the properties on your books. The likelihood is that they will go to a number of viewings before settling on a property, so make sure those viewings are all coming through your agency.

Property Viewings
This is relates to the above function. Once the buyer has received a property alert, they also need to be able to request a viewing. This can be in the form of a button within the property alert email that re-directs them to your website to fill in a form, and it can also be a button that is next to each property on the website for direct visitors.

Having a button / form to request viewings is great for visitors to your website, because it means they donít have to phone the office Ė only to be put on hold, or told that the person they need is not in the office, etc. Instead it provides a seamless user experience and gives the impression of an efficient and professional company.

Once these basics have been established, you can build on your offering with extra features and gain a real edge in the marketplace.

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