Is your website providing home buyers with the information they need?
Buying a house is a big decision. Not just because it’s a long-term commitment that requires a strong financial standing, but because it in many ways affects your whole life. Studies show that home buyers spend an average of 124 hours finding a home including 21 hours of sleep deprivation in the home search process. One way realtors can help home hunters make quicker decisions is by providing them with local information. Yet, most real estate sites still leave much to be desired from a buyer’s perspective.
Why people abandon your real estate site
In today’s digital world, your website is your biggest asset. Gone are the days where leads were generated through printed ads in newspapers and Yellow Pages. Today, they’re generated through your website. In fact, 84% of home buyers frequently use the internet to search for homes, and more than 50% of home buyers end up buying a home they’ve found online. Looking at these numbers, your website should be one of your top priorities.
You probably have a map on your website that shows where a house is located, but does it provide additional information about the neighborhood? The perfect home is a combination of the perfect house and the perfect location. However, a simple pin on a map has almost no value if it isn’t accompanied by local information. Home buyers often have to switch back and forth between multiple windows to evaluate whether a home is in a desirable neighborhood or not: a real estate site in one window and Google Maps in another. This process is repeated for each home they’re interested in. Not surprisingly, this is both frustrating and tiresome and can negatively impact conversions.
Why real estate sites needs ‘Local Context’
The solution to this problem is easy: add relevant local information to your map. Rich local information about the area will keep your visitors engaged, reduce site abandonment, and potentially improve conversions. And the best thing is it’s both easy to implement and use with Google Maps’ new Local Context feature.
Local Context combines the best of Maps, Routes, and Places so house hunters can see place names, photos, descriptions, directions, estimated walking time, and more without ever leaving your site. It supports more than 25 different place types including schools, supermarkets, convenience stores, hospitals, pharmacies, and parks. By selecting how many of each place type you want to display, and how many total places you want to show, you can easily keep your map clear and informative at the same time. You can also customize your map to match the look and feel of your website, and if you already have an existing map on your site, Local Context can be added while keeping styling and functionality intact.
With Local Context you get all the Google Maps benefits without having to do a lot of work. In fact, you can integrate the full experience into your site in a matter of days with just a few lines of code. Plus, the coding is so simple that most tech savvy people can set it up. As Google handles the place updates and curation work in the background, you can keep your implementation up-to-date with no development or maintenance costs. Additionally, Local Context is priced per session. This means that a user can click on as many points of interest per session and interact with Places data with no extra API calls.
If you want to know more about Local Context or need help finding the right solution for your website, reach out to one of our Google Maps experts. You can also download our free guide “The Benefits of Collaboration with a Certified Partner” to learn more about what we can do for you.