You know how important appearance is to a home or office sale. If a property looks worn or dirty, or things don’t seem to work properly, the prospective buyer won’t come back. The same is true for real estate websites—if it doesn’t look right, it won’t work.
If you work in real estate, your website is crucial to the success of your business. It doesn’t just present you in the best possible light. It also ensures you’re reaching the right prospects at the right time. That’s why you need to ensure that your site is doing everything it possibly can to help you be more successful.
You do a lot to strengthen your business, but you can’t work 24 hours a day. However, your website can. That’s why it should be able to do everything you do: attract new clients, explain why you’re a great realtor, and show your successes.
This article makes a case for updating your real estate website design. It also offers some best practices that you should keep in mind when you’re updating your design or implementing a redesign.
Your website should be designed to accomplish the following tasks:
A good website design should tell people what they want to know about you, whether you’re an individual Realtor or running a real estate company. Even if every piece of information doesn’t appear on the home page, it should be easy to access.
For example, awards and affiliations increase confidence, so they shouldn’t be tucked away in some hidden corner of a page, but it may make more sense to include them on a dedicated page that is clearly linked from your menu. The same goes for news, success stories, and other key selling points.
Consumers prefer getting to know a business before making contact. That includes knowing exactly what properties you’re selling. Real estate web design should be implemented with this goal in mind.
Instead of a flat listing of available properties, you should aim to create impressive multimedia presentations, including photo galleries and virtual tours. A good design should also allow home buyers to find exactly what they want through an interactive search tool.
Like every other online tool, a website shouldn’t make for one-way conversations. Once you’ve presented your firm and shown off available homes and offices, you want buyers to get in touch. Your website can facilitate this through request for information forms, contact pages, links to email addresses, and social media pages.
Consumers don’t always have the time or want to make the effort to make up the phone to call a realtor. By offering multiple, simple methods to get in touch with you, you can increase the chances of hearing from potential home buyers.
A brand is more than your logo and motto. It’s how you present your firm to, and engage with, current and prospective customers.
Whatever brand personality or messaging you’ve chosen, your website design should reflect it. Is your firm serious and professional, or do you prefer a more laid-back approach? Do you cater to middle-class families or luxury buyers? Your design, from colors and fonts to layouts and navigation, needs to do the same.
You want your website to accomplish all of these things. How do you do it? Keep reading for some helpful ideas for optimizing your design and making it a more powerful business tool.
Buying a home is a long, complicated, and expensive process. Prospective buyers have a lot of questions along the way, so they want someone to walk them through the process, if only virtually. The best real estate website designs provide a wealth of information, but also allow visitors to initiate a conversation if they don’t want to read a lot before reaching out.
Home buyers need to process a lot of information, and they’ll be overwhelmed if they get too much at once. Your website design can avoid this issue with the following elements.
As you can imagine, a real estate website relies more on graphics than text—few people will buy a house based on a text description. Since most of the foreground on each page will feature photos, videos and floor plans, a clean, quiet background serves as a nice complement.
Stick with neutral solid colors like black, white, grey, and beige. The page doesn’t have to be monochromatic—the header should be consistent with your color scheme—but it should be subtle enough that it doesn’t take attention away from the content on the page.
When you sell real estate, your web design should be more functional than creative. The eye should only have to travel to a few areas on the page to find what the user is looking for.
Keep this in mind when choosing a layout. If you include a lot of text, break it up into small paragraphs with plenty of space in between. If you prefer photos, use only a few per page. Some of the most attractive websites feature one photo on the home page with a colorful menu on the top.
Once prospects are on your site, they’ll want a closer look at some of your properties. Your design should provide as close a look as possible, short of actually visiting.
Some sites use slideshows and photo galleries to showcase properties. Others use videos. A few feature virtual tours in which visitors can “walk” through a computer rendering of the house. Any one of these ideas will present your properties in the best possible light.
If you do add multimedia features like this, make sure they’re easily accessible, as well as advertised right on the front page of your site. Potential home buyers like to know what their options are when they get to your website, and mentioning your detailed walkthroughs could be the deciding factor between you and another real estate company.
At any point in the visit to your site, a potential home buyer might want to get in touch with you or your associates. In addition to contact information in the header or footer of your website, you should include other calls to action and invitations to reach out.
For instance, a request for information form on the home page motivates communication and can be an effective lead generation tool. Or you might also want to create a dedicated “contact me” page that consists of an easy to use form that can be filled out with a contact name, phone number, and email address.
People search for a home in which they can easily move around and find what they need. Real estate websites should make them feel the same way. By designing your site to provide an engaging user experience, you begin to transform online visitors from curious observers to interested prospects.
Does your real estate website reflect your professionalism as a real estate agent or company? Or is it lacking? Does it look modern, or is it out of date? If you aren’t happy with how your website is designed, it may be time to consider a refresh or full redesign.
WebFX, a leading web design company, can help you create a new site that is optimized for search engines, mobile-friendly, and designed to attract more potential home buyers than ever. We can also redesign or refresh your current site to preserve the elements you like, while updating the ones you don’t.
To find out how we can give you a professional and modern web design for your real estate business, give us a call or contact us online today. You can also check out our website cost calculator to see how web design can fit your budget. We’d love to have a discussion with you about how we can help you find more success online!
Find out how WebFX can create an effective Internet marketing strategy for your website. Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today for a free evaluation.