Consider the present digital age. You read newspapers online, you live stream music and video chat with friends. Businesses too are generating leads online, and real estate agents are no different. Real estate companies are cashing on digital adoption to stay one step ahead. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors shows that 84% of baby boomers and 94% of people in the millennial classification search online for the best deals before buying a home. In such an environment, having a highly optimized website is one of the most critical elements of growing online and generating queries from potential buyers. However, building a pro real estate website is easily said than done.
Custom real estate web design – What’s the need?
With these figures before you, not having a “website that works” will only be a case of missed opportunities. Let’s quickly understand why you need a custom real estate website rather than a turnkey one.
For the real estate industry, building online trust is more critical than any other sector. Brand credibility is very important and the whole foundation of your business rests on this one factor alone. As statistics prove, most potential customers begin their quest for a home through online search and hence your website will be the first real impression they will have of your business. If they are not satisfied that you can provide quality services or that you can’t deliver what they need, it will be really difficult for you to convert them and draw them into your sales funnel.
This is why you have to know how to design a real estate website that instill a sense of confidence in your customers and lead them on to selecting your firm for their real estate needs. To make a great impression, you will have to focus on your website’s performance and adopt a design that offers a pleasing and engaging user-experience for visitors.
A well-designed real estate website is not only about aesthetics, appealing photos, and detailed property descriptions only; there are a large number of other aspects to it as well.
What then is it about custom real estate website design that will make people choose you right away for renting, buying or selling a property rather than browse other sites appearing on Google?
Must-have features for a real estate website
The evolution of cutting-edge tools and technologies has made it possible to have a custom real estate website design that will exactly match your requirements. You will find that there are many real estate directories that you have to compete with and hence your website has to really stand out in the crowd to get noticed.
Here are some must-have features that should be mandatorily included in your real estate website.
- Images to back up every real estate listing – A good number of property images will speak more than a thousand words. Show a property from different angles with high quality photographs so that a prospective buyer will have a fair idea of your listing before contacting you. It will benefit both the buyer and you in starting the negotiations.
- Make website search easy – Visitors arrive at your website to search for properties and you should make the experience easy for them. A good real estate portal should provide quick, filtered and relevant search results once the visitors fill in their requirements. These might include property for sale or rent, price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, country, state and provision for any other specific keyword. Filters can be game changer in real estate websites.
- Property locations shown on maps – Maps make it convenient for visitors to identify the location, check on the neighborhood and find information of local markets, schools, and other necessities. Further, maps also help potential customers know about the other properties in the area and their addresses as well as directions and means to navigate there. From the point of view of aesthetics, maps make your website attractive and pretty too.
- Get in touch features– When people visit your website and select a property, they might want to contact the owner for gathering insights they couldn’t find on the listing. Hence, there should be a provision in your site to for this. The best way is to have a contact listing form on the listing page which can be placed near the footer or in the sidebar area below the description of the property. Any person who wants to get in touch can type their queries in the form and send an inquiry message to the listing owner.
- Have detailed listing – When you think of how to design real estate websites, your primary focus should be on this key aspect. The listings on your website are the main pages through which visitors can have a thorough knowledge of the property and all the relevant details. Hence, the design of the site should be such that it allows a detailed listing of a property. For example, include rent payable if applicable, the area, maps, the address, floor plan, style, position of appliances and anything that you feel is necessary to entice a customer to close a deal.
- Virtual tours – Virtual tours are especially popular amongst luxury homes. Millennials especially are into virtual real estate experiences and would favor agents that promise the same. Virtual tours create a digital map of the property on the website itself and help potential buyers explore the property just like they would in real life. The costing of photographing the property is substantial but the overall experience in enhanced greatly.
Doynt has handled website development for global brands. Have a look
Major web design decisions depends on the extent that you want to dwell into properties on offer. Some real estate agents prefer to sketch out the property curiously but just enough to interest the visitor to call the agent. The full sales pitch can then be followed through. Others prefer to provide every detail on the website to help potential customers come to a preliminary decision. This lessens the burden of work on the realtor.
However, including the features given here will give your website and business an extra edge over your competitors.
Guidelines for a custom real estate website design
The most effective and optimized custom real estate website design provides clear and precise information to visitors. Here are a few guidelines for brokers and real estate agents to get the best website design ideas. Put these together and it will surely give your business an edge.
- Use CMS technology to build your site – WordPress is a flexible, powerful and easy-to-update platform that can is being used across industries. The advantage is that you do not have to know how to write code for manage your WordPress site. WordPress real estate website development is also way cheaper than developing on other technologies, something small real estate firms like.
- Make it SEO friendly- A good custom real estate website design brings the best of SEO practices to give the real estate firm mileage of search engines. Never ever build on a technology that doesn’t make provision for core aspects like Meta title and description. You should provide useful information that is relevant to customers in your area of operation. This will help in marketing your website through local search optimization strategies which in turn will fetch your site high rankings on Google search results pages.
- Create a user-rich mobile experience – Having a responsive web design is one thing; offering a user-focused mobile experience is vastly different. According to Statista, there are over 6.8 billion mobile users globally, and most of them are using their phones to run searches. A modern responsive design will give all the information posted on your site but what you need as a real estate agent is a heightened interaction with your existing and potential customers – one that they will want to repeat.
- Focus on quality – People are being showered with more information than they can handle. To stand out from the pack, focus on quality over quantity while buying your real estate website. A website that has a large number of pages of generic information is far less effective than a site with specific content-rich information in a few pages. Take into account client behavioral patterns when designing your property website, and you will have a site where close and repeated contact with clients is assured.
To create a user-rich experience, think of the ways your property buyers will interact on their devices, what they are looking for, how will they browse and how accessible is your website to them.
Above are just a few tips and guidelines for building remarkable custom real estate website but we of course did not cover every aspect. There are some features that we didn’t shed light on such as:
- custom search options
- Contact information display
- Call to action elements
- Effective landing pages
- Neighborhood highlights
Turnkey or Custom Property Website – Last Thoughts
In last 5 years, we have seen emergence of turnkey website builders that deliver simple real estate websites at small cost. However, most of these real estate website builders struggle when it comes to search engine visibility and customization. Website templates greatly limit your creativity and imaginativeness in terms of website changes. This is the reason why established real estate firms build custom property buying and research websites from scratch.
If you have been pondering on the question ‘how to design real estate websites’ and reading till now have not answered all your questions, then, email us at email@example.com to request a free consultation session. Our team will answer all your questions related to custom web design and development of real estate websites.