According to a joint study by the National Association of Realtors and Google, real estate-related searches on Google grew 253 percent from 2009 to 2013 with no signs of slowing down. The report also highlights 90 percent of home buyers searched online during their home buying process. The good news is you can entice scores of home buyers to check out your online listings. The bad news is you need more than just a website to keep buyers coming back.
The new digital trend is all about clean simplicity and responsive design. If you’re not sure how to create a website that can compete in today’s digital landscape, you’re not alone. These tips, tricks and tools can revamp your lackluster site into a modern online presence that sells.
1. Easy Navigation
It’s tempting to make your realtor website design unique from the rest. But what matters today is easy navigation and a neatly designed website that is simple to use. According to Kissmetrics, people expect to see the navigation at the top of your website and read it from left to right. Placing the navigation in the middle of your site somewhere totally unexpected creates a confusing browsing experience and could increase your bounce rate.
It’s possible to make small tweaks to increase brand awareness. Christie's luxury real estate website embraces the top navigation placement with a small twist. When the page loads, people are drawn to the Christie's logo with the tagline "Luxury real estate specialists worldwide." The right side of the header contains the navigation. However, the site is still easy to use all while drawing a luxury buyer's eye to the Christie's logo.
2. Responsive Design
It’s now design standard to use responsive web design that translates to numerous devices without needing to resize, scroll and make sense of a website. Fortunately most website builders come equipped to handle responsive design and provide ready-to-go site templates that needs minimal tweaking. For example, the Weebly website builder creates sites with responsive design that are mobile optimized. You can also use their themes while still controlling how your site displays on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Perfect for even inexperienced web builders, Weebly makes it easy to set up movable modules to create the look you want.
3. Photos & Videos
Any real estate agent knows great photos can make or break an online listing. But the types of photos you use matter. Incorporate high-resolution images that are clear and focused. Add videos of the property you're showing off and include video testimonials from former clients recommending your services. For inspiration, take a look at Webby Award winning website Zillow. The site uses dynamic photos that span everything a buyer might be interested in from high-rise apartments to ocean-side properties and traditional colonials. The navigation is clean and simple with a search box to look for homes for sale front and center.
4. Calls to Action & Forms
Don't miss out on the opportunity to follow up with curious home buyers. Use CTAs and contact forms that ask what you're looking for to invite home buyers to request more information or to sign up for local market data. Once someone touches base through your site, you have unlimited opportunity to find out exactly what he or she is looking for and how to meet the needs.
5. Dynamic Listings
Your realtor website should automatically show people what they’re looking for. Websites can use Trulia's website looks at your IP address location to show listings of homes in your area. Scroll down on Realtor.com's website and see a map of listings in your area, as well as how many properties are listed, were recently sold and which have open houses and price reductions. You're putting information home buyer's want directly in their hands to click their way to a new property.