Real Estate is a Special Industry in and of itself:
Only rarely does the average individual need to trust a professional with half his life’s earnings. Anyone in real estate needs to work hard on winning the confidence of the average home buyer.
This is where web design can be so important in the real estate world. Effective website design can be very important to any possibility of success in the real estate business – more so than any other. The website happens to be the first point of contact that a potential client may have with such a business. The right kind of design is likely to inspire confidence in such a visitor and can persuade him to actually get in touch. What exactly is it that goes into quality real estate website design though?
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First off, you can look at the latest in web design trends and themes. Starting off with a quality hosting provider is very important. But that doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. Every hosting company has promotional offers for hosting as well as free domain name offers. Right now Hostgator is having a 60% off promotion, for example.
Now you could certainly start by looking at your most successful competitors to see what they do. While benchmarking like this could give you a few ideas, you will need to venture farther afield and keep an open mind. It would be a good idea, in fact, to look at online galleries that list award-winning website designs from all over the Internet. Look for web design resources like Creattica and aWWWards that take you deep into every innovative possibility that creative website designers come up with.
You could take note of the way modern web designers use every design element – right from the choice of color and layout, to the content and different psychological calls to action. While you may be a bit cautious of trying anything adventurous with your real estate website design, being stodgy and safe doesn’t win you any points. Being new and inspiring in a tasteful way can be an excellent way to win your clients’ approval.
A well thought-out real estate website design is so important that it just couldn’t be a good idea for you to do this entirely on your own. It could be difficult for anyone who needs to be elbow deep in the nitty-gritty of building a website to actually think about the big picture. As the owner of the real estate business that you are building a website for, it should be your job to keep an eye on the general direction that your website takes. You need to hire a professional website designer.
Even so, there are a few things that you do need to personally make sure of. The best website designs come to those who work in close collaboration with their designers. Think about the things that really determine success with a real estate website design.
- Does your designer make sure that your call-to-action appears right above the fold – without any need for scrolling?
- Does the designer seem to understand how important it is in the real estate business to inspire trust? Does he make sure that your contact information is right there on the front page? Is there a prominent link to this contact information on every other page?
- It isn’t enough to make sure that everything on your website looks professional. Every part of your website that visitors might interact with – the contact forms, especially – need a design that inspires trust.
- The content that you place on your website needs to be fresh and up-to-date at all times. You need to make sure that your web designer designs things in such a way that you have easy access to the areas that you need to operate – so you can publish new content at all times. You need to make sure that there is Facebook and Twitter integration included. Those need to be designed with ease-of-use in mind as well.
- It may not be your web designer’s primary job to think about how optimized your site is for the popular search engines, but it does need to place at least some emphasis on this.
- Whatever content he includes on your website, does need to be optimized for the keywords that are most important to you.
- Your website designer needs to think of the best ways possible to retain the interest of your visitors. For instance, he could observe that property buyers tend to be very insecure about their purchases; they worry about how they have no idea how to determine whether a property is a good investment for the future. They certainly would appreciate free, in-depth guidance on how the property market works. In fact, they would love a free e-book on the subject. Websites that offer investment services have a great opportunity here. If they could engage their clients with honest and high-quality guidance, they would stand a good chance of winning them over. You should make sure that your website designer thinks of things like this.
These pointers here only try to give you a general idea of the kind of direction you need to take with your real estate website design. The more time you spend studying the design principles that the best examples in the industry use, the better the lessons will be that you learn to bring to your website.