As one of the website developers here at Tribu, I, sometimes, come across projects that are so fun to build I have a hard time closing my laptop at 6:00. I am fortunate enough to say I am working on one of these projects as we speak! I’m building the IDX for one of our Real Estate tribe partners and have not only learned a great deal about what software is needed for an amazing website but through my research, I am also seeing what unique features have set some of the best real estate websites on the market apart from their competitors! This month, Hubspot shared The 11 Best Real Estate Agent Websites of 2021 and as I clicked through the list, I was happily surprised to see such incredible use of modern technology in the real estate world! After all, like the article says, “ 44% of home buyers look at online listings as the first step in their home buying process..”, which makes it more important than ever to consult with a digital marketing agency when designing your online presence as a real estate agent.By no means is the following list of features exhaustive, but these are the ones that kept me scrolling as if I, too, were in the market to buy a home!
Search and Sorting
The Internet Retailer KPIs & Site Search Survey, a survey where over 100 e-commerce companies were asked about how site search impacts their KPIs, found a link between site search and top and bottom-line metrics. Forrester reported that “43% of site visitors go immediately to search boxes.” Salesforce reported that users using a sites search box “spend 2.6 times more” than those who do not, and kissmetrics reported that “12% of users will go to a competitor’s site after an unsuccessful search.”In real estate, offering users the ability to sort through listings according to their specific criteria, as well as search quickly and accurately, is one of the most important features for your website. During the home buying process, buyers scroll through an enormous amount of home listings to find the one that pulls them in. The easier and more accurate you make the search experience on your website, the more likely users are to find their dream property and choose you for that home buying experience!
Compelling Hero Banners
The “Hero Banner”, a large or oversized web banner image that is pinned to the top of a page, is the very first thing that your visitors will see when they visit your website. Aside from property listings, the hero section should be considered the most prominent part of your page. It should be captivating, compelling, and uncomplicated. It is your very first impression, so you must make it count! One of my favorite real estate hero banners was listed in an article titled “Hero Image Website Design: 21 Best Examples & Templates for Your Inspirationby uxplanet. In the article, they showcased how Charbonnel Town utilizes their hero banner in the most stunning and unforgettable manner! It’s not hard to see that this design was very well thought out and planned to perfection!
Lastly, one of the most unique and brilliant ideas that I came across in my research and felt was a great share was the way in which one agent led the user to their own area of interest instantaneously. After the initial landing page load, a pop-up asked me if I was interested in buying or selling a home with him. Then, I was led to the respective page of my selection. This feature, I felt, was genius because it gave me the impression that my time was valuable to the agent and he wanted to get me where I wanted to go in an effortless manner. What a great first impression at the start of what some buyers may consider to be an excruciating process!As I stated earlier, this list is by far an exhaustive list but sheds light on how to customize some of the most valuable areas of your real estate website that not only drives traffic but leads to customer loyalty and lead capture.I can’t encourage you enough that before you rush into a quick website launch on your own, consult with a digital marketing agency to guide you through the process so you only have to do it once. If done right, once will be enough!