8 things that make the latest generation of real estate website designs stand head-and-shoulders above their 2008 antecedents.
The business of real estate is changing and so too is the technology used by agencies to get their message across to clients and prospects. This is particularly true for real estate websites, which have seen significantly improved over the previous years.
Unlike the website of the 2008 era, the new real estate websites are focused on usability and user experience. The cutting edge sites aren’t filled with “happy talk”, benefit-laden statements or blinking Flash advertisements, instead they are geared towards initiating a dialogue with visitors, and gaining their trust by addressing their needs and demands. Such sites speak honestly and directly to their audience and are winning big.
Although different in their approach and marketing techniques, most real estate website designs in the Middle East use some common tricks to stay in the game. These include:
Client Centric Appraoch
Sites like Bhomes, Allsopp & Allsopp and Palma-re are designed with an end-user in mind. Faster loading times, bespoke property search features, detailed property listing, and candid overviews of services are hallmarks of this new approach.
Targeted to a Particular Region
Instead of bombarding clients and prospects with regional property information, most new websites are skewed towards a particular locality or geographic location. This focus is critical, as it tends to give credibility to a website.
Playing for SEO Glory
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become an indispensable tool for online success. Apart from being fine-tuned for SEO, the latest websites also flaunt a news blog. These blogs are used not only to market services but to keep clients and prospects informed on real estate trends, best places to invest, open houses and special offers. Blogs are also used to supplement and boost an agency’s social media presence.
Visible Call to Action
Unlike older designs, the latest real estate websites are laced with visible “Calls of Action”. Clients and prospects are encouraged to seek additional information or clarification about what’s available, and spend as much time on the site as possible. As per research, agencies spend a disproportionately high volume of work hours to design and develop sites that offer quick and hassle-free navigation.
Taboo of Templets
It is observed that most agencies have rejected template websites in favour of bespoke designs. Most realtors willingly spend exorbitant sums to develop websites that stand out from the rest and offer services in the manner that best suits the brand image.
Use of Latest Technology
Most new real state sites are built on ASP.NET or PHP, and use powerful WCMS platforms such as: DotNetNuke, WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! to stay fresh and updated; a far cry from previous generations of designs.
Social media is a reality very few estate agencies can ignore. The latest generation of real estate sites offer wider integration with social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and even use Youtube videos for promotion and marketing.
Another facet of post-2008 real estate website design is increased accessibility across a myriad of mediums, especially across smart-phones and tablet PCs. This fact is commonly referred to as “responsive web design”.
Below are a few examples of best practices in real estate web design in the Middle East:
The Property Store
Rocky Real Estate
Halcon Real Estate
Coldwell Banker UAE
BRIX Property Partners
Real Choice Real Estate
Mirage Real Estate
Property Shop Investment
Allsopp & Allsopp
Shams Abu Dhabi