Winning Features for any Real Estate Web Site

Make the design and content of your site shine.

March 1, 2012

Your Web site should make clear what’s special about you—your capabilities, your experience, and your unique value proposition. But a great real estate Web site can also be a terrific hub of information for people living in—or interested in—your community, says 1&1 Internet Inc. (www.1and1.com), an international company that offers Web services, including development, hosting, and domain registration. Here’s how to set the content and design of your site apart.

The Content.

You’re trying to captivate Web visitors with pithy language that telegraphs your success. Make sure your content is also:

Accurate and Approachable: Whether you’re telling the story of your team or describing the home buying process, make a good first impression with information that’s up-to-date, relevant, honest, and jargon-free. Transparency is important, too. Be aware of your state’s legal requirements to include such information as your broker’s name, license number, business address, and telephone number.

Customer-centric: Testimonials are a great way to let others know what to expect from you. They add depth to your site and boost your reputation.

Property rich: As a real estate professional, your goal is to guide clients through a property transaction. Start by being a comprehensive source of current market information. Showcase your listings, but also take advantage of your MLS’s IDX technology to provide a window to all properties on the market.,

Knowledge rich: Visitors to your site probably know right away that you’re a real estate pro—but what does that mean? Explain each aspect of your job. Spell out which communities you serve, and offer links to resources such as sites of local schools, cultural activities, and commerce.

Analytical: Commenting on material from third-party sources, such as articles and sales stats that demonstrate housing trends in the area, can broaden a visitor’s knowledge and show you’re up to speed on the market.

The Design.

Web site designers focus on creating not just a pleasing look but also a great user experience. Your Web site should incorporate:

Engaging entry points: Use a consistent headline type and beautiful images throughout the site to help break up content and makes it easier to read.

Logical navigation: Make sure information flows between pages so there’s a natural progression of topics and easy way-finding around the site.

A style that matches your business image: Your site should accurately reflect your style and attitude, as well as the nature of your business.

Credibility boosters: Your company logo, awards, and seals of professional and civic groups to which you belong are all good elements to display on your site. Be sure that you have permission to use corporate logos and icons, and follow usage rules for any trademarked terms and imagery.

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