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Real Estate Website Design Isn’t Just Colors and Page Layout

web design trends

A Google search for "website designer" yields 591 million results. Add the words "real estate" to the front of it ("real estate website design") and the results shrink down to 77 million. That's still a few million too many for meaningful research. You're still likely to get thousands of different company results if you add in your city. There must be some money in this business, as there are a lot of people doing it.

Let's assume that you're not happily heading in the wrong direction, thinking that your major design considerations should be:

  • How big can my personal photo be?
  • How well do the site colors go together?
  • Can my top producer badge be on every page?
  • Can I have a lot of Flash or other moving stuff going on?
  • How many popups can I have to make visitors sign in?

There are other things that can be on this list, with the common denominator being that they're all relatively unimportant, and can actually reduce how effective real estate website design can be. So, what constitutes good real estate website design? The simple and most critical answer is that it creates a website that generates qualified leads that result in commissions.

We're not saying that colors and appealing page layouts aren't important, only that they need to be in the appropriate place on the priority list. There are technical and SEO factors involved in layout, navigation, and even colors. People bounce off a site if it's unappealing, so we don't want that.

There's so much more however. There is serious concern for page layout, what is where on a page. If you're going to design a site with one or two sidebar options, what goes in that sidebar and why? How do you assure that the right information and visitor options are "above the fold?" That phrase comes from the newspaper industry. The most important information in the paper, particularly on the front page, had to be "above the fold." This means that it is on the top half of the page above where the newspaper folds so people will see it.

For a website, "above the fold" is a moving target because it means above where a visitor must start scrolling to view more info. This of course depends on the size and orientation of the screen on which they're viewing the site.

Since we're on the topic of screen size, perhaps the most critical element of real estate website design these days is whether the site is truly "mobile responsive." To be truly mobile responsive, a site must not only shrink automatically to fit the device screen, but also make adjustments to the way material is displayed to best present it for viewing on smaller screens. We consider this extremely important.

A real estate website should be designed with the major goal of attracting visitors, capturing their contact information, nourishing a relationship, and moving them to the closing table. All of the components, from color selections, through information positioning and navigation, to great mobile presentation are important.

To view the original article, visit the WebsiteBox blog.