Real Estate Web Design Mistakes Not To Make With Your Site

A misconception that many people have with their website is that more traffic is better; however with many types of sites this is not fully accurate.  As a real estate agent or broker, you are trying to squeeze every lead out of your website that you possibly can.  As a real estate professional your job is to sell and the first thing that you think of is “I need to have a killer website”.

Looks That Can Kill You

All Flash Websites or Splash Pages – Flash was the ‘it-thing’ in the late 90′s and early 2000′s as it added that visual appeal and made a website stand out from the rest.  It has more down sides though in today’s market as search engines cannot fully read and follow all of the content and links that are embedded in that .swf file.  Keep in mind that many mobile and tablet devices cannot show flash content, so you have limited your viewers experience greatly and potentially lost a lead as they cannot view your real estate site fully.

All javascript menus

Search engines can read javascript to a certain extent though and having a full blown javascript menu may look high tech, it is actually hurting the ability for your website to be crawled fully by the search engine.  Users of smart phones and tablets can have a hard time navigating the site depending on how large your menu is.  They may just leave the site because they cannot find what they were looking for fast enough.

There are also the javascript menu’s that entirely utilize images, some look really nice but once again you are throwing usability out of the window.  The page load time will be increased greatly as it has to load each image into the navigation.  CSS is very flexible and can create just as good of looking, if not better menu’s then javascript.  CSS will load faster, be search engine friendly and can work on all devices.

All graphic website

These are the sites that were beautifully made in Photoshop or other design software and simply cut into pieces and a websites was created.  Problem with a lot of these types of real estate websites is they really only have one real purpose and that is to look good.  The property listings are either not there or are framed inside of a small box that makes usability difficult.  Load times are extremely high, so you are not making your viewers wait for all of those pretty graphics to load…oh wait they already closed your site and went to the next because they were tired of waiting.  Search engines need content in order to properly place your website within their algorithm, problem is your content are all in images that the search engines cannot read.

iFrames

I am still amazed that real estate web design companies and IDX providers still think that framing the content in a website is the best solution.  It is by far one of the worst things you can do.  In the picture below you will see a simple website layout; the large box in the middle would be where the property listing information would go in the iframe.  To most it looks normal, like many other websites.  What lies beneath the code is another story and one that will get you nowhere with the search engines.

Not Mobile Friendly (Responsive)

Some people may argue that their website does not need to be mobile friendly, or as it is called in the industry responsive. We live in a NOW society where people want results NOW and not later, even if that later is a few minutes of having to go to a computer.  You have about 15 seconds to capture that viewer’s attention before they leave and look elsewhere.  If your website is hard or even impossible to navigate on a mobile device you are losing out not only on potential leads but sales as well.  Remember with a cell phone they can simply click on your telephone number to call you, they do not have to type in anything once they are on your website.

Having property listing information easily available to mobile users is just another sales tool you have to be better than the other real estate brokers and agents in your area.  If you have the knowledge of knowing what marketing tactics are better for your real estate business, why not go after those tactics and utilize them to the fullest? More details here: http://www.demopoliscreditunion.com/save-money-when-buying-and-selling-real-estate-with-a-realtor-2/

In Conclusion

I am not against any “non professional” web designer or graphic artist building you your real estate website, just keep some of these points in mind when laying out your website ideas on paper first.

You want your website to give you the best possible advantage it can in helping your real estate business get to and stay on top of the local market.  If you are using some of the design flaws I have laid out above, please consider getting them fixed as at the end of the day it can only benefit your business more.