This article is part of a larger series on Small Business Websites.
Effective real estate websites have a clear and compelling design that is easy for visitors to navigate. We gathered the best real estate website design ideas and tips, from site design to content inclusion, to give your business an edge.
While you can use these tips to create a customized website from scratch, the process will most likely take weeks of time and require expensive tools or expertise. This is why we also encourage you to consider using a real estate website building platform instead as these are often simple to use and offer easy customization.
Here are the 25 best real estate web design ideas and tips:
1. Include Long Tail Keywords in Content
Search engines, such as Google, scan the web looking for websites that provide a good search result for users. Since search engines cannot actually see your website, they scan your site’s consent to determine if it’s a good match for a particular search query. So, to get your real estate website found in search, employ search engine optimization strategies including keyword research, and use those keywords throughout your website and web pages.
More specifically, don’t underestimate the value of long tail keywords. These are longer, more specific keywords, such as “equestrian properties in Idaho” or “new condos for sale in Tampa.” While long tail keywords will yield fewer searches, they will help you reach the right audience, who are much more likely to convert. Think of it like quality versus quantity.
As an example of the benefit of long tail keywords, think about what your audience might search to find the homes and listings you offer. They might search “real estate agent Chicago,” but they will find so many options that they’ll be unlikely to immediately choose you as your real estate agent. However, if you optimize your website for the keyword, “Commercial properties Chicago Heights,” your audience is much more likely to take action on your website.
2. Offer Online Appointment Booking to Easily Schedule Viewings
The beauty of a website is that people can access it at any time of day. However, you want to give people a way to achieve their goal in the moment in which they’re motivated, and so your website should give site visitors a way to either schedule a viewing or request a callback to set up a viewing.
If you’re building a real estate website with WordPress, you can implement online booking using a booking plugin. Alternatively, most site builders offer appointment booking tools or integrations. For example, GoDaddy is the best website builder with an advanced built-in booking system that makes it incredibly easy to not only build a site, but collect leads and generate more sales.
3. Optimize Your Landing Pages
Landing pages are standalone web pages made specifically to advertise something specific—for instance, this is where a potential client might land after clicking on your paid ads. Whether you build one yourself or have it outsourced to a place like Real Geeks, chances are that as a real estate professional, you want to have an effective, lead-generating landing page.
While many people online talk about “secret landing page strategies,” landing pages that convert can be very simple. From my experience as a conversion copywriter, here are my best tips to create an effective landing page:
- Use customer-focused language: Think about the specific result your audience is looking for. Even though you might be a top-producing agent, your readers will feel more connected to you if you say “Find your new home in less time” instead of listing out your qualifications.
- Choose one clear call to action: Confusion is the enemy of conversion. Don’t ask your readers to sign up to your list, view your listings, and follow you on social media. Pick one action for your audience to take.
- Use clear communication: Don’t try to use clever phrases or fancy words. In general, the highest conversion rates come from extremely simple language. Being clear and direct is more impactful than being clever.
- Choose a user-friendly layout: Don’t overwhelm your website visitors with too many images, colors, fonts, or places to go. Leave empty space on your pages and make sure your call to action is clear on every page.
- Include social proof: Clearly display your positive testimonials from previous clients. You can have the best copy and website design, but readers will want to hear about other people’s experience with you.
Overall, keep your landing page simple. You can read more about how to construct the perfect landing page.
4. Incorporate Real Estate Agent Schema in Your Site
Schema markup is a fancy way of classifying words and tags found on your site’s code that help search engines more easily recognize elements on your website. The reason schema is an important component of website design is it can result in increased rankings in search engine results, which can result in more leads and higher click-through rates.
You can learn to manually add schema to your website by using HTML code, or you can activate a schema plug-in to simplify the process. For more real estate website tips on how to get your site to rank on Google, we published a guide to the three primary ways to rank.
5. Choose a Quality Real Estate Website Template or Theme
Your real estate web design is about more than just looking good, it needs to include the right functionalities so that your site helps fuel your business’ growth. An integral step in real estate web design is to choose the right template or theme. These serve as the foundation of your entire website, so choosing a quality theme that not only looks good, but works well, is vital.
Want an easier way to build a real estate website? There are a number of great website builders with eye-catching templates you can use. For example, with Market Leader, you get a free branded website that is specifically designed to help you collect leads and capture searches. Market Leader also sells exclusive leads, which means they only sell one lead to one agent. Click here to get started.
6. Take Advantage of Listing Integrations Like IDX or Nestio
It’s important to have your listings integrated on your website. When potential buyers visit your website, it should be a one-stop shop where they can easily search for a home and contact you. While this seems like a difficult task, there are listing management tools such as IDXpress and Nestio that make the process easy. All you need to do is insert a simple line of code into your website, and your customers will be able to access your listings.
Real estate website builders typically have this functionality built-in, meaning you don’t have to install anything. However, it is worth pointing out that Bluehost, our recommended hosting platform, will give you a site with IDX capabilities as well as a personalized domain, a business email address, and fast site speed for as little as $2.95 per month. Click here to get started.
7. Be Sure to Include Search
Most people are coming to your website to search for listings, so make sure you give them that capability by including a search bar. When constructing your site in WordPress, be sure to select a theme with a simple and outstanding search bar front and center. This decreases viewers’ confusion and increases the time they spend on your site.
For proof this strategy works, start examining the homes pages of places like Zillow, Realtor.com, or Homelight. Choosing the right WordPress theme to build out your site makes all the difference in the world for giving your potential customers what they’re looking for.
Pro tip: To stand out from the other real estate search engines, use advanced search filters. Consider your competitive advantage. For some, this may be your local knowledge, and with that, what locals are looking for in a property or your niche real estate offering. For example, a real estate agent in Santa Barbara may include unique search filters such as low fire risk areas or homes in certain school districts.
8. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
People are bombarded with information online. To stand out, focus on the quality of your website over quantity. A website with five pages of rich quality content that resonates with your audience is far more effective than a website with 20 pages of generic information and an empty, unused blog.
If you can provide truly useful information specific to your target market, clients will appreciate your expertise. Also, by keeping your information specific and useful to your geographic area, you’ll have an easier time ranking on Google to look like the authority you are.
9. Focus on Social Proof by Adding Client Testimonials
If you’ve ever looked up reviews for a restaurant or a product you’ve considered buying, you understand the importance of social proof. One of the most powerful ways to give this to potential clients is to include candid testimonials from former clients on your site.
When a potential client sees the genuine words coming from a family, couple, or individual just like them, it feels far more personal. You can easily survey your network and manage testimonials using a tool like RealSatisfied by Placester, which gives you three free testimonials. It’s also a great option as testimonials collected by the platform can then be easily integrated with websites.
10. Create a User-focused Mobile Experience
A lot of web designers plug the fact that they offer “responsive designs,” but if all you do is have a platform that can be accessed on a mobile phone, you’re missing the point. A basic responsive design is the minimum expectation—it isn’t enough to bring visitors back. Instead, you have to give users an experience that they want to repeat.
Consider how users interact on their devices and then design around that. How will they interact on their device? What are they looking for? How accessible is it? How will they browse? Start thinking of how potential clients are using their phones when designing your website, and you’ll design a website that will capture more time on site and create a more likely contact with you.
11. Evoke Positive Emotion to Connect With Buyers
Emotions drive behavior. When someone feels inspired, amazed, impressed, or even has a great laugh, they are far more likely to share your content. When you think about real estate website ideas for content design, consider how those things will make your potential client feel.
Pro tip: Use pictures of happy, smiling people on your website and social media. People want to do business with people who are happy and who are making others happy. You should also snap a photo of yourself and every client you work with. Use these photos on your website to provide security and social proof.
12. Include Multiple Calls to Action
If you want potential clients to contact you, sometimes you have to encourage them. Directing a behavior is termed a “call to action,” and an essential addition to the rest of the real estate website ideas on this list. Customers can love what you offer, but often won’t think of the next action to take, so make it easy for them. Advertisements on television that tell you to “call now” are using a call to action, and it’s the same concept when applied to your website.
Remember that you want to establish one clear call to action, but you should repeat that multiple times. Multiple calls to action could include an “email me” button, “contact us” call out, or “call now” suggestion.
13. Make Sure Your Website Loads Quickly
Users don’t stick around to wait for a slow-loading website. If your website doesn’t load quickly enough, not only will people leave your site, Google will too. To test your site speed, an amazing tool for every website owner to look at and bookmark is Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
This tool will do a complete analysis of your site (for everything but aesthetics) and assign you a score from 0 to 100, with the goal of getting as high a score as possible. It will completely outline everything right and wrong with your site and give you tips to resolve them.
14. Incorporate Chatbots on Key Lead Capture Pages
There will always be potential leads who visit your website and want more information, but don’t actually fill out your contact form. Freshdesk Messaging is a live chat platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to engage website visitors with targeted content 24/7. It also automatically uploads their basic contact information into your customer relationship management (CRM) software so you can follow up with leads quickly and easily. Best of all, the basic version of Freshdesk Messaging is free. Click here to try it today.
15. Immediately Convey Who, What & How You Serve
Any small business website needs to immediately show (without having to scroll) who you are, what you do, and who you serve. Most people scan more than they read, so the messaging on your homepage must be direct, powerful, and to the point.
Be sure that your role as a real estate agent or broker is crystal clear, as well as your specialty and who you serve. Being clear in your messaging helps the people who get to your site to engage with it by immediately finding what is relevant to them.
16. Prioritize Usability Over Aesthetics
Sometimes you get great real estate website ideas that are tough to implement. Everyone wants a drop-dead gorgeous website, but some of those sites cost a fortune, don’t load quickly, and aren’t easy to use.
Some of the best-performing sites on the internet are pretty darn simple. You may not have the budget to build the most high-tech website ever, but you can make it easy to use. Keep your site simple, clean, and easy to use. Far too many people get lost in shiny object syndrome and forget that their website is primarily about client functionality. Look at Craigslist—it might not be flashy, but that simple website is used by hundreds of thousands of people.
Generating business from a real estate website is about helping users find what they want quickly and easily. Label your users’ options conspicuously and limit the number of choices. Make the most likely choices obvious. Have easy-to-identify contact options on all pages. Don’t make users pick up the phone. Let them know that their request has been received and confirmed, and they won’t have a reason to keep searching on other sites.
17. Make Sure Photos Represent the Market You Serve
If you’re selling property in Iowa, it makes no sense to have a background photo of New York City. Make your homepage photos represent the area you serve, and show clients a wonderful backdrop they can recognize.
Wherever you are, a good real estate website tip is to make sure you’re highlighting what makes that area unique. For example, if you serve the San Francisco Bay Area, consider using a photo of the iconic Victorian “painted ladies” in the center of your landing page. If your business is in upstate New York, consider showcasing a traditional Tudor.
18. Save Time With Video Tours
A study conducted by Wyzowl found that 66% of people prefer to learn about a product or service via a short video compared to only 18% of people who would rather read about it. Consider using video home tours in addition to professional photos. This can help you save time as it will help people further decide if they want to set up a viewing to see the home in person.
This makes video a great strategy for any website, but especially those who wish to get leads should think about how their product or service can improve their lifestyle. For example, if you live in Southern California, you can include videos of people riding a boat or sitting on a beach. Use the culture of your area to set the stage and communicate the lifestyle your clients want to achieve.
19. Add Visual Interest With Free Stock Photos
Stock photos can be a perfect addition to your website—if they are used wisely. While you want the majority of your photos to reflect your neighborhood, restaurants nearby, popular parks, and your actual market, there is a place for stock photos in your posts.
Using stock photos in backgrounds to represent your neighborhood and inserting them in blog posts can add interest to the piece. The rule of thumb is that your use of stock photography should not misrepresent the reality of your community. To find quality stock photos for free, try Pixabay or Pexels.
20. Keep Your Website’s Navigation Simple
Even though you might have a great play on words, it’s best for your website visitors to have straightforward titles and sections. We’ve seen a lot of businesses and agents obscure great content behind playful titles in their navigation. Don’t do this.
Sometimes you think your audience will get the joke when you include playful or fun titles or tabs, but they often don’t. Use conventional titles for the elements in your navigation. For example, within your real estate website, use a traditional “about” tab, rather than something framed differently, like “my motto.”
21. Create Neighborhood Profile Pages
Some real estate agents have found that neighborhood profile pages are a big draw, and also a wonderful way to be discovered online. You can create guides to help people learn more about your town or city. You can then offer the guide as a downloadable product to generate more leads, or compile the guide into a search engine optimization (SEO) optimized blog post to help your website rank.
Another valuable option is to use a tool like Parkbench to sponsor an interactive platform for your entire community. Parkbench sites make it easy for members of your community to post and find deals and make connections. As the sponsor, you will have the opportunity to build relationships and become well known in your community as the go-to real estate professional. Check it out today.
22. Use Headlines & Bullet Points
People who read online usually have short attention spans and want information to be easily digestible. Website visitors often scan in an “F” pattern, making headlines and bullet points even more effective. If your website has large blocks of text, it’s time to update the format.
23. Compress Images to Ensure They Load Quickly
If you’ve ever gone to a webpage and had the image load slowly, you know how frustrating this can be. Many people leave sites that load slowly, and photos are particularly important in real estate. Make sure you resize images on your real estate website prior to uploading. A fast-loading website makes visitors much more likely to stay and browse.
Pro tip: Use an image compression plugin to automatically compress images uploaded to your WordPress website.
24. Maintain Brand Consistency for All Single Property Websites
It’s not uncommon for savvy agents to create single property websites for some of their listings. It’s smart for agents and brokerages to use templates to keep branding consistent across multiple website pages. Using website templates is an effective and easy solution that can be branded to convey your unique style.
25. Have a Plan to Generate Website Traffic
We highly recommend laying out your real estate website ideas and design before beginning to construct your site. Knowing what your game plan is, how you will get traffic to your site, how you want visitors to interact, and what type of content you will post will direct your design and must be determined prior to building. “If you build it, they will come” only works if you are Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams.”
Learn more about the best ways to gain site visibility and to increase website traffic with these easy-to-implement website marketing strategies.
The best real estate website ideas often help you map out your online presence before the design process even begins. Planning how to maximize the effectiveness of your website with good structure and additional features can give you a leg up on your competition and help you dominate your geographic area.
If you want to simplify the process of building a beautiful and effective real estate website, consider using Placester. Placester is a lead generation service that offers an easy-to-set-up website specifically for real estate websites. They even have a free plan for National Association of Realtors (NAR) members. Start building the website you need with Placester today.