When It’s Time to Redesign Your Real Estate Website
When should investors, agents, and companies redesign their real estate websites? What factors and elements should be considered when these occasions arise?
There are several stages at which real estate companies and independent professionals should consider website design, and redesign. So when are they, and what are are the most important features and factors to keep in mind in order to reap more of the desired results without waste?
5 Times to Consider Real Estate Website Redesign
- When major website design changes become expected
- When altering branding and positioning
- Needing better results
- When adding new products or services
- On planning to sell a real estate business
Obviously, every real estate company and independent investor needs some form of website. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a work of art or a massive investment. It needs to be functional. However, as real estate careers and businesses grow, so do the requirements of real estate websites. Perhaps additional features need to be added. Maybe Google rolls out a massive update which prefers a certain medium like video, audio or social. Perhaps new niches are entered and current online branding just doesn’t enjoy synergy with it. More recently we saw a huge pivot in the development of mobile responsive websites and HTML5. While real estate pros and companies often can’t afford a complete redesign, or justify the investment at every new tweak, it is hoped this recent pivot will be the last of its kind for a while.
Today, websites can often make up the bulk of a business’ value. It not only needs to look good, and have traffic, but should incorporate various elements that can be used to generate income online. This may include membership and subscription features, email opt-ins, affiliate programs, and advertising space. This may be overkill or unnecessary for many on a regular basis, but can significantly increase appeal and value for business buyers.
VIP Features in Real Estate Website Redesign
Obviously, the above inclusions might not apply to the bulk of real estate agents, investors, and even brokerages, investment firms. However, they can be great moves. So what really matters? What’s most important? Some of the VIPs in real estate websites today include:
- Real estate blogs
- CMS (Content Management Systems)
- Opt-in features for lead list building
- Website hosting
- Contact information
The value of different social media platforms can be a bit of a roller coaster for real estate businesses today. The blog is much more of a staple, even the heart of the online enterprise that fuels the success of the rest. Hosting, security, and opt-in capabilities are all necessities, but shouldn’t be over-thought. Choose proven, reliable systems and providers, plug and play.
What is of utmost importance is contact information and function. Most people start their home searches online, but so far few actually complete the whole process in a click or single session. The main goal of most real estate websites is to get that phone to ring, or at least generate hot email inquiries. So focus on that. Make it easy and attractive to do. If your real estate website does this well, that’s what’s most important.
Testing & Expanding Real Estate Websites
There can be a lot of seemingly tough decisions to make when considering real estate website redesign, especially with the cost and how long they ought to last. One of the great ways to work through this, and determine the very best moves, is with testing. There are many factors to consider and compare. So why not start with landing pages, mini-sites, unique property sites, and squeeze pages as extensions of your current site and hone your testing on them. Then, if applicable, adopt the winning elements on your main real estate website. Some elements to consider testing include:
- Page layout
- Calls to action
- Contact information placement
- Domain names
- Phone numbers
- Using static versus video or slider landing pages
Internet Domain Names and Redesign
When redesigning real estate websites keep old web domain names or you risk losing years of hard work and investment. If you’ll be adopting new domains, at least forward the old ones to your new site. Go long with new domains and reserve them for as long as you are able to. This may also be prime time to acquire multiple variations of names and apply for trademark protections.
Website design costs can vary incredibly widely. Some may cost less than $100, others over $100,000. What may be most important in this decision is your priorities in the process. What’s more valuable; your time in overseeing the development or a few extra dollars? What about updates and reducing the cost of ongoing ownership and management?
Make Some Noise
A new website makeover is an awesome reasons to do some extra real estate marketing and PR. Shout about it. Bring people back, get new ones, attract strategic partners.