How to craft a fantastic real estate website

Websites can be the perfect way for professionals to showcase their in-depth knowledge of properties like foreclosed houses, or highlight their unique skill set that sets them apart.

Every real estate professional knows they have to focus on marketing. However, not everyone understands how to achieve that goal. In today's fast-paced market, there needs to be an emphasis on value and accessibility, and more users are on their mobile devices than ever before.

In order to capture the attention of these would-be buyers and sellers, real estate agents should take a look at their website. Or, better yet, start to build one if they haven't done so already. These resources can be the perfect way for professionals to showcase their in-depth knowledge of properties like foreclosed houses, or highlight their unique skill set that sets them apart.

Simplicity is the best policy
Unfortunately for some real estate professionals, a website could seem like a daunting challenge. With so many options available, finding the right place to start could be difficult. However, it is best to keep it simple.

According to Bernice Ross, a contributor to Inman News, not enough real estate agents disclose all the necessary information. This can be a great place for fledgling website designers to get going - make sure all the right stuff is on there. For example, visitors should have an easy time finding out who the agent is and where they work. In fact, a surprising number of professionals don't display their entire contact information. Everything - from city, state and zip code to phone number and area code - should be prominently featured on the main page of a website.

In addition, Ross explained that a site needs to load quickly. Long waits drive users away, especially when using a mobile device. This means a site should be simple, which is good news for real estate agents who are concerned about over-complicated websites. Flash applications and other fancy graphics can slow everything down, while text and photos tend to load first.

The best websites are supported by great content. Real estate agents can learn everything they need to from Courthouse Retrieval System's collection of property data, mortgage records and much more. This expansive resource can be the perfect compliment to any professional's marketing strategy.

Focus on great design
Great real estate websites can stand apart from a crowd, and the best way to pull that off is with an attractive design. A post about a Realtor's knowledge of foreclosed houses doesn't have to be all text - instead, it can be supported by photos, videos and links. Underneath a shiny exterior, though, needs to be a website that works for the agent.

One way it can do this - while being attractive at the same time - is with an emphasis on value, according to web designer Brian Casel, in an article for In essence, consumers need to care about the services provided by the real estate agent, and understand what they'll get for their money. In order to do this, the website design should be all about them. While a little biography on the professional is needed, the visitor's needs should come first.

Moreover, a busy, distracted website can impede on this goal, Casel explained. No user should be confused about what they're looking at or where to go. Therefore, a simple design often works best. Navigation can be divided into two segments with only a small amount of links. At the top of the page are the most important pieces of information, like specifics about products and services. Other items, such as FAQs, can be slightly hidden, although still easy to reach.

Overall, the best real estate websites are clear, concise and direct. All visitors should be able to understand exactly what they're looking at and why a certain real estate agent is better than all those other guys. With these tools in place, successful marketing could be a breeze.

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