In 2014, real estate websites are more important than ever before. Why? Because while printed classifieds and real estate publications are shrinking every month (in both size and readership), online listings, directories, and social media-based marketing is increasing at exponential rates. To stay competitive, you need much, much more than a static HTML page with your listings and contact info. Let’s look at some of the most important trends for 2014 real estate web design, so you can get in on the action before it’s too late!
In 2014, Everything Is Social, and That Doesn’t Just Mean Facebook!
Yes, it’s true, Facebook is ten years old and more ubiquitous than ever, having found its way into operating systems and browsers across the western world. But when you think about social features on a real estate website, you have to go above and beyond social network reposts and links to share on Facebook and Twitter. One-touch buttons should let users share tastefully designed posts with embedded photos and links on a diversity of platforms, from Pinterest to Tumblr to LinkedIn. Support for emerging platforms like Medium and Pheed is definitely a plus.
The REALTOR® Is the Brand: Let Your Personality Shine in Videos
In 2013, videos became much more common for mid-to-high range properties, usually combining sweeping Steadicam shots with gentle music and limited text.
It’s now much more common for REALTORS® to make and share videos of a broad range of properties, posting them on YouTube or Vimeo and embedding them on their personal websites. Or why not replace that stale biography essay with a slick video where you let potential client know who you actually are and why they should work with you?
It’s important for videos to be of high quality, so professional involvement is suggested; shaky camera work or sound polluted with wind noise can degrade your image. As videos become more common, they’re also becoming more fun. Use this to your advantage by letting some of your personality shine through. Introduce the home and each room as the camera explores it. Encourage your editor to use upbeat tunes and slick transitions to keep things interesting, and make sure the branding in the video matches the style of your website. With each video that you post on your website, you’re not just selling a house, you’re also selling yourself as a friendly, accessible, trustworthy REALTOR®.
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet and that it is owned by the largest search engine (Google)? This means that if you take your awesome video content, add it to youtube with a keyword rich description and include a link back to the listing on your website, that it could result in some awesome traffic? Not to mention that you can then take the youtube video and add it to your listings so that users can take advantage of YouTubes awesome video player?
Sleek new design elements are making real estate websites more immersive, informative, and fun than ever before, and more consumers are visiting personal REALTORS®’ websites to take advantage of the enhanced experience. Put yourself on the bleeding edge of this exciting shift in web design and you’re sure to stand out from the crowd.