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Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices with Examples

Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices with Examples

According to Forbes, 21% of business owners and companies, from real estate and marketing agencies to home builders, cite low website traffic as a significant challenge for their online presence. This issue can impact their ability to attract and retain customers, as well as their revenue and overall success.

In the digital marketing era, building a website is no longer a luxury; it's a necessary asset for every business growth. When prospective buyers and renters turn to the internet first, the design and functionality of a real estate website play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining clients.

Not only for the real estate market, a website is a critical component of digital marketing for home builders, aged care providers, and various service sectors to engage with its audience in a competitive online landscape.

From intuitive navigation to stunning visual showcases, the best real estate website design practices highlight properties effectively and enhance the overall user experience.

Let's explore these practices to create a real estate website design that captivates, informs, and ultimately drives success in the competitive real estate market.

Table of Contents

Key Features of Top Real Estate Websites

To be among the best, your real estate web design must excel in several areas:

  1. User Experience (UX): Intuitive navigation, fast loading times, and mobile responsiveness are crucial.
  2. Advanced Search Capabilities: Filters for location, price, property type, and amenities.
  3. High-Quality Visuals: HD images, virtual tours, and interactive floor plans.
  4. Updated Listings: Real-time data on property availability and market trends.
  5. Additional Resources: Market insights, mortgage calculators, and neighbourhood guides
  6. Responsive Design: Website layouts that work well and look good on any device, whether a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  7. Testimonials and Reviews:  Honest feedback and reviews from real users that provide insight into the customer experiences others have had.
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Best Practices for Real Estate Website Design

Attractive Homepage Design

Your homepage often gives visitors the first impression of your real estate business.

A visually appealing and well-organised homepage captures attention and communicates professionalism and trustworthiness. It sets the tone for the user experience and can significantly impact whether visitors explore further or bounce off the site.

Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices With Examples - Inkbot Design

How to Achieve It:
  • Use a clean, uncluttered, visually appealing template that is easy to navigate. Ensure navigation menus, search bars, and call-to-action buttons are easy to find and use.
  • Design intuitive navigation that helps users find information quickly. Use clear labels and logical hierarchies to guide visitors to critical sections like property listings, estate agent profiles, and blog articles.
  • Implement a prominent and easy-to-use search functionality that allows visitors to search for properties based on location, price range, and other criteria.

Create Responsive Layout

A responsive layout ensures your website adjusts to various screen sizes and devices. With the increasing use of mobile devices and tablets for browsing, having a responsive website design ensures that your real estate listings are accessible and visually appealing across all screen sizes.

This accessibility improves user satisfaction by allowing potential buyers to easily browse listings, view property details, and contact agents without encountering usability issues.

Real Estate Website Design Example
How to Achieve It:
  • Use a flexible grid system that adjusts to different screen sizes and resolutions. Frameworks like Bootstrap or CSS Grid are excellent tools for implementing responsive designs.
  • Optimise images to resize appropriately on different devices. 
  • Implement navigation menus that adapt to smaller screens, such as dropdown or hamburger menus, to maintain usability on mobile devices.

Apply Colour Theory

Colour is crucial in evoking emotions and conveying brand identity on your real estate website. By applying colour theory effectively, you can create a cohesive, visually appealing design that enhances user engagement and reinforces your brand message.

Consistent use of colours strengthens your brand identity. Whether through your logo, website elements, or marketing materials, using your brand’s colour palette helps build recognition and familiarity among your audience.

Basic Colour Theory

How to Achieve it:

  • Choose primary and secondary colours that reflect your brand's personality and values. Consistency in using these colours across your website reinforces brand identity.
  • Align your colour choices with the emotions you want to evoke in your audience. For example, blue represents trust and professionalism, and green represents growth and harmony. 
  • Use high contrast between text and background colours to enhance readability. This improves user experience, especially when browsing property details and other content.

Horizontal Scrolling for Intriguing Layout

Horizontal scrolling can provide a unique browsing experience, particularly effective for visual content like image galleries or featured property listings.

This interactive approach can increase user engagement by providing a more dynamic and immersive browsing experience. It also caters to mobile users accustomed to swiping gestures, enhancing accessibility and user satisfaction.

Horizontal Scrolling Example
How to Achieve It:
  • Implement carousels that allow users to swipe or scroll horizontally through images or listings. Ensure smooth and responsive interactions.
  • Use arrows or dots to indicate that users can scroll horizontally for more content. This helps guide users and improves navigation.
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Build Descriptive Page Categories

Clear and descriptive navigation categories help visitors quickly find relevant information or property listings.

Organising your website content effectively improves user experience by reducing frustration and enhancing usability, encouraging visitors to spend more time exploring listings and engaging with your site.

Product Categories In Real Estate Websites
How to Achieve It:
  • Use clear and specific labels for your categories, such as “Luxury Villas,” “Affordable Apartments,” or “Commercial Properties.” This clarity helps users understand what each section contains at a glance.
  • Break down broader categories into more specific subcategories to refine the search process. For instance, under “Homes for Sale,” include “Single-Family Homes,” “Condos,” and “Townhouses.”

Keep it Concise with a Short Website Copy.

Online users have limited attention spans and prefer to skim content rather than read every word.

Concise and well-structured copy communicates essential information efficiently, making it easier for visitors to understand property details, amenities, and services at a glance. A short website copy improves readability and encourages users to delve deeper into property listings.

How to Achieve It:
  • Break down complex information into bullet points or numbered lists to simplify scanning.
  • Keep property descriptions and other texts brief and to the point, focusing on the most critical details that users need to know.

Ensure Clear Indication of Property Location

 Location is a primary consideration for real estate buyers. Displaying property locations with maps and neighbourhood descriptions helps potential buyers evaluate proximity to schools, workplaces, and amenities.

This transparency builds trust and enables informed decision-making, increasing the likelihood of inquiries, property viewings, and buying decisions.

Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices With Examples - Inkbot Design
How to Achieve It:
  • Use tools like Google Maps to integrate interactive maps directly into property listings. This allows users to see the property’s exact location and explore nearby points of interest.
  • Provide detailed information about the surrounding area. Highlight schools, parks, shopping centres, and other attractions that could appeal to buyers.

Hierarchical Grids for Organised Listings

Organising property listings in hierarchical grids or filtered views helps users browse and compare properties efficiently.

Structured presentation with precise categorisation and filtering options simplifies navigation and facilitates quick property discovery and evaluation. This user-friendly approach encourages exploration and supports informed decision-making by prospective buyers.

How to Achieve It:
  • Design listing grids with a clear hierarchy, emphasising premium listings through larger images or prominent placement.
  • Maintain uniformity across listing displays to streamline user navigation and focus on property details effectively.

Include Progressive Disclosure

Progressive disclosure enhances the user interface by showing only the most essential information upfront and revealing additional details as needed.

This approach prevents overwhelming users with too much information upfront and maintains a clean, organised design. You enhance usability and engagement by guiding users through a structured exploration of property features or services.

Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices With Examples - Inkbot Design
How to Achieve It:
  • Use expandable sections or “read more” links to show extra content. For example, initial property descriptions can be brief, with an option to expand and read more details.
  • Organise content into tabs that users can switch between, such as “Property Details,” “Amenities,” and “Location Information.”

Create Clear Hit Areas

Clear hit areas refer to designing clickable elements (buttons, links, menus) with sufficient size and spacing to ensure easy interaction. This is particularly important for touch devices, where users may need more precision.

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Clear hit areas make it easier for users to navigate your website and interact with essential elements without frustration.

How to Achieve It:
  • Design buttons and links to be large enough to be easily clicked or tapped. Avoid using tiny buttons that are difficult to interact with.
  • Ensure there is enough space between clickable items to prevent users from accidentally clicking the wrong link, which is particularly important on mobile devices.

Offer a 3D Property Tour.

Virtual property tours provide an immersive experience that allows potential buyers to explore properties as if they were physically present. High-quality 3D tours showcase property features, layout, and ambience, offering a compelling alternative to in-person viewings.

This feature is particularly valuable for remote buyers or those exploring properties from a distance, enhancing engagement and facilitating faster decision-making.

3D Property Tour For Realtors
How to Achieve It:
  • Use platforms like Matterport to create and integrate 3D tours into your property listings. These tours allow users to navigate the property as if they were in person.
  • Ensure that the 3D tour emphasises the property’s most attractive features and provides a comprehensive view of the layout and design.

Avoid Auto-Playing Videos

Auto-playing videos can disrupt the user experience, especially if they autoplay with sound or delay page loading times. Instead, offering users control over video playback respects their preferences and focuses attention on property details and critical information.

This approach maintains usability and ensures a positive browsing experience without interruptions.

Autoplaying Videos In Web Design
How to Achieve It:
  • Implement video play buttons that users can click to start viewing, maintaining user autonomy over multimedia interactions.
  • If auto-play is necessary, ensure videos begin muted by default with clear options for users to enable sound, preserving user experience integrity.

Implement Advanced Search Filters

Advanced search filters enhance the user experience by allowing visitors to refine their property searches based on specific criteria.

This functionality helps potential buyers and renters find listings that match their needs more precisely, improving satisfaction and increasing the likelihood of successful engagements.

Real Estate Websites Advanced Filters

How to Achieve It:

  • Allow users to filter by multiple criteria, such as location, price range, property type, number of bedrooms, and amenities.
  • Update search results dynamically as users adjust filter settings, ensuring a smooth and responsive experience.
  • Design filter interfaces with easily selectable options like checkboxes, sliders, or dropdown menus.

Separate Dashboards for Buyers and Sellers

Creating discrete dashboards for buyers and sellers simplifies the user experience and enhances usability by concentrating on individual needs and objectives.

Buyers may quickly browse listings, save favourite properties, arrange viewings, and receive alerts when new listings meet their criteria.

Sellers, on the other side, can maintain property listings, track enquiries, check market information, and use tools for property appraisal and marketing.

How to Achieve It:

  • Users must create profiles during registration and specify whether they are buyers or sellers.
  • Design distinct interfaces for each dashboard featuring relevant tools, resources, and information.
  • Users can personalise their dashboards with saved searches, favourite properties, and notifications based on their preferences.

Provide Market Trends, Insights, and Reports

Providing current market trends, insights, and reports on your real estate website is a valuable resource that establishes your agency's credibility and expertise within the industry.

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You demonstrate your deep understanding of the real estate landscape by regularly updating and sharing insightful analyses of market conditions, such as pricing trends, inventory levels, interest rates, and local economic factors.

This information empowers potential buyers and sellers to confidently navigate the market, making informed decisions about property investments or sales.

Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices With Examples - Inkbot Design

How to Achieve it:

  • Regularly update a blog or news section with articles on market trends, property investment tips, and real estate news to keep visitors informed and engaged.
  • Create and share detailed market reports, including data on property prices, inventory levels, and demand trends. Make these reports accessible as downloadable PDFs or interactive dashboards.
  • Use infographics and visual data presentations to simplify complex market information, making it easier for users to grasp key insights quickly.

Offer Self-Service Tools for Customers

Intuitive self-service tools such as mortgage calculators, property search filters, and appointment scheduling forms empower users to take action independently.

These tools streamline the user journey by providing instant access to essential information and services. By enhancing convenience and reducing friction, self-service tools improve user satisfaction and encourage conversion actions on your website.

Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices With Examples - Inkbot Design
How to Achieve It:
  • Embed mortgage calculators, property comparison tools, or scheduling forms directly on your website.
  • Ensure tools are user-friendly with clear instructions and intuitive interfaces, enabling seamless navigation and task completion.

Balance Usability and Aesthetics

A harmonious balance between usability and aesthetics ensures your real estate website looks visually appealing and functions intuitively. Straightforward navigation, well-organised content, and intuitive design elements enhance user engagement and facilitate seamless interaction with property listings and service offerings.

This cohesive approach reinforces your brand's credibility and professionalism, fostering trust and encouraging visitors to explore further.

Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices With Examples - Inkbot Design
How to Achieve It:
  • Prioritise user needs and behaviours in design decisions, focusing on clarity, simplicity, and ease of navigation.
  • Use cohesive colour schemes, typography, and layout structures to create a visually pleasing interface without compromising functionality.

Present Your Team

Your real estate team humanises your brand and builds personal connections with potential clients. Highlighting team members' expertise, qualifications, and roles instils confidence and reassurance in prospective buyers.

This personal touch demonstrates transparency and professionalism, ultimately enhancing client relationships and encouraging engagement with your agency.

Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices With Examples - Inkbot Design
How to Achieve It:
  • Create a dedicated “Meet the Team” page featuring photos, bios, and team members' professional backgrounds.
  • Provide direct contact information or links to individual profiles, encouraging direct communication and client interaction.

Feature Testimonials

Showcasing testimonials on your real estate website is crucial as they build trust and credibility by demonstrating positive client experiences. Potential clients rely on testimonials to gain insights into the quality of service and outcomes they can expect.

These testimonials provide social proof, alleviating doubts and encouraging visitors to engage with your agency or explore property listings. 

Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices With Examples - Inkbot Design

How to Achieve it:

  • Gather positive client feedback through surveys or direct requests, focusing on specific results and experiences. 
  • Use clear formatting and visuals like photos or videos to showcase testimonials on key pages like the homepage or property listings.
  • Keep testimonials current and relevant by regularly adding new feedback and rotating through different testimonials to maintain freshness and credibility.
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Optimise Contact and Property Inquiry Forms

Well-designed contact us and property inquiry forms are pivotal for converting website visitors into leads. Optimising form layout, fields, and usability ensures a seamless submission process and reduces friction in contacting agents or requesting property information.

Clear instructions, minimal fields, and responsive design elements improve form usability, encouraging user engagement and facilitating direct communication with potential clients.

Real Estate Website Design: Best Practices With Examples - Inkbot Design
How to Achieve It:
  • Limit form fields to essential information to minimise user effort and improve completion rates.
  • Ensure forms are responsive and easy for visitors to use on mobile devices, optimising user experience across all platforms.

Tips for Improving Your Real Estate Website Design

Enhancing your real estate industry web design is critical to attracting and retaining clients in a competitive market. Here are essential tips to elevate your website’s functionality and user experience:

Conducting user testing to identify areas for improvement

User testing involves observing real users interacting with your website or application. This process helps identify usability issues such as confusing navigation, unclear instructions, or areas where users may get stuck.

By analysing how users navigate your site, click on buttons, and interpret content, you gain valuable insights into where improvements are needed.

For example, suppose users need help finding important information or completing tasks like purchasing or filling out a form. In that case, you can prioritise redesigning those areas to enhance user experience and satisfaction.

Implementing feedback from customers and website visitors

Feedback from consumers and website visitors provides personal information about what they like and dislike about your site. This information can originate from surveys, feedback forms, user comments, or direct customer contacts.

You demonstrate your understanding of user wants and preferences by actively listening to this input and implementing proposed improvements. This technique not only increases user happiness but also fosters loyalty and trust.

Regularly update and refresh website content.

Content marketing is as essential as a good website. Fresh, up-to-date content engages visitors and enhances your website's credibility and authority. Regular updates to your website content, such as property listings (if applicable), blog posts, market insights, and news updates, keep your site dynamic and informative.

Fresh content attracts repeat visitors and signals to search engines like Google that your site is active and worthy of higher rankings. Establishing a content update schedule ensures consistency and helps you stay ahead in your industry by sharing timely information and insights.

Optimise for Local SEO

Implement local search engine optimisation strategies to ensure your website ranks well in local search results and boost your online presence. This includes optimising your website for relevant keywords, landing pages, and content pages and leveraging online directories and review platforms to appear prominently in local search results.

Conclusion

A well-crafted website is a powerful tool for capturing, engaging, and converting potential clients and strategic assets that can transform your business.

Integrating user-friendly navigation, high-quality visuals, mobile responsiveness, and seamless search functionalities allows you to create a digital experience that attracts visitors and turns them into satisfied clients. 

Whether you're a seasoned realtor or just starting, embracing these best practices can propel your online success and help you connect more effectively with potential buyers and renters. In an industry where every click can lead to a new opportunity, investing in a high-performing website is not just beneficial—it's essential for growth and success.

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FAQs

What essential elements must be present in every real estate website design?

Some key features include a search function for finding properties, high-definition pictures, virtual tours, neighbourhood information, forms to gather contact details from potential buyers or renters, and mobile adaptation.

How can I differentiate my real estate website from my competitors?

It would help if you concentrated on things that make it stand out, like interactive floor plans in 3D, personalised recommendations for homes based on individual preferences, or even video tours of local areas. For instance, Compass.com utilises AI technology to provide targeted listings.

Why is a responsive design essential for real estate websites?

It allows your site to adapt quickly across all devices; this is crucial, considering more than half of house searches are done using mobile phones. An example of excellent responsive design would be Zillow.com.

How do I optimise my real estate website for search engines?

Use relevant keywords throughout the content, create landing pages specific to different locations or regions where you operate, resize images correctly so that they do not slow down loading time and keep updating with fresh listings frequently alongside blog posts about related topics. Realtor.com ranks highly due to good SEO practices.

What role does visual content play in designing a real estate website?

Visuals are everything; therefore, use professional shots taken at various angles to show off rooms inside houses and outside views during sunny days. Include virtual reality tours, too, if possible; they add life to static images, which can only do so much justice otherwise (Sothebysrealty.com).

How can social proof be incorporated into a real estate website?

Highlight past sales achievements through testimonials from satisfied clients who have successfully bought or sold properties using your services; also integrate feedback received via social media platforms such as Facebook or X into relevant site sections. Redfin.com is an excellent example of this.

What is the best way to organise property listings on my site?

Arrange them in categories based on location size, price or type, e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, etc, then provide advanced search filters like number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, etc., plus mapping tools where users can visually identify available options within specific areas quickly.

How can data visualisation enhance my real estate website?

You could include interactive maps representing different neighbourhoods within city limits showing houses for sale in each area; also display pricing trend graphs over time alongside statistics related to crime rates, schools, proximity shopping centres, etc. Homesnap.com does this well by displaying market trends and values using visual presentations.

What should be considered when designing the contact page of my real estate website?

Offer multiple ways through which potential clients may contact you, such as email address, phone number, physical address, live chat option, etc.; include a clear call-to-action prompting visitors to take action once they land on this page; make it user-friendly with simple fields that are easy to fill out. Century21.com provides various methods.

How do I incorporate IDX (Internet Data Exchange) into my web design for real estate sites?

Select an IDX provider that offers customisable widgets for property listings, neighbourhood pages, agent profiles, etc., along with seamless integration into existing frameworks used during the site creation process; ensure the search function aligns perfectly with the rest of the design elements. Realestatewebmasters.com has excellent examples here.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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