A real estate website is a site where real estate agents, property management, homeowner associations, and other entities in the business of real estate post their properties for sale, rent and management.
Real estate websites are used by real estate agents to advertise their services to attract new customers. Property managers use these sites as an advertising medium for their buildings or homes that are currently available for rent or sale at any given time.
If you run a real estate business in Dubai, you would be familiar with the high level of competition in the space. To make your offering stand out and increase your chances of closing more property deals, it is important that your website is designed in such a way that property buyers and sellers can navigate it seamlessly and find the information they are seeking effortlessly.
How do you design your real estate website in such a way that it stands out and generates leads for your business?
In this article, we cover the basic components a real estate website should have to optimize it as a viable marketing tool and lead funnel for your real estate business.
There are different types of real estate websites. Depending on your areas of expertise and target market, you can build a website that fits into any of these categories:
- Property management website: this is used for managing a portfolio of properties. A real estate management firm can use websites like this to manage properties for its clients. Owners and residents can communicate with the property manager via the website for maintenance, moving in/out, accounting related matters for the properties they own or occupy.
- Property portal or listing website: A property listing site or portal is a platform where customers can find houses for sale or rent. Transactions on this type of website are usually brokered by real estate agents. A good example is property finder, a Dubai-based property portal.
- Real Estate marketplace: this is a marketplace where property sellers, buyers, renters, etc. can interact directly without an agent or broker in between. If you want to sell a property or have one for rent, you can directly list your property and buyers/renters can contact you directly.
- Real estate aggregator; Property aggregators collect data from different websites and display it on one page. They are one of the most convenient ways to find a property to buy or rent.
- Real estate Promotion website: this is the preferred type if you are looking to build a website to promote your company’s real estate offering and the portfolio of properties you have listed.
- Real estate investing websites; these are websites for equity investment in real estate or for finding investment opportunities in real estate. With fractional investment in real estate becoming very popular these days, a lot of real estate investment websites now offer this service. A good example in Dubai is Smartcrowd, a real estate crowdfunding investment platform.
A Good Real Estate Website Includes These Basic Components:
A real estate website is a great way to attract a buyer to your property. The design of the site can be customised to fit any style, whether it be modern or traditional. The following are the essential components your real estate website should have to function optimally and drive qualified leads to your business.
1. Brand Guidelines
Your website should follow a brand guideline to ensure there is consistency with your brand logo, fonts, brand colours and layouts of the different sections and pages of the website. This consistency gives your website a familiar feel and ensures it comes off looking professional. Keep the design clean and uncluttered. A cluttered design makes it difficult for visitors to navigate your site.
Use only one font on each page of the website unless you have a very good reason not to do so (such as when there are multiple languages on the same page). This will help keep things consistent across all pages and make your website eye-friendly for visitors.
Ensure that text is readable by using dark text on light backgrounds; avoid using bright colours if possible as they can be hard on some people’s eyesight after prolonged periods of reading small amounts of text at once – especially if they’re doing this while working long hours under poor lighting conditions!
Your homepage and all internal pages of your real estate website should have clear navigation to guide users to the different sections of the website that contains the information they are looking for. Tabs like Rent a Property, Buy a Property, List your Property, etc. are some of the navigation buttons that should be clearly visible on your website. This will help users easily navigate to the section relevant to them. Here is a screenshot of what a real estate website navigation should look like.
3. Property listing
The property listing layout and design are very important. When it comes to property, a good visual representation helps users select quicker. The listing feature on your website should allow for the upload of high-quality pictures of the property and include a gallery feature for the listing of multiple images or videos of the property.
The listing pages are the most important part of your website since they’re what potential buyers will see before they visit your property. It’s crucial that you make sure these pages are optimised for search engines, easy to navigate and well-designed so that they can stand out from other real estate websites.
If you have multiple listings or apartments for rent in one building, it might be helpful to create an “Apartments For Sale” page where all of them can be featured together. You could also use a similar approach if you have multiple properties listed in different neighbourhoods or cities – just create separate landing pages for each location.
4. Search and Filter Feature
A search function is a must for a real estate website. This becomes more important as the number of property listings on your website grows. Instead of scrolling through several pages of listings, you want to make it easy for visitors to your website to use a search feature to search for the type of property they are looking for.
The search page should contain as many options as possible for searching properties by location, house type (square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms), features (garage, pool, etc.), amenities (air conditioning, heating) and price range. Visitors can use this page to narrow down their search so they can have results that are more relevant to them.
The search page should be easy to use and navigate through. Make sure the most important information is easily accessible at first glance such as the total number of homes in your database and how many have already been sold within a given time.
Make sure there’s an option where users can see all available homes sorted by price range beginning with the cheapest first—it makes it easier on people who want something specific rather than browsing through everything available just in case they might find something that fits what they’re looking for.”
The filter function helps users filter property listings based on their interests. A good real estate website should have several filter options like;
- Filter by Price
- Filter by property type; commercial residential, apartment, villas, condos, townhouse, etc.
- Filter by property size: in Square feet and meters.
- Filter stage of construction; off-plan, primary market, secondary market, etc.
- Filter by districts within a city.
- Filter by Age of listing.
5. UI/UX Enhancement
With technologies like virtual reality, you can further enhance the user experience and engagement on your website by rendering property listings in virtual reality where users can take an immersive tour of the property remotely on your website. This will set your website apart and will give potential buyers and investors a more detailed view of the property that could help sway their decision on working with our agency.
According to Matterport, homebuyers are 95% more likely to contact an agent after seeing a real estate listing with a 3-D tour, leading to properties with a 3-D tour spending a third less time on the market. This could also reduce the time spent on physical viewing properties as some buyers would be able to decide on investing in a property without requesting a physical viewing if they have a complete virtual tour available on your website.
For off-plan properties, VR offers huge benefits as well. Architectural visualisation can be created for off plan properties to give investors a better impression of what the finished property would look like. This can significantly influence the buying decision. With Dubai always on the forefront of adopting new technologies, adding a virtual tour feature on your real estate website in Dubai, will help set your agency apart and generate more qualified leads for your business.
6. Market Report and Insight Section
Including a section for market reports and insights in your real estate website is a good way to offer additional value to your visitors and position your brand as an industry expert. By including local data about home sales, prices, and days on market in your content, you can establish yourself as a knowledgeable resource and keep prospective buyers and sellers engaged on your site.
You can also include neighbourhood and lifestyle data for the different communities you cover in this section. This could be included in a blog section where you can cover different topics over time. You can also issue this as a newsletter to brand building and lead nurturing to drive lead generation and conversion for your real estate business.
You want to make it easy for visitors to reach you for further actions on their interest. Whether it is to provide more information on a property listing or to express interest in one, make it a one-click process for visitors to your website to reach you immediately.
A Floating call and chat button is the best way to accomplish this. Most users would likely visit your website for the first time on a mobile device. With a floating call or chat button, they can contact you directly from any section of your website by tapping the call or chat button.
8. Mortgage and Property Value calculators
The “What’s My Home Worth?” and “Mortgage Estimator” calculators are easy ways to capture potential buyer and seller leads. This is a great conversion opportunity that can deliver genuinely active leads. You can make this feature freely available on your website or you can gate it with information exchange to get the contact information of the prospect. You could test both options to see what works best for your business. You can use tools like Hotjar to generate heat maps which tell you where users are interacting the most on your website.
The real estate industry is an ever-changing one, so it’s important to stay on top of trends and keep your website up to date with the latest in technology and design.
If you run a real estate business in Dubai, then this is even more important to help set your agency apart from the crowd. A good real estate website can help you grow your business by increasing traffic to your site, helping visitors find what they’re looking for quickly, providing valuable information about properties or neighborhoods, and more.