The evolution of newer technologies and techniques has made it possible for the real estate agents and the brokers to create a website of their own. The real estate websites, are designed to help both, the property buyers to look for real estate listings, and the sellers to advertise their properties.
Creating feature rich real estate websites with beautiful & responsive design have become easier than ever and you’ll observe that there are many real estate directories that you will have to compete with. To stand apart from the crowd, you must create a real estate website that is feature rich and convenient to use.
The Must Have Real Estate Directory Theme
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Here is a list of all the best real estate website features that you can integrate into your website to impress your users and make your mark. Following are the features that your real estate website should have:
Front end listing submission
Front end listing submission on a real estate website is not a compulsory feature, but it is one of the most popular as well as beneficial. It is one of the best ways to make money through your real estate websites.
Enabling your front end visitors to post their property listings improves the usability of your website for them. Besides this is one of the features of a real estate website through which you can make money.
Once your website starts gaining enough traffic, you can start allowing front end property submissions. People would want to post their properties one one of the popular real estate websites where their listings will get the deserved attention. And when people want to advertise their property on your website, you can charge the revenue to do so.
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Another great advantage of using the front end listing submission is that it increases the amount of useful content on your website which is great for SEO, a plus point to be noticed by the search engines. Moreover, with more properties, there’s a greater chance for the visitors to find the result they’ve been looking for.
With front end submission enabled, your website becomes useful for the ones who are looking for a platform to advertise their listings too. And then, your audience is not just the one’s who want to search for property, but also the one’s who want to promote their listings and looking for a platform to do so, both the property buyers and sellers.
More number of listings, also means more chances of your real estate website to be ranked as more relevant content by the search engines.
Here are a few tips on how you can get a potential customer to list on your directory website.
Proper images for each real estate listing
Images speak louder than words. They’re pleasant to eyes, and easy to understand. Adding relevant, optimized and high quality images is always going to benefit your real estate business website.
Obviously, associated with every property listing, there’s going to be an image of that property. However, you can use multiple images for the same property. How nice it is to show the picture of the property from different dimensions. It helps make your listing on a real estate website more interesting and beautiful.
You can even include different forms of multimedia like graphics, video, images or virtual tours in your real estate website.
A good design
Content is undoubtedly the king, but website design too is important. An eye catching, responsive design helps you gain more visitors and persuades them to stay and explore the options on your real estate websites.
Along with some of the must have features, it is always nice to have some decorative design for your website, at the same time, it is vital that your real estate website is not over-adorned. The design elements should not over shadow the actual content of your website and it should guarantee a sleek look on mobile devices too.
Again, the design of your real estate website must complement the content and the central idea of your website. If you are creating website with CMS like WordPress, you can choose from plenty of themes and go with a design that appeals you the most.
The design of your website should not undermine the most important functionalities of your site. For instance – Always go for a design that focuses on CTA, the contact Us form, a design that highlights the buttons, important links and an attractive, efficient menu and social media integration. Search engines consider all these factors that can ultimately lead to a better user experience.
Besides design, there are a few other features that can help you make a killer real estate website.
An easy to search website
All your visitors will come to your website for one clear intent. To search the properties on your website. But when yours is a massive, real estate directory website, packed with multiple features and many real estate listings on it, finding the relevant property for a user becomes difficult.
Make sure to include an advanced search feature, where the potential customers can easily select their criteria, to find the information and listings of their requirement.
The ultimate intention of your website is met when the buyers and sellers find what they want. And so we need a system that is easy to search through. An online property portal should be capable of providing quick, filtered and relevant results based on the user’s search query. For enabling this, you can create a filtered search feature like the one shown in the image below.
The ultimate goal of your website should be that the visitors find relevant results effortlessly. No one likes to waste their time on a website, especially when there are tons of other real estate websites providing you the same service efficiently.
Even if it is just a contact form your site visitor is looking for, make sure that the required page is easily findable.
So let your real estate website be quick to respond to the user request and efficient to find out the type of content to show to the visitors based on their search.
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Navigation includes all the links dispersed over the web-page, CTAs as well as the menu. For any kind of website with high quality content, a proper navigation is important. The navigation system of your website should ensure that the visitors are smoothly redirected to the pages of their interest, without having to click different links. This is one of the most common, must have features for almost any kind of website.
An efficient navigation system includes a beautiful and interactive menu. The menu needs to be very well-organized with the links classified as the main menu titles and the sub-menus. The main menu titles should be carefully picked because they ought to reflect what kind of sub-menus are under them.
Also, when your real estate site is live and you are making changes into your pages, keep a check that all the linked pages redirect properly. We never want to send a valuable user to a “Page not found” page. Also make the best use of the Call to Action section. Use the most efficient text label, attractive colors and screen elements so as to encourage your users to take the action.
Contact the listing owner
A real estate directory is all about the properties and being able to easily acquire the contact information of the buyer/seller. The visitors coming to your website will be the people on property hunt. So when they find any real estate listing that they are interested in, there should be a way for them to communicate with the owner or the real estate agent, and that can be through the contact us page. For this purpose, we need a contact form on the listing page which is one of the must have features.
This form can be placed in the sidebar region or near the footer, below the listing description. So any person who wants to get in touch with the owner of a property can immediately key in their message and send an inquiry message to the listing owner. It may also include location details and social media integration.
Also, don’t forget to include a solid contact form, with one of these contact form plugins, to make it easy for any visitor to contact the site admin, whatever their concern may be.
Integrating MLS listings into your website using IDX makes your website more feature rich. You can show your visitors a large range of MLS properties on your website using IDX for the lead capture.
With IDX facility, you can show a part of the MLS listing on your website. With the MLS real estate listings on your website, the amount of searchable and usable content increases. It increases the probability of a visitor to search & find useful properties.
Also read: What is MLX/IDX for real estate websites?
Listing locations based on Maps
Besides advanced search, maps can help the visitors find the content of relevance even more easily.
Most of the real estate directories on the internet are now location aware and map based. They help the buyers and sellers find the properties of their interest even more easily. Maps make it easy for the users to identify the location. Also a map will help them look at all the properties of a certain area at once.
There are maps that can help the website visitors with navigation and directions. Maps are useful and they make your site look better too. Moreover, maps are a convenient way to display address on a real estate listing website. So using maps for your real estate directory is always a good idea.
The listings on a real estate website are the main pages through which the website visitors can know the details about a property they are interested in. Also, a property owner wishing to sell his property would like to provide more and more detail about it when advertising it.
So you must always ensure that the design you choose for your real estate website allows you to display a very detailed listing.
For instance, below is the screen capture of the listing detail page and it shows all the important details about the property “Level 6 Shredding”. It describes the rent, the area, the address, maps, floor style, etc.
A complete, useful and verified information about the owner of the listing can be provided to the visitors, in case they want to know. Some visitors are just curious to know about, why the others would like to use the provided information and contact the real estate agent/owner. So, the owner’s information about a listing is important too.
As you can see in the image, a few details like adding the phone number, email address, site details (if any) and mentioning social media profiles is a good idea.
Even though the owner’s information is not as important field as a property image or a property description, but it surely adds value to a property page on your site.
If you don’t wish to highlight owner’s information, you can keep the prominent areas on your page for important elements and place the owner’s information near footer.
All of the features we’ve talked above are not compulsory, but if you pay attention to them, they can be very beneficial for your website.
Besides them, many other factors like the quality of content you publish on your site, the scope or the area the real estate pages can cover, the SEO, the competition, etc. play their role in the success of your online real estate dealing website.
Additionally, there are various WordPress plugins that can help you improve the overall performance of your real estate business website and include these must have features if they don’t come inbuilt with your theme/template.
Creating and managing such website takes in lot of hardwork, dedication and persistence. With the changing time and situations, you might need to change the things. Experience tells better!! And you can make changes and modifications as your website keeps performing better!
PS: The screenshots are from our real estate directory theme – Homequest!