May 6, 2011

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An Insider’s Take on Real Estate Website Design

Have you ever wanted to ask a professional website designer for their thoughts on real estate websites? Well today, we’ve done just that by interviewing Jeff Consi, Interface Designer for publisher Classified Ad Ventures. Here’s what Jeff had to say when we asked him what works - and what doesn’t - in real estate website design:

What are three things every real estate agent should aim to include on their website?

  1. Properties for sale/rent should use large, professional quality photos, and have enough photos to represent the property properly.
  2. Design the site to be viewed on multiple devices. This could be achieved by using the latest technologies such as HTML5, Javascript and CSS3. Maybe even include a “lite” version of the site for easier mobile viewing if the budget permits.
  3. Basic consideration for your audience. Does the content have a large enough font so a user can comfortably read it? How many clicks does it take to get a buyer/seller to the content they are searching for? Are your office contact details easy to get to?

What are some of the common mistakes you see real estate agents making with their sites?

I would say clutter is the most common mistake. Site design is sometimes an afterthought in the real estate industry. It’s just the nature of the business. Real estate agents move fast, there’s a lot of information they need to get across and receive for that matter. What works well is having a balance of both good design and relevant information to make the site more appealing to a user/seller/buyer.

I think another mistake I see is the way an agency uses technology. There is no need to use Flash anymore, with the exception of banner ads or serving video. You can achieve a lot of interaction now with HTML and Javascript, which looks “flashy” but has all the benefits of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

What’s one of your favourite real estate websites and why?

I would have to say They have managed to clean it up a lot and put the focus on the user, which resulted in new features for the agents’ listings. I also like that the form elements in the property search on the home page are large, almost over-sized, which make them quite easy to use. There are no questions on how to conduct a search for property on the site. The User Interface (UI) is doing a lot of the work for you as well.

What advice do you have for agents who want to boost the number of leads their website generates?

I would seek out some help with SEO, so you can have the best chance at showing up in Google searches. Stay away from Flash-based sites as Google can’t index them, and they can easily confuse users. A simple, uncluttered site that is easy to use and can get your users straight to what they are searching for should help produce more leads.

Essentially, think of the user first when designing your website, and then dress your brand up around it. If you build it to be simple, they will come!


Related posts:

  1. Real Estate Website Inspiration at the IMAs
  2. Real Estate Website Tips from
  3. 2011: The Year of Web Design?
  4. Website Spotlight: WebAward Real Estate Winners
  5. Can Widgets Boost Your Real Estate Website?
  6. Google Real Estate – Should Agents Bank On It?
  7. Rev Up Your Website
  8. Real Estate SEO Part 3
  9. The Challenges for Google Real Estate
  10. Common SEO Mistakes on Real Estate Sites


  1. Steve says:

    To say that Flash aren’t indexed by google is untrue, google will happily index Flash if it’s built correctly. Historically this hasn’t been the case, hence that belief.

    (that’s not to say Flash sites are good or bad, just clarifying a point)

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