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UI/UX Best Practices for Custom Real Estate Website Design

September 29, 2020
by Aspirity team
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Whether you are already running a successful real estate business or at the initial stage, you should always keep an eye on real estate website design ideas that generate more leads and boost sales.

Even if you are familiar with UI/UX basics, making a web design for a real estate agent could be tricky and involve many pitfalls. We'll help you avoid them with some helpful tips. Let's dig into the nuances of real estate business and figure out the best ways to eliminate beginner's mistakes and create a well-functional and aesthetic web page for your soon-to-be a booming business.

Keep reading to discover the main features of UI/UX design, learn the most common mistakes and how not to make them, check out amazing examples of professional real estate websites, and receive a great bonus tip!


How to Create a User-Focused Web Design for Real Estate

The idea behind a customer-focused website is to create a web page foremost for the clients. Sounds great, but how do you meet everyone's needs? Creating a custom website design for real estate requires an iterative process where the development team collaborates with potential clients to collect feedback at every stage. Designers turn to investigative methods like research, surveys, interviews, and generative tools like brainstorming to achieve a client-oriented result.

Look at the numbers: mobile users are five times more likely to leave the website if it isn't optimized for their smartphone. 94% of first impressions collected through the surveys are design related. Finally, 88% of users are unlikely to come back to the website after having a poor experience.

1.1. The benefits of the user-centered approach

The reduced workload of the support team;
More leads and recurring visitors;
Increased conversions;
Better website infrastructure.

1.2. Common mistakes

Broken links, site crushes, forced registration — all of these drive your clients away. Be aware of what users expect to see on your page — Home, Contact, About Us. Keep in mind the essential menu bars of website design for real estate agentsFor Buyers and For Sellers. Finally, protect your customers by encoding and securing their personal and financial information.

The great idea is to get inspired by your competitors. Check out their websites, the layout, and interface, and look for a house. Take notes and write down the pros and cons. Try to think like a regular customer and stay as subjective as possible.

1.3. An example to follow

Realtor.com is one of the most popular real estate websites. It's a perfect example of a customer-focused website:
All the information is easily accessible;
The toolbar is right on the top of the front page with helpful links;
The site works smoothly and leaves a great overall impression.


How to Make Your Custom Design for Real Estate Website Usable

In the pursuit of a flashy and super high-tech design, developers sometimes overlook the most important thing about web design for a real estate broker — usability. Usability is a compromise between web design, simplicity, and common sense. In a nutshell, it means that users can find essential information and perform the tasks without a degree in Computer Engineering.

47% of users claim that a website should load in less than two seconds. 8 in 10 clients are ready to pay more in exchange for better customer experience. Finally, 62% of users say they share their bad web experience with friends and colleagues.*

2.1. Website usability pros

Shortens the learning curve for customers;
Minimizes operation errors;
Makes the tasks easy and repeatable;
Makes the website accessible to the users of any level of computer literacy.

2.2. Common mistakes

Sometimes usability testers do not take into account the actual purpose of testing — provide a better user experience. During the testing phase, they fail to evaluate the website from the customers' perspective and only check the overall performance and design. That's why beta testing is so important — let the actual future users look at your work, try it out and give you their feedback. Besides, choose your target audience wisely. Don't only ask your friends and coworkers to participate but also try to include third parties — people who are not involved in any development stages and never invested in your work — both emotionally and financially.

2.3. A must-see example

To learn from your competitors, take a look at Idealista.com — an impressive example of a simple yet very usable website. The site map is easy to grasp, the links are accessible, the website loads fast and smoothly, and at the same time, the design is holistic and eye-catching.


How to Integrate an Intuitive Navigation

Human beings are comfortable operating automatic, intuitive tasks. You brush your teeth half asleep in the morning because it's become a habit. You drive the car without even thinking about it — your brain has performed this task so often that it became your second nature.

Users surf the Internet in the same way: open a page, expect to see a toolbar with certain links, a contact template on the bottom of the page, and a company description under the About us button. Once you change these algorithms, the users will get lost, confused, and forced to spend extra time learning your interface before they can do anything. This leads to frustration and bad user experience.

Let the numbers talk. 70% of small businesses do not offer clear call-to-action on their web pages. 83% of people say that a seamless experience is essential to them. 51% of users think that contact information is one of the most important links on the web page.

3.1. How to make the navigation intuitive

Navigation planning: draft a site map in an Excel worksheet to make an extensive overview of your future website;
Place your logo in the top corner and link it to the homepage;
Consider implementing the "hamburger menu" — an easy and efficient way to create a menu bar;
Place helpful links to the contact page, blog, site map, etc. at the footer

3.2. Common mistakes

Many real estate website designs have embraced generic labels like Products or What we do. They are not descriptive and force your clients to click on the wrong tabs in search of information. Instead of Services, describe what you offer — Houses for Sale or Apartments for Rent.

Next, say no to drop-down menus that cover other links: according to the customer feedback, they create a bad user experience. People tend to accidentally click on them when they move the mouse and end up on the wrong page.

Finally, if choosing between links and buttons, always go for links because buttons are invisible to search engines, take longer to load, and are harder to change.

Another common mistake is overlooking details that could make your business stand out and put a smile on your client's face. Do you remember a big thumbs-up on the Messenger? They are called micro-interactions — small design elements that do not necessarily fulfill your customer's requests, however, they make your website look exceptional, navigation more fluent, and encourage sharing and liking.

3.3. Take a look at this example

Trulia is an excellent example of an easy to navigate website with a clear interface. It has an extensive footer with many helpful links, a convenient toolbar on the front page, and a sticky menu.


How to Implement an Effective Search Engine

Powerful search tools will make your website design for real estate agents irreplaceable. You have to satisfy everyone's needs — a landlord or a seller requires an in-depth yet simple listing tool when a tenant or a buyer expects a comprehensive filtering tool.

Ensure that your search engine is diverse enough to cover every request from the location and price to the number of bathrooms. And there's no harm in being creative and implementing your criteria like lifestyle or an installed hot tub.

Let's take a look at some numbers. 67% of people claim that negative user experience can jeopardize their opinion of the brand. 75% of user feedback is based on whether they like web design. Developers waste 50% of their time to remake the old projects due to the poor UX.

4.1. What makes an effective search engine for a real estate company

For buyers and tenants
Allow your visitors to filter out every important aspect like price, location, and home type;
Let your customers choose the number of bathrooms and bedrooms and the size of square feet or meters;
Don't overlook the amenities like a pool, basement, on-site parking, and A/C;
Provide detailed content regarding the location — the nearby schools, parks, grocery stores, bars, etc.;
Mention if the apartment or house is pet-friendly and describe the window view in a couple of words.
For sellers and landlords
Make the application for a selling unit easy to understand and transparent;
Give them a chance to upload as many photos as they need and add a video walkthrough to make their property more attractive;
Always leave space for additional information.

4.2. Common mistakes

Trying to make the search tools as extensive and comprehensive as possible, some developers might go overboard and forget to create a simple search tool. Some people are in a hurry or don't need many amenities and details about the number of guestrooms, so make sure to provide a simple search bar on the front page.

Consider adding a map to your web page — it will help the potential buyers instantly locate the house and boost the user experience.

4.3. An example you should see

You've probably heard of Zillow, and for a good reason. It is a top-rated platform to find or sell a house and calculate the estimate of your property.


How to Enrich Your Design with Property Images

Finally, when your website is up and running, start to think of its content. Next to the full description of the property, pay attention to the visionary attributes — images. It's no secret that the images should be in high quality and sell the house. These days physically visiting a place might be tricky, so good photos are crucially important.

Videos help convince 73% of people to make a purchase. 40% of users will leave the web page immediately if they find the layout shabby. 89% of consumers use the Internet to research the product or service before buying.

5.1. How to enrich your listings with visionary content

Use 3D walkthroughs. Check out IKEA — they have succeeded in launching an app that remains very popular and immensely helpful for potential buyers;
Add a street view to the listing to provide your clients with the context;
Use videos to show the atmosphere of the house and the neighborhood.

5.2. Common mistakes

Don't underestimate the importance of the guidelines for the sellers. Provide them with an extensive list of photo requirements and suggestions to capture the property in the best way. Try out new technologies — you can't create the best design for real estate websites without a risk. It might be costly and overwhelming at first. However, it will definitely put you on the map and generate more leads.

5.3. One more example

Homesnap is an incredible model of a real estate website that makes use of high-tech: visual tours, 3D walkthroughs, and street view.


How to Avoid the Mistakes and Make the Best Real Estate Website Design

UI/UX design is complicated and requires a lot of work and expertise. However, knowing your enemy is half the battle. The good news is that you are not alone here — there are experts in this field who can create an amazing design for you. Gain some real estate website design inspiration from the professionals — check out Aspirity.

Thanks to our considerable experience and broad portfolio, we've gathered enough knowledge to help you with your UI/UX design.

6.1. What we've done

We've created an easy to use and intuitive online shopping experience for the customers of a Norwegian parcel delivery company;
Aspirity has designed a website for a US-based insurance company with flexible functionality, integrated accounting tools, and third-party management software;
We've transformed a real estate website into a peer-to-peer platform by applying a subscription model. We customized it with additional features in the landlord's personal account and the real estate objects' geolocation to make the platform more user-friendly;
Finally, we've built the web page of a social network for business partners and contractors. Our complex searching algorithm brings remarkable results together with thought out structure and design.
Read the detailed descriptions of our projects as well as helpful feedback from the clients. Our goal is to create a simple and intuitive interface while preserving the quality, high speed, and data. Contact us to start a great project!
Building custom software or have existing one?

Aspirity is a NodeJs + ReactJs development agency from Siberia. We specialize in management, admin and dashboard software.

If you have a custom software project — contact us for a confidential consultation or just read more from our blog.

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