“Real Estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Wiser words are seldom ever spoken. Real estate is a big money investment that most everyone will at least dabble in throughout their lifetimes. Consequently, they’ll also at least peruse a few broker’s/brokerage firm’s websites. Be they commercial or residential agents, online visibility of a firm’s listings is vital to the success of their business.
The point I’m trying to get at here is websites built for the purchase and sale of real estate are big money makers, and putting together a quality design for a real estate business’ website is essential to pull in prospective clients.
But what separates an effective real estate design from every other digital domain name dedicated to land ownership?
Glad you asked.
Compiled here for your viewing pleasure is a set of 15 high quality web designs and first-rate WordPress templates which are guaranteed to entrance and amaze even the most finicky of prospective clients, be they buyers or sellers. No agent, broker, or firm can afford to ignore this collection of great designs. So examine these at your leisure and try to see which designs suit your fancy.
Before we get started with the application though, it’s always helpful to examine a bit of theory. There are a few criteria that are indispensable for every serious real estate website and a few more that are vital for more specialized offerings. Let’s go over them briefly.
Vital Characteristics of Real Estate Websites
The first, and most important facet of real estate web design is simplicity. The process of buying and selling homes is daunting, complicated, and emotionally tasking. The last thing you want to do is add complexity to a prospective client’s agenda. As you’ll see in many of the examples below, the content contained above the fold is fairly scarce. Only the essentials are included: a contact form here, a navigation bar there, and the all-important search function is almost always included in obvious fashion.
Speaking of search, there’s very little you can put on a webpage that will garner your site more clicks than an effective search function. Your visitors want to see your listings, and if you don’t have an immediate and performant way to show them off, then you’re literally throwing away business.
Prominently Featured Imagery
Next, you’ll notice that these designs have a ton of visual appeal. Big splashy full page images are all the rage all over the web right now, and you want to cash in on the trend’s popularity. Full page photography conveys an emotion, and often achieves much more than even the most well-crafted copy. You want to use high quality photography as the hook for your purchasing prospects. If they see something they like as soon as they land on your site, they’re far more likely to keep browsing.
Finally, and perhaps quite predictably, a major criteria for a real estate website is the need to be mobile optimized. If it’s important to have a blog or ecommerce site be responsive, then it is absolutely imperative that a real estate website display attractively across all manner of mobile devices.
People love shopping online, regardless of whether they’re home or not. Scrolling through potential properties on a smartphone can be very helpful when making a decision about which houses to see during an appointment, and it also helps to have all the information about a home in a digital format so that you can avoid printing out page upon page of MLS listings.
Mobile traffic is important to everyone these days, but if your real estate web site can’t take advantage of it then you’re a step behind the competition. That’s just bad business.
Now that you’re a bit more familiar with what you need to be looking to include within your own web real estate, let’s examine some of the most practical and visually beautiful examples of what a real estate website should look like.
This Joomla template contains all of the aforementioned features with some added bells and whistles. Attractive animations abound from page to page starting with the smooth dropdown menus on the sticky nav bar, all the way to the popup prompts on specific images. The big image at the top of the fold also happens to be a slider, giving your visitors an impression of variety in options.
This Texas based real estate firm, Briscoe, gets straight to the point with their offering. They include all of their contact information right out front to start the lead collecting process early if necessary. They include plenty of sexy looking dropdowns and an easily navigable search menu that appears as you scroll over the prominently featured icon.
Another template that impresses and amazes with an image that conveys an emotion of expansive variety and calming peace. You’ve got to love the soothing power of the color green used to full effect in the default images. Below the fold, there’s also an excellent example of the right way to use white space. It emphasizes the vibrantly colored content boxes and naturally induces visitors to clickthrough to other sections of the website.
New York’s world famous Bronx area deserves a colorful website, and BronxExperts.com certainly delivers. Packed with interesting animations that feature some of New York City’s most recognizable landmarks and attractions, this website offers clickable animations and an easily accessible search bar right below the fold.
Extremely modern in its presentation style, the Emoh Joomla template is again filled with elegant and tasteful animations which provide a pleasant visual impact for the visitor. Armed with a specialized filter system to search for properties that meet your custom criteria and plenty of custom page types, this is an extremely versatile and powerful template.
Greg Noonan and his associates represent interests all across the coastal San Diego area, and their website certainly reflects their broad area of expertise. Again notice how all the information a buyer needs most is right at the top. Contact and search frame a prominent logo, and a navigation bar enables quick access to any of the site’s other pages.
This template filters everything in a sanguine haze that invites the appetite for home buying that every agent wants to see in his or her clients. The many ingrained animations offer a viscerally pleasing aesthetic to the site, while it keeps with the theme of featuring important information and functionality above the fold.
Another beautiful website from the Texas area, which has a red hot housing market, and with designs like this one it’s no small wonder. All the standard fixings are present: quick search, featured areas below, big hero header, and a handy contact bar for all your real estate needs.
This one was included for its excellent animations that stretch across the page in unique and interesting ways from the drop down menus. Of course, the gorgeous stock imagery doesn’t hurt, nor does the semi-transparent featured property box that would be used to describe the main image and funnel traffic to that listing’s page. Every user flow on this template is enticing and intuitive. Give it a try.
Everything is bigger in the state of Texas, and apparently design savvy among the real estate industry is no exception. The Hanover Company’s website takes a somewhat different approach to their featured images. The interesting page-turning animation gives you a skeuomorphic sense of the physically familiar, despite being designed flat. Pleasantly paradoxical and highly minimalist, all in all it’s a refreshing departure from some of the more ubiquitous examples we’ve seen so far.
The dark blues and Impact-ish typography in this Orlando theme, have me itching to get ahold of some ocean front property. While I’m not a big fan of Impact as a font choice, I have to admit this variation of it works on this particular template. The color contrast also serves to emphasize the featured image, and its search bar is easily located at the upper right, which is always nice.
Ambient video, stretchy animations, and a whole lot of Google fueled translation, make me a little sad I’m not a rich Russian aristocrat. These are the people I imagine shopping for homes on Domnakrasina.com, though tattooed mafia bosses straight out of Eastern Promises might be closer to the mark.
This website is stunning, and highly usable. Everything you need is clearly visible (though that might not be immediately obvious since the letters are backwards), but moreover it’s an interesting look at what might soon be very common in the world of web design.
13. Urban Property
Another Joomla template aimed at marketing urban properties, this theme gives you an almost Netflix like selection on your slider and offers you all of the intuitive search/content functions you would expect from a premium template.
Beautiful image? Check. Minimalist aesthetic? Check. A complete lack of anything unimportant above the fold? Check. Cityfeet.com efficiently delivers everything you could possibly desire from a real estate website, and doesn’t bother with much else. Very effective and visually pleasing as far as real estate web designs are concerned.
15. Land Broker
And for our final example we keep with the minimalist theme and present the Land Broker Joomla template. Much like Cityfeet, this template doesn’t waste space. It just delivers bold visual impact and the minimum in unnecessary content out of the box. What you’ll see on your homepage is strictly utilitarian, aimed at serving user needs and a little bit of brand recognition.
That’s our list. I hope you’ve enjoyed swimming through the sea of interesting designs and templates. Do you have any trends or techniques you’d like to see more of in the world of real estate web design? Tell us about it in the comment section.
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