Beautifully designed web pages stand out miles above the sea of "my website looks like every other template website." You too can have a website in about an hour with pre-populated stock real estate articles and hard to use navigation, and absolutely way too much information blasting at you when you hit the home page. Getting a website like this is fast, relatively inexpensive, and EASY - but is it effective?
(can you sense my disdain?? ;)
Will consumers (you know, these are the people that you want to hire you) actually LIKE your presentation and decide to call or email you? Or will that whoosh sound be them going back to their google results page to keep on looking?
Well, there are quite a few out there doing this the right way. These are the ones that give us inspiration to take elements about their pages and presentations that we like and do something similar with our own. Talk to your web designer about incorporating some new and fresh ideas into your pages. As you look below, you will also see links to designers pages who you can talk to if you are looking for somebody to help.
When I come across a page that I like, I tag it into my inspiration folder to come back to for ideas later. These 10 sites are ones that I have recently tagged with a "craig's click" and I wanted to share them with you. (I've recently discovered the site pinterest.com and this "board" itself is inspiration of that great idea)
This website by Sue Adler grabs you from the moment you land! The map graphic shows Sue's area of focus as well as being clickable. You can also search for homes using the tile on the right. Directly below are featured homes for sale and lots of VIDEO tiles. The top navigation bar is very well categorized for target interests. This is a custom design by the virtualresults team, led by Jim Marks (website). Sue's site I give a big thumbs up and keep at the top of my bookmarks list! If you are interested in incorporating well-done video into your marketing plan, take close note of Sue's work in that regard. Everything in a word, Awesome!
The Salem Real Estate Group has a website that is very welcoming with great information. The visually appealing design is the work of the very talented designer Suzanne Stephens (AR Profile | Website). The header graphics display in slideshow mode and show the local area features stunningly. Suzanne keeps the home search panel high on the left sidebar so it is never far away. The elegant graphics is complimented by the useful information such as on the "New2Salem Blog" page on the top menu that takes you over to the blog posts nicely broken up in to categories to choose from.
M Squared Real Estate has a very web 2.0 styled and attractive page. The banner slideshow grabs your eye and the search for homes box is right there to dive in. The tiled category buttons are directly underneath. Not too many things to choose from, just the main thoughts! Neighborhood information is laid out nicely in a panel just below. The footer gives a nice sitemap to further fine tune the question "what are you interested in?" This site design is a product of their IN-HOUSE web team (note: updated designed by info CORRECTED)... excellent job guys!
Clean design, effective action tiles -- that is why I tagged this site. I don't like to be distracted by everything you know on placed on your home page! Give us a chance to pick our topics. The John Hall & Associates site does this effectively. It is a well done design (web designer unknown).
This design shows that getting to the basics works fantastically also. The top of the page is the main topics. Below we can search for homes (one of the main reasons somebody is there!). We are also introduced to the site owner Jonathan Bunn. His latest blog posts are right there for us to see above the fold (we can tell he is an active blogger). The main calls to action are on the left sidebar such as short sale info, market stats, and getting home's worth info. This clean and effective design is the work of Real Estate Tomato (website).
Kerry Lucasse (AR Profile) and team have created a visually attractive place on the web for their visitors to spend some time! The page is very attractive and the information is laid out in very colorful and easy to navigate zones. The neighborhoods landing page, I especially like. The visitor can explore each neighborhood and click on the predefined search links direct into that neighboorhood. The use of colors and graphics throughout the whole site is well done and must help the "time on page" metric to stay high and also capture some leads!
If you don't recognize the "Phoenix Real Estate Guy" - he is Jay Thompson (AR Profile). You should definitely spend time reading Jay's blog at the website above. This is a great design. Visual appeal resounds in the colors and banner information. The four main categories of topics are big tiles to pick from right at the top of the page. Below is the most current blog posts (a forte of Jay's). Very important - contact information is impossible to miss along with his other main social pages. It is easy to see why Jay is a great choice in the Phoenix area!
Coral Gables, Miami, Florida
What is exiting about modern websites is that they are dynamic and come alive with new content. The blogger in us helps to keep push out new information on things we discover and share. Janie Coffey of Miami shows us how this can be done on her site. Janie and Karyn are active in providing new content via their posts and videos, facebook and twitter. These are a couple of ladies that don't stand still and there's always something new to see. Their accordion slider at the top of the home page is a great way to present the main categories of your blog posts to help your reader get to what they are interested. Their site is wordpress based along with the Thesis theme.
A person looking for a home in Cleveland and who comes across Chris Olsen's site will be inclined to stay and spend some time. Chris (AR Profile) had called on the design services of Inna and Jon Hardison at ha Media (AR Profile & website). This design brings all of the essential elements together in a clean and easy to follow layout. The navigation menu at the top takes you to the main categories. However, so you don't miss the most important ones, they are tiled below into six main branches of helpful things for your search. Chris' blog is in a carousel box just below where the most recent posts are shown one after another.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Finally, we head down to North Carolina to see what Debe Maxwell has been up to on one of her many sites. Buyers usually know where they want to look, straight from the home page on clear and easy to follow navigation links they can jump right into a huge map and start a visual home search for what's on the market. Debe also keeps us in the know about all local information via her blog posts there and information for buyers to make a very informed home buying or selling decision! Debe has more than one Wordpress (WP) site and if you want to learn strategies from a blogging pro, check out her upcoming webinar on AR University which she tells me is 1/19 (head on over to the calendar and sign up!)
Well there you have it. Ten websites to get you thinking about your own website. Inspiration is a great thing! If you want to nominate other sites for bookmark by Craig, I'm all ears. You can see all of these pages is a big slideshow view also so you can look at the finer details and quickly click through all the slides that way.
(if you are interested in previous craig's clicks gold star posts, that link will take you to a page listing my previous posts)