5 Simple Website Rules

Services for Real Estate Pros with RE/Advantage
Here are some suggestions for everyone that has a website. When designing a website you sometimes only have one chance to keep the visitor from clicking the back button on their web browser. For years, we have been told that when going to an interview you have 10 seconds to make a lasting first impression. There is no difference when someone visits your website. You have 10 seconds for that person to deceide if this is the place they should stay.

Rule #1: Limit the use or do not use flashy banners and advertisements at the beginning of you website.

There is nothing more annoying than clicking on a website to see cartoon characters and advertisements for other products flashing in front of your face. The only exception to this rule is determined by the purpose of you website. In other words if the Flash helps convey your message use it.

Rule #2: Make sure your website navigation is easy to use. If your viewer has to search for a navigation button to find information about you or your inventory, the visitor may get frustrated and leave your website.

As a rule of thumb, your navigation buttons should be on the left side or top of your web page because the majority of people read from left to right. Think about reading a newspaper or a book.

Rule #3: When visitors are browsing your site, have a clear indication for the visitor of where they are on your website and how to get to other parts.

You may want to put a link on each page (or breadcrumbs) that the visitor clicks to take them to the home page or another page relating to the information currently viewing. Use clear paragraph headers as well.

Rule #4: When designing your website pay close attention to loading time. You can reduce loading time by reducing graphics or optimizing them on each page. The longer it takes the pages to load the more frustrating it can be to the visitor.

Rule #5: Use a font that is common to all web browsers and easy to read. If you want to keep your look consistent use a font common to all web browsers like Arial. This way you know what the page will look like to everyone viewing it.

Comments (11)

Ervin Alston
EMA GRAPHICS - Virginia Beach, VA

Thanks for the tips.



Dec 15, 2008 03:24 PM
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

How long did it take you to formulate these items???  Are you going to post a tutorial on adding sugar and creme to coffee next?

You need to dig deeper for useful information to post!

Cameron Novak, Corona Real Estate Agent
Cameron Novak

Corona Real Estate Agent
The Homefinding Center
Corona, California

Chat With A Corona
Real Estate Agent 24/7/365

Dec 15, 2008 03:28 PM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

All great pieces of advice. All the best for the holiday season.

Dec 15, 2008 03:30 PM
kenny Park
www.showinghouse.com - Duluth, GA

that's great tips..


Dec 15, 2008 03:33 PM
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate

These are some great tips.  Laying out proper navigation is probably one of the hardest things to get right.  I also have a hard time not getting carried away with all the web 2.0 eye candy available.

Dec 15, 2008 03:46 PM

Cameron - why do you have to spread negativity? Some people may not be as advanced and supremely knowledgeable as you are - God forbid. Don't be mean. Wow, it feels like I'm talking to my 4 year-old.

Dec 15, 2008 03:56 PM
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

All great tips, and some we should all adhere to. We have to remember that legibility and functionality and fast load times are crucial to customer satisfaction.

Dec 15, 2008 04:16 PM
Jean Powers
Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002 - Alameda, CA
CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California

Mark, thank you for your tips. Ignore comments from people like Cameron. I believe in posting positive comments or I don't comment at all. Keep up the good work.

Dec 15, 2008 04:24 PM
Mark Menzella
RE/Advantage - Fairfield, NJ
We build websites for REALTORS®

Jean & Renee - Thanks for the support. 

Cameron - While I appreciate all comments, blatant negative ones are just plain mean.  There are some people where a post like this would help.  Some people do not have the vast knowledge you believe you have.  I took a look at your website and I can see how very experienced you are (lol).  Before yo jump the gum consider all of the authors post and also the audience you also might be insulting.

Dec 18, 2008 09:37 PM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Even many of the real estate website providers would do well to read this post!  I really, really like bread crumbs, and my own website doesn't do it, but I almost wish all sites did, life would be simpler.

Dec 30, 2008 02:56 PM
Sonny Kwan
Quantum Group Commercial - Residential - Lease Seattle, WA - Mercer Island, WA

All excellent rules to live by when building a website, points well taken and well advised.

Jan 03, 2009 04:38 AM