4 essential features of a real estate website design
Due to our long-time experience with WordPress, we can state that a site built on a premium theme will provide more stability and flexibility for your online business. Although you could get a free or multipurpose WordPress theme and customize it, a real estate enterprise will need more than essential features.
WP Residence is our premium theme, developed to meet the needs of every type of realtor. Residence includes several features and integral elements that are essential to your business. So what are the elements that tell the difference between a real estate theme and other dedicated templates? The following post will overview the specific aspects of an excellent website design for real estate.
Your website visitor gets the first impression of your business when landing on your site. The first element that makes a connection with the audience is the header or the uppermost module.
The header appearance should be in according to your real estate business goals. Thus, you should choose a minimal header if you want to keep a clean design and encourage the audience to focus on your offer. If you are in the process of building your brand, an impressive and engaging header will best suit your needs.
The typical elements to include in your header are the brand name, logo and the contact details: phone, address, working hours. Other features that are included: menu navigation (home, properties, agents, blog, contact us page), the social media icons, professional photography (hero image, slideshow) and a call-to-action button such as an invitation to call.
Wp Residence theme allows you to choose from 30+ header styles and 7 menu design styles from the most minimal to the more complex ones. Our Header type 1 has an unfussy, elegant design and includes the brand name and logo and a simple menu. The owner can manage the header background, height and font types, colors, size, as well as the sub-menu design elements.
For a big impression on your audience Residence offers transparent header option which you can use in combination with a mega menu, a slider or video for a full effect.
For a modern and engaging design, Media Header options include Google Maps with custom height, a full-screen header with a video or an image (parallax style is included), and several property slider designs.
Your site should provide the best user experience, and for that, you should make sure that it is easy to navigate. Keep in mind your target audience when building your site. The navigation module should be visible, useful and succinct.
The items presented in the navigation bar should be relevant to every page your visitor will land on.
Keep the terms simple and avoid vague terms such as tools, resources, info, etc.
Dropdowns are an easy way to organize your website content and provide easy website scanning for your audience. Therefore, if you keep a blog, use the drop-down to present your best articles or categories to increase interest.
Typical elements to include in the main menu are: Home, About, Contact us. The other elements are left to your business requirements and may consist of: Listings, Featured, Testimonials, Blog, Buy property, etc.
To enhance the navigation bar’s effectiveness, you can leave the main menu only for real estate specific terms and create a new bar for Contact details.
Try to use powerful words such as verbs to encourage navigation. Call to action buttons should not be included in the main menu as not to lower their impact. Their role is to grab visitor’s attention so they should have a different design and site placement.
Calls to action
Your visitors will expect to find answers to their searches when they land on your site. Keep that in mind when you choose your calls-to-action. Make their visit worthwhile by providing useful content and clear CTAs that connect with the target audience. The most common CTAs for a real estate website are invitations to:
- view listings: (map, advanced search), featured listings
- contact the business owner
- subscribe to get free newsletters
- read testimonials
- read market reports
- have a home evaluation
- use mortgage tools
- watch a dedicated video
The more relevant your calls-to-action are for your audience, the more your visitors will engage with your site.
You can make sure you are successful in that effort by placing them accordingly.
They should be visible immediately, and at all times, so the best place for them is above the scroll.
This is done with parallax horizontal CTA, and in Wp Residence we have included a contact form with a graceful design that can expand and collapse.
The property search tool adds more value to your real estate website than any other element. The included theme search from Wp Residence is multi-featured and offers you all the needed options to allow visitors to search for properties.
On top of that, with an optional IDX plugin program, your audience can be engaged in seeing other listings from specific MLS you work with.
Let users save searches and to get notifications of new listings, and your site will be a lead-capture machine.
With the right advanced form, you will get the most of your site, and you will be recognized as the go-to place for your target audience.
Property search features are especially useful for niche sites helping your visitors to navigate easily through the listings.
The placement of the search form should be according to your audience expectations and conversion triggers. A useful search form has a clear text, appealing design and can range from simple forms to the more advanced searches.
A quick search will filter the current listings after a few elements such as location, property type, price, beds, baths. The search form can be placed horizontal, vertical, in the center or the sidebar.
A particular type of search form is the sticky search that remains in a fixed position throughout the page navigation.
The latest in web design, sticky form increases user confidence and engagement as it enables multiple searches and gives a sense of control in the online interaction.
Wp Residence offers several search form options with a Sticky search for Homepage being one of them. The expanding sticky search is placed on top, before the Google Map media header and remains in that place while the user scrolls up and down.
Advanced searches will have additional options such as map search, extra property filters and the possibility of getting listing alerts.
Residence provides 11 types of advanced searches that include Ajax filtering over Google map, endless property fields combinations, color customization, custom property markers and many other options.