Websites have become so essential to running a business that we can’t remember the last time we were asked “Do I need a website?”. Instead, the types of questions we get asked most are: 

  • What type of website do I need?
  • How should I promote my different services online? Through one website or multiple websites? What should they look like?
  • How can I make sure my website gets found by the right people?

Your website shows people who you are, what you stand for, and what you offer. It’s your digital storefront. And even research done a decade ago before the continued proliferation of online content (547,200 new websites are launched every day) shows that we make split second judgments about a business based on its website. To be exact, you have 0.05 seconds to make a positive first impression with your website or visitors will leave, often with no intention of coming back. 

So, what kind of website do you need in 2021?

Given the importance of standing out online and building a website that creates an impactful first impression, you may be wondering, okay, so how do I do that? When considering where to start, it’s helpful to think about the primary ways to design and build a website today: use a template or develop a custom design.

Templated website designs are appealing because they’re quicker to launch and cost less. Typically, you choose from a selection of themes offered by your website provider, input your content, configure the technical settings (DNS records, email, lead flow, etc.), and are ready to launch within days or weeks at most. With a custom website design, you have control over the look and feel of your website, and are able to tailor your website to your company’s and customers’ specific needs. 

Ready for a Custom Real Estate Website Design like Barrett Sotheby's International Realty?

Deciding whether you should go with a custom website design can be a bit overwhelming, so we’ve compiled the top benefits of a custom website design for real estate below. Note that not every business needs a custom-designed website and there are some situations in which we wouldn’t recommend companies go that route. Need help deciding? Contact us to discuss your specific needs and receive personalized recommendations. 

6 signs a custom real estate website design is right for you: 

  1. You want to make a great first impression. Your website is the backbone of your company and is how you can best build your real estate brand and stand out online. And, because of the number of websites that already exist and are being created every day, it’s more important than ever that you make the most of that all-too-important first impression you have with your potential customer, partner, employee, or whomever it is you’re looking to attract online. 
  2. You want your potential customers to find your website. These days, if your website isn’t able to be found in search engines, it’s like your company doesn’t exist. The goal of a search engine is to show users the most relevant results and the highest quality content for their search. Custom-designed, search engine optimized websites are tailored to your target website visitor, which means they’ll be more likely to both attract them and keep them interested in your content. This has the dual benefit of building your search engine authority as Google looks at the user’s experience with your website as an important ranking factor. The more popular, user-friendly, and relevant a website, the more Google will value it and display it in search results.
  3. You want to tailor your website to your audience. No one knows your audience as well as you do, so choosing a custom website design allows you to satisfy your audience’s specific needs and speak directly to them. 
  4. You want to be relevant and stay on-trend. The real estate industry has experienced significant change. New entrants and business models have emerged; technology for real estate websites, lead generation for real estate, and more is ever-evolving; and consumer expectations are completely different than they were a decade ago. A custom website design for real estate buyers, sellers, and agents gives you more flexibility to speak to the needs of the moment, as well as to incorporate evergreen features and functionality that lets you make updates in the future. For example, if you work with or hope to work with Millennials, your website may not meet their current needs. Millennials are searching for homes that are close to nature and to entertainment options; that are walkable and offer a higher quality of life. Incorporating elements like an interactive map into your website and content that speaks directly to these needs is a great way to appeal to Millennials, and what works for them today may not work in two years, certainly didn’t work two years ago, and may not work for your other ideal customers. Custom-designed websites offer more real estate (pun, intended!) for you to showcase different elements of your expertise, services, and past experiences, so you can appeal to different groups and evolve what you offer them at the same time. 
  5. You know being mobile-first is essential. Mobile browsing accounts for about half of all online traffic in 2021. We typically see 55-65% of traffic (or more!) originating from mobile devices. With a custom-designed real estate website, you’re able to ensure that the best features of your website are displayed and compatible on mobile devices, and that content is tailored to each device and user experience (for example, by having a different home page for your website on desktop computers vs. mobile devices). 
  6. You want more leads. Similar to tailoring your website to your audience, a custom website design gives you the opportunity to optimize your website more effectively for conversions and leads. Custom-designed websites give you the ability to create specific conversion paths that will guide customers where you want them to go, making sure they hit all of the right points and get all of the information they need along the way.

Custom-designed websites typically require a larger upfront investment than templated websites and from feedback we’ve received from clients who have made the decision to proceed with a custom design, they more than carry their weight in terms of the increased traffic, real estate leads, brand recognition, and positive agent perception of their company. Whether you’re looking to redesign your current real estate website, expand it, or start from scratch, let our team of award-winning website designers help you stand out and impress online. Connect with us today to discuss what’s best for you.