Real estate website design, especially in such a competitive world such as real estate, should never be a static entity. Brokerage websites should act dynamically for the consumer and for the brokerage. In this age of constant updates, brokerages are constantly looking for the best ways to continue to optimize their website and hopefully drive their business and lead generation. That being said, I composed a list of the most popular trends in real estate website design in 2013.

  1. Make it Google-esque: The new trend in many home search sites is that it should be as close to the Google design as possible. This means no clutter, just a search bar along with site navigations at the top. All I continue to hear from brokers and website design teams alike is that “it should be Google-esque.” The trend used to be to have mortgage rates, blogging, recruitment, etc., all on the home page, but now major syndicators like Zillow and realtor.com are becoming Google-esque, which in turn makes brokers want the same thing.
  2. Responsive design: It is very frustrating when using a tablet or smartphone to toggle between the right and left side of the page. Well, with the ongoing switch to responsive design, sites are now able to adapt to the size of the screen. For developers, responsive design means only having to produce one site instead of having to develop both a mobile site and a main site.
  3. Transition from Flash to HTML5: More developers are using HTML5 than ever before, and there is an ongoing debate on which method is best. The two major arguments for the transition are: (1) Apple devices are not supported by Flash, which counts for 35 percent of mobile search; and (2) Flash code is compiled, which means search engines cannot spider Flash content, giving the host no SEO benefit, but HTML is seen as plain text.
  4. Parallax scrolling: Do you remember playing “Super Mario Bros.” and Mario would run through the levels, but the background would just slowly scroll depending on the movement of the character? That is parallax scrolling. Essentially, this scrolling technique consists of background layers moving slower than the front layers. This is beginning to make an appearance in major brokerage sites and website design in general. Typically, websites are laid out like a newspaper, the most important information is “above the fold,” or, in the digital age, “above the scroll.” Now, this basically eliminates that hierarchy where you can scroll down the site, but the most important graphics are still in front of you.
  5. Moving to open-source blogging platforms: This may seem obvious, but a lot of real estate blogs have either just made the change or are in the process of making the change from a proprietary content management system to a WordPress or Blogger platform. The main reason being that proprietary blogs are a bit closed off, which disengages the user and broker to major networking and SEO opportunities.

Mark Stansbury is the marketing communications specialist for Prudential New Jersey Properties; he manages the social media, blogging, public relations, and advertising for the company. 

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Don’t miss out! Inman Connect Las Vegas is this week and you can catch all the excitement with a virtual ticket.Register Now×
Limited time: Get 30 days of Inman Select for $5.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription