It’s time to go beyond responsive. Instead of bios, endless acronyms and pages of what you can do for someone, trim the fat on your site. On the list of what web visitors value the most today, simple search and individual listing pages top the list in the real estate realm and should be showcased.

  • True mobility, simple search and individual listing pages should be showcased on any real estate office's website.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

The first thing we do after hearing the name of a company, person or product is run straight to the Internet.

As such, I landed on the website of an agent while conducting due diligence prior to an interview.

Or I thought it was his website. I’m still not sure. It was a big Keller Williams regional portal or something. Out of date. Inconsistent. Utterly tedious.

My hope is that this office is currently doing some due diligence of their own into web design firms.

Here are three must-haves to include when you do undertake that website overhaul.

1. Individual listing pages

Complete and shareable web pages for every listing under your shingle should be on your website.

Brokerages should have a formal business process in place that takes new listing agreements and turns them into searchable, visually literate home information pages. It should be done before the first “coming soon” email is sent.

Individual listing pages (preferably with custom URLs), fortify content depth, offer additional inroads to the company and demonstrate the market reach of your company.

I think it’s time to go beyond responsive.

2. Simple search

Despite a few recent failures typical of any new fast growing vertical, the on-demand app economy is still cranking. It’s because people don’t have time and thus don’t want to make decisions.

So why are real estate websites asking people to filter by 50 different parameters?

I believe the most effective home search starts with location. It may very well end there, too. Once a home shopper is in their community of choice, they’ll find reasons to “just look” at the five-bedroom knowing they don’t even need four. There’s no reason your home search needs to be all things to all people.

Make finding listings fun, simple and intuitive. Oh, and make sure that an action on one home triggers a “You might also like … ” alert.

3. True mobility

I think it’s time to go beyond responsive. Changing size is one thing, but there’s real value in changing shape.

Instead of bios, endless agent acronyms and pages of what you can do for someone, trim the fat on your mobile site. Consider making it only about the homes, a “search-and-go” approach. Use big, bold buttons, cool colors and full-screen photo carousels.

The heart of mobile content beats with the blood of simplicity. Give them a listing to look at, its price, place — and a person.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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