A woman navigates to a real estate website on her laptop

3 ways to recharge your website before the market bounces back 

T3 Sixty’s technology consultants share their findings about the importance of speed, design and functionality for brokerage sites.

May 31, 2024
3 minutes

Key points:

  • Simple (but not too simple) is better when it comes to loading time — an important consideration if you don’t want to frustrate your users.
  • When redesigning your real estate website, it’s important to think "mobile first" since most web traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • Leaning into mobile features like location services and GPS can improve the user experience and help you garner more leads.

Real estate activity is in the doldrums. Brokerage leaders can either wait it out — or use the slowdown as an opportunity to improve operations before the market picks up again.

One area brokers should evaluate is their online presence. Nearly every brokerage has a website, but it's not something you can just set and forget. Your website is a key marketing tool, and enhancing its speed and functionality can pay dividends. 

Real estate technology consultants Travis Saxton, EVP of enterprise solutions at T3 Sixty, and Michael Phelan, SVP of marketing and technology consulting, recently shared new research about real estate websites and offered practical lessons for brokerage leaders interested in an upgrade. (Note: T3 Sixty and Real Estate News share a founder, Stefan Swanepoel.)

Here are three tips for giving your brokerage site a boost:

Simple is good, but don't leave out key info

After running several real estate sites through Google Lighthouse, a tool used to evaluate website quality, Saxton and Phelan confirmed that the less complicated the site, the faster the loading times. Too many videos and plugins can bog a website down, leading to a more frustrating user experience.

"Ultimately, simplicity and beautiful design outweighed all this 'over-featuring' on a website," Saxton said.

He added, however, that a website can be too simple, and failing to provide enough information also hurts the customer experience. The key is to find the sweet spot where a website is streamlined but gives users what they want.

Think mobile first, desktop second

Even though mobile devices account for the majority of website traffic, Phelan said vendors and clients still tend to focus on how a site will look on a desktop computer.

"We continue to design first for desktop, even though we all know that we should think mobile first," Phelan said.

Why is a mobile-first approach important? Because mobile devices have smaller screens, and more thought needs to go into presenting information to users who are consuming content on the go, Saxton said. Creating a good mobile experience can improve a site's effectiveness and ultimately help convert users to clients.

Lean into GPS and location services

Some of the best leads in real estate can come from people looking up information on their phones, perhaps after spotting a listing. 

Phelan said knowing your customer's location when they're looking at your website can open up a variety of opportunities. For example, if you know where your users are, you might win some loyalty by partnering with a local business like a coffee shop and including a special offer for your site visitors. That may prompt them to stay on your site longer, increasing your chances of turning a user into a lead.

The longer someone stays on the site, Phelan said, the better the conversion rate.

If you leverage your website well, you can capture all sorts of signals your users are sending — and that information can be almost as valuable as getting someone to fill out your contact form, Phelan said.

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