Most of Triangle real estate websites are missing the point:
They are not user friendly
They do not respect usability rules
They do not respect the web standards (valid CSS/HTML)
They are not optimized for search engines
They do not have a good identity
Realtors and real estate web agencies alike, treat real estate web design as if it is different from good web design.
Well-known Internet marketing companies advise real estate agents to offer value on their website like MLS Search, buyer and seller reports, info about a specific neighborhood and so on and do not focus at all on usability and on page optimization.
From experience I can tell that if a person wants to search for homes they will use established well known sites like realtor.com, fmrealty.com, remax.com, etc. They will not use small websites for searching. The same when they research, they will use zillow.com or the county tax bill records.
A small realtor website will never be able to compete against a big, established one that spends millions in web design, development and advertising.
All real estate agents want to present themselves as exquisite invaluable help in the process of buying a house. Excellence and experience are the words used most by realtors. How do realtors show this to their customers? An exquisite, top of the line website that uses the latest proven web design trends and technologies will definitely show their deserved online identity. They shouldn’t focus to much on virtual tours, search for homes, neighborhood reports and totally miss the point of excellence on the web. Real Estate agents should show their clients that are able to reflect their business philosophy in everything they are doing.
Being fresh by definition, a blog can be a great marketing tool today. Real estate agents can use it to build trust and offer the right amount of tips and information a home buyer expects to get when buying a house. It is easy to say “consider my website as your real estate information tool” but it is much better to actually offer this to your customers.
How real estate web design is going around Raleigh and Triangle Area? Are any of the real estate websites comming close to zillow.com the big web 2.0 hottie that is shaking the real estate business? Even if real estate agents do not agree, just remember that their clients, home buyers, made Zillow the success it is in just a couple of years. Is real estate business in Raleigh-Durham area prepared for the future?
The Internet is changing the real estate business fast. Neglecting their websites now can cost real estate agents a lot in the future.