As a luxury real estate marketing professional, it is important to continue to meet the current needs of potential clients on your web site. Luxury real estate sites need to evolve as consumers become more web-savvy, clearer about what they are looking for and more time-starved.
Consumers now expect to instantly find what they came for and also be able to control the speed at which they consume the information they find. “Flash” sites and rich media sites are a thing of the past. They can be a turn-off or a distraction for the “ready-minded” person.
For example, watching a slide show or a video about a particular listing presents the information at the speed you set which is not necessarily their speed. A slide show with thumbnails that they can click on, touch to view (on a touch screen) or hover-over at their own pace is now preferred.
Luxury real estate websites should be easy to navigate and facilitate immediate access to information in a self-serve environment. The MLS can be viewed from a multitude of sites. Property search is a commodity and it is free. The days of having someone register to view properties are over unless you offer an extraordinary promise of value that cannot be found on your competitors’ sites.
Less is more! Pare down unnecessary information. Luxury buyers do not want to access properties in all the neighborhoods in a given marketplace. They most likely are interested in the luxury areas only. Therefore, augment custom search functionality with pre-set search queries based on anticipated criteria, such as property type, location, and price range. This offers them the luxury of time and makes it easy to get what they want which is an added value.
Less is more in design as well. Keep it simple and elegant. Think of website design as a map to guide your viewer’s eyes to what they want to see. Your sellers want to see their properties displayed elegantly. Your buyers want to see your listings as well as the rest of the relevant inventory in your marketplace. Present the canned information (schools, demographics, etc) stylishly. Do not take the easy way out and just give them a links to other sites.
Today’s luxury real estate consumer expects to find original content in addition to commoditized information that most likely can be found on all of your competitor’s websites. Blogs offer the vehicle to present original information from the author’s point of view. Yet, very, very few luxury real estate marketing professionals properly maximize this opportunity to connect with web-savvy consumers. If you offer truly original content, consumers will actually slow down and take the time to appreciate your unique slant because doing so is a luxury.
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