Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

Q: We are often asked," In luxury real estate web design, how do you create a "sticky" website?

A: Think of your website as a fine luxury goods retail store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, where millions of dollars are spent on a storefront alone, to lure customers in the door. The interiors are designed to help keep them in the store and encourage them to buy. The longer they stay the more likely they will buy.   The store owners want customer to "stick around" and also look forward to coming back. That is what is meant by "sticky". Not all luxury real estate markets have this high profile. Most are much more low key, especially in vacation destination areas. But, keep these three key guidelines in mind to create a sticky website for marketing luxury real estate:

1. “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”—Leonardo Da Vinci.  A website needs to be easy to navigate for visitors as well as your current clients.  The faster a visitor is able to reach what they came into “your store” to find the more satisfied they will be and the more likely they will return.

2.  The Pajama Rule: However, handsome or gorgeous you may be, we don’t advise that you have your picture on your home page.  How do you feel when you walk into a store and you are accosted by one sales person after another, over-eager to “serve” you?  The best web sites today are self-service stores that encourage the visitor to reach out to you for help, when they are ready.  One of our clients decided to do a survey with her loyal clients.  She asked them about her picture being omnipresent on her website. One of her best clients said, “I love working with you. However, I do not want to see your picture, when I am searching for properties on your website in my pajamas.  It feels like you are looking over my shoulder.”

3. Keep your home page clutter-free.  Attract, don’t distract.  Motion graphic links to schools, the weather report, the chamber of commerce, the ski report, the fishing report, the local news feed, sellers’ reports, buyers’ reports, and market reports, all of these items tend to distract the person who is interested in seeing properties.  Links are wonderful if organized properly; otherwise they distract and cause people to forget why they came into your store to begin with.  

Imagine you are your own customer and you just walked out of your store. Conduct your own “exit poll”.  Ask yourself these two questions: Did you get what you came for?  Was it a rich and satisfying experience?