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#141419 - 02/08/08 06:00 AM Need your opinion! Thanks!
Edelweiss Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 4136
Loc: American living in Europe
I sell real-estate in Germany, and am in the process of changing my presentation on the web. I want a new refreshing look, and not the kind of homepage that is dry and cold like a bank or finance site.

What kind of real-estate site would you delve more into?

1.) Personal and caring: Like a good friend taking care of your needs and wishes.
Or
Short, straight to the point…professional

2.) Photography is very important. The more pictures the better, and of course the floor plan for each object is a must.
or
Short descriptions…not so much blah blah…price is the major thing

3.) Leisure music in the background, with a lovely slide show of the area and their highlights….just to get in the mood.
or
No music. Get straight to the point and don’t waste my time.

4.) Interested in the realtors background and how long they are in business
Or
The less irrelevant info the better.

5.) Value good links
Or
never look at links.

6.) Colour scheme lifts my mood.
Like
Blue and white, fresh and clean
Warm colours, orange, yellow and red
Black and white, classy and cool, with a dab of red

7.) What would you particularly look out for in a real-estate site to keep you from clicking off in a flash.

I know there are so many websites to just down load and rework…but I want an original one, nothing over the counter; so I appreciate any feedback.

Thank you so much.
Hannelore

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#141420 - 02/08/08 08:01 AM Re: Need your opinion! Thanks! [Re: Edelweiss]
ladyjane Offline


Registered: 08/22/07
Posts: 1761
Loc: Southern Maine, USA
Okay here are my personal thoughts and preferences....
1. I think personal and caring is good because you're exploring a huge decision
2. I think photography is a huge thing on this type of site. I recall thinking "there's never enough photos...only floor plans." It's nice to see as many angles as possible before deciding to take the time to travel to view it.
3. Why not have the music going? People have the option of turning off speakers.
4. It's nice to hear a realtors background in a concise and not too wordy way.
5. A links option is nice...you can look if you really want to but again, it's just a personal option.
6. Warm is homey....so that would be my choice.
7. A lot of photographic options....you can really shop better that way.
_________________________
If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane ~ Jimmy Buffett

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#141421 - 02/08/08 08:11 AM Re: Need your opinion! Thanks! [Re: Edelweiss]
Dancing Dolphin Offline
Member

Registered: 03/06/06
Posts: 2529
Loc: Southern California
1.) Personal and caring: Like a good friend taking care of your needs and wishes. Or Short, straight to the point, professional

I LIKE BOTH. WHILE I WANT A SITE TO FEEL WARM AND PERSONAL, I WANT THE INFO AND I WANT IT FAST. SO MAKE IT VERY EASY FOR ME TO FIND WHAT I WANT. MAYBE INCLUDE A SEARCH BOX, OR A WAY TO SORT LISTINGS BY PRICE, # OF BEDROOMS, FIREPLACE, ETC. ALSO KEEP THE NAVIGATION SIMPLE.


2.) Photography is very important. The more pictures the better, and of course the floor plan for each object is a must or Short descriptions…not so much blah blah…price is the major thing

ON THE INITIAL LISTINGS PAGE, A PHOTO WITH THE PRICE AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION IS FINE. THEN IF I'M INTERESTED, I'D LIKE IT TO GO TO ANOTHER PAGE WITH FLOOR PLAN AND A LOT OF DETAIL. HANNELORE, ALWAYS HAVE YOUR CONTACT INFO ON EVERY PAGE; IF THEY ARE INTERESTED IN A HOME, THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE TO SEARCH AROUND FOR YOUR CONTACT PAGE AND LOSE THE LISTING THEY ARE INTERESTED IN.

3.) Leisure music in the background, with a lovely slide show of the area and their highlights….just to get in the mood or No music. Get straight to the point and don’t waste my time.

I BROWSE WITH MY SPEAKERS OFF. MUSIC IS A TRICKY THING; IT MAY MAKE YOUR SITE SEEM MORE HIGH-TECH, BUT YOU'RE NOT SELLING HIGH-TECH THINGS, YOU'RE SELLING HOMES. I WOULD SKIP THE MUSIC; NO MATTER WHAT YOU CHOOSE, SOMEONE WON'T LIKE IT. IF IT'S NOT THERE, NO ONE WILL MISS IT.

REGARDING A SLIDE SHOW, THOSE ARE NICE IF THEY LOAD VERY FAST. I WOULD NEVER PUT ON THE VERY FIRST (SPLASH) PAGE OF YOUR SITE. IF PEOPLE HAVE A SLOW COMPUTER, THEY WILL NOT WAIT FOR IT TO PLAY OUT, THEY'LL JUST LEAVE YOUR SITE. I WOULD PROBABLY SKIP THE SLIDE SHOW EXCPET MAYBE FOR THE LISTINGS, IF YOU HAVE MULTIPLE IMAGES OF EACH HOME. THAT WOULD BE WONDERFUL TO SEE A SLIDE SHOW OF THE HOUSE I'M INTERESTED IN.

4.) Interested in the realtors background and how long they are in businesS Or The less irrelevant info the better.

IF YOU'VE BEEN IN BUSINESS A LONG TIME, OR HAVE THE DESIGNATION OF TOP SELLER, ETC, THEN BY ALL MEANS SHARE IT WITH YOUR CLIENTS. IT WILL GIVE THEM CONFIDENCE. IF THERE'S NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY, THEN I WOULD STILL HAVE AN "ABOUT US" TYPE OF PAGE WITH YOUR PHOTO AND A BRIEF BIO AND THE TYPE OF SERVICE YOU CAN PROVIDE.

5.) Value good linkS Or never look at links.

I WOULD LOOK AT LINKS LIKE SCHOOL DISTRICTS, MORTGAGE RATES, ETC, BUT REMEMBER THAT LINKS CAN TAKE PEOPLE OFF YOUR SITE AND TO ANOTHER ONE. I WOULD GO LIGHT ON THE LINKS, AND IF POSSIBLE JUST TRY TO HAVE THE PERTINENT INFO ACTUALLY ON A PAGE ON YOUR SITE. IT'S GOOD TO GIVE THE VISITORS A REASON TO CALL YOU, SO DON'T GIVE THEM EVERY BIT OF INFO.

6.) Colour scheme lifts my mood. Like
Blue and white, fresh and clean Warm colours, orange, yellow and red Black and white, classy and cool, with a dab of red

IN THE US, IT SEEMS BLUE AND RED ARE VERY POPULAR COLORS FOR REAL ESTATE. WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE, MAKE IT EASY ON THE EYES. NO DARK BACKGROUNDS WITH LIGHT TYPE - TOO HARD TO READ. KEEP THE SITE WHITE OR CREAM WITH ONE MAIN COLOR, THEN ADD A DASH OF TWO OTHER HIGHLIGHT COLORS. RARELY SHOULD YOU GO MORE THAN THREE COLORS; IT BECOMES OVERWHELMING. REMEMBER, YOU ARE SELLING REAL ESTATE, NOT DESIGN SERVICES THAT MIGHT REQUIRE A BIT MORE COLOR.

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#141422 - 02/08/08 11:47 AM Re: Need your opinion! Thanks! [Re: Dancing Dolphin]
Edelweiss Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 4136
Loc: American living in Europe
Thank you for helping me out so fast. Kathy you sound like my computer guru, he said all the same things. I'm listening though,...and know I have to jump over my own personal preferences for the marketing strategy. I have a hard time doing that.

I just think that the homepages are all beginning to resemble one another too much. So I will try to get a bit of personality in it.

Thanks Jane and Kathy, and as soon as it's finished I'll post the link.

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#141423 - 02/08/08 01:29 PM Re: Need your opinion! Thanks! [Re: Edelweiss]
ladyjane Offline


Registered: 08/22/07
Posts: 1761
Loc: Southern Maine, USA
Yes, after I read Kathy's intelligent post, I wish I had just shut my mouth! She has it down to a science and I read with interest....and will take that same advice also!
_________________________
If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane ~ Jimmy Buffett

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#141424 - 02/08/08 01:52 PM Re: Need your opinion! Thanks! [Re: ladyjane]
Dancing Dolphin Offline
Member

Registered: 03/06/06
Posts: 2529
Loc: Southern California
Nah, ALL comments are welcome! I've been building websites for 11 years, so I have those kinds of conversations with my clients regularly...

Kathy

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#141425 - 02/08/08 02:11 PM Re: Need your opinion! Thanks! [Re: Edelweiss]
gims Offline
Member

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 3402
Loc: USA
1.) I'd also say both, but if I had to choose one over the other, I'd go with professional. I've seen testimonials on sites to add a "caring" aspect, but those can be faked, so they are pretty much useless. You can add the "caring and personal" with/in your bio.

2.) Photography is very important. But, more pictures are not always better. Better is photo content. Each picture should have as much area in it as possible, without compromising the shot. The photos should be of the most important parts of the property – say front and back view, kitchen, living room, floor plan, special features etc. Photos should be crisp and clear. For each listing, have a way to open a picture gallery in another window. That way after they view the gallery, they can close it and return to the primary listing without loosing it if it happens to be a property of choice. (The photo gallery could be a page of pictures, any of which a potential buyer could click on to enlarge. Small photos infuriate me – so the enlarge feature is a must, in my opinion.) And, you could add a “virtual tour” feature. You’d have to add video and have it open in another window, like the photo gallery, but a tour is nice when you want to imagine yourself on a property.

3.) No music. When people are looking for something as serious as real estate, they need to be able to think clearly. The only exception I can think of is having a little music @ the intro, which can have a skip feature. I don’t think slide shows are necessary either. Again, because of your product, you don’t want to over complicate the presentation. (refer to #2)

4.) Everywhere you can have your thumbnail picture or your logo, your name, your business name, your phone number put it there – get it imprinted on their minds – make it seem as if you are the one to call, no matter if it’s your listing or not. A bio page is nice, but for your type of business, it’d probably be better kept at a professional level, as in not having a bunch of pictures of family, etc.. I think a person’s credentials are more important than things like where they’ve lived and hobbies/interests… include selling stats, business affiliations, honors, awards, recognitions, and so on. When buying real estate, a potential buyer needs to know you have experience, good references, good history (not a fly by night), good ethics, good contacts, and can walk and chew at the same time.

5.) Links are a must. I think a list of links should be on a separate page, though, maybe through a “consumer tools” tab… again, one that opens in a separate window. Links to school district, tax office, parks and recreation, shopping, colleges and hospitals, moving & storage companies (coupon offerings are good), and other service providers.

6.) Colors can create mood. Mood is important. Keep it crisp, smart, clean … good contrasts like navy and sunflower yellow, nothing that fights – might investigate psychology of color to determine what colors are conducive to favorable real estate shopping.

7.) Information, information, information – vagueness would make me think there was something to hide. One bit of information in particular is disclosures – don’t waste your time or the buyers by failing to disclose something unpleasant… for instance, if you don’t want to have “cracked slab” in the description, have a consideration comment.


*To SPEED and EASE, I’d add accuracy and up to date.
*And, to the search box and sort listing feature, I’d add a way to save my favorite finds.
*One of the most frustrating things I’ve run into is not being able to find the type of contact information I need right then. Sometimes sites have physical addresses, but no phone number, or an email address, but no physical. It seems the contact info I need is the kind that’s not provided.
*Map feature, opening in a separate window
*Mortgage calculator
*Buyer checklist – maybe created in adobe, something that a buyer can printout and use as a search guide and for note taking.

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#141426 - 02/08/08 07:26 PM Re: Need your opinion! Thanks! [Re: ladyjane]
Phyllis0618 Offline
member

Registered: 07/06/06
Posts: 138
Loc: Oakland County, Michigan
I love Kathy's feedback. It is valuable to any of our websites. Kathy thank you.
_________________________
Please Support VisionWalk 2008 for Foundation Fighting Blindness

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#141427 - 02/08/08 08:46 PM Re: Need your opinion! Thanks! [Re: Phyllis0618]
Dancing Dolphin Offline
Member

Registered: 03/06/06
Posts: 2529
Loc: Southern California
Gimster, great comments!

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#141428 - 02/08/08 08:52 PM Re: Need your opinion! Thanks! [Re: Dancing Dolphin]
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
You could add a fun quiz for the homebuyer like "What kind of home buyer are you?" And make it fun, informative, and easy. Let them see the results right away.

Music is definitely OUT! Let's face it, everybody surfs at work, but who wants to get caught because just as your boss walks by, some music blares out. Music is distracting. Do you want to sing to them, or sell them a house?

Up-to-date rates for financing
Avenues of financing
The mortgage calculator that someone suggested is an excellent idea

People showing around RE agent's sites want to SEE you. They will judge you on your looks, too...that's been proven. So give it your best shot. Photo shot, that is.

Give a brief history of your experience but don't go overboard with it.

This are all just suggestions and things I would want to see if I visited your site. Take um or leave um....

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