In the seven plus years we've been building websites we've had the opportunity to work with REALTORS®, real estate offices, builders, architects and developers. From our first job with a developer to the sophisticated RETS feed websites we are building now, we've built some really cool websites. It's become a bit of a niche for us and we've acquired a pretty good knowledge of the industry. Working with a variety of businesses within the real estate realm has given us the ability to learn about the sales process, design process, development process and building process, all of which we draw from in our strategy to build a website that markets our clients to the end user. Along the way we've worked with some great companies and built some great relationships. Here's a breakdown on five sexy real estate websites from the past seven years.
Reid Smith Architects
In our initial meeting with Reid he put an iPad on the table and said, "This is my biggest sales tool and I need a website that I can pull up in client meetings and blow them away." What we ended up with is a site with three different interfaces that beautifully shows off the amazing work from Reid Smith Architects. We built the site prior to the popular use of responsive platforms like Bootstrap. So at that time, we designed an interface for desktops and laptops, an interface for tablets and an interface for mobile devices. Each interface has a similar style but the functionality is unique to the device. From a design perspective, you can't build a beautiful site without beautiful photography and luckily, Reid Smith Architects invests in having each of their homes professionally photographed. It makes our job much easier when we can design the site around amazing photographs. Not only does the site have a sophisticated look and seamless functionality, it has also performed well from an SEO and lead generation perspective. It's been a great marketing tool for our client and has helped them grow their business tremendously. The site won a "Best in Show" Addy Award from the state of Montana's Ad Club.
Coldwell Banker RCI
Coldwell Banker RCI has been a really fun project for me because we've continued to work with this client to grow their website traffic and lead generation. Their previous website was a template-based site from a company that helps you pick from one of their pre-created templates, sets up the site, then charges you an arm and a leg for a monthly "maintenance" fee. If you've been in the real estate industry long enough you know these companies are a dime a dozen. We built this website from the ground up with a custom RETS feed from their local MLS which gave us the flexibility to create a search experience without limitations to the design. We added our own RETS feed plugin to pull all the MLS content dynamically and keep the listings current. We also added lead capture tools, a great community resource section and a powerful blog that has driven a tremendous amount of traffic. Recently, we've integrated some inbound marketing tools that give us the ability to add custom landing pages with the blog posts to help them create very targeted content which converts visitors to leads. In the first 12 months the website was live organic traffic alone saw an increase of 130%. The website has been a great success and we continue to add features and tweak our digital marketing strategy to improve lead generation for their agents.
Avant Building Group
Avant Building Group actually came to us through another marketing firm, Mammoth Marketing. After seeing some of our past work they were confident we could take their website to the next level and we did. Working with Mammoth, they had a good feel for their messaging and the content that needed to reside on the website. We took their direction and designed and built a website that can grow with their business while giving them the tools to showcase their work in a dynamic digital environment. The website does a great job of featuring some of their favorite projects, sharing their process and philosophy and provides them a platform for demonstrating their expertise to potential clients looking for someone to build their home. They've done a good job of creating fun, engaging content for their blog which will help keep visitors on the site and bring them back for more.
The Lakes at Valley West
While finishing up my degree at Montana State University I got my real estate license and worked with a group of developers out of Park City, Utah. I cut my teeth in the development world doing marketing, market research, and sales. Since my time in real estate, we've worked with a handful of developers on the marketing and website side of things and I've always wanted to create a unique way to interact with a planned unit development by making each lot a visually interactive tool. This year we were presented a great project in The Lakes at Valley West. This development features two large lakes with some unique property options. I personally spent quite a bit of time walking the property and capturing photographs that emphasized the beauty it had to offer. All of this came together in this website, which features an interactive map allowing visitors to quickly see which lots are available, provide information about the lot and a profile of the builders currently working within the community. We also shot and edited a drone video to show of the property and the 360 degree views that make Montana a great place to live. We tied the website into a CRM which allows the developers to stay on top of leads while routing end users to builders based on the individual lot they are interested in. This website continues to evolve as interest in the community grows and the development shifts from a sales tool to a community resource.
How do you sell a condo project that isn't even under construction yet? A great website with architectural renderings. This website had some pretty clear challenges with a lack of real images. And any images the developers may have had were of bare ground. Luckily our clients were working with some talented architects that were able to show what the finish product would look like through architectural renderings. The design of this condo project is sleek, modern and clean so our design had to match that feel. We created an efficient interface with clear navigation to direct users through the site and help them choose the floor plan that would work best for them, while keeping the user experience fun and unique. Users can click between floors, see renderings of individual rooms, choose from two finish options and begin the sales process. Prior to breaking ground, the sales team received a large amount of leads and were able to put a good percentage of units under contract. It was a great start to the project which continues to roll along as it nears completion.