Inviting Design for Renters and Buyers:
The website needs to display real estate listings to prospective renters and buyers. A good design will encourage renters and buyers to call or email to learn more about one of the listings. Buyers or renters only reach out to agents who they trust, so a good design will focus on that. The following are ways to build trust with a prospective buyer or renter by being approachable, usable, and simple:
1. TRUSTWORTHY AND APPROACHABLE THROUGH IMAGES - The website needs to show renters and buyers that the company or real estate agent are real people who are available and want to help them in their home search. Showing head-shots, group-shots, company logos on the home, search, blog, and property details page will help accomplish this.
2. SIMPLE AND USABLE SEARCH - A very simple listing search mechanism (rental/sale, bedrooms, neighborhood, price, etc.) must feel easy-to-use and useful. In addition to the basic search, the search page should have more advanced search features for site-viewers who desire them.
3. UNDERSTANDABLE SEARCH RESULTS - Displaying simple attributes of search results in a clear fashion is very important. They should include: an image, address, bedrooms, baths, and date available. The design of the listings should each feel that they can be clicked for more detailed information (which links to the property's details page).
Flexible Design/Layout Strategy:
Many listings won't have certain details (images, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, size, etc). Great designs will look good even when these details are missing (up to 70-80% of listings might lack images). Therefore, your design should compensate for the lack of data so the page is still appealing and helpful. This is extremely important.
SEO is an important way for potential buyers or renters to find us and creating helpful contextual content is an important way to receive inbound links. We need you to take SEO into consideration, so include ample text boxes on the home, search, and details pages.
COLORS - Your design should use one color prominently with accent colors as needed, but otherwise grey. We'd like the ability to change the prominent color without destroying the style which means your design should easily accommodate other choices. If you're not sure which dominate color to use, just use blue.
CLEAN, SIMPLE, ACCESSIBLE - The style of the site should feel simple and straight forward to buyers and renters. They don't want an overly complex tool and they don't want lots of clutter in the way of useful information. Therefore, buttons, forms, and information should be sized so they are easily usable. Elements should not be tiny and hard to read or click, nor massive and demand more attention then they desire.