Real estate website design slip-ups are a major barrier between you and the digital presence your real estate business needs in order to grow. However, since most of us in the real estate industry aren’t marketers, let alone web designers, these mistakes are incredibly common. 

To keep your future real estate website design free from these critical errors (and help you identify what might be hampering your existing real estate website’s performance), we’ve compiled the top nine real estate website design mistakes you need to avoid alongside easy strategies for fixing them.

1. Your Real Estate Website Isn’t Designed for Mobile Users

In 2022, more than 60% of all internet content was consumed on mobile devices worldwide. Looking only at the U.S., that number is closer to 70%. And yet many real estate websites are designed to be primarily consumed using a desktop computer. 

Not sure what we mean? Here’s an example: 

do's and don'ts for creating mobile-friendly website designs for real estate

The website on the left is difficult to read, the navigation doesn’t make any sense for the size of the screen, and lead capture strategies are completely ineffective. In contrast, the website on the right is designed with the reader and device in mind. 

How to Fix This Real Estate Website Design Mistake 

The solution to this problem is easy: Choose a real estate website provider whose templates are designed to look great on mobile devices first. There are a number of reputable real estate website providers out there, but for agents focused on great design that also comes with flawless mobile optimization, The Close suggests checking out Luxury Presence

Luxury Presence offers stunning design templates, smart and thoughtful lead capture, content marketing services, and more. If you want to separate yourself from the pack when it comes to your real estate website, Luxury Presence is a great option.

Visit Luxury Presence

2. Your Real Estate Website Isn’t ADA Accessible

The most common mistake Realtors make when designing their real estate website is doing so without considering the Americans With Disabilities Act. In fact, we’d wager that many of you reading this didn’t even know this was a thing

For those who don’t know, the ADA sets standards for media—as well as public buildings—to make sure that all people, including those with vision and auditory impairments, can access your website. This means that consumer-facing brand choices, like font type and size, color palette, and more, can really drag your accessibility score down. Failing to address this issue may mean losing out on potential clients, but it could also open your business up to legal trouble. 

Here’s an example of what we mean:

Examples of two different websites on mobile devices, one is ADA accessible and the other is not

How to Fix This Real Estate Website Design Mistake

First, don’t deviate from your real estate brokerage’s prescribed color palette and branding. If your brokerage is a large, national brand, these fonts and colors have already been road-tested to pass accessibility standards. 

Second, take some time to review the Justice Department’s 2022 guidance on the ADA’s website requirements yourself. We’ll be honest—the full text of the requirements is a little difficult to interpret if you’re not a web designer. But the DOJ does a surprisingly good job of summarizing the requirements in a way that anyone can understand. Another favorite resource of ours is this article by Accessibility Works.

3. Your Real Estate Website Navigation Is Confusing & Hidden

Did you know that the typical attention span for an internet user in the U.S. is less than eight seconds? It’s true. This means that if someone is looking for something on your website and they can’t locate it quickly, easily, and intuitively, they are likely going to bounce away without converting into a lead. 

Your real estate website’s navigation plays a major part in whether your visitors stay for longer than eight seconds, and the difference between well-designed and poorly designed is pretty obvious: 

Examples of how to structure the global or top navigation for your real estate website design

How to Fix This Real Estate Website Design Mistake

When it comes to your real estate website’s navigation, simpler is better. Start by prioritizing the most important actions you want people to take when they’re visiting your homepage. These usually include: 

  • Search for available property
  • Learn about the selling process
  • Learn about your expertise
  • Learn about you (and your team)

Effective navigation on a real estate website may just have these four elements (try Buy, Sell, Blog, and About Us) and outperform any site with deeply nested, multiple-stage menus. That’s not to say you shouldn’t provide all the information that complicated menus would provide somewhere (if people are actually looking for it), but just not in the global navigation that usually sits at the top of your site.

4. Your Real Estate Website Design Strategy Doesn’t Include Landing Pages

A landing page is a specific location where traffic (usually from paid ads) is directed in order to convert visitors into leads. 

Why are landing pages so effective? Put yourself in the shoes of a prospect who is visiting your website from an ad for properties for sale in a popular neighborhood in your market. Where would you be more likely to enter your contact information: a single page offering an up-to-date list of homes for sale in that desired neighborhood, or your generic homepage, where your prospect has to click at least three or four more times before reaching your contact us page? 

Real estate website design that doesn’t include landing pages in site architecture will, objectively and dependably, deliver fewer leads to you each and every month. 

How to Fix This Real Estate Website Design Mistake 

The fix for this mistake is the easiest strategy on this entire list: Start using landing pages. Every single real estate website provider on our list of the top real estate website providers for 2023 offer robust landing page options (make sure to check out the high-performance pages from Luxury Presence). 

Our best advice here? Create multiple landing pages with copy and reader experience tailored as specifically as possible to the audience and the outcome you desire. You should have highly customized landing pages for each and every ad campaign you run, each customer cohort you’re targeting, and each niche of the market you specialize in. 

Related Article
5 Clever Real Estate Landing Pages That Actually Convert

5. Your Real Estate Website Isn’t Designed to Consistently Capture Leads

Ready for a prediction we’d be willing to bet the house on? If your website isn’t producing leads, you’re not spending any real time, energy, or money on it. 

Without a doubt, a real estate website that isn’t producing leads isn’t functioning properly. While some agents will blame factors like low traffic and poor quality prospects, real estate website design plays a major role in this problem too. 

How to Fix This Real Estate Website Design Mistake

In order to fix the lead generation problem on your real estate website, you need to make sure you’ve got the specific design elements necessary to start filling your inbox: 

  • Pop-ups that appear at strategically important times in your visitor’s website experience, offering value in exchange for contact information
  • Contact forms in the footer of each page
  • Consistent calls to action in all your blog content, inviting visitors to provide contact information in order to go even deeper on the topic they’re already reading about

6. Your Real Estate Website Design Lacks Consistent Branding

Do you know the difference between real estate lead generation and real estate branding? If not, don’t worry—this is a common point of confusion. Think of lead generation as the handshake and smile you offer someone when they walk through the door of your office. Think of branding as the sign on the front of your office building, the flyers in the lobby, the nameplate on your office door, and the business card you hand someone when they leave. 

Consistent and effective branding has the same colors, fonts, styles, and other visual elements that make your business feel cohesive, inviting, and professional. Still feeling a little confused? Take a look below at these example flyers, one with consistent branding, the other without: 

Two real estate flier examples, one with consistent branding and the other with a confusing combination of styles

Both convey the same message, but the one on the left feels a lot more cohesive.

How to Fix This Real Estate Website Design Mistake 

Ineffective branding of your real estate website design first shows up as an inconsistent use of colors and fonts. When designing your real estate website, choose a font type first. Then choose different font sizes for headings, subheadings, and more. Finally, select a text color. These things shouldn’t change page to page.

Getting consistent on these items fixes a big portion of the branding issues in most real estate website designs. Of course, there’s always more. Consider working with a real estate marketing company to design your logo, color scheme, tag lines, email signatures, and overall brand aesthetic. Yes, you could create those things yourself, but, unless you’re a professional designer, you’re likely not going to get the same high-quality result you’d get working with someone who’s got proper training and experience.

Related Article
8 Real Estate Marketing Companies to Boost Your Business

7. Your Real Estate Website Design Doesn’t Have a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is a method of demonstrating your expertise and ability by creating content to showcase your value to potential clients. It’s most often manifested via blogs, videos, social media, and email marketing. 

A real estate website design that doesn’t prominently feature your content misses a chance to highlight exactly what you’re great at, and thus, will drag down your real estate website’s performance and lead capture rates. 

How to Fix This Real Estate Website Design Mistake 

First, make sure your real estate website design includes easy access to your blog. You should include your blog in the top navigation bar of every page, as well as display featured articles on your home page. Don’t forget: This means you actually have to create the content for your blog, so set a schedule and stick to it.

Related Article
80 Viral Real Estate Blog Ideas (+ Examples & Expert Tips)

Second, make sure that your website highlights your specific expertise, niche, and focus areas. If you serve a particular community in your overall market, make sure there’s content on your website specifically valuable to those who are looking to buy and sell in those neighborhoods. 

The design of your real estate website should effectively highlight the fact that you’re the person prospects should turn to when they have real estate questions.

8. Your Real Estate Website Design Is Difficult to Optimize for SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of making your website as visible, searchable, and relevant as possible to Google. This is important because, even if you are the best option for someone who is searching for a real estate professional in their market, Google must consider your site to be a good answer to the searcher’s question or you won’t be found. 

SEO is a constantly changing target, but here are some of the most common mistakes agents make:

  • Images are too big: When it comes to images on your real estate website, bigger is not better. Large files take longer for a web browser to load (especially on mobile devices), and will cause Google to rank you lower than pages with appropriately sized images.
  • Inconsistent schema: Schema is a language that web browsers use to determine the function of elements on your website. In terms of SEO, the most important schema you need to use are for headings, subheadings, and body text. Without these, Google (and other search engines) can’t tell where the value you provide starts and ends.
  • Poor link structure: One of the indicators Google uses to determine whether your website is legitimate and helpful is links. Linking from page to page on your website (for example, a link to your IDX property search page from a blog about the best ways to search for waterfront homes) shows Google that your content is connected to itself in thoughtful and dynamic ways.

How to Fix This Real Estate Website Design Mistake

There’s no way to include fixes to all the SEO problems that exist in real estate website design, but here are some simple solutions to the problems identified above:

  • Rightsize your images: Size down and re-upload your existing images. This can be done easily with tools like Preview (free on any Mac) or Adobe’s free image resizer tool. Your images should ideally be 100KB or less—150KB max.
  • Stick to a schema: This problem can instantly be solved by using a reputable real estate website builder (like Luxury Presence). Proper schema is automatically built into the templates you can choose from. Using a “sandbox” tool like WordPress or even generic builders like Squarespace make this tougher. So unless you know what you’re doing, stick to an automatic solution.
  • Think link structure: This is more about mindset than anything else. Whenever you’re creating a page for your website, you should be thinking about where you can link it to other places on your site. Trust us—it works. In fact, we challenge you to scroll back through this article—how many internal links to other pages on The Close did you find? That isn’t an accident.
Related Article
Real Estate SEO: The Ultimate Guide (9 Steps to Better Ranking)

9. Your Real Estate Website Design Doesn’t Include IDX Search

IDX, or internet data exchange, is your website’s connection to your local multiple listing service. It allows your website visitors to search for properties for sale just like they would on places like Zillow or realtor.com. 

We know this seems more like a feature than a design element, but hear us out: Without IDX search, you miss opportunities to create internal links from places like blogs (see tip #8) and capture leads via saved searches. Though IDX doesn’t necessarily affect your visual design choices, it certainly negatively affects your strategic design choices. 

How to Fix This Real Estate Website Design Mistake 

This one’s simple: Include IDX search in your website design. Different real estate website companies offer different search options, but in most cases, these options all amount to the same functionality. IDX search is an expected feature from your visitors—make sure to provide it.

Chris Linsell The Close Staff

The Close Recommends

Still worried about making these and more real estate website design mistakes? Consider working with Luxury Presence to build your website instead. Their team of design experts has created amazing options for real estate professionals who want functional, beautiful, lead-producing websites, and they can create one for you too.

It’s true: This is a sponsored article. It’s true: Luxury Presence partnered with us to create this content. But, it is also true that I’ve personally had a chance to check out Luxury Presence and peek under the hood at the design process. I’ve spoken to members of the marketing, engineering, and support teams there, and they really do know what they’re doing. I am comfortable and confident in recommending this product to anyone looking for a real estate website.