Resort Real Estate Developments
Best Practices: Websites
Websites: Role & Current Sitution
• Websites for real estate offerings are one of the most important sales
and marketing tools available to developers. They can provide you with
a competitive advantage within your marketplace or they can cause
prospects to cross you off their list before you ever know they were
• 80-95% of purchasers will have significant involvement with your
website throughout the sales process.
• Additionally an optimized website with an aggressive pay-per-click
campaign can be one of the most cost efficient lead generation tools.
• Today’s prospects have very high expectations from websites. They
expect to find a considerable amount of data in a simple manner before
they will provide their contact information.
• Atlas Destinations works as consultants for real estate developers from
around the world. In our role, we’ve developer and analyzed a significant
number of websites and have gained a tremendous insight into what
viewers are seeking and what makes some websites more productive than
• The following presentation includes an overview of “Best Practices.” It’s
intended to help you begin to ask the right questions about your existing
websites. We’re available for a comprehensive audit that will go into
significantly more detail.
– Not all of the work included within the presentation as examples was developed by Alas. We pride
ourselves on monitoring the industry and tracking websites from many companies.
Branding: Does the Site Have a Clear
& Upscale Brand Identity?
• One of the very first things a website viewer will do is look
for a visual reinforcement that they are on the right website.
• Additionally for a high-end community, they will expect the
site to be presented in a very upscale manner – this is
presented visually and with the appropriate tone throughout
• Logo is in
• Overall look
and feel is very
high end and
• Overall content
Branding: Does the Site Clearly Communicate Your
• In a market that is so cluttered, it’s critical that your website
communicates your differentiators in a very powerful
manner. You must provide the viewer with reasons they
should stay on your website – why is your offering unique,
what makes it special?
Branding: Is the Site Visually Stimulating?
• Websites can either be “brochures on the website” or can
use the medium to its fullest. Flash components. Interactive
map and photo galleries. To keep a viewer on your website
as long as possible, it must be visually stimulating.
• Design delivers
– Header is a flash
• Plus it provides
viewers with clear
options for how
to find desired
• And it provides
Navigation: Is the Navigation Intuitive?
• One of the quickest ways to lose a viewer it to frustrate them
with poor navigation. The information architecture has to be
rewarding – enabling the viewer to know where and how to
find content in three clicks or less.
Navigation: Is the Navigation Prioritized Effectively?
• There is no one size fits all approach to website navigation.
While there are some basic principles, you should read your
analytics to understand which landing pages are most
popular and adjust your navigation appropriately.
• Navigation is
• And navigation
is in an order
Content: Is “The Overall Place” Defined?
• One of the first hurdles many developments have to cross is
to help the viewer understand the overall place – the location
of your project. If it’s a foreign destination, where is it
located; how do they get there; what type of government is
there; what is the exchange rate; what is the weather like; etc.
– They have to fall in love with the overall location before they fall in
love with your specific development.
The Place Example
• This site
flash to tell
• It begins
with a global
ends up with
Content: Does the Content Tell the Lifestyle Story?
• Your website should try to simulate an actual site visit. The
content needs to help the viewer start to imagine themselves
living there. What are the activities? What kind of food will
they eat? Where will they shop? What will the do in the
The Lifestyle Example
• This site provides a
general overview of
activities and then a
very detailed map of
over 60 activities in
Content: Are there Reasons for the Viewer to Return?
• The most successful websites are the ones that have a high
percentage of repeat visitors. This is accomplished with deep
content and updated content.
Content: Does It Provide the Appropriate Level of Detail?
• Viewers have high expectations for content – they want to
find a significant amount of details but at the same time, you
don’t want to give them so much information that they
eliminate themselves before your sales team gets the
opportunity to speak with them.
Content: Does It Provide Personalized Content?
• Personalized content is one of the best strategies for
rewarding a viewer for returning. If they previously informed
you that they are a golf enthusiast, then providing them with
updates to the golf course, interviews with the course
designer, etc., will definitely further your relationship with
Personalized Content Example
• This site asks
their interests are
and then the
presented in a
Content: Does It Create Urgency?
• For your website to optimize its potential for furthering the
sales process, it must communicate a sense of urgency to the
viewer. Why should they ask for more information today?
Why should they seek a conversation with a sales
Call-To-Action: Does It Ask for Contact Information?
• One of the purest objectives of a website is to help the sales
team gain contact information. Does your site ask for the
information in more than one place? Does it make it simple
for the viewer to provide the most important information?
Contact Us Request
• This site asks for
including on the
• And the contact us
form is very
requiring a great
Call-To-Action: Does It Provide a Reason for
the Viewer to Provide Their Contact Information?
• Virtually every consumer wants to avoid providing contact
information to a sales professional. In order to improve the
chances of a viewer providing the valuable contact
information, the website should provide a very strong reason
why they should do it.
Contact Us - Example
• This site
provides a free
Call-To-Action: Does It Provide Additional
• Throughout the website, there should be a call-to-action on
virtually every page, using a variety of 3-5 different ones.
These can include:
– Request a brochure
– Learn more about our discovery tour
– Contact us
– See what’s available today
– Learn about our financing options
Interactive: Does the Site Engage the Viewer?
• How does a website engage its viewers? It requires a mix and
balance. It requires smart, intuitive information architecture.
Interactive: Are There Opportunities for the
Viewer to Interact with the Site?
• A successful site is one that allows the viewer to become
involved, interacting with photo galleries, maps, etc.
• The more time they spend on the site, the more engaged they
will become in your development.
• This site provides
viewers with a
series of questions
that helps them
get to the content
they are most
Real Estate Offering: Does the Site Clearly
Define the Offering?
• Viewers will want to know exactly what the real estate
offerings and options are. The content must be easy to find
and must provide a great deal of information. Viewers expect
to find these details to review before they will be willing to
provide their contact information.
What the Offering Is Example
• This site
to go directly to
the type of
home they are
Real Estate Offering: Is it Easy to Understand
What's Available Today?
• Additionally, viewers want to know what is available today.
Simply showing an entire master plan with all of the
inventory is not enough. Also, this approach helps your sales
team by creating a focused prospect.
What’s Available Today Example
• This site
a tool to
site plan to
learn what is
• This site
by floor and to
Real Estate Offering: Is the Sales Process
(How the Viewer Gets Involved) Clearly Defined?
• Viewers and prospects are skeptical today. They don’t trust
sales people and they don’t necessarily trust developers. One
of the best strategies for gaining their trust early in the
process is to outline the sales program for them. How does it
work? How can they participate? What are you asking them
Maps: Is There a “How to Get Herequot; Map?
• The website must tell
viewers where the
development is and
how they get there.
This includes flight
maps, Google maps,
Maps: Is There an Interactive Master Site Plan Map?
• An interactive site map is one of the strongest methods for
helping a viewer begin to picture themselves living at the
development. It’s an interactive way-finding tool that enables
them to gain a sense of the land and the layout.
Interactive Site Plan Example
• This site includes an
easy-to-use tool that
master plan, the
Maps: Is There an “Area Map” Demonstrating
What's Available in the Area?
• Think before the fences/walls of your development, because
the viewer does. As part of their initial research, they will
learn what other activities/amenities are available within the
general area of the trade area. By listing the activities and
providing a description of what’s available, your website will
become an asset to the viewer during this phase.
Area Map Example
• This site has the best
example of an area
• Viewers can select
what type of activities
they are interested in
and then the map
populates itself with
activities and provides
Audiences: Does the Website Speak to Affluent Viewers?
• The tone of your website will speak volumes to the affluent
viewer. It will help position you within the marketplace and
within their minds.
• Speak to what’s important to them. Speak clearly and with
confidence. And find the right balance between esoteric
language and “just the facts.”
Audiences: Does the Website Speak
to an International Audience?
• Virtually every development will improve its opportunity for
success by opening its arms to the international audience.
Sites that focus exclusively on US buyers are missing a
significant opportunity. This does not mean every page needs
to be delivered in multiple languages, but the site should
provide a level of content in multiple languages and should
address other key components from a more international
– How to get there?
Audiences: Does the Website Speak to the Broker
• An engaged broker community is simply one of the most
cost effective strategies for extending your sales reach
without increasing your upfront budget. Your website will
draw brokers so they can do research to determine if your
offering is a fit for their customers.
• Additionally it’s critical that your website informs brokers of
how they can become involved with your sales program.
• This site includes a
call out to brokers
on the home page,
and then delivers
specific content to
audience after they
Thanks for your time.
• For more information or to schedule an individualized
website audit, please contact David Smith at 303-297-8900,
ext. 5, or at email@example.com.