Resort Real Estate Websites - Best Practices


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Learn what the best of the best are doing in this evolving industry. Your website should be one of your most powerful branding and lead generation tools.

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Resort Real Estate Websites - Best Practices

  1. 1. Resort Real Estate Developments Best Practices: Websites
  2. 2. 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 looking. • 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.
  3. 3. Our Process • 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 others. • 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.
  4. 4. 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 the copy.
  5. 5. Branding Example • Logo is in appropriate position. • Overall look and feel is very high end and affluent. • Overall content is not overwhelming.
  6. 6. Branding: Does the Site Clearly Communicate Your Differentiators? • 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?
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. Visual Example • Design delivers stimulating flash content. – Header is a flash component. • Plus it provides viewers with clear options for how to find desired content. • And it provides clear calls-to- action.
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. 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.
  11. 11. Navigation Example • Navigation is simple to understand. • And navigation is in an order that reflects how consumers often view content.
  12. 12. 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.
  13. 13. The Place Example • This site does an excellent job of using flash to tell the location story. • It begins with a global location story and ends up with a local, landmark story.
  14. 14. 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 evenings?
  15. 15. The Lifestyle Example • This site provides a general overview of activities and then a very detailed map of over 60 activities in the area.
  16. 16. 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.
  17. 17. 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.
  18. 18. 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 them.
  19. 19. Personalized Content Example • This site asks viewers to identify what their interests are and then the subsequent content is presented in a different order.
  20. 20. 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 professional today?
  21. 21. 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?
  22. 22. Contact Us Request • This site asks for contact information throughout, including on the home page. • And the contact us form is very simple, not requiring a great deal of information.
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. Contact Us - Example • This site provides a free subscription to a magazine with your contact information.
  25. 25. Call-To-Action: Does It Provide Additional Calls-To-Action? • 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
  26. 26. 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.
  27. 27. 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.
  28. 28. Engagement/Interactivity Example • This site provides viewers with a series of questions that helps them get to the content they are most interested in reviewing.
  29. 29. 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.
  30. 30. What the Offering Is Example • This site enables viewers to go directly to the type of home they are seeking, where they find additional details.
  31. 31. 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.
  32. 32. What’s Available Today Example • This site provides viewers with a tool to navigate the site plan to learn what is available today.
  33. 33. Offerings Example • This site enables viewers to view available homes by floor and to apply various design treatments against specific plans.
  34. 34. 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 to do?
  35. 35. 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, etc.
  36. 36. 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.
  37. 37. Interactive Site Plan Example • This site includes an easy-to-use tool that helps viewers understand the master plan, the neighborhoods and the amenities.
  38. 38. 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.
  39. 39. Area Map Example • This site has the best example of an area activities map. • Viewers can select what type of activities they are interested in and then the map populates itself with activities and provides a description.
  40. 40. 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.”
  41. 41. 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 perspective: – How to get there? – Pricing – Buying – Owning
  42. 42. Audiences: Does the Website Speak to the Broker Community? • 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.
  43. 43. Broker Example • This site includes a call out to brokers on the home page, and then delivers specific content to this important audience after they become registered.
  44. 44. 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