If you’re a real estate agent or have a real estate office in a large market, there’s a pretty good chance your real estate website has designated sections for each specific neighborhood, burrow, or region.
In cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, there can be dozens of neighborhoods for home and condo buyers to search, so making sure your website is organized and has the potential to direct these viewers to the location they prefer is essential for keeping them on your site and improving your overall conversion rate.
But for these large real estate markets, what is the best way to display such neighborhood options and direct traffic to where it wants to go? Many real estate websites have a simplistic, hyperlinked list of neighborhoods, while others tend to have a nicely designed call-out-box with all the specific areas alphabetized or organized by region.
For the most part, as long as you have links to neighborhoods in your local market, there’s a pretty good chance users on your real estate website will see and understand their purpose. However, if giving home buyers a great user experience and making sure they either remember your website or come back to your website is a top priority, implementing an interactive map is something you should seriously consider.
The map search on Justin Havre’s real estate website, for example, nicely color-coordinates each Calgary neighborhood and provides viewers a user-friendly way to search different locations in a manner that nicely combines mapping, graphics, and colors. In other words, it’s something that Calgary home buyers will remember, enjoy using, and almost certainly come back to.
Similarly, Ed Kirkland’s flash map gives Destin, Florida home and condo buyers a unique and interactive way that uses this same strategy. A desirable color scheme and linkable pins on this map give users a customized way to choose what Destin location they prefer to search, while simultaneously demonstrating this is a comprehensive, high-end real estate website that will give you the best chance for finding the right property.
Although fancy design aspects such as interactive flash maps may not benefit your search engine optimization much, it’s important to realize that investing in a memorable user experience can also get you a great return on your web investment. Returning visitors are often serious home buyers, so make sure an experience on your real estate website is something every viewer won't soon forget.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working as a Market Research Associate and writing published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence in Chicago, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and is a managing partner at Real Estate Web Creation, LLC.