What is your customer’s real estate search experience like? Do you find viewing websites on a smartphone or tablet frustrating? If you are scrolling or panning side to side to see the whole page, your customers are as well. That’s because most websites are behind the curve when it comes to functioning on smartphones and tablets. It requires a design change that until recently wasn’t available. For the real estate agent, a website with responsive web design meets the needs of a growing mobile audience – and increases visibility.
2013 has been declared the year of Responsive Web Design (RWD) by technology news sources like Mashable.com. Meaning, more and more websites will be implementing this design to adjust to the many devices used today. The increasing use of mobile web access demands it.
Mobile browsing is fast outpacing desktop browsing. At the same time, more than 80% of people are disappointed with their mobile browsing experience and would use their smartphones more if it improved (source: smashingmagazine.com). How a real estate site behaves on a mobile device is crucial to how much viewers use it – and that affects the likelihood of them contacting you.
As an agent, it benefits you if buyers and sellers have an enjoyable and satisfying web search experience that is smooth and complete. A website that isn’t mobile friendly risks losing traffic and ultimately business. Statistics prove it. 91% of people in the U.S. have their mobile device within reach all day, every day. 70% of mobile searches result in action within 1 hour (Source: Mobile Marketing Association). Think about that for a second. Are you benefitting from these on-the-go action takers?
How it Works
The content on a PC screen hasn’t transferred very well to a smartphone or tablet until now. Responsive Web Design, a term only recently coined in 2010, means that no matter what device you are using, smartphone, tablet, or desktop, the image adjusts according to the screen size of the device it’s being viewed on. Your clients need and expect full functionality on their mobile device just as they would get on a desktop. Responsive web design allows for that and enables easy reading and navigating.
To view a good example of a real estate search site with responsive design, take a look at HomesAndLand.com. Homes & Land is a leader in technologysolutions that support its advertisers. The recently completed makeover of the website improves both the desktop and mobile user experience. With faster page load times and easier navigation, buyers can quickly and easily search and view real estate listings and have the same experience whether they’re on a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Larger property photos easily display on both smartphones and tablets, encouraging the viewer to stay engaged. That translates to them being on the site longer because it delivers what they need and want. Agents gain greater exposure as a result. If prospects can find you easily while they are mobile, that’s a good thing.
In a survey conducted in late 2012, 63% of Homes & Land’s readers indicated they are likely to drive by a listing after seeing it in the magazine. 72% also said they would then find that same property online. Many buyers out for a Sunday drive, looking at houses or open houses, now have full website functionality on their mobile device thanks to HomesAndLand.com’s use of RWD.
People use mobile devices for both work and play. So, by all means, if play means looking at houses on their tablet, who are we to stop them or frustrate them with a poor viewing experience? For serious house hunters, responsive web design means getting what they want when they need it. Real estate sites with responsive design provide a satisfying experience for buyers and sellers, which can mean more leads for you. Perhaps you’ll be getting more requests for a showing while they are sitting in front of your listing.