Use Responsive Website Design (The 3rd Commandment of R.E.W)

Get Twice as Much Activity on Your Real Estate Website by Making This One Simple Change.

Twice as much activity? With one simple change? Sounds a little crazy, we know, but hold tight while we give you some facts.
According to a study performed by networking giant Cisco , almost half a billion mobile devices and connections were added in 2014, and that number is only going to grow.

In a blog post by Google, the search engine announced that they would be added more weight to websites that were mobile-friendly, pushing them up in the search rankings on mobile devices.

And in comScore’s report in 2014, mobile device usage is now surpassing computer usage for internet browsing.

Mobile-stats-vs-desktop-users-global-550x405 comscore

What does this have to do with real estate? Well, according to Zillow’s CEO, Spencer Rascoff, 70% of Zillow’s traffic comes through mobile devices.

Do you really think that’s an anomaly?

It’s not. And now it’s up to you to get moving with the times and mobilize yourself with responsive website design.

What is Responsive Website Design?

Basically, RWD is a type of website design that allows you to make sure your website functions across multiple platforms (computers, tablets, smart phones, etc).

Oh, so it’s like having a mobile site?

No. When you have a website and a mobile site, you have two different websites—both of which you likely had to pay for. And sometimes mobile design companies will tell you that you need a different mobile site for each platform, and then you’re stuck holding a bill for three or four “different” sites. This is often completely unnecessary. Not to mention, if you don’t have a separate mobile site, that means all the time and money you would spend on maintaining and updating that second site is suddenly able to be put to other uses.

When you have a website that is responsively designed, you don’t need a mobile site. There is a fluidity programmed into your website that allows it to, simply put, resize itself in order to match the physical boundaries of whatever device it is being viewed on. No awkward side-scrolling, no oversized pictures, just an easy transition.

Which is important, given that people trend towards using their mobile devices to view websites vertically, as illustrated below.

infographic 2

My Website Provider Is Already Responsive

Are they really? Some may say they are, but have you actually looked at your website on your mobile device’s browser? Have you borrowed a friend’s iPad, iPhone, Android, or any of the host of available tablets and seen that it not only works across all of those, but also looks good?

Some of the older website providers have not updated their mobile website design in years, and with our constantly changing technology, an outdated design could destroy your site’s credibility instantly or, at least, lose you a sale.

Imagine this: a prospective buyer is touring through a neighborhood and spots a property you’re representing. You, being the savvy marketer you are, have a sign out front with your brokerage name and web address. The buyer types the address into their phone and discovers a train wreck.

Your images of the interior are over-sized. They keep rotating their phone and side-scrolling, but it’s incredibly awkward. They try to find your contact information, but because the website doesn’t fit on their screen, they get lost looking for it and finally give up. After all, how professional and good at your job could you possibly be if your website looks like that?

I know we have you worried, but before you go calling your provider, check your website out with this handy little tool, Am I Responsive, which will run your website through their program and pop it out the other end so you can see what your site looks on different devices.

most popular devices for internet searching

Okay, I’m Convinced. But Does This Mean I Need to Constantly Be Doing RWD?

No, it doesn’t. Once you have your responsive web design in place, you’re good to go. And not just for right now, but for all screen-based future technologies. That’s right—your site will still look pretty in 2018. And in 2028… though you will likely need to update the visual elements by that point. You probably don’t want someone opening your site on their iPhone 23 and saying, “Gosh, this site is so 2016!”

I hope you enjoyed this third installment of “The Ten Commandments of Real Estate Websites.” There are seven remaining commandments, which will be rolled out over the next few weeks. 

3/10/2016 – Update. It is taking me a little longer than I originally planned to finish the 10 commandments. When done I will turn all 10 commandments into an ebook.

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