KEY FEATURES EVERY PROPERTY WEBSITE NEEDS: Mobile-friendly design, an image-centric layout and property alerts for users – these features have become must-haves for all real estate websites.
As Kenya’s middle class grows, and the newest consumers are tech-savvy, young, and on the move, real estate professionals need to adapt to keep up. For agents and developers looking to market their business online, global property portal Lamudi has compiled a list of the top 10 features every real estate website needs.
1. Responsive design: Responsive design enhances the viewing experience by adapting to a user’s particular device. Recent research revealed that one in two mobile devices sold in Kenya today is a smartphone. As the growth rate of smartphones in the country increases, this has become an essential element of web design. Your website should be able to adapt to varying screen sizes across mobile, tablet and desktop.
2. Great content: Developing a content strategy is a smart way to drive traffic to your website and promote your business online. Start by introducing a blog with strong content that positions your business as a leader in the Kenyan real estate industry, and integrate this with a social media strategy.
3. Image-centric: Not getting enough enquiries about a property you have listed? Think visually. House-hunters expect to get a virtual tour of the property before they decide to inspect it. Always incorporate high-quality, professional images of the interior and exterior of each property.
4. Customised search: Make it easy for visitors to your website to find properties that match their requirements. Allow them to filter by a wide range of criteria, including the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, car spaces, the price range and more.
5. Good SEO: Employing search engine optimization, or SEO, will make it easier for house-hunters to find your website. Boost your Google ranking by introducing SEO techniques such as improving page titles and optimizing images. If in doubt, follow this guide from Google.
6. Integrated maps: As the old mantra goes, location means everything in real estate. Do you want to live in the city – perhaps Nairobi or Mombasa? Or would you prefer the quieter suburbs? Do you like the sound of a location but you’re not entirely sure what else is in the area? Adding maps to your listings gives the clearest possible picture of where a property is located.
7. Property alerts: Introduce property match alerts that notify your client base when a home that matches their needs hits the market, either via text, push notifications or email.
8. Easy contact: Make it as easy as possible for your clients to get in contact with you. Introduce a contact option on each property listed on your website, allowing visitors to send an enquiry about a home directly from the page.
9. Mobile-first approach: More people worldwide now search the web on a mobile device than on desktop. Design your website to cater for mobile first and desktop second. This means your website should load fast and be low bandwidth.
10. Start a newsletter: Use a customer newsletter to reach out to your existing client base and keep them informed when new properties go up for sale or to rent.