Once you’ve done your research and decided that a redesign is, in fact, the right thing to do, it’s time to forge ahead. But as you go about building your site–and once it’s finished–here are a few things to keep in mind.
Things You Shouldn’t Do If You Decide to Redesign Your Site
1. Don’t do it solo.
We know what you’re thinking. We’re in the business of helping real estate professionals market online, so of course we’re going to say you shouldn’t build your site by yourself. But the reality is that, unless you are really good at design, really good at software development, and have massive amounts of extra time, you need some kind of professional help.
Not surprisingly, most homemade sites look … well … homemade. At best, they’re generic; at worst, they’re shoddy and dysfunctional. In today’s competitive market, consumers won’t tolerate generic, and they certainly won’t tolerate dysfunctional. They’ve gotten accustomed to great user experiences.
Consider Amazon, Google, and Apple on the general consumer side, Zillow and Trulia in the real estate industry specifically. These sites were created with measurable goals in mind by dozens of people working around the clock for months. Granted, they’re designed to accommodate much heavier traffic and more varied use than your site, but the fact remains that you need to be realistic about whether you can provide a similarly high degree of quality on your own. Chances are, you can’t.
2. Don’t go amateur.
Now that we’ve established that you need some help, let’s consider whom that help should be. Consider again those big consumer sites we mentioned earlier. They were built by professionals, people who are paid not just for their computer skills in general but for their website design skills in particular. Perhaps more importantly, everyone involved in the construction of those sites is directly invested in, and responsible for, their success. With that in mind, a site your brother’s graphic-designing girlfriend built as a favor to you may miss the big picture, leaving you with an inferior product.
3. Don’t work with just any designer.
Always remember that you’re not just building a website: you’re building a real estate website. Just as you would in carpentry, you need to choose the right tool for the job you’re doing.
When it comes to building a website, the way your site looks is less important than how it works and what it accomplishes. As such, you need to make sure that the design process encompasses your primary objective in redesigning: growing your business. Web designers are experts in web design, not marketing, and just because someone can develop a website doesn’t mean they know how the real estate industry works.
Your design team should be living and breathing your industry, so choose accordingly.