Customizing your commercial real estate website template can be difficult, especially since there few options available for commercial real estate. Most plugins and website templates are for residential only, leaving us CRE folks wanting.
Below are a few things you can add to make your plain-old website template into something special!
Video on Home Page – Video is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to the cumbersome sliders we’ve seen on most websites. This is because studies have shown website visitors spend about 4x less time on your home page than content pages (source). A quick video is beginning to become preferred over a slider that needs 2-minutes to flow through.
However, there are limitation to using video. Be aware that large HD or extremely long videos (like drone footage) can take a long time to load. 55% of people will only spend 15 seconds on a webpage so you gotta be quick (source)!
Compressing your video to its lowest size will keep your load times fast, but it will affect your video’s quality. Expect pixilation and a bit choppy looking video. It’s OK if it doesn’t look perfect, people will only look at it for about 7 seconds anyway.
Moving or Parallax Images – If you’re the type of person that can’t handle pixilation of a compressed video, consider a “hero image”. This is a single image that is either set to movement, such as a flowing zoom animation – or parallax movement, where the image sits still on scroll up/down giving it an animated look without actual movement.
Hero images can be much higher in quality, allowing the detail-oriented folks a way to showcase a cool home page without the load-time of HD video.
Micro Interactions – These are minor details added into a website that add a little bit of “umph” to user experience. These can be anything from flip boxes, animated countdowns, rotating icons, color changing links, glowing images on mouse-over, and more.
Personally, I’m not a fan of “fly in” interactions. If your internet is slow, or the website’s server is weighted down, it can take awhile for the fly ins to load. You’re just sitting there, staring at a blank page until FINALLY some content decides to show up and place itself into the page. Every time someone has fly-ins setup I feel myself saying, “OMG, just let me read this, please!”
Adventurous Colors – Commercial real estate websites are either red or blue with shades of gray. Time to break the trend! You don’t have to end up with a carnival website, but some more adventurous color schemes will break your business away from the average broker.
Here are a few website I’ve designed that broke the color mold: Sperry Van Ness | TAG Industrial | CPG. Bright and bold without the use of endless shades of gray. These websites definitely stand out from the crowd.