Your clients could be leaving in a flash!

Your clients could be leaving in a flash!

Sam Johns By Sam Johns on 27th Apr 2016,

Those pesky web designers, always causing problems…

What problem have they caused this time? Well it turns out they’re just too good at their jobs! Over the years, website design has become somewhat of an art form, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and streamlining customers’ journeys to the point it’s almost effortless. Let’s face it, it’s because of web designers that our online lives are so easy today. So what’s the problem?

The problem is they’re all doing such a good job with their web design work that we’ve come to expect it as standard. Anything less than outstanding design will result in a resounding “meh” from your users and have them heading elsewhere. I know I’m certainly guilty of encountering the most minor of inconveniences on a website and just giving up, but I’m willing to put money on the fact that you, dear reader, have done that too.

It’s due to this that the property industry faces its own unique problem. We’ve seen a lot of agencies neglect their websites and generally not keep up-to-date with the latest in technology because, until now, they didn’t have to. For a while this wasn’t a problem, property is expensive and tends to be a purchase made later in life than say, video games and skinny jeans, so it’s an older audience you cater to. An older, less tech savvy, audience meant that you could keep going the way you always have, it’s what your clients are used to after all.

This worked for a long time, but now the millennials are here and “out-of-date” just won’t do it for them!

As the millennials, a generation that has grown up with rapidly advancing technology creeping into their everyday lives, reach an age where they’re looking to buy property, they’re going expect the same from you as they get from any other business. This means in no small part a great online experience.

While it’s not just the millennials you’ve got to watch out for (even my lovely 80 year-old grandparents browse the web on their smart phones these days) it’s certainly them you’ve got to cater to with your online presence. This means responsive web design that can keep up with any number of internet-ready devices with clear calls-to-action that lead them through your site.

What this also means is you need to start cutting your losses on out-of-date designs and trends. I saw an agents site very recently that still had a flash animated intro. Not only are these intros tedious and slow a user down, they outright break your website when being viewed on a mobile device. I know, I know, we thought they looked good at the time but take a look at any teenage picture of yourself and you can say the same thing.

Yes, that's what I looked like. No, I'm not proud.

After reading this blog I want you to do some homework. I want you to get some of your friends and family to run through your site on any device and just watch them. Don’t say anything, don’t lead them, just watch. If they find any problems, look confused or even if they just think using your site takes too long, it’s time to think about upgrading. Online browsers are ruthless and it only takes one stumble to have them looking for greener pastures.

I’m sure I don’t have to point out how much of a hot button topic online vs traditional agents is right now. Agents are slashing their fees to try to compete and online agents are encroaching further into what was always the traditional market, it’s never been more important to adapt for the modern buyer. It’s up to you to provide users with the best experience possible and don’t give them the excuse they need to go elsewhere.

I’m not going to lie to you, tech can be a nightmare. There’s something new to keep up with every week, Google is always making tweaks that knock on to the rest of us, new devices and trends spring up out of nowhere and, on top of all that, we’ve got VR heading this way fast! It’s no wonder when you’re trying to keep ahead in your own industry that you don’t always have time to worry about web site design. That’s where we come in.

As web designers, it’s our job to keep ahead of the trends and make sure your visitors can interact with you in the easiest way possible. The best thing is, we’re only a phone call away! If you think your site could do with a makeover, or even if you just want a professional opinion, chat to your web designer (or even better, us at Estate Apps) and get your website looking a little more 2016.

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