Having a mobile-responsive real estate website is no longer an option. It’s an absolute must. Potential clients no longer think you’re cutting edge for having one, they expect it. If someone hits your website from their smartphone or tablet and it looks bad or is difficult to navigate, they’ll immediately hit the back button and be off to another site.
Before I dive into a real estate specific example, here’s a quick rundown of what a mobile-responsive site is (and what it’s not). Without getting too technical, a mobile-responsive website is a site that’s built to automatically adjust (respond) to the screen it’s being displayed on. It’s not a “mobile version” of your website with a different URL (this gained some popularity a few years back, but actually has some negative effects on SEO, etc.). A mobile-responsive site changes the way it displays your layout and content based on the size and capabilities of the device it’s being viewed on. For instance, text might get bigger so it’s easier to read. Multiple images may stack into one column so they’re easier to see. Buttons may display larger so they’re easier to push (my fat thumbs always appreciate this). The whole point is to make the visitor’s experience as smooth as possible. They should never have to zoom in or out, scroll left or right, or try to tap a link five times before they hit it.
Here’s a great video of Google’s Pete LePage explaining this concept visually:
This is especially important when it comes to real estate websites. With the amount of web traffic that is now occurring on mobile devices (anywhere from 30-60 percent according to different reports) you simply can’t afford to lose those potential leads because of a bad experience on your website. Imagine a couple driving around looking at homes. They see your sign in front of a house they think looks great, so they type in your URL on their iPhone, but after a few seconds, they can’t find the home, see the pictures, or easily complete a form to request more information, so they just go to Zillow and end up in the hands of your competition because they’re paying Zillow for leads. Ouch.