Real estate is often seen as a commodity, and its branding and business operations can feel the same from company to company. Our client took a different view with fewer listings, and by providing personalised service throughout the entire buying and selling experience.
That showed me that anything close to a typical brand or website wasn’t going to live up to the client’s strengths and business goals.
I started with an update to their logo, and it was in the client’s best interests to make it clearer, bolder and unique. The core typeface was good, and the versions below show how we progressed to the final.
With the type customised and unified, there was a person at the centre of it to show the client’s focus on serving people.
I knew the last thing we should do with the website was to lead with the properties as is typical with most real estate sites. The client was about the experience. That meant client education as opposed to the hard sell. It meant it was important to the client how they saw themselves working with others and how their communities saw them. We needed to display competence, trust and respect. A typical site would not signal to the audience any of those goals.
The design axiom of ‘form following function’ serves us well here in a comp generated by the lead web designer after a discussion with them and the front end developer over the sketch above.
The client is an expert in their field. They see the whole picture. So we lead with that on the homepage. The information is the design.
Below the banner photo of the client’s staff is a resizable grid of tappable/clickable items in three categories: staff, listings and blog posts. We stimulate the audience’s curiosity with this atypical layout, and it leads them to interact with the site instinctively, avoiding the use of stilted calls to action such as “Click Here” and “Learn More”.
Other elements of the site were best experienced:
- While the design is a bold black, white and red, we bring focus on tap/rollover with the addition of subtle full colour
- The design populates dynamically on load, with a red navigation block, a member of the staff, a listing and a blog post
- Thumbnails can be persistent or randomly drawn from the posts in the CMS
Clients with the courage to do more than the status quo are always appreciated, and they generally have higher levels of success by separating themselves from the crowd.