Strip your search, bare your soul

Real estate search dominates real estate websites.

It makes sense, of course. People in a real estate frame of mind want to see homes. A look at any broker’s analytics will show you it’s all about the properties.

But the intense focus on search often crowds out other things required for a compelling digital brand experience, and that’s a big mistake.

Here’s a little exercise we’ve run with clients to help them avoid it:

Envision your home page with no search, and no properties.

You can do this on a whiteboard, but it’s better to create a wireframe and actually write the copy.

Doing this may help you get creative with content, but it will also force you to nail your key differentiators, your brand promise and how you articulate and prove your claims.

In other words, you are compelled to a deeper examination of your value.

This can provoke a bit of soul searching. Because a tired tag line, vapid copy or unsubstantiated claim thrown into a search-driven experience as an afterthought may not look too good in the spotlight.

Everyone has home search; only you have your brand.

So do this exercise. Then go back and nail search.

First thing’s first.