Increasingly, the initial stages of the real estate search are taking place online and real estate companies and websites are stepping up to meet the needs of users. Here are some of the best real estate websites and apps making names for themselves in the digital space.

1. Trulia

Trulia's homepage makes it easy for users to find the home of their dreams with a simple search bar with options to buy, rent, or view recently sold properties in the neighborhood of their choice. But they also feature tools and options to help new users, or those unsure of where to start, find content that's useful for them.

real estate website design - trulia

Trulia's listing pagings are impeccably designed to feature photos, a map view, and contact form. They also showcase key property and geographic information - like ratings of schools in the neighborhood, crime statistics, and estimated commute - in a way that is easy for users to digest at a glance.

real estate website design - trulia

Trulia also offers a seamless home search experience on the go with their mobile app. Users can search based on their current location and see local information and interactive map features. Content and images are customized for the needs of the mobile user and property listings include driving directions and street view for users who are out and about.

2. Zillow

Another big player in the digital space, Zillow prides itself on an enormous database of property listings. In addition to a streamlined homepage with easy pathways to search, Zillow also offers many useful tools including an agent finder, local mortgage lender rates and information, and the Zestimate home valuation tool.

real estate website design - zillow

Another useful Zillow feature is customized homepage content based on user browsing data. When a user comes to the site for the first time she'll see the homepage search functionality as well as some tools and ways to get started. After having looked at some properties however, the homepage becomes more customized to fit the user's needs. For example, after viewing properties in San Francisco, the Zillow homepage features Zillow-exclusive properties in San Francisco and waterfront properties in San Francisco. Zillow's allows users to find properties quickly and easily. Rather than clicking back and forth between screens, on the Zillow app users can scroll through properties in the area of their choice until they find one they're interested in. Users can also use their finger to draw a border around an area they'd like to search and the app will show them all the results within that border.

real estate website design - zillow

3. Loopnet

Loopnet is one of the top commercial real estate websites. The brand's website ranks well organically for many competitive commercial real estate keywords and keyword groups, which is a direct result of the wealth of useful content they've created. Property listings feature video, photos, property facts at a glance, and detail property descriptions, information, and reports.

real estate website design - loopnet

From the homepage users can conduct a simple property search. However, they also have the option to carry out a more advanced search based on many different criteria important to the commercial searcher who knows what he's looking for.

real estate website design - loopnet

4. City Feet features a pared down homepage with a clear and direct path to access listings - which is very likely the number one goal of most site visitors. Stunning, full-bleed property and cityscape photos are the backdrop for a straightforward search feature which is the focal point of the homepage.

real estate website design - cityfeet

Individual listings have simple, highly-visible contact forms to allow users to inquire about the property, as well as options to save the listing or view the broker's phone number. Users do not have to leave the search results page to view listings, which appear as overlays, and they can easily scroll through results without having to click back and forth to the search page.

5. Engel & Volkers New York City

The Engel & Volkers New York City website features a clean, modern design with a straightforward value proposition highlighted prominently on the homepage. The large rollover main navigation menu has clear, easy to read text and lots of visuals to spark the interest of users.

real estate website design - engel & volkers

Property listing pages have a high-end feel that aligns with the luxury appeal of the brand. Gorgeous images, well-organized property information, professional real estate agent photography, and neighborhood resources give the user all the information they need at their fingertips. The brand makes it easy to take the next step with options to schedule a showing or get in touch with an agent via email or phone. For users who aren't necessarily interested in a specific property but want to get in touch, Engel & Volkers offers a clean, simple contact form that doesn't dissuade users by demanding too much information upfront.

real estate website design - engel & volkers

What are some of your favorite real estate website designs? Leave a comment below or tweet us @BFMweb. If you are looking for a way to give your real estate website an updated digital presence, contact Blue Fountain Media today in order to learn more about our website and mobile app design services.