Top Real Estate Websites: Sprinkman Real Estate

The boutique real estate firm’s new website redesign is sophisticated yet simple while adding in beautiful pops of color and lifestyle imagery to give visitors a feel for what it’s really like to live the Madison, Wisconsin.

Sprinkman Real Estate, a boutique brokerage firm based in Madison, WI has been selling beautiful, waterfront properties throughout South Central, Wisconsin, since 2010. Owners Shelly & Trey hired on Ash-Dee Stifter two years ago to serve as the Creative Director for the firm. Stifter’s creativity hasn’t stopped since she took on the position and it’s shown through the brand’s sophisticated yet simplistic website design. Here’s the inside scoop on Sprinkman Real Estate’s new website and why Sprinkman buyers have more access to inventory and why their sellers reach more buyers.

Who designed your website?

I took the position of Creative Director at Sprinkman a little over 2 years ago. I designed the entire website myself through WordPress. My main goal was to modernize and simplify the site. The Sprinkmans are very passionate about photography, so I knew that would play a major role in the redesign. I did all of the artistic/design work and hired a copywriter to help contribute towards some of the writing. I have a background in graphic design and photography from The Art Institute of Chicago.

What is the main goal of your website?

The main goal of the website redesign was to modernize, simplify and create a memorable experience for anyone buying or selling a home. We wanted to create an experience for each visitor and to open doors to new homes and lifestyles. When I started redesigning the website, I realized that many visitors were dropping off after visiting the homepage. I restructured it so people would want to stay on the site longer and browse our inventory. Overall, we are trying to attract potential buyers and sellers to buy or list a home f with us or find a talented agent to represent them.

Why do you think your website stands out from the pack?

Our website was designed to be simple and effective. The more attractive people find your website, the higher our chances are that they will stay longer. It’s not overcluttered and it’s visually appealing. The one thing that really stands out is our photography - it’s absolutely beautiful and each photo paints a different story about each home listed on our site.

Why is it important to have a quality website in the real estate industry?

Realistically, you have only a few seconds or minutes to capture someone’s attention and I knew we had to do that with our website. Real Estate is extremely competitive and people are always doing their research beforehand. I knew people would be visiting our website frequently and that’s why I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just visually appealing but aligned with the Sprinkman brand that we know lake living.

What is the most important feature of your website?

The use of big banners on each page and the lifestyle images. It sets the tone - we sell some of the most beautiful properties in Madison. I also like the personal touches throughout the page as well. We’re selling a lifestyle and not just a house. It’s a house and a city – but choosing to live in Madison is a lifestyle.

What tips do you have for beginners creating a real estate website?

Research and simplify by making your menu/site navigation each to use. You don’t want to overwhelm your target audience. The best websites capture your attention right away. Start by deciding what is most important on any page, and then give it prominence.

How did you decide on the balance between photography and content?

It is a balance between content and form. People love to look at photos, but it’s also important to have short, catchy taglines to profile each picture. Rethink how to use photography and copy. People can create a story with pictures and a few simple words. For example, the home page starts with a series of images that gets people to love Madison as much as we do.

How do you promote your website?

We start by adding our website address on all our marketing and communication materials, including our business cards. We also suggest discovering the power of AdWords utilize the free google business ads and maximize social media posts I’d also say through networking and word of mouth we encourage people to check out our website for new listings.

What are the 3-5 key elements that must be included on a real estate website?

  1. Contact information, phone, email, etc.

  2. Highlighting your agents and their background - show what they do best! Highlight areas or cities they specialize in.

  3. Take pride in what you’ve done and highlight the best properties you’ve sold - it tells your brand’s story.

  4. Statistics - we’re very proud of those. It’s definitely not a bad thing to promote successful metrics. 

  5. Feature client testimonials, because it is always nice to hear what your clients have to say about working with your firm.

What’re some of the biggest challenges you faced when designing your website?

  1. Convincing the owners on the benefits of redesigning the website.

  2. Demonstrating that clean and simple isn’t boring it’s sophisticated.

  3. Getting everyone to be on the same page and agreeing on a unified design.