Top Realty Websites: The Resident Group

Darryl Dibbs Howard discusses the key design principles behind his agency’s website

When Darryl Dibbs Howard set about building the website for his Detroit-area real estate agency, The Resident Group, he didn’t have to look far. The Resident Group’s parent company, eXp Realty is a full-service cloud brokerage with a focus on technology. eXp Realty’s in-house digital team created theresidentgroup.com, which Howard says is one of the most important tools in his operation.

We talked to Howard about how he and eXp Realty designed his website to create a compelling and effective first impression for The Resident Group.

Who designed your website?

A back-office team at eXp Realty. They created the template, and I selected the content.

What is the main goal of your website?

To establish my presence in the industry. It’s not enough to have a business card anymore; if you want to be recognized as a legitimate business you need a website.

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

Its simplicity is its greatest feature. There’s a lot of information, but it’s all clear and easy to navigate.

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

Your website is often your first and sometimes your only impression. You want to look your best. We understand that people work with people they know, like and trust, and that’s what we’re trying to convey right off the bat with our website.

What is the most important feature of your website?

The home valuation tool. It’s really the meat and potatoes of our business.

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

Know your market. Know what your potential clients will be looking for, and put that right on the front page.

How do you promote your website?

I do some social media. The rest is done by word of mouth from my clients.

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

eXp's template did most of the work with that balance, I just selected the photography and written content.

What are some key elements that should be included on every real estate website?

Simple things: Your name, phone number, ‘about’ page, lead capture and ideally, a blog.

What is the biggest challenge you faced when creating your website?

Pricing it out. Everyone has a solution, but they’ll only discuss the cost after a presentation or phone call. There’s no shortcut or one-stop shop, so just get what you like and pay for it.