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Realtor.com is Getting a Makeover, Starts Beta Testing

by Peter Thomas Ricci

NAR is revising its Realtor.com website, with its image and usability in mind. Pictured is the beta version of the site.

By Ian McKendry

The official website of the National Association of Realtors, Realtors.com is undergoing a gradual makeover aimed at making the website easier to use and more aesthetically pleasing.

“We’ll be doing this as an iterative process; much of what we’re testing will be done in phases and increments, and we’re going to be keeping a close watch on what works and what doesn’t,” Amit Kulkarni, the creative director at Move Inc., the company that operates Realtors.com along with a number of other real estate focused websites said in a recent blog post.

Kulkarni said after doing some research, they found consumers wanted a simpler, easy to use website that gave them an “experience.”

The changes will take place over the next few months and will start with the homepage, but not every visitor will see the new landing page as Move Inc. will continue to test to see what works and what doesn’t.

Chicago Agent magazine asked Scott Boecker, chief product officer of Realtor.com operator Move, Inc., some questions about the changes and what we can expect in the future.

Chicago Agent (CA): Why is Move Inc. redesigning the website? Is it to step up to competitors such as Trulia and Zillow?

Scott Boecker (SB):  We’re testing our new look and feel in response to the feedback we’ve received from both consumers and customers.  What we heard was that they wanted a less cluttered and more personalized user experience. The first step we took toward this was to focus on a homepage for new users that immediately encourages them to search. Then, we added a return user homepage that remembers your previous search and serves relevant data.

CA: How will the changes make it a better website for real estate agents to advertise on?

SB: The focus of these changes is primarily centered on the consumer experience on the site by creating a more engaging, easy-to-use experience. We anticipate increases in web traffic activity that will also translate into improved advertising performance for our customers. We’re not making any major changes to our core advertising solutions at this point, but we’ll have improvements in the future.

CA: When are the changes expected to be done?

SB: We’ll be testing and iterating on this new look and feel through the end of the summer.

CA: Any specific graphics or utility changes you already know you are going implement?

SB:  It’s still too early to say, but so far the response has been positive. This is only the beginning of a lot of exciting evolutions and changes to our site experience in the coming months.  We’re starting with the overall look, feel and navigation of the site, and then we’ll move into more specific updates in the search experience and enhanced community features.  Keep watching, and let us know what you think.

The new website can be found at beta.realtor.com

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