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latinguybenz24



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 3
Location: kissimmee

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:18 am    Post subject: Please Review my sites Reply with quote

I would really appreciate if you guys can review my two properties sites. I am working towards getting only one website for the two villas, but let me know what you think even if its bad. I know my comming website will be alot better, but I want to know if I did a good job taking the pics of the two locations. Here they are: http://www.indian-ridge-oaks.com/bigley.htm and http://www.indian-ridge-oaks.com/bigley2.htm Today was the first time in this website and yes I'm already posting my entry. I will also try to review some of the properties. Thanks alot.
Omar Garcia~
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Omar -

Am I correct in thinking that these pages are part of a larger rental site that's just for properties in your neighborhood? If so, that probably doesn't give you much room to move in the overal design area, but either way I'll comment as though you do.

    First, the black text on white background is nice -- it's crisp and easy to read. The blue header and buttons helps it to be a little more personal (less like a newspaper ad) without interrupting its ease of use.

    I also like the bulleted list format, which presents all the necessary information in a way that the reader can process quickly. However, this makes it feel a bit impersonal. My parents are real estate agents and I got the feeling I was reading one of their flyers. That can be a good thing, but it also means you'll have to work hard in the "Owner's Description" section to make your property seem unique.

    There are no text links on the page. What if the page images don't load for some reason? There should always (as others have pointed out to me) be text links on a page so that people can use them as a last resort -- and it also helps for search engine placement.

    The pictures you have are workable as-is, but they could be improved:
      I want to see more of them, though I realize that may not be possible within the framework of this site. On the villas.htm page, though, I've already seen the exterior shot, so if possible take that out of your specific pages and replace it with another shot.

      For your 3-bedroom property, I'd like to see a picture of the pool or one of the bedrooms. For the 4-bedroom property, likewise with the bedroom and maybe a living room picture.

      Were your exterior pictures taken on a sunny day? It's hard to tell. Ideally, in any exterior shot, the sky should be bright blue (with maybe a couple of wispy clouds).

      The exterior picture of the 3-bedroom home is mostly garage -- I want to see more of the house. I personally feel that houses that are all garage on the front aren't that attractive -- I'd try another angle with the shot.

      I'd like to see more pictures in general -- of each bedroom, of each kitchen, the pool, etc. -- though again, I realize that may not be possible on these pages. You might try finding a free hosting site (I believe Yahoo will allow you to host a photo album for free, but I've never done that), post your extra pictures there (with captions), and link to it in your owner's description.

      Paolo has a great set of tips on this site for taking pictures of your property -- I'd read through those as a first step.

      What I recommend on top of those is to look through magazines like Better Homes & Gardens and Martha Stewart Living (and maybe Architectural Digest) when you're next at the bookstore, and pay attention to what those magazines put in their rooms when they take pictures. There are bowls of brightly-colored fruit on kitchen counters, velvet throw blankets draped across beds, bubble baths drawn in the bathtub (one site reviewed here has that shot and it's great).

      Along the same lines, a photographer took a picture of my parents' pool when we had it put in (my Dad's also an architect, so it's gorgeous). To make the pool look more appetizing, he turned on the water circulation, stuck his arm in the pool, and made the biggest ripples on the surface he possibly could. It made the light dance off the water and it was so much more inviting than a flat-surface pool.

      These things take more effort than just sticking your head in a room and snapping a shot, but it's well worth the time. Or, consider hiring a professional photographer or even a photography student to take the actual shots. You can sometimes find them at reasonable rates using, e.g., orlando.craigslist.org. For a site like this where you're directly competing with other houses in the same area, you need all the advantages you can get.


    On the booking form, I suggest adding Euros to the currency request, and maybe australian dollars, but Euros for certain.

    Paolo also has a section at www.laymyhat.com on writing the text for your site -- in your case, the Owner's Description. It's great advice. In general, you should try and counteract the "real estate agent flyer" feeling by drawing the potential client into your home. Why should they stay at your home instead of the other 3/4 bedroom properties available in the neighborhood? They will if you make them feel that your house is more real and more welcoming than the others, which without any help from the description just look like a bunch of pictures. So, for example, in the four-bedroom property, don't just say that there's a family room with a TV and video -- mention something about the kids watching Cinderella in the family room and then going to meet Cinderella herself at the Magic Kingdom.

    I'd also mention in your Owner's description a couple of times that this is a luxury holiday / vacation rental in Orlando. Weave it into the text and it will not only help your search engine placement, it'll also help remind the visitor that they should rent your property.


I hope these don't sound too harsh! Overall, I do think you give the client a good idea of what's at the property, and it is obvious to me from the start that it's a vacation rental, which is important. The above are all just ways to give you that extra edge.

Cheers,
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latinguybenz24



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 3
Location: kissimmee

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:36 am    Post subject: Cool website! Reply with quote

Thanks alot for the info Smile Your website is very personal I see why you mean now. Love the pics, I will send you the link of my new website when is ready

thanks

Omar~
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3952
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:36 am    Post subject: Re: Please Review my sites Reply with quote

latinguybenz24 wrote:
I want to know if I did a good job taking the pics of the two locations.


Hi Omar,

I always say pictures HAVE to be sunny. Especially somewhere like Florida. Your competitors will have sunny pictures and bright interiors without flash photography. Your pics are taken on a cloudy day and that will count against you. The good thing is - you are not short of sunny days in Florida so it should be easy to update your pics.
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Paolo
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