How To Boost Your Brand With Storytelling On Your Real Estate Website

How To Boost Your Brand With Storytelling On Your Real Estate Website

Heather, senior real estate designer and web developerWritten by Heather Ford, Senior Designer & Web Developer

People love a good story. It’s been scientifically proven that when humans hear a story that they like, it can increase their levels of oxytocin, the ‘feel good’ hormone that boosts feelings of happiness, empathy and trust. Savvy marketers have been capitalizing on this for ages, creating engaging stories for brands that resonate with people and, ultimately, persuade them to open their wallets. (Super Bowl ads, anyone?) Storytelling works in marketing because, beyond the brain hormones, it gives people a way to relate to your brand on a human level. And in the digital world we live in, this has never been more important.

While print and especially video media seem the obvious choice for this sort of humanized communication, there is another, maybe counterintuitive, area that property developers and managers can take advantage of storytelling’s powerful ability to sway the hearts of their potential tenants: their real estate website.

real estate website design example

All good design uses color, shape, flow, imagery and copy to craft a story. Beyond these things, you can consider the common ‘three-act’ structure that many stories use when laying out the structure of a webpage:

Act 1: The Set Up. This is where your audience is introduced to the main idea of the web page they are looking at. It’s the hook that makes them keep reading, so an apartment webpage hero should be visually interesting and clear in its messaging. Act 1 in a story is also when an inciting incident happens, or a thing that drives further action. In the case of web design, this can be a strong, punchy call to action.

real estate website hero image example

Act 2: The Action. This is where the bulk of the plot, or in the case of property websites the detailed information, occurs. Any text or content-heavy sections of your web page, like exhaustive lists of features and finishes, should go in the middle. Once the viewer has been introduced to the main idea of the page they are on, they can decide they want the information that is below the hero section.

apartment website location details example

Act 3: The Resolution. If you’re feeling super fancy, you can also call this the ‘denouement’. At the end of your webpage, don’t just let your content fizzle out. People have made it all the way to the bottom; they deserve a satisfying conclusion to the story. Use this as an opportunity to outline how your property solves a common pain-point for renters, or create a sense of urgency and provide a clear next-step for your users, like “Apply Now!”

apartment website design example with conversion form and CTA

A single page on your property website can encompass an entire story, or a piece (a chapter, let’s call it) in an overall story you are trying to tell about your brand. Given the way people interact with web pages, scrolling is just like page flipping. Rather than jumping randomly from page-to-page, users progress through information as a linear sequence. Because of this, a story on a website has to unfold vertically, and not in small chunks that have no visual connection between them. Unlike books, there are many ways websites can enhance this to their advantage, such as:

  • Using animation. Animation on a website can be used to enhance people’s attention toward important plot points (useful information, promotions, or CTAs) and shift their attention from one place to the next, allowing you to control the flow of the story.
  • Stories within stories. Embedded, interactive elements and social feeds can be used to strengthen user engagement. These are natural storytelling mediums that have been proven to improve SEO because Google knows they enhance the user experience.
  • Parallax scrolling. This technique allows for interesting transitions from one section on a webpage to the next and can be combined with well-crafted illustrations and diagrams to create strong storytelling.
  • Video content. Good stories use what is called “indirect characterization,” which means showing rather than explicitly telling the audience something about a character. Video content is a powerful way this can be used in apartment marketing websites. You can say that you are a family-friendly property, or you can display a video hero that shows children playing and family-friendly amenities which says the same thing—if not more—to your viewers.

Storytelling in web design is much more than words and brand voice. While these are definitely important elements, it is the unique opportunities that the digital platform offers that can really enhance a real estate brand’s story and turn a really mundane experience into a compelling one that will keep your viewers at the edge of their seat.


1 – Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication
2 – 5 Storytelling Techniques Applied to Web Design
3 – How To Start Your Story: Story Structures

Why We Use Adobe XD To Craft Better Websites for Our Clients

Why We Use Adobe XD To Craft Better Websites for Our Clients

photo of author, senior graphic designer at Threshold Written by Weylan Lee, Senior Graphic Designer at Threshold

User experience and user interface (UX/UI) design are both in high demand, especially for digital spaces like apartment websites and mobile apps. With this high demand comes many tools that cater towards UX/UI design. At Threshold, we use Adobe XD, which is a design tool that allows us to create and prototype interactive experiences like websites, digital products, and mobile apps. With this tool, our teams are able to design, animate, prototype, and collaborate more efficiently, experiencing our designs just like an end user (i.e. our clients’ residents and prospects) would. This has significant advantages both for us internally as well as for our clients and their end users.

How Adobe XD Improves the Real Estate Marketing Client Experience

First and foremost, Adobe XD allows us to present our compelling and amazing website designs more comprehensively and engagingly for our clients. With XD, instead of designing static pages and leaving it to the imagination how they will animate or link to one another, we are able to incorporate engaging user experiences and interactive functionality that enhance our client’s brand and optimize for conversions from the very beginning. Our clients are able to view and experience their website designs just like a viewer would on a live website. They can scroll down a web page, click on links and buttons, interact with CTAs,  as well as interact with things like galleries, floor plans, location maps, and much more. Plus, with the ability to leave comments and replies right on website designs, using Adobe XD allows our clients to make more informed decisions and provide accurate feedback, streamlining our collaboration with our clients.

Example of Adobe XD for real estate web design

How Adobe XD Improves Collaboration for Creative Real Estate Marketers

For our internal teams, using Adobe XD has allowed us to design more immersive and impactful website experiences and made our internal collaboration more efficient – which also benefits our clients! Our designers are able to experience and interact with their website designs in real-time as they are designing. This allows us to create more impactful, engaging user experiences and ensure that a website not only looks amazing and functions properly, but also provides a great experience. Adobe XD also allows for the creation of brand-specific design libraries, which our designers use to ensure that a client’s branding (fonts, colors, buttons, and more) is applied consistently throughout each page of an entire website. Even better, the collaboration tools within Adobe XD allows our designers and developers to share website assets and details more efficiently, reducing project timelines and ensuring a smoother transition between design and development.

Why You Should Work With a Real Estate Marketing Agency That Uses Adobe XD

To sum it up, by using Adobe XD, our teams are able to create impactful user experiences that our clients (and their current and future residents) will enjoy. The improved and efficient collaboration between our internal teams and our clients and project teams means that we are able to reduce project timelines and ensure we are creating the highest quality websites for our clients. Our project teams are able to spend more time on creating amazing and impactful website designs with great experiences. At the end of the day, that all leads to increased conversions and customer loyalty among our clients’ prospects and current residents.

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