Over the years real estate agents have been faced with making a decision on who to hire to build and manage their real estate website as well as choose their real estate IDX system.
If you have a real estate website or currently trying to figure out what is the best option for you let me give you some information and tips when making this decision.
Let’s gather some information on you so you will have everything ready once you decide which direction you will go when choosing your real estate website destiny…
Gather the following:
- Domain – you need to purchase your domain. Do not let someone else do this for you. Bluehost or TigerTech is who I recommend.
- Have your business address and email address – use one that is not your primary.
- Logos – Your team and franchise logos
- Photos – your headshot or other photos of you to use
- Photos for the website – you need to purchase your photos – do not assume anything is free. Go to istockphoto and look for the “essential” photos – these are less expensive. There is a free photo site called unsplash.com but do your due diligence on what the photographer expects should you use their photo. My rule is to purchase the photo and keep your receipt in a safe place in case you are ever questioned. At least on free photos give credit to the photographer by putting a link to their site.
- Zip Codes in your market
- Talk to your MLS about who they have partnered with for IDX – maybe your MLS offers the best IDX for you.
- Have your Google Analytics Code ready
- Have your Facebook Pixel Ready
- Keywords, Meta tags, Meta Description
First, let’s determine your options….
A real estate template website (leased real estate website) is a real estate program that offers you the design, which usually is a hand full of templates to choose from and colors. You provide them with the information above then they will create it for you for a flat setup fee and then charge you a monthly fee to manage it. Think of this as you are renting your website and the real estate website program is your landlord. You are limited on what you can do, if you want to make changes you need to discuss it with them and pay them to make those changes. If you have a website problem they fix it. You will sign an agreement, so make sure you read all the fine print and ask them to explain anything you do not understand.
They will work with you to get the site built, but after the site is completed you are pretty much on your own to drive traffic to it, etc.
Then there is a real estate custom website- this is normally built on a WordPress platform by a web designer who knows how to build a real estate website and incorporate the IDX feed, create the specific feed links, etc. This web designer will spend time with you discussing your goals for the website, the design you would like to achieve, offer suggestions, and give you samples of other sites they have created to show you examples of their work. You are working with this person and maybe one other to achieve the results you want and need. This relationship is very different as you should consider this person as a team member, a part of your business and you should make sure they know what they are talking about as well as do they know how to build a real estate website, not just a website. There is a huge difference. For example, I would not expect my web designer to know how to build a real estate website because that is not his area of expertise.
When it comes to hiring the best real estate web designer for you they need to understand the following:
- How real estate works
- Know the technology side of real estate
- How to add the IDX feed – this is huge- If they don’t move on.
- Do they understand how to set up the SEO for your website
- Do they understand the importance of adding the Google Analytics code and showing you where to review the analytics?
- Do they know how to get and add the Facebook Pixel to the website and its purpose?
Ask your web designer these questions and if they do not know the answer then they are not the person you need to build your website.
You can look at building a custom website as you are hiring a builder to build you a home, you want to best, but you also don’t want to hire a builder who does not understand what your needs are and charges outrageous fees. But the minute the home is finished you own it and can do what you wish with it.
You will want a web manager to oversee the daily operations of your website. This person will watch over your website to make sure it does not go down, updates the plug-ins, updates the widgets, checks the links to make sure nothing breaks, checks your analytics, and send you monthly reports on how your site is doing in ranking and visitors.
Now that you know your options I hope this helps you feel a little more educated so you can decide what is best for you and your website.
I did a Facebook Live Event in September 2017 that might give you some additional information on how this all works in the world or real estate, so get a glass of wine, a pin, and paper then click on the below video. This is about an hour long, but worth it. If you can’t watch it all then pause and come back to it.
If you would like to schedule a 30-minute consultation with me to discuss your website needs
and how I can help you make a decision, please contact me.
The below video was a Live Facebook Event I held on my Facebook Page – if we are not connected on Facebook, please click here and make sure you LIKE my Page so you will be notified of future LIVE Events.
Here are some real estate website companies you can reach out to. Please know that I do not endorse any particular real estate website, nor do I receive any type of compensation from the below recommendations. However, we do work with our agents to help them maximize what they offer and work as a website manager to help build the real estate website and/or to manage it.