Real Estate Web Site Basics
We've reviewed the basic variations of a real estate web site. You can see from the outline below that they come in a variety of styles and types. The key is to assess what it is you hope to achieve with a real estate web site and then sort through the variations and select one or more to suit your business.
If you're familiar with these types of sites and find them too limiting or expensive, I would suggest you review what I refer to as the Ultimate Solution here.
The Corporate Real Estate Web Site:
Your company probably has a corporate real estate website and gave you a page on it. If you think you now have a Realtor website, think again. In most cases, this is simply an online business card. Some real estate franchises are offering their agents personal template sites for a cost ranging from $15 to $25+ per month.
Most of these real estate web sites have very limited editing capability and often you can only use your own domain name as a redirected domain.
The Free Real Estate Web Site:
Yes, there are FREE websites for realtors. FREE is good, but the reality is there is NO free lunch! These sites commonly host some corporate banners(Lenders usually), subsidizing the company giving away these real estate websites.
The Corporate Lenders have You advertising their products, even though you may not or would not recommend their services.
The company giving you the FREE real estate web site is happy. The Lender is paying them, and they know that you may eventually get tired of those banners on your free site and want them removed, as well as upgrading for some added features... for a monthly fee. Chaa..Ching!
That's not a bad thing if you are new to creating some internet exposure for yourself. At least you get to try out the product before spending money.
Most of these sites are limited templates with a wysiwyg (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) software in the back office for your use. You can easily customize some of the content. If you are familiar with "MS-Word", you can customize... a little or a lot.
Everybody wins to some extent. At the very least you now have a personal website presence that you can refer your clients to, with your picture, with your personal domain name, your listings and maybe some buyer and seller reports that visitors/traffic can request.Point2Agent offers a very customizable real estate website. You can use your own domain name/names, customize meta tags and add listings and your own unique content easily. You can try Point2 Agent FREE for 3 months. They offer three site plans starting at $9.95 per month for a Standard Membership after your three month free test drive.
All of the content on these Corporate, Free or Template sites is standard and pre-written for you and all the other site buyers. Much like a photocopier, they simply give you the same content copy.
If you have a real estate business in Los Angeles, is the market information you provide the same as the agent with a real estate business in New York? Adding to the photocopier issue is the fact that the Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN etc..) view duplicate content in very negative terms.
The Upscale Template Sites:
There are upscale template websites for Realtors out there that are quite good. They start at around $50.00 per month to over $300.00 per month. There is usually a setup fee as well, ranging from $200 to $1500 when you order.
Website Content: ... The information on your site needs to be original and related to your local market. Who is writing articles - the content for your local market related website? Who knows your market better than you? We've provided more information on real estate website content here. There are some guidelines when writing for the web.
The Custom Designed Real Estate Web Site:
Some agents have hired designers and created some of the most glamorous sites with all the bells and whistles at astronomical costs. They have hired several other experts, and bought software to get their sites to function at a highly professional level. If the agents don't know and understand HTML, the cost to change some wording, add a page, or upload their listings with pictures, feature sheets etc.. can become an ongoing, very expensive element to their online marketing budget.
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