3 Tips for Creating a Real Estate Website
With the real estate market as hot as it is right now, a lot of agents are branching out from their parent firms to try to create their own web presence. Many agents are wondering how to create a resume-like website and include real estate listings they are managing. While there are several services out there that provide this type of website for a monthly fee, it’s also something that can be created on a content management system like WordPress.
Here are 3 tips to consider if you are wanting to build a real estate website.
You’ll Need a Good Content Management System
Real estate listings come and go rather quickly, so you’ll need a website that allows you to host listings and have frequent updates. Website builders like GoDaddy, Wix and Squarespace unfortunately will not allow for these changes and have no ability to pull listings from a local MLS (where all real estate agents enter their data). For this reason, you’ll want to consider a customizable content management system like WordPress. WordPress is packed with features and can be customized in a number of ways by using a variety of plugins. If you don’t have the budget for a custom WordPress site, it may be best to stick with the parent real estate firm’s website. Whatever you do, avoid spending money on a platform like Wix or Squarespace.
You Need IDX Functionality
IDX, short for internet data exchange, is the process in which real estate listings are loaded to a 3rd party website. Plugins and tools will “call” real estate listings from the MLS database through an IDX program. If you don’t have the ability to use an IDX tool on your website, you will not be able to dynamically pull in available listings. You can always code static listings into the site, but this can become a very time consuming process.
“My designer used to building listings from scratch,” says Sacramento commercial real estate agent Tom Bacon. He continues, “I would provide images, text about the property and any key features I wanted listed on the page. When I found out I could be doing all of this dynamically, I realized it would save me time, my designer time and overall would save my firm money.”
What About New Construction?
While some MLS systems support data for new construction properties, certain geographic locations will not. Here is where you will need to create static pages filled with content. And if you are the real estate developer, try to include blueprints and high-res images of what the properties will look like eventually. For one builder of a retirement community in Utah, filling up the page with blueprints of the houses is exactly what it took to gain the interest of future buyers. Try to include as much information as possible and you’ll be ready to place it on the MLS when the time comes.
Don’t Forget About Mobile Design
With everyone on their phones these days, you have imagine that most people searching for real estate are on the go and looking from their mobile device. Be sure to code your website first and foremost for mobile devices, avoid hiding any content from mobile devices and be sure it is quick as possible. Failing to meet the demand of a mobile search could mean they pass you up and choose the next available agent.
While these are just a few tips to getting started with a real estate website, you’ll likely discover many more along the way.
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