The perfect Real Estate Website.
This blog post is TEN long years in the making. I have acted as a real estate online marketing consultant to 100's of agents, teams and real estate companies around the world. I have been asked the same question by all of them. WHO makes the best real estate websites?
It's always been hard to address that question. No one company excels at ALL of the things a real estate professional or organization need. The larger the need, the more complicated the solution needs to be. Over the years I started having my clients DEFINE their need in terms of priority. Here are the three MAIN categories of Real Estate website.
Search or IDX focused -
This type of Real Estate website concentrates on the search experience. Many real estate offices and agents are convinced that a better search experience, one that focuses on the surrounding amenities of an area or gives a walk through score as Zillow does will result in either a better branding experience, a better user experience or more lead generation. (FYI while the branding experience might be true in my experience the more robust the search functionality, the lower the lead conversion is)
Branding or Custom Design -
One of the few myths in real estate online marketing that is true is if you are going to sell homes in the top 1-2% of whatever market you're in that you need a website that reflects both your specialty in the luxury homes market as well as setting you apart from competitors. This almost always requires a customized website that focuses on design and presentation. Sadly these sites are almost always ONLY good at branding. They won't collect leads very well unless you have engaged a truly knowledgeable online marketer to customize your information gathering process.
These websites almost ALWAYS are very templated. They need to be. Becuase the BEST real estate lead generation companies track lead conversion and make changes in their overall website design over time always looking to generate the most leads possible. Small changes can affect lead conversion in big ways. So they don't allow it.
Hopefully, you can see how these three categories don't play well together. So a good consultant collects the websites that you like the most then carefully discusses ALL of your needs before making the recommendation they think will come the closest to matching your priority list. I went ahead and did an in depth analysis of the TOP 20 real estate website providers. I then dug deep and spent 100's of hours coming up with and comparing the top 10. As long as you can figure out your primary objective in owning a real estate website my list of the Top 10, Real Estate Companies should save you money and time when you are trying to buy your next real estate website.
There is far far too much information even to attempt to do a "summary" type blog post here on active rain. Instead, I am going to list the 20 companies with no links in order of BEST to WORST in each real estate website category. I have video reviews on all 20 on my website with detailed reports on the top 10. I've meant to write this blog post for YEARS, and I'm hoping the information saves ALL of you time, money and frustration.
TOP REAL ESTATE IDX (SEARCH) WEBSITE COMPANIES
- Resi - Also Known as Real Estate Systems Integrator
- Sierra Interactive
- Market Leader
- I House Web
- Pro Agent Websites
- WIX - (Do "real estate Wix" search in Google
- Website Box (The only reason to have this website is to connect them to an MLS)
TOP REAL ESTATE CUSTOM DESIGN WEBSITES
- Agent Image
- Real Estate Webmasters
- 210 Consulting (A Rainer of some note)
- Boston Logic
POST SCRIPT: Custom Design in many of these cases means Customizing Templates.
TOP REAL ESTATE LEAD GENERATION WEBSITES
- Boom Town
- Real Geeks
- Easy Agent Pro
Obviously, this is a very simplified categorization. Some of these companies like Real Estate Webmasters do MANY things very well. I categorize them in the design category to reflect their commitment to luxury design in 2017. In order write this post I spent a lot of time educating myself on these options pulling out old contacts from the days when I competed against many of these companies. Love to hear your thoughts on my list.