How do I start my real estate website - this is a question many agents are thinking but few know how to answer. In today's market, you know having your own real estate website is essential. But that doesn't get you very far if you don't know where to go next.
Before you take another step, you need to decide WHY you need a real estate website. What expectations do you have for your website? For example:
- Do you want a website simply to have something to put on your business cards?
- Do you expect your real estate website to bring in new leads?
- Do you want your real estate website to give your current clients more resources?
- Do you plan on your real estate website selling the homes for you?
- Do you want your real estate website to strengthen your brand?
I know, I know...most agents want all of the above and more. However, you need to truly think about these questions and prioritize your goals for your real estate website. Pick what is most important to you to tackle first and you can always add on later.
If you just need a website to put on your business cards, this is often called a "brochure website". Your real estate website would essentially have the same information as what you would put in a print ad or company brochure. It must be pretty and eye-catching, but mostly has static (non-changing) information like your logo, contact info, and credentials.
If you expect to bring in new leads or give your current clients more resources, you need to make your real estate website contain information buyers and sellers want. They don't really care that you have a dog named Fluffy, instead they want to see local listings, neighborhood facts, and alerts for saved searches. In this case your real estate website will need to pull from your own database or some local MLS databases.
If you want to strengthen your brand, your real estate website will need to contain resources to show you are an expert. You do this by sharing your knowledge, rather than selling yourself. Things like an article library or knowledgebase, mortgage rate information, and a directory of available online tools is a great way to keep people coming back and referring it to friends.
This is only a fraction of what you may want to use your real estate website for. Before you do anything else, sit down and think about what you expect out of your real estate website. What will it take for you to consider it a success?
Once you have that figured out, come back to read about the next step - what's in a domain name!