About 4 or 5 years ago I created a hyper-local website for Orland Park real estate but I let it go - in fact, I shut down the blog/site and redirected the domain name to the Orland Park page on my main website. I wish I hadn't done that!
To my credit, although I worked in Orland Park, my office and my home at the time were in Oak Lawn, and I had a website for that village, which has the most annual sales than any other southwest suburb that I work in. Three years ago we moved to the Homer Glen/Orland Park area and 8 years ago I switched my office from Oak Lawn to an Orland Park brokerage. Once I moved to the area I wanted to focus my sales here. I should have re-created this website as soon as I moved here, but better late than never.
Why I Chose AgentPress
I've been searching for new and different website solutions. My eye always catches the AgentPress sites, whether they are created by the site owner or custom AgentPress based sites that can cost into the thousands (and don't look much different than what I've done, and I'm not finished yet - still have to add my communities).
I like color and interest, but I also like a site that's easy on the eye and simple to navigate. I've seen some top sites that give me a headache when I look at them. They have so many different areas that compete with each other and if I were a buyer I'd find something simpler.
There are choices on the AgentPress sites, but I feel they are organized well and logically. Although I might make some color and/or background changes in the future, I feel the blue is professional looking and all I changed so far was the header using some local photos. Because of the slider (that currently has the most recent blog posts), the Featured Listings photos and the thumbnails on the recent blogs, I want the rest of the onscreen viewing area to be a simple frame and not compete.
Some Will Think It's Cookie Cutter
If I saw a very similar website competing with me in the serps I'd probably make it look different and could still use AgentPress and change it up. Who cares if someone in Florida uses the same template, even the same color? I don't consider that to be local competition. We agents see many other agent's websites and I think if we see the same style a lot we think cookie cutter. But the local buyer or seller doesn't see it that way as they're searching for Orland Park real estate, not Orlando real estate.
Some of the Newer, Simpler Styles
We see more and more websites offering an extremely simple home page with one huge photo or 2 or 3 separate clickable areas. Even Zillow went to the fullscreen photo with just the address bar to use. In my opinion that's a bit too simple. I've been both a buyer and a seller and I try to think like them. If I go to a website I want some clear choices in front of me to let me know what the site is about and what it offers. I want my IDX search right there to use immediately, I don't want to have to make multiple clicks to get to it.
I'm both a visual and logical person, so I like some eye candy but I want it organized. Some websites are ovewhelming with a bunch of disjointed boxes with no rhyme or reason. To me, AgentPress is almost perfect.
I Chose iHomefinder For My IDX
I wrote a recent blog about my new Homer Glen homes website using ZillowPress. UPDATE: I am now using Websitebox for my Homer Glen website. I still use Zillowpress but I switched it to Oak Lawn Homes & Real Estate. They use Diverse Solutions for the IDX, which I also like a lot but it has one thing I'm not crazy about. You can only search for one town at a time. ZillowPress is cheap enough at $10.00 a month so I can't complain, but when I have a choice and pricing is a factor since I pay for multiple sites, iHomefinder seems to offer pretty much what I want.
It is priced less than Diverse Solutions and allows multiple town searches. I like how the results are displayed and what it offers on each individual listing, which are indexable. The only thing I don't like is that the choice of embedding search results into a blog post is more limited than Diverse Solutions and for specific searches I can only offer a link to a search page I already created. Not a deal breaker but wish that part was more useful.
Working on Getting it to Page One in Google
It will take a while because of the competition and I'm considering my first ever PPC campaign, especially for this active time of year. As I said before, I wish I had kept it up when I first created an Orland Park website, but I didn't know back then what I know now - hyper local niche websites!