New Orland Park Real Estate Website

By
Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart

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.

Orland Park real estate website

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!  

Posted by
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group
18305 Distinctive Dr.
Orland Park, IL, 60467
US
Work: 708-536-8200
Fax: 708-249-0074
 

Comments (12)

Simone Bercu
Metro Referral - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Not state specific Real Estate - GRI, e-PRO, AB

Judy, better late than never.  Good luck in the Orland Park area!

May 05, 2013 09:35 AM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale AZ and surrounding towns

Oh, if we only had hindsight, Simone.  I have been working in Orland Park for 30 years but now it's my back yard.  I hate driving so I'd love to be able to focus mainly on two towns and eventually send the rest of my family team to the other areas.

May 05, 2013 09:43 AM
Allison Bernard
Keller Williams Central Rhode Island - East Greenwich, RI
Real Estate & Relocation Services 401-533-6916

I agree with you that the IDX search should be right there for our consumer.  But I also like the idea of making the photo header a series of billboards to make your consumer take action in the direction they want.  Give them a mini commercial. I saw one company's idea of a canned website: successwebsite, where they do just that and I loved the concept.  Of course, you really know how to work with image layers in some design software which I am not skilled at.  Luckily I have a professional photographer and and art teacher who teaches graphics design to maybe get me started. Instead of loading an image of just a home, you create an image layered with strong text messages directing them to other links on your site.  Done tastefully, I consumer will be delighted you forced them down their desired path quickly. This is my goal.

There are pros and cons to the different template options out there.  I did get a trial AgentPress site but chose an alternative.  While it would be great to create my own site in joomla I really just want to focus on the higher level items so I need to sacrifice "custom" on the website.

I also agree with you that these newer templates do not look canned to the consumer. They are clean and crisp and trendy and that is great.  But what the consumer does pick up on quickly is ERRORS.  If a seller's house does not even show up when they search a site they notice.  And not all the IDX feeds are accurate.  Sometimes they are missing listings.  It is very important to test the IDX feeds.  I used to map database tables for a living, in Chicago by the way, and so this was the first thing I picked up on as I tested various templates.

No one else's design is going to truly satisfy our own logical laundry list....but I will certainly revisit AgentPress if what I am attempting turns out fruitless.

Thanks Judy!

May 13, 2013 05:01 AM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale AZ and surrounding towns

Allison, I'll have to check out sucdesswebsite - have never heard of them.  I just launched this new website and another hyper-local one.  My main website needs updates and I'm trying to figure out what to do since the updates needed are not free with my current website provider.  That is why I like Wordpress - you can keep things updated without spending a lot, which is important when you're talking about running multiple sites.

May 13, 2013 05:16 AM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

You put some serious effort into this site. All the best with it.

Aug 16, 2013 10:02 AM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale AZ and surrounding towns

Thanks Joe, I wish it had been built to be responsive - as it is, it is somewhat responsive because of a plug-in.  I love the template but they refuse to make it responsive and have introduced a different one that I don't like as much as Agentpress.

Aug 16, 2013 11:34 AM