If you are engaged in the real estate business, a website is the first thing you should have. Otherwise, you will not be able to gain the lead and beat your competitors. That is why you need to focus on high-quality website development.
This article will show you how to build a real estate website with essential features, and what steps you should take. Stay tuned!
Reasons to build a real estate website
Before you start making investments into website development, you should have obvious reasons why you need a website. Let’s check 3 main reasons.
#1. The attraction of new customers
Today more and more people start using the Internet, and almost nobody buys newspapers to find real estate advertisements. The Internet is the present, and the Internet is the future. Moreover, users have more trust for real estate agencies that have official websites. Your support team may talk directly with potential customers using integrated chat service and provide them with the detailed information they need. Thus, you will be able to gain more new customers.
#2. A website saves your time
Then, your real estate website will give you more freedom and more time to focus on your business rather than looking for ways to find new customers. A crowd-pleasing website will attract customers, and your team will chat with them, as we noted before. Also, if you need an analysis of visitors, their number, the number of rejected or retained visitors, you can do it using CRM and Google analytics, it is easy. As for CRM, we will speak about below in details.
#3. Wider outreach
We want to mention one crucial thing, like advertising. The Internet gives you a lot of opportunities. For example, you need to add more keywords to your website content to rank it higher in Google’s search.
Also, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising may be beneficial. You place the advertising on other websites, pay them for it, and it contributes to more visitors.
Mind to add Blog page and share various cognitive and useful articles with visitors. Of course, your content should be related to real estate topics.
Just use as many advertising ways possible. You don’t know which of them will be the most beneficial one.
Main features to include
A website (as well as any other software) cannot function without the minimum required features. That is why you need to integrate the main features into your real estate website to let it work properly. Then, you may enhance it with other additional features if necessary.
So let’s discuss each main feature one by one.
Lists and mappings
If you have a real estate website, it means you offer customers various real estate properties, and your website cannot be empty. So you need to have lists and locations of properties.
To integrate listings, you may use your database with detailed lists or make use of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to add more properties and provide visitors with a wider choice.
And also mapping is what you need to let visitors see each house directly on a map, so the support of map services like Google Maps is a must-have. It is much more convenient.
Your real estate website design should be mobile-friendly. Therefore, web developers should create your website considering responsiveness in mind. Did you know that it takes about 15 seconds for users to evaluate a website? So if the design is poor, users will quit a website, and there is no way to retain them. So the first impression is significant.
Ok, what about responsiveness? Usually, users prefer surfing the web using mobile devices instead of PC and laptops. That is why your website should look awesome both on mobile and desktop devices. It is a must-have step for you to take. And don’t forget about such Google’s approach like mobile-first indexing. It means that the ranking of mobile-friendly, responsive websites will always be higher. In addition, you may think about real estate app development to provide users both with web and mobile solution.
Search and advanced filters
Now when you already have a responsive website and listings, you may think about an advanced search system. That is, if users can find real estate property by using filters, they will likely keep on using your website, leaving competitors lag behind.
Provide users with the capability of searching real estate by price, location, address, ZIP, number of rooms, year, and so on. The number of filters is unlimited, and everything depends on your needs.
Also, provide your users with an opportunity to save their search. It is very convenient since they may return to the searching process faster. And customers’ loyalty grows.
All real estate photos on your website should be professional, have high resolution and fidelity. Users won’t waste their time looking at apartments or houses which were photographed using an old mobile phone and shaking hands.
Well, of course, such photos will require more storage space, and heavy images will impact website loading time. So web developers should choose an optimal way to compress images and use an appropriate extension to reduce photos’ size.
To increase conversions, the calculator must become the next feature on your website. Using integrated calculators, potential real estate buyers may calculate mortgage amounts, compare rent prices and prices for purchase, calculate a debt-to-income ratio, calculate affordability, and so on.
Some real estate companies even integrate AI and machine learning to improve the calculation process and provide customers with precise data.
We noted above about CRM (customer relationships management) that you need one if you plan to succeed. You can manage customers’ data, learn their preferences, and interact with them more effectively.
When all customers are in one CRM, you know all purchase history of each customer, track leads, use marketing tools to analyze the number of retained and lost customers, store contact info of customers, and so on.
This section will help customers find answers to various questions, and they even don’t need support team help. You can post articles that include tips on how to buy or rent a house, what legal issues customers may face, and how to solve them, add reviews, guides, etc.
You must add this section since customers always want to read the latest news and stay updated.
These are essential features you cannot ignore. However, there are many other exciting and auxiliary features that make your website more competitive and appealing – for instance, calendars, favorites, online chat, and so on.
Steps to start the real estate website development
If you are not a skilled developer, you should hire professionals in this field and entrust them to build your project.
If you don’t know how to hire and where we will also guide you through this process.
There are three ways, in fact;
#1. You can hire a local software development company in your city or country. But the hourly rate depends on the country you live in. For example, the rate in the USA is about $150-175, in Central and Western Europe – $75-100, in Australia – $100). So it is up to you.
#2. If you want to save your money, you’d better find other regions where hourly rates are much lower, but the quality is high. Eastern European countries, Asian countries are at your disposal.
#3. Hire in-house developers. You rent an office where you will hire local developers, and you will have full control over them. However, it will be rather expensive. Office rent, hardware, software license, taxes, salaries – everything will cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
Ok, if you chose the option to hire a development company, we can proceed to the next step.
Choose a service provider
To find a reliable and experienced company you may trust, you can use such platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms. They will help you sort companies by countries, ratings, hourly rates, reviews.
Reviews are especially valuable. There are no fake reviews since the administration of these platforms verifies each review by calling each customer and speaking with them.
Development process initiation
When you chose a company, and you started cooperating with them, you need to understand all the development stages. Here they are:
- Business analysis. Analysts of selected software development company analyze the product you want to create, its target audience, write down all requirements, and then estimate the website development.
- UI/UX design. When all documentation is done, designers create wireframes to show you how schematically your future website may look like. If you are satisfied with it, then they create a working prototype to show how it will look like at its best.
- Development process. And then web developers build front-end and back-end for your website and fill it in with functionality and features.
That is everything you probably wanted to know. However, everything depends on your requirements, and your real estate website may have its own nuances. Just find a trustworthy company that has enough skills and reputation for creating your website. Have a good luck!