tools for a real estate website

How to build a real estate site?

Posted by admin

December 17, 2014

Need to build a real estate site and have no idea how to start? There are so many options in the Net today, all you need is to make the right decision - which one will work the best for your business. Let's check the most popular ways how to make a website for agent or agency.

Option 1. Website builders

There is no need to think over your websites features, look and functionality, if you apply to website builder services. It offers you to sign up and take a ready-to-use website with all stuffing in it.

Pros: Cons:
- quick start. Your website will be launched quickly as all you need is to sign up, choose a template and fill it with the content. - regular payments. As soon as your trial period ends (if there is a trial period), you have to pay them.
- no need to be a developer or designer. You can build your website without specific knowlegde about code, web design, etc. It's just a perfect solution for non-technical users. - limited in functionality. Templates and their functionality are predefined and can't be modified as per your specific needs.
- you are not alone. You get regular help and guidance from site builder company support team. But if your questions and problems are covered by support policy or not, this is another question. - dependence. You depend on website builder company in many aspects: support (you are lucky if it is good), financial (you are lucky if it is not expensive and company will no change subscription plans) and much more...

Want to give it a try? Just enter 'website builder' in search engine and you will get plenty of top website builders like wix, weebly, jimdo, etc.

Option 2. Use CMS

CMS or Content Management System is an online tool for building websites which is more complex and flexible than website builders described above. Most popular among them are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla. The most important difference between CMS and site builders are scope of features and possibilities they can offer to users.

Pros: Cons:
- free. Here you can save a lot of money as you don't need to pay monthly fees. All you need to pay for is hosting/domain and extensions that you might want to install on your site. - time-consuming. It will require some time to learn how CMS works, what extensions/plugins you will need.
- unlimited in functionlity. There are thousands of ready-to-use real estate extensions/plugins for every CMS that can add any feature you need for your property listing website. Even if you still can't find specific features, you can customize it for extra money so it would better suit your needs. - security. You should keep an eye on new CMS releases and update your website regularly. Otherwise your website can be hacked.
- great choice of designs. Moreover you can find themes packed with all necessary tools. But they are commercial of course.
- support and lots of documentation. The competition between CMS extensions providers is so high that support service becomes even better. A growing number of CMS users write documentation and provide video tutorials which are available to everyone for free.

This post will help you to make the right choice between CMSes.

Option 3. Use real estate portals

Some popular real estate portals like zillow and others, offer ready-to-use property listings website to agents. It works like website builders but it is already filled in with all necessary tools which a real estate website must have like IDX integration.

Pros: Cons:
- turn-key websites. Portals offer everything from domain name till integrated MLS data. Pick your designs, choose MLS and you get a working website with multiple features. - regular payments. You need to pay them regularly for using their offer.
- trendy features & tools. Portals spend great sum of money on their services. Websites they offer are fully responsive, seo optimized, with comprehensive admin panel and interface. - lack of designs. Your website look fully depends on designs that portal offers. No other options are available.
- no technical skills required. Being an average user will be enough.
- direct support. Portal's tech support will help you with your website as support service is included in the monthly price you paid.

Option 4. Turn to professionals

There are thousands of professional developers who can build any website according to your specific needs. You will save time but spend money. If you choose this option, please be careful and check portfolio, feedbacks, social profiles before you make a deal.

Pros: Cons:
- get website of your dream. Just describe in detail what you want to get in result and wait. It will be better if you provide with detailed specifications with mockups or screenshots. - most expensive option. Individual approach costs money.
- absolutely custom website. You can be sure that your website will have unique design and features. - communication mistakes. You should be more careful and definite writing project requirements to exlcude additional payments or disputes.
- support or maintenance. Usually such companies worry about their reputation and will do their best to finish project successfully.

Hope our blog post helped you to make this important choice and soon you will successfullly start up in real estate business.