When you are shopping for the best real estate websites online, you need to be very careful, because there is a lot of junk out there, and you will likely end up paying a bunch of money for a system that won’t produce results. So let me go right into the “traps” that the agent who is just starting typically faces.
Don’t Get a Cookie Cutter Website Provided by the Main Real Estate Company
Agents who work in an office that is an affiliate of Century 21, Re/Max, Keller Williams or other big name real estate companies, generally have the option to have a good looking, personalized real estate website. Here’s the problem though, you can do very little customizing of your site’s appearance or functionality, and you are building up the company’s website, instead of your own. So if your name was Joe Realtor, you would end with something like http://www.kw.com/joerealtor, instead of having your own site, like http://www.joerealtor.com.
So the question is, what happens when you switch to another office, or want to become your own broker with a different affiliation? The answer is, you have to give up your website, and have to start all over. Bottom line, spend a little time and money to build your website, that you can take anywhere.
Don’t Buy a Proprietary Real Estate Website Software System
This can be even more expensive than getting a cookie cutter site from a big real estate firm. While these real estate systems offer some good functionality, and the ability to have your own website and domain name, again, they fail when it comes to being able to customize the site the way you want it.
As you go on in your real estate career, you will find that you want to add functionality to your website. Things like school information, your own real estate reports, the ability to communicate with your prospects through email marketing, and many other things are likely to come up. And with these proprietary systems, if they don’t already offer that functionality, you have one of 2 choices, either having to forget about offering that functionality to your visitors, or move your website elsewhere.
Choosing to move your website elsewhere will undoubtedly be a huge investment of time and money, and if you make significant changes to your url and site structure, you may be at risk of losing your search engine rankings.
Don’t Buy into Online Real Estate Lead Generation Websites
(at least, don’t spend money up front for online leads)
I am going to warn you right now, almost every lead generation service online is going to charge you a whole bunch of money, and deliver very little results to you. I was talking with my broker the other day, and she told me she has bought into these systems, and they generally produce horrible leads, that really aren’t interested in buying, or who are not qualified to get a loan, thus rendering them unable to purchase even if they do want to buy.
Trust me, it just isn’t worth it…
So what’s the solution?
Well..start by reading my post Best Real Estate Websites for Agents to get an understanding of what a real estate website should have.