If you are a real estate business owner who does not have a website yet, then let us ask you this question: how do you establish business communication with your clients? How do you advertise what you have to offer and how do you manage your entire business offline? If we had to guess, we would suggest that you have a brick and mortar office space from where you handle all your operations. We would guess that you advertise about your business through offline advertisements – posters and billboards and what not! And we will definitely guess that you either communicate with your clients via mail and phone calls, or you prefer in-person communication.
But these are all quite expensive and time taking methods, and as effective as they may be, it is impossible to grow your audience exponentially through this offline approach. Having a online website for your real estate business in present day scenario is just more convenient and helpful in growing your business. If you are curious, then let us guide you through all the necessary information that you need on real estate websites and their development process.
What are real estate websites and why should you have one?
A real estate websites can simply be regarded as a digital office space for your real estate business. The real estate website acts as a bridge between the property sellers and property buyers. On these websites, property owners can list their property for sale or rent and the property buyers can search for different properties in different locations and purchase or rent according to their wish.
The real estate business is a lucrative one, and you might already know that. It is one of the most sustainable sectors which has strong growth potential. While the money factor is one of the biggest reasons for why should you own a real estate website, there are more reasons which are given below –
- Wide range of target audience
- Promotion and establishing communication
- Ease of operations
- Time efficient
Wide range of target audience
As a realtor, you need to be able to communicate with as many people as possible to close deals and start making money. With an online website, you can reach a wide range of audience and you can advertise your business to gain new customers in a quicker and more efficient way. With the help of keywords and search engine optimisation, different users can also find your brand quite easily online – which is not possible through offline advertisements.
Promotion and establishing communication
Realtors need to be always in contact with potential clients and promote their services in order to secure sales and other orders. A website helps greatly in spreading awareness about your business among property sellers and buyers. It helps establish easy and constant communication with your clients which is key in the real estate business.
Ease of operations
Working on your website is just far more convenient and easy compared to working offline. On top of this, having your own website helps you update all the new information and details regarding any property sale or rent in any specific area. It is now much easier to get new leads and publish them on your website.
For a realtor, the sooner a deal closes, the better. This is why, you should always opt for a website as working on your own website saves a lot of time compared to working offline. Your clients can contact you easily through your website, get all the necessary details, and even do all the paperworks much quicker through your official website.
Types of real estate websites
A real estate business deals with several types of clients – some are looking to sell a house while some are looking to buy one. Some clients want to rent a property while some have an investment perspective in mind. To cater to the needs of these different clients and to address all the use-cases, real estate websites can be classified into four types –
- Real estate marketplaces or property listing websites
- Property management websites
- Real estate aggregator websites
- Real estate investment websites
a) Real estate marketplaces or property listing websites
Real estate marketplace is probably the most common type of real estate websites. It is where property owners can list their properties for sale or for rent, and property buyers can select a property to buy or to rent from these listed options. The potential buyers can get all the information and descriptions on different properties from these websites such as property pictures, building plans, total area, location and so on.
b) Property management websites
Property management websites help the homeowners to manage their property in just a few clicks. It helps the property owners to manage everything from buying a property to selling to renting one. These services are cost-effective and mostly apply to residential or commercial properties.
c) Real estate aggregator websites
Real estate aggregator websites act as a guide for property buyers where they can find all the necessary details from different real estate websites. These websites can be described as a cesspool of data, and it helps both property buyers and investors to find their desired property through just one search.
d) Real estate investment websites
Real estate websites serve two purposes – firstly, they provide investors with a space where they can invest in different real estate assets, and secondly, they offer several guides, articles and blogs that help real estate investors in identifying the best investment option depending on their investment criteria.
Important features to add in your real estate website
Handling a website is all about serving your customers right, and the best way to serve your customers is to provide them with useful tools that help ease the process of buying or selling a property. Include the following features or tools in your real estate website to make it stand out from the rest.
- User sign in & authentication
- Search filters
- Video or virtual tours
- Calendar for booking appointments
User sign in and authentication
Different users visit real estate websites with different needs. To give everyone a personalised experience, it is important to add the sign in feature where they can fill out all the necessary details about their identity and their needs. On top of that, having a real estate website means you have to keep your users safe and secure and keep your website trustworthy. User verification and authentication helps in keeping your website safe.
The main purpose of a real estate website is to provide agents and potential buyers with a list of all the listed properties throughout the region they operate in. In order to keep your list up to date and complete, you have to link all the listing databases of that specific region with your website.
The live search filters help users to search for the exact type of property they are looking for. Users need to be able to use search filters such as property location, number of rooms, price, available facilities, transport access and so on. These filters help potential buyers to find their dream property much more quickly and save time for everyone.
The location of the listed properties can be a concern for users. This is why your real estate website must provide users with a map option to view where the property is actually located, and what facilities they have in that area. Most websites use Google Maps for the map feature.
Video or virtual tours
All the real estate websites allow homeowners to post pictures of their properties to attract clients. You can take this a bit far and add a virtual tour feature where homeowners can give potential buyers a tour of the home completely virtually. Seeing is believing, and people tend to trust videos more than simple pictures.
The favourites section acts similar to the “wish-list” feature that you get to see in different e-commerce websites. As we said, through linking the listing databases with your website, you can showcase multiple properties to your users. The favourites section helps them separate a few properties which they have identified as their best choices. This also helps in narrowing down choices which makes choosing a property easier for the users.
Communication is the key in closing the deals. Add a messaging feature in your website which will help users to come in contact with realtors or property sellers and through discussion they can finalise the details of the deal. With the messaging feature, users can get all the necessary information about the property in no time and this saves a lot of trouble in both ends.
Calendar for booking appointments
No matter how many photos and videos you show, users can only feel confident in purchasing a property after they have seen it in person. With the calendar feature, realtors and homeowners can provide users with the available dates for a tour of the property and users can select a date from the list as per their convenience.
This is a simple feature that can help users identify the potential price of assets depending on multiple factors, such as the locality, number of rooms, facilities and so on.
How to monetise your real estate website?
Once you launch your real estate website, you need to start making money off of it. So how do you use your website to generate revenues? Here are the two things that you can do –
For real estate marketplaces, listing fees can be a good source of income. In this revenue model, whenever homeowners list a property on your website, you can charge a percentage of their amount as a listing fee. This is straightforward and sustainable source of revenue for real estate websites.
Once your website is renowned, you can choose to show paid advertisements on your website and generate revenue. However, remember that too many ads will be extremely frustrating for your users and your website can lose popularity because of that.
Steps to develop your own real estate website
By going through these following steps, you can have a real estate website of your own –
- Study the market and your audience
- Choose the website type
- Hire a web development agency
- Design the UX / UI and start developing your website
- Test and launch
Study the market and your audience
Doing the market research is the first step that you should follow in any business. The real estate sector already has multiple big players so study your market and your target audience. Analyse which new things you can offer, check if you can compete in the long run and calculate your costs and potential returns.
Choose website type
We have already provided you with 4 types of real estate websites in this article. Choose the type with which you can work the best. Understand your business strengths and weaknesses and choose your website type depending on your own skills and customer needs.
Hire a web development agency
Once you have decided on the website type, now it is finally time for you to go into development. For your web development agency, Strivemindz is one of the best places you can go to. With our skills in the Real Estate website development industry and our experienced team, we can build you a state-of-the-art website for your real estate business.
Design the UX / UI and start developing your website
The user interface is what makes your website stand out from the rest and attracts your clients. With the help of Strivemindz, give your clients the best experience while they are on your website. After the UX / UI has been designed, continue with the web development process and build yourself a strong, powerful, attractive website that can easily earn popularity points among your clients.
Test & launch
Once your website is developed, it is time to check if it is working properly. Check for any possible glitches, mistakes or overloads. Once your website is found to be completely okay and functioning at full capacity, launch your real estate website and start working!
Just developing a website is not enough, the maintenance is also a key part of maintaining a strong online presence. Always pay attention to the server maintenance and try to solve any error or glitches as soon as possible. Along with this, address the grievances and complaints from your clients regarding any issues that they are facing on your website.
Technological requirements to develop a real estate website
The following technology is used while developing a real estate website –
- Big data for collecting all information, analysing them and storing them,
- AI and machine learning for personalised browsing experience,
- Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR / AR) for virtual tour of properties,
- Internet of Things (IoT) for cloud facilities, features, and sending and receiving information.
Cost of developing a real estate website
It is quite difficult to give an actual amount that you may have to pay in order to develop your own real estate website. The price depends on a number of things such as –
- The region you are based in,
- The type of website you are developing,
- The number of features you are adding,
- Quality of your team, etc.
To sum it up
Building and maintaining your own real estate website is a lucrative business in today’s market. With the help of Strivemindz, build a strong website for your brand and attract your customers with ease. Strivemindz holds the necessary skills and experience in the field to build a Real Estate website that allows you to connect with your clients and to grow your business. Contact us and let us start your real estate website development project ASAP!