Real Estate Webdesign Canada | The Competition (*Dun dun dun* sound effect)
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The Competition (*Dun dun dun* sound effect)

Real estate website companies run the marketing-term (also referred to as ‘honesty’) gauntlet. Many use every marketing buzzword in the book to promote their products the best they can. Of course, as they should…but how are agents supposed to tell which websites are the best, and which are the best value.

 

Well, we’ll tell you how. By following this no-nonsense guide to purchasing a real estate website…

 

Our No-Nonsense Guide to Website Buying: Discover the UNTRUTHS

Your first step to cutting through the marketing buzzwords is to understand what some of these truly mean. By understanding what they are and how they relate to your website and your business you can see them for what they truly are…fluff.

 

 real estate website companies funn

1.    “SEO-Ready” / “SEO-optimized”

All the real estate website companies sell websites that are “SEO Ready” or “SEO optimized”. But—what does this actually mean. Every website on the planet is SEO ready. This simply means that it is ready to be SEOified. SEO-optimized is a different term altogether though. SEO-optimized means that certain keywords have been added to the website to help it rank better.

 

Sounds good right?

 

Well, sort of. Adding a few page titles and meta keywords is a good start, but it is about 1% of the SEO effort needed to actually succeed.

The Simple Truth
: SEO is hard business. No website, out of the box, will offer you true SEO. Any website can be optimized just as any other—but it will take serious work on your part. As a super-short synopsis, you need a ton of SEO-optimized, unique and original content, and high-quality inbound links.

 

2.    Lead-Generating

Many Realtors bounce around from one website company to another, trying to find one that will actually produce them leads.

The Simple Truth
: The basic truth is that no website out of the box will generate you leads. Lead generation comes from being able to convert large amounts of traffic (which comes from top SEO or paid advertising) into names, phone numbers and emails.

For a website to be lead generation it first needs to attract a large amount of traffic, and then have a methodology to turn that traffic into leads. This can be accomplished through live chat, call to actions, new property sign up lists and more.

So, when evaluating real estate website companies solutions, look for those that offer a number of call to action options (and then try them all out to see what works!).

 

 

3.    Cutting-Edge

Many real estate website companies say that they offer ‘cutting-edge’ websites (or some other word meaning vanguarde).

 

The Simple Truth: Real estate websites are rarely cutting-edge. When they are, they are very expensive custom jobs. Our advice to you is to ignore the ‘cutting edge’ words and look at their overall look (do they look modern), and which features they offer (that aren’t just buzzwords).

 

4.    Just $X a Month!

Stop paying monthly fees. It is expensive. Even if it is just $20/month, that is still $240/year and, $1200 over 5 years and $2400 over a decade (after all, you will surely be in the business for a while). While this sounds like a great deal, know that a website that is 5 or 10 years old will already look dated.

 The Simple Truth: Pay once and get it over with. Then you can reinvest that money in more lucrative real estate marketing ventures.

 

5.    Integrated Blog!

Adding a blog to a website takes all of 12 seconds. Every website can have a blog if you flick a switch. This isn’t a feature.

Also, will you even use a blog? If you aren’t going to write relevant, original articles on a regular basis, then don’t even bother with a blog as an empty blog looks like you aren’t putting in the effort.

 The Simple Truth: Have a blog, or not. But don’t think it is a phenomenal feature they are giving you for free–it’s hard work on your part!

6.    FREE File Hosting

It’s not free. You’re paying $X/month for that hosting. Every website needs hosting, and almost all of them have unlimited file hosting.

The real trick with ‘unlimited’ file hosting is that a website can only have so many bulky files on it before it starts slowing down. If you put gigabytes upon gigabytes of videos on there, the website will eventually slow down—regardless of ‘unlimited’ or ‘free’ hosting.

 The Simple Truth: Every hosting package comes with free file hosting.

 

7.    Search Engine Submission

Websites don’t need to be submitted to search engines. Search engines will find your website on their own. If you want them to find it faster you can manually submit them. It takes all of 2 seconds.

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url

 The Simple Truth: search engine submission isn’t important.They will find you if you have some good content on your website. If you don’t have good content on your website then you won’t rank with them anyways.

 

8.    Free Analytics

Analytics are free thanks to the beautiful and benevolent minds at Google. Google offers a free tool called Google Analytics, which offers you all the information that you will ever need to measure your website traffic, issues and areas of improvement.

You can sign up for a free account here (then use our live chat to ask us how to add the tracking code to your website):

 

www.google.com/analytics
The Simple Truth: It’s free. Period.

 

9.    FREE Lifetime Upgrades!

Free upgrades are great…the problem is they aren’t ‘free’. You’re paying for their services monthly, to the tune of hundreds of dollars (often close to a thousand) per year. They aren’t free.

Another problem with free upgrades is that you often don’t know when they have a system upgrade, and even if you do know you have to upgrade them yourself. So, before falling for the line of ‘free upgrades’ ask them how that process works. Also ask them how often they offer upgrades, and what the past few upgrades have consisted of (as some as such a minor detail that you wouldn’t even notice).

The Simple Truth: They SHOULD be giving you upgrades as you are paying an arm and a leg.

 

10.Social Promotion Tools

Every website can put a Facebook or Twitter link on it. REALLY not a big deal.

The Simple Truth: This isn’t a feature–it’s a simple, cheap, easy ‘must have’.

 

11.Up to X FREE Pages!

Pages should be free. This is the internet. It has boundless amounts of space on it, and all real estate website companies should offer unlimited amounts of pages.

 

The Simple Truth:  If real estate website companies want to charge you per page….run.

 

 

We hope that the above synopsis helps you sort through the marketing mumbojumbo that exists out there on the world-wide web.

 

If you are wondering if a feature or promotion is a good deal—just ask us. We’ll be honest. It’s sort of ‘our thing’.

We love infographics. Not because we’re too lazy to appreciate the written word, but, simply because we appreciate (and at times imitate) the beauty of great design. And solid factoids.

 

Many of the below facts in this infographic could have been taken right out of our elevator sales pitch–well done My Case Group and INC. Magazine.

 

The number one reason to buy one of our real estate websites is for a more-professional image and strong online branding strategy. The second reason is money.

And we can save you a lot of it.

How Our Real Estate Websites Can Save you Money

Curious all the ways that our real estate websites (and our service) can save you money while boosting your online image? (Hey—we never said this wouldn’t be wildly self-promotional). Well here they are:

 

  1. We Save you $50 a Month on Website Fees
    Our average competitor charges $50 per month. While this ranges anywhere from $40 to $80, we feel that entire range is too expensive. That’s $600 per year. Every year. We charge you $2500, and that’s it. The only on-going fee is hosting, at a few dollars a month—and you can buy ours or another company’s hosting (…although we recommend ours, for obvious reasons).
  2. Email Marketing
    When we create our websites we can install FREE email-marketing software that can help work with your exiting email-marketing platform—or you can go with our recommended vendor MailChimp (which is also free).
  3. On your CRM
    We can make recommendations on CRMs, either built-in to your website or on its own platform that are free or cheaper than standard industry solutions like Top Producer. TP is of course about $50 a month because the real estate services industry apparently loves round numbers.
  4. Branded Marketing Materials
    We can easily take a snap shot of the banner we create for your website, and send it to you as a free graphic to use on all your marketing materials so that you have across-the-board branding, without paying a graphic artist or printing company to create it. Using your banner image across your open house handouts, Facebook Page, LinkedIn page, letterhead and more. Versatile huh?

Our websites are so much more than just websites—they’re money savers! And while this may seem too good to be true we will point you towards so many high-quality, low-price (mostly free) technologies that you’ll think that you’ve died and gone to that big internet in the sky.

 
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Real Estate Website Tip: Can I just Buy a WordPress Theme and Upload it?

Nope—thank god.

 

If using WordPress were THAT easy we’d all be out of jobs.

 

While WordPress provides a powerful platform with rich, customizable, feature-rich themes. Those themes aren’t plug-and-play solutions. There is hours upon hours of backend stuff to get done, including setting the theme to look like the demo (you should see the hot mess they start out as), creating site hierarchy, setting SEO, creating menus, adding images, creating graphics, setting sliders, adding content, and on and on. As an example, we created a website in Regina real estate, regarding condos for sale in Regina. This website leveraged a number of design elements included, but don’t simply turn on–they need to be customized, designed and branded. We also had to add a ton of functionalities not included in the base theme, like call to actions, listing information and more.

 

So WordPress is Hard to Use? (Bad News?)

WordPress is an extremely easy to use system when you are simply uploading listings and blog posts. To do the design stage however takes more time and knowledge than you likely have (if you knew how to do it you wouldn’t b reading this). This however is why WE have jobs.

 

So, the short answer to if you can simply buy a WordPress theme and upload it on your website to create a great real estate websites—the short answer is no. It isn’t that easy.

 

To learn how to use WordPress for design purposes, you would need to spend a couple hundred hours in class to learn how to create what you want. Our highly-recommended alternative, is to just pay us the $2500.

 

But What About Website Builders?
If someone recommended a real estate website builder, we implore you to ask them two questions….how well did it turn out? (this one you can see for yourself) and how long did it take you?

Unless they’ve done it before, it likely took them at least a few days to put together, and the results aren’t comparable to what we can provide.

 

Our advice is to leave web design to the pros—just as we leave important real estate advice to the pros. We’re all experts at something, but your expert status lies in lucrative real estate. Sadly ours, lies in staying-home-in-your-mom’s-basement software manipulation.

 

Hop on over to our real estate websites portfolio page to see exactly how well we design websites, which will help you understand why it is just simply worth it to pay us the $2500 to create your site (which you then own forever and pay nothing else on except for yearly hosting).

 

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The best real estate websites have one thing in common—they deliver potential clients. If you’re website isn’t delivering leads—then you’re missing out on clients, and it is likely for one of the following three reasons:

1. Bounce Problems

‘Bounce rate’ is web terminology for when someone clicks on your site, it loads, and they leave within a few seconds. It happens when people don’t like what they see, or what they see doesn’t pop out at them. The best real estate website avoid these like the plague.

The sites with the highest bounce rates generally have one or more of the following issues:

No flow. A website, like any graphical element needs to have a specific flow that the eye is supposed to follow. To accomplish this you need to choose colours, sizes, fonts, pictures and videos that attract the readers to the most important part of your site and then provide a natural visual flow. Websites with multiple items that jump out at you will make users ‘bounce’.

Cheese. Nobody like cheesy. A website that looks cheesy will encourage people to bounce immediately.

Similarity. If your website looks like every other agents’ website then you won’t capture people’s attention immediately. To avoid similarity stay away from templates used by other agents in your area (like MCS or Real Web websites).

2. Failure to Communicate

People are surfing the internet for information. If you don’t provide them, quickly, the information they are looking for then they will find best real estate websites that will. To offer them the information they want in record time, your website needs:

– Excellent navigation. Your navigation should preferably be at the top of your website, and be clearly labelled and easy-to-read. If you have more than 5 or 6 pages then you will want to use drop-down menus to avoid your menu being too cluttered.

– Use sub headings to help people skim the page for the information that they want.

– Use clear fonts without funky colours to make your text easy-to-read.

 

3. Failure to Convert

Attracting people to your website is one challenge. Getting them to stick around for a few minutes is your second challenge. Your third, and final, challenge of the best real estate websites is getting them to take the next step and contact you.This conversion stage is the most difficult, especially since many homebuyers browsing the web are still in their informational phase and aren’t ready to begin contacting Realtors yet. This informational stage however is exactly when you need to strike.To aid your conversion rate, you need to focus on the following:

Expert status. To help aid in conversions, you first need to offer information and advice on your website that makes you an expert. Avoid generalizations and marketing fluff. Instead give them tangible reasons to make you their agent.

Contact. You need to have methods to contact you on every page of your website. This means phone number, email, live chat and social profiles—because you don’t know which method each user will prefer (and not all of them will prefer the same method).

Call to actions. Every good website needs some call to actions. These are generally brightly-coloured buttons with some text that grabs you and convinces you to call. Ideally you want multiple, different call-to-action buttons on your site. On your listings you can hold back a piece of information and say “call for X piece of information”.

Downloadable content. Adding content that can only be accessed by entering your email and then downloading it, or having it emailed to you, is a great way to build your email marketing list.

4. Page Load Time — A Habit of the Best Real Estate Websites

Pages that take a long time to load are bad. First, many people won’t wait–they’ll just bounce to another website. Second, Google doesn’t like pages that take too long to load, so they will suggest other ones to people performing Google searches. So, to ensure success, the best real estate websites load lickety-split.

 

So, is your website doing all that? No…then you need us. Check out our portfolio for some examples of the work we’ve done, then head on over to our services or pricing page to see how much we can offer—and how extremely affordable it is (hint: it’s $2500—with no expensive monthly fee). If your website IS doing all that—kudos! But check our pricing page because we can likely save you a ton of money that you can reinvest in other areas of your marketing.

 

 

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If you’re looking for the top 10 real estate websites then you’re likely looking for some inspiration to kickstart your own kick-a** real estate agent online marketing campaign. Boy have you come to the right place—because that’s kind of our ‘thing’.

 

Before we knock you off your super-impressed feet with purdy pictures, let’s go over what makes a good website. First we’ll discuss what the public looks for in their top real estate websites, and then what Google look for. If you’re just looking for pretty pictures, skip the next part (although we don’t recommend it) and then look at the top 10 real estate websites based on existing WordPress themes—which we can install along with all the functionalities you want for a one-time fee of $2500.

 

Top 10 Real Estate Websites: What the Public Wants
Every website should be geared towards what the public wants—because that’s who you’re making the website for. And this is what they want (using rash generalizations of course):

 

  1. Easy-to-find content
  2. Relevant content
  3. Unique content that isn’t on every other realtor’s site
  4. Tangible content about their desired neighbourhood, condo, community or local real estate market
  5. Multiple ways to contact you (because not everyone wants to go the same communication route), including phone number, email and live chat
  6. Information on your listings that can’t be found on MLS (otherwise they would just go to MLS)
  7. Specific information about you as a realtor

 

Top 10 Real Estate Websites: What Google Wants

The Google gods are fickle. They know exactly what they want, and like any fickle god if you don’t offer it they will find another puny mortal who will give them what they want. And they’ll make that puny mortal show up higher in their search results than you—so give them what they want, which is:

 

  1. Unique content (if you use duplicate content they will strike you down with a godly bolt of lightning)
  2. More (unique) content than your competitor
  3. More inbound links (links from other people’s website pointing to your website) thank your competitors (notice the theme here with your competitor’s?)
  4. Use of SEO keywords (you can steal some from one of our other blog posts)
  5. Images with keywords in your ‘alt image tags’….you can Google what those are
  6. At least 300 words per page
  7. An outgoing link (pointing to someone else’s website) on every page, like Wikipedia, city council, another local business, etc.

OK—ready for the pretty pictures now? …. Click the link below the image for a live demo

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Top 10 Real Estate Websites


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Open Door Real Estate Theme for real estate websites

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Top 10 Real Estate Websites

 

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CasaNova Real Estate Website Theme

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Top 10 Real Estate Websites

 

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Curb Appeal Real Estate Website Theme

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Top 10 Real Estate Websites
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TurnKey Real Estate Website Theme

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Top 10 Real Estate Websites

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Construct Real Estate Websites Theme

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Top 10 Real Estate Websites

 

LightHouse Real Estate Web Design Theme
Top 10 Real Estate Websites

 

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Ushuaia Real Estate Web Design

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Top 10 Real Estate Websites

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Decorum Real Estate Web Design Theme

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Top 10 Real Estate Websites

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AgentPress Real Estate Web Design Theme

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Top 10 Real Estate Websites

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Associate WordPress Theme for Real Estate Web Design

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WANT MORE?…. Visit our Gallery

 

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Should Real Estate Agents Use Website Builders?  — Real Estate Website Builders

 

real estate website builder
Should real estate agents use website builders? In our opinion? No, of course not.

 

Our knee-jerk response isn’t what you think though…

 

Yes, we—of course—want you to purchase a website from us instead of a website builder, but we also know that eventually most agents who use website builders will turn to a professional web development company anyways. And since we’re rockstar awesome, have the most economical prices in the business and offer top-level technologies—they’ll come to us eventually. So—we’d rather save you the time by telling you which real estate agents should use website builders…and which should use US.

 

Real Estate Website Builders: Who SHOULD Use Website Builders

  • Agents just starting out who have absolutely zero budget for a website.
  • Agents with plenty of time on their hands to build the website.
  • Agents with a reasonable level of technological know-how.
  • Agents looking for a simple website with basic functionalities (for some—that’s all they need and want, and hey—that’s cool!)

If you think a real estate website builder might be for you–allow us to point you in the right direction with this great chart of different website builders and what they can do:

http://www.top10bestwebsitebuilders.com/

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Real Estate Website Builders: Who SHOULDN’T Use Website Builders

  • Agents who don’t have the average of 15-25 hours that it takes to create a reasonably high-quality website with a website builder—and would just rather fork out the $2500.  Because sometimes having a pro do a pro-grade job is worth more than paying yourself slightly above minimum wage to figure out how to build a website.
  • Agents who have an image to uphold and need a professional-looking website.
  • Agents who want a number of top-level technology website features like lead-capturing, CRM, Live-Chat, Mobile Click-to-Call buttons—and more.
  • Agents looking to leverage on-the-go online marketing with a mobile website and QR codes.
  • Agents who get frustrated easily by technology (you know who you are).
  • Agents who aren’t sure exactly what they need on their website! (You know who YOU are too)
  • Agents who want more control over the look and feel of their site.
  • Agents who see the value in owning their website instead of renting it.
  • Agents who need on-going support to manage and continue to expand their website and online presence.


Real Estate Website Builders….hmmm….Not sure which one you are? Feel free to give us a call…we’re honest and will give you a no-nonsense answer to what you really need. If you understand technology (which we can determine from a 2-minute phone conversation) and all you truly need is a website builder—then we’ll tell you just that! (And then we’ll kindly ask you to refer us to less-technical agents in your office, of course).

If you’ve tried a website builder and aren’t happy with the results or simply ‘weren’t able to quite figure it out’ (no shame in that game—we know how much knowledge it takes to build a website), then welcome home—like family we’ll take care of ya’.

 

To see examples of the kind of website you can get for just $2500–with no expensive monthly fee–click here for pricing, and here for portfolio examples.

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Author: Robin

Don’t think we can help with your real estate websites? Pfft…wanna bet? No, literally—we need the money.

Rewebsites Canada helps its customers with their real estate websites, while building their online—and offline presences (ask us how we manage that!)–over the long term. Curious the ways that we help? Well, off the tops of our heads we can think of 27 reasons you need us….

 

  1. We get your mobile. (click here to see more about our mobile sites)
  2. We get you started on QR codes. (free with our websites!)
  3. We improve your professional image with a stylish website and stellar content.
  4. We improve your listing presentation by offering you a unique platform to promote your property—and not with the terrible, space-constrained MLS profile.
  5. FREE easy-to-use lead-capturing technology.
  6. FREE easy-to-use CRM-based customer and lead management.
  7. One-button integration with your social media marketing (Facebook yo!).
  8. With SEO help.
  9. Canadian-style customer service “you first”…”oh no, you first”…”oh no, your first—I insist”
  10. With our ATTENTION-GRABBING content.
  11. With our integrated blogging.
  12. With our Google Analytics and Google Webmaster integration.
  13. By helping you get on Facebook (it’s never too late!).
  14. With the technologies you crave—like click-to-call buttons and Live Chat.
  15. Unlimited content—because you may have a lot to say!
  16. With your entire branding strategy—from branded email accounts to marketing materials.
  17. By guiding you with our knowledge (and like McDonald’s smiles—that’s free).
  18. Low costs.
  19. An easy-to-use Content Management System—that yes, even you can use (you know who you are).
  20. Post-website-creation tutorials that teach you how to use the technology (again and again if you need it).
  21. Virtual tour encouragement.
  22. Video marketing empowerment.
  23. IDX integration (if you want it—although have a chat with us about it first, it may not be all you thought it was)
  24. Listing write-ups so that your listing information looks super-professional.
  25. Blogging. We do it for you—so that you don’t have to.
  26. We mow your lawn. (Just checkin’ if you’re paying attention).
  27. We’re fun to work with. (If you doubt the value of this then just think of your last customer service experience with Bell or Rogers).

 

If you’re curious about what we can do for you to build your real estate websites or online presence…or you really do need someone to mow your lawn—give us a shout. 

To see how little it will cost you to move to one of our websites–with no expensive monthly fee like our competitors..click here.

 

Author: Robin