If you are the in real estate business, you know how important it is to get your properties noticed. Great looking images, video material and an established background help with that. Unfortunately your options are often limited:
- You have to rely on third party companies to host your properties
- You’re paying a lot of money for them to do so
- Most of these portals are not very streamlined
- They don’t have the features you want
- You’re listed along with your biggest competitor
- As soon as your listing expires, your company disappears
There is a better option!
It may sound crazy at first but I’m sure you’ve already toyed with the idea of setting up you own property portal / real estate website. Many larger players do just that because they are well aware of the limitation of other solutions. This is especially evident if you’re selling luxury properties. The ‘usual’ portal just can’t transport the image you and your clients are looking for.
Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is cost: Let me convince you why your own, niche real estate website may be the best investment you’ve ever made and why it won’t cost nearly as much as you’re probably imagining.
Why you need your own Real Estate Website now
Let’s start with the good stuff: Having your own real estate website comes with a huge number of benefits. I would argue that the most important benefit is, that you’re in a position to establish yourself as a leader in your own niche, with your own branding, your way.
- Establish yourself as a leader in your niche (ex. Luxury Properties)
- Brand the hell out of it! It’s your website, your rules
- Have the features you’ve always wanted: High-resolution images, HD Video, Beautiful Maps
- Don’t ever pay another company to host your properties ever again
- Make it as easy as possible for a prospect to get in touch with you
Why your own Real Estate Website won’t cost as much as you imagine
Real Estate Website Development
Hiring and dealing with a designer and developer can cost a lot of time and money. While this still holds true, it may surprise you that you will soon start saving money: Rather than developing your portal from scratch, we use a framework called ExpressionEngine. Think of it as the base to get us started: It already comes with the structure to hold and manage your data, enables user management and keep the site secure. The best, neither you nor your agents will ever realize what your website is running on because the experience is 100% customizable to suit your needs.
Real Estate Website Maintenance
Apart from the initial development cost, you’re also thinking about future maintenance. Let me re-assure you, aside from the hosting and basic maintenance that any website requires, you’re basically set. This is because the framework we’re using to develop your real estate website comes with strong commercial support and regular updates. Talking about ExpressionEngine 2.0 which was released in 2009 - by now you would have already received 6 years worth of free updates, just for paying a one-time licensing fee of $299 USD.
Imagine how much it would cost to get a developer to constantly update his own, in-house solution? Much, much more. Not to mention that if that developer disappears, your site is basically history.
5 Reasons for ExpressionEngine
So, why would you go with ExpressionEngine? ExpressionEngine has proven itself as a powerful platform. It’s fast, completely customizable, and secure and comes with commercial support. That means, if ever anything goes wrong and we can’t fix it, EllisLab, the company behind ExpressionEngine, will stand by and help us figure this out.
- A powerful platform, able to handle millions of hits a month
- A stable base, high security standards and strong vendor support
- Save money compared with starting from scratch
- Free software updates till the next major update (Version 2.* since 2009)
- 100% Customizable
You may wonder whether there is a catch. No. Almost everything is possible. Think of subscriptions. Think of HD property videos. Think of beautiful images and image galleries to showcase the properties that you’re looking to sell.
I hope I sparked your curiosity! If yes, please read on. I’m going to answer some of the most common questions we receive:
How long does it take to develop the website?
It depends on your individual requirements but no less than 3 weeks. Here’s how the planning, design and development process looks like:
1. Initial research
We want to know more about your company, your goals and the people you work with. It’s important for us to better understand your customer as to work out the most suitable solution, both in terms of branding and functionality.
Once we know more about your business and the direction we’re going to take, we will start working on an initial mockup. At every step of the way, we get you input to see whether there’s anything you’d like to change. Only once you’re completely satisfied with the design, we will move on to step 3.
At this point of time, we have everything to get started. Give us around 1-2 weeks, depending on the complexity of the before we can showcase the initial prototype.
Give us another week to make sure everything works 100%. During this time, you will be able to follow the development trough a private URL. You’ll also be able to invite your property agents to try out the new platform to get initial feedback. We will stand by to answer any of your questions and help you make the most of the platform. You’ll be publishing new properties in no time!
If you already have an existing client base, it’s time to get the word out. We will help you kick off a marketing campaign to not only inform existing clients about the new platform but also to excite new, potential clients for your services.
If you want to find out more about having your own, ExpressionEngine based real estate website, we’d be happy to provide you with additional details and an individual quote. Request additional information now