An important aspect of every real estate business is having a fast and well-optimized website to feature all of your listings, allow potential clients to get in touch with you, and teach people more about your business. As everything moves online, it is important that you begin to grow your brand on the internet as well.
So, why is having a website for your real estate business so important? Well, 93% of all business purchase decisions start with a search on the web, and you would ideally like that search to lead to you.
If you want to make more money, get more leads, and grow your brand- you need to be on the internet.
Step by Step Guide to Creating a WordPress Website for a Real Estate Company
Now that you have been convinced you need a real estate website for your business, we are going to go through the process of creating one step-by-step. Following the steps that we have laid out will give you a roadmap you can use when creating your own website.
Step #1: Choose Wisely Your Web Hosting Service
The first step to create your WordPress website is to find a hosting service on which your domain will be hosted.
You will have to choose a hosting plan depending on what you are looking for and then select your domain name (devrix.com is a domain name, for example). With a real estate website, you will need a lot of server space – for all the images and videos to be used with the listed properties.
Discuss your needs with the hosting company and choose wisely. This will allow you to own your little piece of the internet.
Step #2: Select the Right WordPress Theme
Once you have chosen the right web hosting service for your website and have selected your domain name, the next step is to choose the right theme.
There is a good choice of WP themes for every industry. For a real estate company, the right theme would be one that fulfills a couple of requirements.
- Listing Properties – Your ideal theme needs to allow you to list properties on your website. It is imperative that your theme has this feature as it is the cornerstone of any real estate business’s website.
- Mobile friendly- As of Q2 2018, 63% of all retail website visits come from mobiles which is why it is more important than ever to have a mobile-friendly theme.
- Simple– Most people, who are searching for listings, do not want a website with bright colors and loads of popups. Keeping things simple is ideal for real estate websites.
Here are a couple of themes that are perfect for real estate companies:
Real Homes has been designed with real estate professionals in mind which is why it is our top pick. It is the all in one option for real estate companies and agents that want to bring in new leads.
This theme is perfect because it has its own listing system, search feature, and Google Maps integration. This means you will not need to add on any third-party services to your listings on your website.
It has a one-click demo option that will allow your website to look exactly like the theme, after which you can go on to customize it how you want. This awesome theme also comes with the visual composer builder that allows you to create custom pages for your website.
Divi is a page builder plugin that allows you to create custom pages for your website which makes it suitable for pretty much any industry or company.
It also has its own real estate layout pack that includes features such as a landing page design, homepage design, and a contact page design built especially for real estate companies.
It is extremely simple to customize since it works on a drag and drop builder platform.
Lastly, Astra is a well-known lightweight and fast theme that can be used for any website. It is compatible with pretty much any plugin so you can use it alongside a listing plugin of your choosing. It has a simple and appealing design and is easy to customize, making it perfect for real estate agents.
Step #3: Add Your Listings
Now that you have narrowed down a theme, you are going to need to figure out how you plan on showcasing your listings. If you selected a theme that already has that functionality (like Real Homes) – great! If not, you are going to need to use a plugin.
There are multiple listing plugins you can choose from but here are a few popular ones that we would suggest:
Step #4: Add a Few Important Functions to Your Website
Every business is going to have their own needs and personality but there are a few functions that every real estate website should have.
You are going to want to have a contact form for potential buyers or sellers to contact you through.
For example, WPForms is a WordPress plugin with over 3 million active users that has a wide variety of options available to choose from. It has a drag and drop form builder which makes the entire process code free and extremely simple.
No matter what industry you are in, having a blog is always a good practice because it will help you bring in more traffic and generate more leads online.
For a real estate blog, topics worth covering would include:
- Best schools/restaurants/beaches in a certain area that you are targeting. You could even add blog categories for every neighborhood you have listings in.
- Cities with the most and least apartment space.
- Best locations in a certain city/area.
- Average housing prices in the United States.
These are all good topics to cover since your potential readers could very well be your potential customers. The key to writing good content for your real estate blog is to always write content on topics that your potential buyer might be interested in.
This is a great inbound marketing technique as well since you will be bringing in potential leads for your business. You can also begin to supplement the income of your business by monetizing your blog. This can be done in multiple ways with the most common being affiliate marketing, selling ad space, and creating sponsored posts.
About Us Page
The real estate business can be very personal so your customers need to know more about your team. A good About Us page will help potential buyers learn more about your company and trust you enough to want to hire one of your agents.
Most real estate websites will have an about page that has a couple of different elements:
- Introduces their leadership (CEO, Directors, Vice President, etc.),
- a page that introduces the various agents that work within their real estate company,
- a page that includes the locations and contact information for the company,
- and lastly, a page that introduces the company which means this is a good place to have your company’s mission statement and vision statement.
A fairly new practice is to allow potential clients to schedule consultations with agents or a company member online instead of having to call in at the office. This saves resources for the company and makes the scheduling process much easier for the client.
As a real estate company, your agents are going to need to constantly schedule new meetings with clients. Instead of having every potential customer call up your office and maybe even have to wait on the line to speak to someone, consider using appointment scheduling software instead.
This is going to save you time and money in the long run which is why I consider it an imperative step for any real estate business.
If you are looking for a couple of appointment software options, Zapier has a great list of the best appointment apps. Here are some more good options:
Acuity scheduling helps clients book appointments. This software includes features like letting clients check when you are free, letting clients see available timings, and even allowing companies the use of coupons and gift certificates.
Pricing starts at $15.It is compatible with WordPress and you can easily download the plugin. You can then follow their guide to embed the scheduler in your own WordPress website.
This is software that can be used by real estate agents within a company whenever someone contacts them directly. You can send anyone your Calendly link which will allow them to see available timings and dates so that they can schedule a meeting with you through the service.
Once someone schedules a meeting with you, it will automatically update on all of your connected calendars such as the Google calendar.
If you want to integrate this option with WordPress, you could add a hyperlink to your scheduling page. You could also add a hyperlink to each agent’s Calendly scheduling page below their profile information. This way people can automatically book appointments with their preferred real estate agent.
SimplyBook has features like phone and text notifications for customers, multiple payment gateway integrations, and even a SimplyBook plugin that you can use with your website.
There is a free option you can use for 50 monthly bookings or less and after that, you will have to pay for the service.
If you already have a WordPress website of your own, you could use their free plugin that is available to everyone.
Live Chat Box
A live chat box is always a good practice for companies that have clients frequently emailing them with questions.
You can use a service like HubSpot Live Chat to set up a live chat box and even have a few frequently asked questions that come up as an auto-response to certain keywords. This will help clients resolve their doubts faster and with the right information.
Other live chat options include:
A good example of a real estate company that has kept all of these important aspects of a website in mind is the Jack Conway Realtor website.
Step #5: Promote Your New Website
Now that you have got your website all set up, you need to start bringing in leads. You can do this by targeting specific locations in your listings, creating blog content that might interest your potential clients, and by practicing basic SEO.
You could also start an email list of your own so you have a list of subscribers you can build relationships with. A good way of doing this is to add a freebie opt-in on every page of your website.
For example, if you are reading NerdWallet’s blog post titled “Millennials and Homebuying: Myths and Reality” you will see this opt-in form pop up-
A couple of other ways to generate leads for your real estate business include using Facebook ads to target the right audience or creating a blog category for every neighborhood and city you have listings in.
Real estate websites tend to have a lot of important components that need to be taken care of- displaying your listings, allowing customers to schedule a meeting, or giving potential buyers the best support possible by using a live chat box are just some of the many features your website should ideally have.
It is important to remember that your website is an extension of your real estate business so making sure that everything is running smoothly will not only affect the way potential customers deal with you but it will also affect your business’s revenue.