A website is a must-have tool for your real estate business to generate leads online. While most Realtors and real estate investors know this already, choosing the right website builder can be very confusing. Here at RealtyCrux, we have custom-designed websites for hundreds of real estate agents and investors, so we believe we have the knowledge and experience to provide some guidance on this complicated subject.
In this guide, I am going to recommend only three real estate website builders. I will also explain the pros and cons of creating your site with each one of them:
These three website builders are:
- InvestorCarrot and Agent Carrot
- WordPress (not exactly a website builder, but I will explain how it can be made to work like one)
Squarespace is not a real estate-specific website builder, but it offers plenty of templates for agents and brokers. With some extra work, you can also add IDX to your website. If you are planning to upload listings manually, Squarespace makes this hassle-free and seamless.
In a recent article, I reviewed Squarespace as a real estate website builder. You can check out the article here: Squarespace for Real Estate Website – Complete Review
Here are the pros and cons of building your website with Squarespace:
Why to choose Squarespace
- It’s very cost-effective. The plans start at just $18/month. Website hosting is included in the price. For this price, you get access to lots of modern website templates and themes. You can install them in just a few clicks and your real estate website is ready to roll!
- Squarespace is a great option for real estate agents who was not familiar with website design/development technology and processes. Squarespace offers them ready-to-use templates (check out Squarespace real estate templates here). You just need to upload the content, change the logo, and add visual to get started on this platform.
- Squarespace templates are easy to customize. You can learn Squarespace customization easily.
- It’s one of the few website builders which makes it possible for you to integrate IDX/MLS search to your website. Read more: How IDX Integration (MLS Search) Works for Squarespace Websites
- Squarespace templates are mobile-responsive and made with modern design concepts, SEO and security in mind.
- You don’t have to invest money and time on maintaining hosting and many other different tools required to operate a real estate website.
- Squarespace makes lead generation easy. You can set up sign-up forms and build landing pages quickly.
Why not to choose Squarespace
- IDX integration can be a bit challenging. You may have to hire a professional to do it for you.
- For large teams looking to expend their online presence with complete freedom, Squarespace may not be an ideal solution. Squarespace websites are scalable, but they have limits.
Final thoughts on Squarespace
Squarespace real estate websites are a great solution for real estate agents who want an easy set-up and a clean and modern design. For most real estate agents, Squarespace offers everything they will ever need to grow their business online. However, this website builder may not be the right choice if you are a large team with a huge budget for digital marketing.
AgentCarrot is an ideal solution for Realtors who want to scale their business online and don’t want to get their hands dirty with technical stuff. What I like the most about AgentCarrot is that their templates are really SEO-friendly. They go beyond being just a website builder. They provide SEO assistance and digital marketing guidance. Their websites rank very high in Google. The best part is if you don’t know anything about SEO, you can implement the best real estate SEO practices easily.
You can read my full review on AgentCarrot by clicking here.
Why to choose Carrot
- AgentCarrot is built on WordPress platform.
- They provide excellent digital marketing and SEO support and training.
- AgentCarrot templates are heavily focused on lead conversion. You can add landing pages, sign-up forms, and many other lead generation tools with just a few clicks. They make lead generation training interactive. Check out their 30-day challenge.
- Carrot websites are extremely easy to customize. You just need to drag-and-drop different elements to create a real estate website in minutes.
- They provide automated blogs and content.
- Carrot takes care of hosting and other aspects of website maintenance.
- You can add an SEO-friendly IDX to your website.
Why not to choose Carrot
- AgentCarrot may not be the ideal solution for very budget-conscious real estate agents. Their plans start at $99/month and go up to $199/month (Check out Carrot plans for agents here). You will need to pay a monthly fee if you want to add IDX. However, Carrot provides immense value for this price.
Final thoughts on Carrot
If you want to put real estate lead generation on auto-pilot, AgentCarrot is one of the best solutions for you. From creating a website to adding lead generation tools such as a landing page, AgentCarrot makes everything easy and fast.
WordPress is not a website builder, but most website builders use this software to create website builders. I love WordPress because the sky is the limit when you want to scale. An open-source platform, WordPress.org is one of the most popular website builders among real estate agents across the world.
Why to choose WordPress
- Well first of all, it’s open-source software, so you can customize it any way you want.
- You can scale your real estate website to any limit. You can be the next Zilllow.
- You can build a real estate WordPress website in any budget. You can set up WordPress, install a $49 theme (here are 100+ to choose from) and publish as much content as you want. In fact, here is a comprehensive guide to building a real estate website on WordPress platform for free. All you need is a web hosting service which starts at $2.75/month (check out real estate web hosting plans here).
- You can integrate almost any IDX service with WordPress – Realtyna, IDXBroker, iHomefinder, ShowcaseIDX, and UltimateIDX to name a few.
- There is such a huge community of WordPress developers/designers that you can get help any time you want.
- You can expend WordPress functionality with plugins in a few clicks.
- You can add a drag-and-drop functionality with free page builder plugins.
Why not to choose WordPress
- I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t choose WordPress as your real estate website builder, except for this: you may need technical assistance and have to hire professional developers/designers when you want to scale. But it will still be cheaper option than subscription-based websites which charge you hundreds of dollars a year.
Final thoughts on WordPress
WordPress is an ideal solution for large real estate teams or Realtors and brokers who want to grow expontentially and build a brand online.
Things to consider before choosing a website builder
Here are a few things you need to take into consideration before choosing the right website builder for your real estate business:
As a real estate agent, you will need to display property listings on your website. For this reason, the website builder should make it easier for you to add listings to any web page. You should also be able to display the listings anywhere on the page, for example sidebar or in-content.
If you are a US-based real estate agent, you should be able to add IDX/MLS search to your website. While IDX integration functionality is included in packages offered by some website builders such as AgentCarrot, you may need to subscribe to third-party IDX providers to integrate IDX with other website builders such as Squarespace.
Many factors can affect SEO-friendliness of a website builder including how it’s coded, how fast the pages load, and how easy it makes for you to add title tags, meta description tags, alt tags, and necessary HTML Mark-up. You need to make sure that the website builder of your choice is SEO-friendly and help you rank your real estate content higher in search engine results.
Read: Step-by-Step Guide to Writing SEO-friendly Real Estate Content
Real estate templates or themes
You should be able to design a website that suits your taste and requirement. For example, most WordPress themes cost only $49, but it may be very challenging for real estate agents who are not tech-savvy to build a functioning website. They provide so many features in their demo content which most agents don’t need in the beginning. However, if you already have a lot of content to publish, you can leverage these features and build a nice-looking real estate website on a budget.
It’s important that your website builder provides plenty of themes and templates.
Easy-to-use and customize
You should be able to do basic customization such as changing the logo and theme color, adding images and video, and dragging and dropping different elements such as text boxes, carousels etc.
Most website builders provide drag-and-drop functionality these days.
Generating leads online is the sole purpose of a real estate website, right? So, a good website builder will make it extremely easy for you to implement lead generation strategies including smart lead capture forms, email marketing integration, and CRM integration. For example, if your website is built on WordPress, you can add ThriveArchitect to display smart lead capture forms and build landing pages.
Your real estate website should be mobile responsive. Most people browse property listings and read real estate content on their mobile phones. Your website should automatically adjust layout and design on all devices including mobile phones and tablets.
The visitors should be able to share your real estate content on social media, WhatsApp and other platforms directly from the website. Social sharing is one of the must-have features that every real estate should have nowadays.
You are probably using a website builder because you are not tech-savvy or don’t have time to develop/manage a custom-coded website. In this scenario, it’s important to take what type of support the website builder of your choice provides if you are stuck and need help. Most website builders provide email and chat support; however, phone support is either rate or comes with a premium plan.
WordPress doesn’t offer support, but it has such a huge community of designers, developers, and users that the help is usually a few Google searches away. You will find a solution to almost any problem if you know how to ask the right question.
Need help with setting up a website builder?
If you are looking for professional help with setting up any website builder (WordPress, Squarespace, Wix etc.) for your real estate business, you can hire expert RealtyCrux designers/developers. Fill out this form to get a free proposal now!