How to Build Real Estate Website: 5 Steps to Success
Of the six million homes sold last year in the United States, every second was found using the Internet. Not through friends, acquaintances, print ads or agents, but through an online search. This suggests two things: first, the role of the Internet is growing, and second, if you want to make money, then one of the best ways to do this is to create your own real estate website.
Integrating MLS and aggregator listings will solve this problem, but this will reduce the likelihood that users will choose the objects that benefit you. Fortunately, this problem can be solved: when a user searches for real estate on your site, he first sees your lists, and only after viewing them the system loads data from other sources.
Sites such as Zillow, Realtor, Rightmove and others offer API interfaces with which you can collect data on real estate properties for sale and integrate them into your site database. This can be a good solution if your own lists are not enough and you do not have access to any MLS database.
Implementing such an aggregator is easy, but you need to understand that the information collected with it will arrive in your database with a delay and some of the information will be irrelevant. This problem can be solved with the help of powerful expensive equipment, but this may be unnecessary, since the costs are likely to be greater than the potential benefits.
MLS - real estate databases collected by local associations. The list is presented in a typical form, so that multi-listing can be used using different interfaces. If you are a realtor or agency, you have probably already connected to such a service, looking for offers for your buyers or by making the seller’s object in one of the MLS.
To display data from the MLS databases, real estate sites use one of the IDX (Internet Data Exchange). There are several ways to implement IDX on your site:
This means that your job (or the job of your web developer) is to learn what methods government agencies, realtors and agencies in the region of interest to you use and integrate them into the website you create. For example, in the USA and Canada, it is probably better to use the RESO and its own lists. Whereas in countries of Africa or Eastern Europe, iFrame or FTP will have to be used, since there are unlikely to be MLS bases with RESO support.
You may have the largest, most accurate and up-to-date real estate base, but it will not make any sense if your site has problems with internal or external search. Where an external property search is a search for individual listing pages through Internet search engines, and an internal property search is a listing search using filters built into your website.
In particular, SEO optimizations contribute to:
To avoid this, you need to do the following:
Property buyers have rather specific expectations of what they should see when they open the listing page. They want to understand what the house looks like, what is its layout, what is inside the premises, etc. You can transfer this information using visualization and description of details.
At the same time, the farther people live from a possible purchase object, the more attention they pay to visualization, since they do not have the opportunity to personally inspect the house or for that they need to spend a lot of time and money.
HD photos. The easiest and at the same time mandatory element of visualization of real estate. Photos should be in HD-resolution (1920 × 1080 pixels), clear, show the main elements of the exterior and interior. Airbnb attracts professional photographers for this, you can use their experience or enter user photo requirements.
What does the buyer need to know about real estate? Basic details, address, amenities, features and price. The buyer may also be interested in information about the seller (especially if it is a realtor), area, infrastructure and city. All this should be presented in a simple and typical form for all pages of listing. And in such a way that the user understands where to look for this information and that it is convenient for him to read it.
Buying a property is a long and tedious procedure that can take months or even years. It includes a search, selection of preliminary options, discussion with family members (stakeholders), personal inspection, bidding and much more. All these users can be helped.
Here are some ideas on how to do this:
Buying Guide. A simple but effective way to increase user loyalty. Implementing is quite simple, but you should not forget about the nuances associated with local peculiarities and laws.
At the same time, 87% of the time spent online through mobile devices is the use of mobile applications. From these data we can conclude that the development of a mobile application is a prerequisite for the success of a real estate site. And you need to make such an application based on popular solutions.
The cost of developing a real estate site depends on the approach to development, a set of functions and the cost of labor. The simplest options can be implemented for $ 100 using WordPress themes. But these will be sample solutions that can have serious security and uniqueness problems, so it’s better to use other options.
To these figures you also need to add the cost of developing a mobile application, which varies from 2,000 to 5,000 dollars. Because without a mobile application, you will lose a significant market share and will lose to competitors who have it.