Congratulations – you’re about to launch your own real estate agent website. But you know you’re not ready to slog through all the efforts of actually designing the site. You’d rather spend your time doing things that you rock at, like closing on homes or helping families find their dream homes.
You’d rather leave the website design to the actual designers – but you’re a bit stuck as to how you should approach this process.
Search for “Real estate website design” online, and you’ll find hundreds – maybe even thousands – of companies in your area that are offering these services. With so many options to choose from, how can you be sure you’re finding the right real estate website service to fit your needs?
That’s where this article comes into play!
Know What Your Needs Are
If you’re on the hunt for a real estate website design company, don’t just dive into it from a cold calling perspective. Not only is this a waste of time, but it can be especially confusing if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. You’re going to be bombarded with so many offers, services, and specials that you might just opt for whatever sounds good or cheapest.
Trust us – this is not the path you want to take when looking for a real estate website development company. Before you even pick up the phone, you need to focus on what your expectations are for the company, what services you need, and how open-minded you are to other services.
Here are some questions that can help you narrow down this task:
• Where are you starting from? If you’re starting the whole process from scratch, your best bet is finding a service that offers comprehensive website design and development. While it may feel intimidating, starting from scratch can actually be a good thing, as you’ll be able to work with the same service from the get-go.
• What’s your online activity? If you’re already blogging, writing online articles, and have a social media page, you’re probably not going to need someone to cover all of these activities – unless it’s taking up too much of your time, or you’d like to see more leads. Unless you view online writing as an enjoyable hobby, consider outsourcing it to a website development service that specializes in these activities.
As a caveat, even if you do enjoy performing these activities, you may want to consider giving an online service a trial period to see if they can outperform your metrics. Your goal should be to continually push for success; by outsourcing to a real estate development service, you’re opening up opportunities for your agency to grow and flourish.
• What are your goals for the year? You should have a clear online strategy already set out, as this plan is going to help you find the right website development partner. If your goal is to develop a website and use it as a lead generation strategy, then you’ll need to find a service that’s going to provide you with follow-up lead generation support once the website has been implemented. If you’re looking for a service to already supplement what you have online, then you know to narrow down your search so you’re only looking for lead generation services.
Once you’ve created a plan, you’ll find it much easier to find the right website development company for your needs. And with the strategies we’re about to throw at you, you can bet that your real estate agency is going to be working with the best partner possible!
Analyze What Your Competition is Doing
Is there something that your competition is doing that’s out of this world? Do they have an online strategy that’s absolutely breathtaking to you? You know the old saying – if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
What we mean here is that you should carefully analyze what they’re doing, why you’re such a big fan of it, and what website development services they’ve been using (hint: the service’s name should be located at the bottom of the home page). When you identify this information, you can use it to either find the best website development service for your needs, or directly contact the vendor who provided the great work you’re in awe of.
It’s one of the best ways to skip all the hassle of online research and cold-calling website development vendors!
Identify the Scope of the Design Content
Sure, you may want your design services to build a website – but what else do you need from them? Will you need business cards to hand out to clients? Free swag for open houses? Listing maintenance? Multimedia presentations?
Being a successful online real estate agency involves so much more than having a pretty website. You’ll need plenty of materials and tools to help your online efforts; therefore, you should find a real estate design service that can provide you with the design collaterals you need for all of your offline materials.
Interview Top Candidates
Once you’ve narrowed down the candidates you’d like to work with, conduct interviews with them to see if they bring something special to the table. If possible, insist on in-person interviews or phone calls, as this can give you a better sense of what a website development service can do for you.
When interviewing a real estate website development service, try to keep your questions focused on finding out the following information:
• What’s the company’s expertise?
• Do they have a portfolio with examples of past work they’ve done?
• How many people work for that specific company – or if it’s just one person, where was that person educated?
• What’s the company’s revision policy? For example, if you don’t like a website format, can you ask for changes without being charged?
• What are their expectations in terms of working with clients? Are they comfortable with daily feedback, or do they prefer a more laid-back approach?
• What kind of prices are they charging? What’s included with those prices?
In addition to the above questions, you should also ask the website development company for any ideas or strategies they might execute when building your site. While you shouldn’t ask them to get into the specifics, it’s okay to ask them how they’d improve your site or help you build an online presence. These questions can give you a better gauge as to what you can expect from working with this company.
After interviewing your top candidates, you’ll want to sit down and analyze your budget. We have this as a last step because budget shouldn’t be the driving factor in how you make your choice; in other words, if you let money make the decisions, you may end up opting for a cheap and terrible design experience.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t always automatically opt for the cheaper quote. Take the time to truly understand what you’re getting from each service. You may find that the best quote is from a website development that costs more, but ultimately offers more support (and thus, bang for your buck).
Once you’ve analyzed your budget and selected the quote that works for your needs, let the developer know they have the job. When working with them, ensure that you’re giving them the space they need to do their work. Provide as many details for your project as possible, as this can help ensure you’re getting the most accurate product the first time around. If you only provide vague or uncertain details, your website development service might charge for additional revisions, since they don’t reflect what you originally asked for.
Ultimately, the best clients are those who provide detailed feedback but don’t require daily updates, as this can be time-consuming for any developer or designer. The more time you take from them, the less time is spent on creating the best website development strategy for your real estate website business. Respect their time, and they’ll definitely provide you with the best product possible!
Want the Best Real Estate Agency Website Service?
If you’re ready for the kind of real estate website that brings in leads and establishes you as an online authority, it’s time to partner with a real estate website development service like Excida.com.
Our nuts-and-bolts services can provide you with critical real estate website design – including mobile-responsive design – as well as ongoing support for any other website changes you might want to make in the future. From blogging and lead capture to social media and beautiful site designs, only Excida can help you take your real estate website company to the next level.
Contact us today to see what new ideas and strategies we can bring to your real estate business. From optimizing your site for success to developing and executing a social media strategy, we can make it that much easier for you to grow your business to new heights.