One of the first decisions you have to make when creating a new real estate website is what type of site you will be creating. Just like all things in life, there are various different kinds of real estate websites you could possibly build and it’s important to be clear on this before you start so that the end product is focused and effective. We all know that time is money and having a clear idea of what it is you are creating will save you lots of time and thus lots of money.
The 3 major types of real estate websites generally fall into the following categories:
- Personal websites
- Niche websites
- Team websites
Before I dive into each type in detail I would like to point out that this is just a generalization and that not all websites will cleanly fall into one category.
This is the most common type of real estate website and if you don’t already have one, this is probably what you are looking to create for your first site. Think of your personal real estate website as an elaborate brochure that shows who you are, what you can do and why someone should choose you as their real estate agent.
It is a solid platform to showcase:
- Your personality
- Your history
- Your listings
- How to get in touch with you
- Real estate related resources
More often than not your personal website will be the first point of contact with potential clients whom you have not personally met yet. This means that it will be responsible for that very important first impression. We have an entire post dedicated to first impressions which you can checkout here.
Your personal real estate website is one of the most important, if not the most important marketing tools available to you today. The wants and needs of buyers and sellers have evolved and your website should be the central hub for most all of your marketing and promotional efforts. In real estate there is no farm league; you are competing with the Wayne Gretzky’s of the industry from day one which is a daunting fact. But the real fact of the matter is that no one in the industry has decades of experience with modern real estate websites, which presents you with a realistic leg up if you hit the ground running with your own personal website.
When setup and managed correctly your personal real estate website should save you time and help generate leads. It should represent you when you are not there to represent your self at a level that will impress. You wouldn’t show up to a cocktail party with a stained and wrinkled shirt, so why would you let a sub-par website set that ever important first impression?
The next major type of real estate website is what we call the “niche website”. The major benefit of a niche website is the ability to establish yourself as the expert in a specific area of real estate and have that claim be realistic and believable. Gone are the days where you could claim to be the greater Vancouver expert as the area is simply to vast for people to trust this claim. But you can definitely establish yourself as the downtown, high-end condo agent as it is feasible to be an expert in such a specific area, not to mention that the number of agents competing for a niche is far less than the whole.
This also plays off the industry truth that there is a specific type of real estate agent for a specific type of home buyer/seller. You should play off your strengths and represent the type of person you really are so that you attract clients that are compatible with your personality and style. You definitely don’t want to throw a potential client off by having your marketing and personality clash which will become immediately apparent when you meet in person and talk for more than 30 seconds. Where I am going with all of this is that you could identify that you are into the outdoors and fitness and thus brand yourself as the healthy, outdoorsy agent who specializes in places close to forests, parks and yoga studios. Or maybe you are the high roller type who loves downtown lofts and has the swagger to walk the walk with other such types.
Either way, here are some examples on what you could niche out on or establish yourself as the expert on:
- Communities (North vancouver, downtown, white rock, etc.)
- Property Type (Waterfront homes, foreclosures, high end condos, etc)
- Building/development focused (International village, olympic village, woodwards, etc)
- Lifestyle (Urban, rural, outdoorsy, dog lover, fitness, empty nesters, etc.)
You are essentially trying to cater to the different ways that people search for real estate (by area, by building, by lifestyle, by proximity, etc) as well as taking advantage of the fact there there will be less (usually) competition for a smaller piece of the pie than for the whole pie itself.
You truly do have the ability to establish yourself as the expert and go to source for the niche that you choose.
The last major type of real estate website is the team website. It is common for groups of agents to come together with a shared goal and create a real estate team. Often times there is a more experienced agent who teams up with a couple of newer agents to help give them some experience while benefiting from the efficiencies it creates.
The main benefit in my opinion is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. By working in a team it allows you to focus on what you do best while giving you the ability to take advantage of other peoples diverse skill sets. Maybe you are awesome at listing presentations but are not that strong at the backend paperwork side of things. In a team that is setup properly you would be able to focus on the presentations while having someone just as competent deal with the paperwork.
Another major benefit for having a team website is that it augments the individual team members personal websites by providing backlinks and SEO benefits by linking to the personal sites. If you are a team leader and you have an effective, lead generating team website, it can be a huge draw for bringing new members to your team.[hr]
This is just three of the different types of real estate websites you could possibly make and as you can see, there are many different ways to fry an egg.
The main take away from this article is that it is very helpful to have a clear idea of what you are trying to create before you start so that you can avoid wasted efforts.