Picking the Best Real Estate Website Builder
Having an online presence isn’t just an option for agents—it’s a necessity. The right website acts as your digital storefront, showcasing your brand, expertise, social proof and the unique value you offer to prospective clients and partners.
With an abundance of real estate website solutions available, choosing the one that aligns perfectly with your business goals, budget, and technical proficiency can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re a seasoned real estate professional aiming to revamp your online presence or a newcomer eager to hit the ground running, selecting the right platform is critical for your digital success.
This blog post aims to demystify the process, guiding you through the top real estate website solutions that cater to various needs—from lead generation and SEO optimization to stunning visuals and user-friendly interfaces. You can navigate the post with these topics:
- Best Real Estate Website Builder Solutions
- Deciding between dedicated Vs All-in-One Solutions
- Real Estate Agent Websites with CRM Integrated
- Top Real Estate Website Builder Features and Integrations
- The Importance of Usability and Support
- Should you consider a Custom Website Solution
Best Websites for Real Estate Agents
With an abundance of real estate website platforms vying for your attention, we recommend first deciding between 3 major categories of website builder options to narrow down options considerably…and then doing a more in-depth feature/review analysis to pick the right solution. The three categories are listed below as well as pros/cons of each and the top players in each.
Specialized Websites for Realtors
If you just want a website with a simple setup process that’s focused on real estate agent’s needs (aka not a lot of unnecessary “noise”) AND you have some budget to allocate…then these options are great. None of these solutions are free and they aren’t going to bundle in a lot of bells and whistles (ex: robust CRM+follow-up system not included). Most of these solutions will have integrations with the more popular CRMs but it’s not a foregone conclusion so make that a point to cover in your research.
- Luxury Presence: Luxury Presence provides premium websites and marketing services tailored for luxury real estate agents and brokers. Its offerings include elegant design, powerful lead generation tools, and a robust marketing platform.
- Agent Image: Agent Image specializes in high-end website design and marketing services for real estate professionals. They offer custom designs, IDX integration, and SEO services aimed at enhancing online presence.
- Agentfire: Agentfire offers hyperlocal real estate websites powered by an extensive suite of tools designed for real estate agents and brokers. Features include IDX integration, custom design options, and various marketing tools.
- Carrot Websites: Carrot Websites focus on real estate investor and agent websites optimized for lead generation. Known for their ease of use, Carrot sites are designed to attract and convert leads with high SEO performance.
- Real Webmasters: Real Webmasters offers website design and online marketing services specifically for real estate agents. They provide customizable templates, IDX integration, and SEO services to improve online visibility.
General Purpose Website Builders that also work for Real Estate
Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of website solutions with robust offerings for all kinds of personal and professional needs. Many of these solutions include templates that are specifically designed for real estate agents. The price point tends to be lower here (even free) BUT the ease-of-use isn’t as simple as real estate focused options. Also some of the more real estate specific features (ex: IDX) won’t be possible OR will require more advanced customization. Also with these options, you’ll need to figure out how to get them syncing data with your CRM…and it’s not always straightforward.
- Squarespace: Squarespace is a user-friendly website builder known for its stunning, professionally designed templates. It’s suitable for real estate professionals looking for an elegant online presence without needing extensive customization.
- WordPress: WordPress is a versatile content management system that allows users to create a website or blog from scratch or improve an existing site. With thousands of themes and plugins, it’s highly customizable for real estate websites.
- WIX: WIX is a cloud-based web development platform that allows users to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag-and-drop tools. It’s known for its ease of use and wide range of design options.
- GoDaddy: GoDaddy is primarily known as a domain registrar and web hosting company but also offers a website builder that’s straightforward and easy to use, catering to users looking to quickly set up a simple website.
- Weebly: Weebly is an intuitive website builder with drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy for anyone to create a professional-looking website. It offers a range of templates, including options suitable for real estate.
All-in-One Website, CRM & More
For additional cost, agents can get a bundled solution (aka one-stop-shop) which includes a combined website, CRM, and follow-up platform. Some of these options also include IDX, lead generation, and follow up solutions. If you already have a real estate CRM solution that you’re happy with, it’s going to be tough to justify these options but if you’re in the market for a tech stack overhaul, these are great options.
- Real Geeks: Real Geeks offers an all-in-one real estate sales marketing solution, including IDX real estate websites, CRM, and lead generation tools. It focuses on generating high-quality leads and simplifying follow-ups and conversions.
- Sierra Interactive: Sierra Interactive provides real estate websites and CRM solutions designed for lead generation and management. It’s known for its robust SEO tools, customizable IDX search features, and responsive customer service.
- Boomtown: Boomtown is a comprehensive real estate marketing platform that provides an integrated suite of tools to help real estate professionals generate leads, manage contacts, and automate their marketing efforts.
In a nutshell, the selection of your real estate website’s platform should start with what you DO NEED and DON’T NEED. This will help navigate the first step of the decision which makes the final selection much easier.
When you know the broad category you want to focus your search on, then consider several key concepts such as – user-friendly interface, design flexibility, integrations and other advanced “must-have” features, and cost-effectiveness…and of course reviews from other agents.
Deciding between dedicated Vs All-in-One Solutions
Jack of all trades, master of none? To bundle or not to bundle? Multi-taskers vs uni-taskers?
All different ways of posing the same BIG question when deciding your real estate tech stack.
Should you look for a specialized website solution OR find a larger system that has a website offering as part of the bundle?
Here’s how to navigate that decision:
- Are you unhappy with your CRM already (or do you not use a CRM)?
- Are you willing to spend an additional $200 month on software?
- Are you frustrated with the effort and technical understanding needed to connect systems?
If your answers to at least two of those questions was YES then you should focus on all-in-one solutions. However if you answered NO to at least two of those questions your focus should be on dedicated real estate website solutions.
For more context, picking a separate dedicated CRM and real estate website builder, allows for greater flexibility and customization…and you are able to pick the best in class options in each software category. The downside is usually added cost and complexity in setup.
If you crave control and have the technical aptitude, steering towards independent solutions is often the best choice.
Real Estate Agent Websites and CRM Considerations
In a real estate agent’s tech stack, there are few connections that are more important than the agent’s website and their CRM. This is why the all-in-one solutions mentioned above have gained so much popularity in the industry. Real Geeks, for example, has a native website to CRM integration so no additional work is needed to have the two components “speaking to” each other.
On the other end of the integration spectrum is API integrations…which almost every agent wants to avoid at all costs (and there may be real costs to complete a custom integration!).
The worst case scenario when it comes to selecting a website and CRM is if you find out they don’t talk to each other at all. Now this is the scenario you absolutely must avoid. The integration requirement is largely going to be on your CRM so make sure they have the necessary capabilities to integrate with other solutions (which is often called an “open API”). Some CRMs may have a closed platform with just a few select integrations. What that means is that you’ll need to pick your website solution within that subset of integrations OR forego the CRM integration.
If you know your CRM has integration options available, then it’s a great idea to make certain the options meet your needs. Here are a few common options:
- Direct Integrations: this is when you can set an integration up once (usually involving an API key or login step) and your integration is “done-ish”. Some fine tuning may be needed but the basic data synch should be done and no additional work/cost is needed
- Custom API Integrations: This is when you are paying a developer (or doing your own development) to create a custom API integration. Definitely not for the feint of heart, but if you need your systems talking in a very specific way, this is often the best way to accomplish what you need.
- Zapier/Make.com Integrations: This involves setting up an account on Zapier or Make.com (or similar platforms) to connect the website and CRM. The benefit is that these platforms make the setup pretty easy for users with a basic level of technical understanding AND these platforms are built to connect many applications so there’s a lot of potential to create customized workflows. The downside is that there is often an added cost and the need for, yet another, system to setup.
As every veteran agent knows, past client and referrals are a major source of business (typically driving over half of all volume for experienced agents). Therefore an effective CRM solution to manage these contacts is can act as a game-changer in ensuring seamless ongoing engagement to stay top of mind…not to mention effective lead management and overall improved client servicing. So when analyzing website solutions, agents must consider the capabilities to integrate with their CRM.
Top Website Features for Agents to Consider
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve already narrowed your choice down to a shortlist of real estate website builders and it’s time to run a good old fashioned feature comparison. Here are the key features to consider when evaluating a real estate website:
- IDX Integration: Allows real estate websites to display up-to-date listings from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), enabling visitors to search for properties directly on the agent’s or broker’s website.
- Responsive Design: Ensures the website is accessible and visually appealing across all devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones, improving the user experience and SEO performance.
- Lead Capture Forms: Essential for generating leads, these forms are strategically placed on the website to capture the contact information of potential clients interested in listings, consultations, or more information.
- SEO Tools and Services: Features and services designed to optimize the website for search engines, helping to increase visibility, attract more traffic, and generate leads through organic search.
- Customizable Templates: Pre-designed website templates that can be customized to suit the brand and preferences of the real estate professional, offering a starting point for creating a unique online presence.
- CRM Integration: We covered this already but definitely warrants repeating – the ability to integrate with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems is key to engaging leads and maintaining relationships with clients efficiently.
- Content Management System (CMS): Allows real estate professionals to easily update and manage website content, including listings, blog posts, and pages, without needing technical skills.
- High-Quality Photo and Video Support: Support for high-resolution photos and videos to showcase properties effectively, including virtual tours and galleries, which are crucial for engaging potential buyers.
- Social Media Integration: Enables the integration of social media profiles and sharing options, allowing visitors to connect with the real estate professional on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Testimonials and Reviews: A section for displaying client testimonials and reviews to build trust and credibility with prospective clients.
- Blog and Content Marketing Tools: Features that allow for the publication of blog posts and articles to engage visitors, demonstrate expertise, and improve SEO through content marketing.
- Local SEO and Hyperlocal Information: Tools and features designed to optimize the website for local search and to provide hyperlocal content, such as neighborhood guides and local market trends, which are valuable to both buyers and sellers.
- Security Features: Essential for protecting the website and user data, including SSL certificates, secure hosting, and regular updates to guard against cyber threats.
- Analytics and Reporting Tools: Integrated tools to track website performance, visitor behavior, and lead generation activities, helping to inform marketing strategies and website improvements.
Pay special attention to feature gaps and decide what features are “must have” vs “nice to have”. Also consider when a website builder doesn’t have native support for a specific feature (ex: analytics) but allows a 3rd party provider to easily be plugged in (ex: adding an 3rd party analytics pixel). Sometimes creating a quick spreadsheet to compare these features is helpful…but regardless be careful not to go with a website solution that’s missing one of your “must haves”.
Usability & Support
Two factors that aren’t usually captured in the punch list of “features” are the platform’s usability and support.
Case in point: One of the most powerful platforms for real estate agents building websites is WordPress but it’s much more complicated than other platforms. This is largely due to all of the options, plugins, and possibilities with WordPress. So even though much of WordPress’s functionality can be used for free, not many agents pick them for their website.
High-quality interfaces with user-friendly navigation encourage more frequent use while enhancing overall productivity. Regardless of advanced features and customization being offered, if the user experience is exceedingly difficult to use, all the functionality in the world doesn’t matter. Therefore, for any real estate professional, prioritizing ease-of-use when choosing a platform should be a top priority.
If still in the exploration phase with a few options, take advantage of trial periods offered by the solutions and give them each a whirl to see what actually works best for you.
Understanding the UX first hand is the best way to add certainty to your real estate website builder decision.
Support and Community
One aspect that is often overlooked when choosing a real estate website platform is the level and quality of support offered, as well as, the user community which also can serve as a valuable support option.
The power of a supportive and knowledgeable community built around any technical topic (ex: websites) is substantial. These dedicated user groups or forums create a shared space for users to discuss, problem solve and generally learn from each other’s experiences. The community aspect also provides a valuable networking opportunity. With professionals from the industry sharing advice, insights and resources, the net result is an enriched user experience that stretches beyond a standard customer support network.
Of course an easy-to-use platform reduces support needs overall but the value of reliable, effective customer service is still important because stuff happens. So look up their reviews on 3rd party software sites to see what others are saying. “Support” is almost one of the ranking factors that these software review sites include.
Also see if other testimonials mention other support materials like tutorials (video preferred), and community generated support content like forums, YouTube videos etc that cover common questions and even more advanced uses for the website builder that haven’t been fully documented in the website platform’s help center.
To summarize, the key concepts include: 1) Importance of robust customer support for real estate websites, 2) Time-efficient troubleshooting, 3) Value of supportive communities associated with real estate website platforms, and 4) The power of networking and shared experiences within these communities.
What do you do when none of the real estate website solutions fit exactly what you need? Well you’re not alone. A growing number of real estate professionals with specific standards are now seeking custom solutions for their online presence.
This could be for different reasons but usually it’s because advanced functionality that’s needed…for example interactive lead magnets, extensive international support, or an obscure integration.
Note: if you just want to avoid generic, cookie-cutter designs, many of the website solutions above allow fully customizable HTML/CSS. This means your real estate website can still have infinite design flexibility without having to do a custom build.
However, it’s essential to remember that custom work takes time and usually that time isn’t cheap (unless you’ve got some serious technical chops!). So before committing to the idea of a custom solution, make sure to put the previously mentioned website builders through their paces and make sure they can’t meet your needs.
Also worth noting is that Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress are incredibly versatile platforms with tons of plugins that can accomplish a wide variety of capabilities that real estate agents need. WordPress especially…because it’s been around for the longest. And if your customizations can’t be accomplished with the tens of thousands of WordPress’s plugins (many of them are free btw), a developer can usually step in to write a few snippets of custom code within the WordPress platform. That means you minimize the custom dev cost AND keep the benefit of ongoing updates and support from the WordPress platform.
In the realm of website creation, both for general use and real estate in specific, a shift towards easy-to-use, affordable platforms has been noted. Such platforms have garnered favor due to their ability to enable self-management post-setup. In this context, it is worth noting that these criteria play a big role in a real estate agent’s decision-making process around selecting a platform for their real estate website.
One platform that commonly pops up in dialogue surrounding user-friendly and cost-effective solutions is Squarespace. It has become a popular choice among many real estate professionals for these very reasons. Squarespace, known for its easy-to-navigate interface and affordable pricing, makes it easier for non-technical users to design, manage, and update their real estate websites without requiring extensive technical know-how or support. Such tools democratizing web creation, while also keeping costs in check, are proving to be vital resources for real estate professionals.
The key concepts highlighted here include – general preferences, easy-to-use and affordable platforms, self-management, and Squarespace. A detailed understanding of why these aspects are vital can aid in creating a real estate website that aligns with a professional’s specific needs and preferences. Keep an eye on our blog as we go further into the specifics of Squarespace and other such tools in future posts.
In concluding our exploration of real estate website builders, it’s clear that there are an abundance of options to meet the diverse needs of real estate professionals.
Navigating the plethora of options can seem daunting, but by focusing first on whether you want a multitasker vs unitasker and then comparing core functionalities—such as IDX integration, responsive design, lead capture forms, and SEO capabilities—you can narrow down the choices to those that truly complement your business strategy. Remember, the ideal website builder is one that not only helps you showcase your listings in the best light but also strengthens your brand and facilitates meaningful connections with your audience. Choose wisely, and watch your brand pop right off the screen!