How to Choose a Real Estate Builder?
Finding two precisely the same website builders for real estate is technically impossible. All of them are designed to meet different expectations and needs. This is why, before you bet on one tool or designer, you need to ask yourself: Why do I need a branded real estate website?
Generating more income is not a sufficient answer here - you have to know how you want to do it and then choose the real estate website builder to help you achieve your goal. Think about your purpose: do you want a new website to capture new buyers or seller leads, showcase your property listings, boost communication with your existing clients, build your personal brand, use Instagram and Facebook marketing potential or grow your brokerage and find new real estate agents? You will also have to determine your target audience: are they clients from your hyperlocal area or the whole state? Do you want to work with luxury listings, or are you interested in distressed properties? If you have more than one goal, list your priority goals and those that are currently less urgent. Such a list will help you find the best solution for your real estate business.
Next, you will have to understand the difference between approaches and the level of digital competencies you'll need (or maybe you will need none - depending on your choice!). Website builders are typically codeless, which means you don't need any coding knowledge or experience. However, you will still need to know (or want to learn) how to navigate the builder and update your website with new information. If you have no time or skill to do any of these - it's essential to consider when researching real estate website builders.
Another thing is - how big do you want your site to be? What information do you want to include there, and how often will it be updated? If determining this feature seems complicated at this early stage of planning your website, you can research your competitors' websites and see which of their qualities would work for your business.
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Which Website Builder Is The Best for Real Estate?
A Sedan is similar to an SUV or a Coupe - provided they are driven on the roads they're designed for. The same is true when it comes to real estate website builders. It is tough to choose the best real estate website builder for all the purposes that an agent or a brokerage might have. Every realtor's expectations are different, so here we've taken a closer look at the most popular real estate website builders and their features. All the website builders have different UVPs, which will be crucial in your decision-making process.
Best overall: Placester
Best price: Agent Image
Best templates and customization: Luxury Presence
Most accurate: Agent Fire
Best Mobile App: Real Geeks
Best Support: Placester (again!)
Placester offers a twofold approach to real estate website building. For those who are too busy (that's understandable! Real estate is not all beer and skittles!) to design, create and update their websites regularly, Placester has created a product that requires minimum involvement from the realtor's site, guaranteeing a customized site at the same time. How's that possible? All arrangements are made by completing a wizard and a scheduled meeting with a Placester designer. It will take only 48 hours for you to have the website preview ready for you to see. After the process is completed, you have access to an unlimited number of on-demand changes and updates done by a designated expert.
If you like to dabble and work with the builder by yourself, that's an option, too. Placester gives you access to all the tools to assemble your website in every plan.
Placester is an excellent solution for individual agents and whole teams whose goal is to generate new leads and capture new audiences, as well as those who want to build a personal brand and draw buyers' and sellers' attention on Facebook and Instagram using engaging content.
Very easy to navigate
30-day free trial
Placester has three plans ranging from $79 to $319 monthly (+ one-off custom setup fee in every plan) for NAR members who buy an annual subscription.
The $79 basic DIY (Do It Yourself) plan includes the Website Builder & CRM (customer relationship management) and IDX Integration.
The second, most popular plan amounts to $119 for DIFM (Do It For Me) if you are a NAR member who chooses to buy an annual subscription. The plan's main feature is that you will have your website done 100% by Placester designers based on your preferences and needs. Apart from Website Builder & CRM and IDX integration, the plan includes access to designated website experts that will run your website for you and update it on your request.
You will also find a third plan in the Placester offer: DIFM Content Pro, which includes everything above, enhanced with online content creation: blog posts, professional real estate website articles, and Facebook & Instagram posts.
Placester has a wide offer of service tasks that cover almost every aspect of marketing through a website: a chatbot installation, writing your bio, writing singular e-mails, or various integrations. Apart from that, Placester has the Agent Manager tool that helps brokers manage their back office, divide tasks, and onboard.
Real Estate Lead Capture
Placester offers several solutions for lead capture, starting with custom lead capture forms and pop-ups that allow you to personalize copy and all the fields to custom-made property and landing pages dedicated to lead generation. Choosing the DIFM Content Pro plan, lead generation potential expands with social media activities - both organic and boosted posts.
Check our article: Real Estate Lead Generation Ideas for 2023
CRM and autoresponders are available in all the plans, including E-mail drip and blast campaigns.
IDX integration (Multi IDX capable, Save listings & save search, Map Search, Property alerts) is included in all Placester's plans.
Placester builds its clients' success stories based on relationships with them and responding to their needs. From the very start, you will work with a designated expert that will give you all the support you need during the process and update your website on your every request - the number of changes is unlimited, and website updates are not billed annually.
For those who like to have things under control and run their real estate website on their own, Placester has created a robust resource library with articles and video tutorials on how to get the best effect with Placester website builder tools. If you lose the way anywhere in the process - you can reach out to our staff and have all our questions answered.
Templates & Customizability
If you decide to create your website by yourself, Placester offers various ready-to-use real estate templates that include everything your site needs to be useful for users.
The builder is easy and intuitive; no prior experience is needed to quickly learn all the tricks. To make it even easier, Placester has a knowledge base with plenty of resources and helpful tutorials that will be useful whenever you find yourself stuck.
UVP - Unique Value Proposition
With the DIFM and DIFM Content Pro plans, Placester has created a unique offer that helps Realtors get the website they want without supervising every step of the process. Instead of a tool-oriented approach, Placester has a client-oriented product based on customization to boost your real estate career.
At every step of the way, you will work with a responsive team of people motivated to create a stunning real estate website and help you get the results you've always wanted.
Agent Image is one of the most popular and trusted real estate website builders, with idx recognized and endorsed by real estate celebrities and well-known brokerages such as the Oppenheim Group, Jills Zeder Group, etc. Similarly to Placester, they offer three different subscription plans.
Affordable monthly fees and a satisfying price-quality ratio
WordPress site ownership
Quite expensive setups and a lot of upfront costs
Low-quality IDX is available only in the 3rd plan
This might come as a surprise that we've chosen Agent Image as the cheapest real estate website creator. Although some significant upfront and setup costs might discourage many agents, Agent Image has a relatively low monthly maintenance fee ($99) compared to other website builders. The price-quality ratio speaks in its favor.
- AgentPro Template Setup – $2000+ covers a template-based website (you can choose from several) with an unlimited number of subpages to it, MLS search, lead generation form, and numerous features that help display properties (Google mapping, loan calculator, and more) and web statistics.
- Semi-Custom Semi-Custom Setup – $2500-$8500 Apart from everything from the previous plan, the Semi-custom subscription includes a customized homepage and template-based color-matching subpages, lead management (autoresponders, importing leads from other sources),
- ImagineStudio Custom Setup:$10K-$100K is a package enhanced with additional features such as three customized subpages, calendar/event planner, photo/video gallery, property view appointment forms, roadmaps, agent directory, and more. It is also the only plan that includes IDX search.
Agent Image offers several digital packages to enhance real estate professionals' brand awareness and lead generation. Among others: social media packages (various plans covering different media and areas within them), SEO packages (three different plans), PPC packages, Content Development, and Blogging packages.
Source: Agent Image
Real Estate Lead Capture
Agent Image has various forms for lead generation that you can include on your website, regardless of your subscription plan. These are:
- General inquiry form
- Request a viewing appointment form
- 'Find My Dream Home' form
- 'What is My Home Worth' form
- 'Help Me Relocate' form
- Spam prevention (Captcha)
Agent Image doesn't have a built-in CRM which is probably its biggest drawback, but it integrates with the most popular CRMs
For AgentPro and Semi-Custom plans, IDX integration (powered by iHomefinder) is an additional feature that is included in the Imagine Studio plan.
Agent Image has 4,9 stars on Google, and their support receives plenty of positive comments regarding effective cooperation with their staff.
Templates & Customizability
There are several templates you can choose from depending on your plan. If you select the Semi-Custom plan, you'll get a customized homepage, while choosing Imagine Studio will also allow you to get three customized subpages.
Unique Value Proposition
Agent Image will be great for agents and brokers whose purpose is to strengthen their brand, boost their marketing strategy and showcase their listings on their real estate website. However, more CRM is needed to make lead curation easier, so it's best that you already work with your own CRM.
Moreover, Agent Image offers quite a robust resource base that will help you run your social media and be up-to-date with the newest digital and real estate industry trends and tools.
Agent Fire is a real estate website builder offering three different subscription options for agents and small real estate teams that focuses on realtors' hyper locality and building credibility. It offers template-based, semi-custom, or custom websites, and it has a wide selection of additional features available in its marketplace.
IDX available in every plan
A lot of add-ons
A limited number of changes to your website in plan 3
Only one theme in Plan 1
No built-in CRM
- 1st plan: Express setup 129/mo (or 99 a month without IDX search) + setup fee 199
- 2nd plan: Semi-custom design
- 3rd plan Custom design: 129/mo (the same) and a setup free 2499
Agent Fire has a wide range of marketing tools and services in its marketplace for general online marketing and accessibility like Hike SEO, Logo & Branding Design, Page Content Writing, ADA Protect, and those supporting the agent's hyperlocal expertise: ClickMaps, Find Your Neighborhood, Home Value, and others.
Real Estate Lead Capture
Agent Fire offers a library of engaging CTAs, landing pages, and guides but, at the same time, a limited number of form templates and no pop-ups that nurture lead generation.
Agent Fire doesn't have its own CRM built in but integrates with various 3rd party CRMs.
IDX search is included in every plan.
You can contact the support team via telephone or the contact form. Apart from that, they have a pretty robust knowledge base that goes beyond traditional FAQs:
Templates & Customization
You can build a template-based website by yourself or work with a designer who will create your customized real estate website for you. The template-based process consists of 5 steps: choosing fonts, colors and adding your logo and photos. Unfortunately, you won't find a library of various templates.
Thanks to its various add-ons, Agent Fire will be a go-to solution for hyperlocal agents and small brokerages that operate locally. The builder is easy and intuitive, so it won't require you to have any previous experience with web-building tools.
Similarly to Agent Image, the lack of a built-in CMR will require you to integrate the site with your own CRM and already have a lead management strategy.
Real Geeks is an all-in-one real estate platform that focuses primarily on lead generation and lead management and facilitates the everyday tasks of teams of agents and brokerages. Although they do offer a website builder, it is based mainly on automation and less on design.
Client Facing App
Great tools for mobile devices
Plenty of educational materials
Not many templates to choose from (only a typical IDX website)
There are no different plans available
Real Geeks doesn't have different subscription plans. Their whole solution costs $249 per month for two users (every new user adds $25 to the bill) with a one-off $500 implementation fee.
Real Estate Lead Capture
Real Geeks sites are equipped with various solutions for real estate lead capture: interactive maps, tagging, saving favorite properties and multiple searches, and lead forms. Moreover, Real Geeks specializes in Facebook and Google PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns that drive traffic to your website.
Another helpful quality is the possibility of having your own app for your clients (integrated with your MLS) that is included in the cost of the platform.
RealGeeks offers advanced CRM and lead management tools that track lead activity (live feed) and enable auto responses. With its profiling feature, the tool will help you create more personalized messages to your prospects and target them successfully.
IDX search (updated every 15 mins) is integrated with Real Geeks sites.
Rated 4.8 stars on Google, Real Geeks receives positive feedback about their training and client support.
Templates & Customizability
Unfortunately, Real Geeks doesn't have plenty of templates to choose from or custom design options, and the personalization options are minimal - they are typical IDX websites where you can modify the menus and add pages, but all in all, they are all very similar.
Real Geeks will be a good choice for tech-savvy realtors who enjoy marketing automation and prefer to focus on keeping their prospects up-to-date and nurturing leads more than building a personal brand and having a personalized design.
Luxury Presence is one of the best-known estate website builders on the market. It specializes in sophisticated, elegant designs and content-driven marketing strategies for agents and brokers.
Social media and SEO content plans and paid ads to choose from in building your strategy
No subscription plans
Luxury Presence doesn't have subscription plans, and the cost is given individually to every client. Their pricing varies from $500 for a setup and launches up to $6 000 depending on your needs and the tools you want to use on your website (the number of subpages is unlimited).
Luxury Presence doesn't have separate add-ons in its marketplace (every website is designed individually). Instead of products, it offers several marketing solutions: social media management, content marketing, Search Engine Optimization services, or a CMA & presentations builder.
Real Estate Lead Capture
Apart from lead forms and pop-ups, property websites, and traffic-driving content, Luxury Presence has a solid social media offer that includes content, paid campaigns, and geo-targeting.
Luxury Presence doesn't have a built-in CRM, but it integrates with various 3rd party CRMs - Contactually, Follow Up Boss, Sendgrid, and Zapier.
Luxury Presence sites integrate with your MLS, as well as they have their own IDX home search tool.
Luxury Presence has 4,4 stars on Google - although most of the reviews are positive, you will find some words of dissatisfaction with their support.
Templates and Customizability
Luxury Presence's platform Presence™ is easy to use and requires no prior experience with website builders or CMS. However, Luxury Presence sites are not based on templates, so you won't be able to browse through readymade sites and make them your own.
Luxury Presence will be enjoyed by agents and brokers who want to develop their personal brand and brand awareness through original design, content marketing strategy, and social media profiles.
No built-in CMR and significantly less marketing automation mean you must have an established lead management strategy.
FAQ: Related Questions with Real Estate Website Builders
How do I build my own real estate website?
There are several ways in which you can build your own real estate website. You can have it done for you by a free web designer/web developer or a website company. Still, given the fact that there are several things that are unique to the real estate business that you definitely need to have integrated (your MLS search, IDX home search, contact forms, maps, CMR, and so on), it is best to rely on a company that provides such services specifically to realtors. This way, you can be sure they know what you're talking about!
Can a real estate agent make their own website?
An agent should have a real estate website (as well as social media profiles). Even if you must invest a lot of money, it's worth it: your business will grow as buyers and sellers can find and contact you online.
Every licensed agent can have a website, but it will be necessary for every website builder to provide the license number before the process starts.
What is the most popular real estate website?
Placester, Agent Image, Real Geeks, Luxury Presence, and Agent Fire are the best real estate website builders for agents and brokers.
October 6, 2022
(Last updated on
June 22, 2023
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