What Makes The Best Real Estate Websites?
When I first got asked the question, what do the best real estate websites have? I initially spoke of the factors that make up a great realtor website, but as I went along this path I quickly came to the realization that I didn’t even know where to start. The fact is, when you start thinking big picture it’s incredibly comprehensive. So where did I begin?
Toronto real estate web developers: I decided that if we were going to create superior websites for realtors then we needed to research the competition to find out what they offered. So I set off to speak with the top 5 real estate web developers in Toronto, Here’s what I found, and remember you asked for a comprehensive view:
The standard real estate web design company: If you’ve had a website made in the last few years or are currently looking around you’re probably noticing something, they all look the same. Yes it’s true that colours and format vary from site to site but realtor websites have become VERY cookie cutter, begging this question: If my website is exactly like everyone else, how will I stand out or rank better than them on the ever competitive search engines?
The term SEO friendly: This means they’ll be found by search engines and while it may be true, they will be found, upon closer review by our programmers (the nerds!) they don’t even come close to being properly optimized, coded or structured. We found improper coding (in fact, horrible) on all five of the top real estate web developer sites and we went over the code on 3 sites made by each developer. They were put together to look good, and they do, they claim they’ll be found by search engines, and they will, but that’s where it ends. To put it simply “it will be very hard to make page one of Google with these sites”, don’t worry you’d be with 95% of the agents out there.
Built into their companies System: We found several developers that build you into their own network, making it difficult to leave them or have anyone outside of their company be able to work on it. This means they will make money on every change and update, and some may call this genius, but it’s also evil Genius. These are companies that have only have one interest, their own.
Lead capturing systems: Almost every agent website has MLS search and now the new revolution is lead capturing software which tracks visitors every movement and requires them to give their email address to make different MLS searches, there’s your lead although not a very qualified lead is it. A lead is a lead but it doesn’t compare to SEO (basically Google Optimization) where you have people coming to your site who just typed ‘Toronto real estate agents’ into Google, now that’s a targeted visitor with a clear indication of what they’re looking for, an agent!
1. We found all the big 5 basically had the same product
2. Their sites would get found by search engines but would be hard pressed to rank on the first page of Google (93% of people never go past the first page and all of the clients goes to the agents on page 1)
3. Not one company had the site properly structured, coded or researched to rank for people looking for agents, AND THAT BLEW OUR MINDS!
4. They were all out to mass produce realtor websites, maximize profit and cared little for the result of their work while trying to sell us every service under the sun.
5. We wish you good luck and advise you to carry out due diligence in your search for the best real estate websites.