The real estate business can be both highly lucrative and very competitive. Setting yourself apart from your rivals with a professional real estate website may be on your wishlist, but getting started can be daunting.
A great website is within reach, however. Combining WordPress with the power of page builders and other plugins can help you more easily achieve your goals. As a result, your real estate website should be a substantial advertising asset for your business, and keep buyers and sellers interested in learning more with quality images and valuable information.
In this article, we’ll cover four steps for creating a real estate agent website with WordPress. We’ll also discuss why WordPress is the best platform to use, and how website builder tools created for WordPress can help you put together a more professional site. Let’s get started!
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Why You Should Consider a WordPress Website for Your Real Estate Business
Whether you’re an independent agent or you work for a broker, having an online presence for your real estate business can be a key factor in your success. In fact, over the past few years, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has noted that 42% of home buyers begin their searches online.
While an app or a social media-only approach might seem appealingly simple, there are downsides to that technique. There are a few things a WordPress website can provide that most social media platforms can’t, such as:
- Built-in data tracking. You’ll be able to track your site’s data with ease from your WordPress dashboard and even see where visitors are coming from.
- Exceptional flexibility. You’ll be getting a lot of functionality right out of the box, which means you’ll have to spend less time searching for external solutions.
- A sophisticated database. WordPress is built on a powerful database system that’s well-suited for cataloging your property listings.
- A user-friendly media library. Whether you need to feature a single image or a dynamic gallery of photos, WordPress has an easy-to-use media library with built-in editing options.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While social profiles do show up in search engines, you’ll see higher rankings if you have unique content on a website. That’s because Google can’t determine the authority of a social profile. Linking back to your site can increase your overall rankings.
In other words, you’re in good hands with WordPress. For seven years in a row, this platform has held the largest share of the Content Management System (CMS) market. In fact, 14.75% of the top 100 websites in the world trust WordPress with their content. Best of all, getting your own site off the ground is surprisingly simple.
How to Create Your Real Estate Website With WordPress (In 4 Steps)
You can get up and running with your real estate listings website quickly, while still having time to keep your finger on the pulse of the housing market. Below, we’ll cover four easy steps to get you set up with WordPress.
Step 1: Choose Your Domain Name and Web Host
A memorable domain name is your first step towards getting your real estate directory set up. While a .com name is a pretty standard choice, there are quite a few other Top-Level Domains (TLDs) available that might be just right for your business.
Next, you’ll need to select a web host. This task can seem overwhelming at first. However, there are a few things to keep in mind as you shop for web hosting, which should help you make this crucial decision:
- Security. You’ll want to thoroughly review what your web host offers in terms of protection from viruses and hacks. Look for information about security certificates, daily backups, and the process for restoring a damaged site.
- Software. Not all hosts are created equal. If you need more software to help you get your properties online, make sure your host has what you want. For example, are there optimization features or software options that will boost your site’s speed?
- Support. Being able to get in touch with technical support night or day can be a vital feature. If you can’t afford downtime, getting a full understanding of the support that comes with your hosting plan is essential.
- Extras. If you’re really on the fence about which host to go with, check to see whether each offers any extra features that can help you decide. Some hosts come with built-in themes, design tools, staging websites, or site builders.
No matter what type of hosting you ultimately decide you need, here at DreamHost we offer a wide range of WordPress plans.
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Step 2: Install a Dedicated Real Estate Theme
Creating a professional site that really stands out can be a challenge. Property listings have a lot of information attached to them, and the NAR has its own rules and regulations for advertising online.
Therefore, you’ll need to pay extra attention to your website’s theme. It will be your main opportunity for dressing up your website and organizing your properties. With that in mind, choosing a real estate-friendly theme for your WordPress site is an excellent place to start.
Fortunately, if you’re using DreamHost as your WordPress hosting service, you’ll have access to WP Website Builder. It comes with a drag-and-drop page editor, along with many customizable themes — including several quality options for real estate sites. Plus, setting your chosen theme up with DreamHost is a snap, and it even comes packed with starter content that you can swap out with your own.
To get started, you’ll need to select “WP Website Builder” as an option when purchasing your DreamHost plan.
Then, we’ll automatically install WordPress and premium website builder plugins for WordPress — including Inspirations and Page & Post Builder — which were built by our friends over at BoldGrid.
After you log into your new WordPress dashboard, you’ll see the Inspirations setup page.
Once you’re ready, select Let’s Get Started! On the next screen, you’ll see lots of theme design categories to choose from. The Inspirations feature will display a wide variety of professional and stylish real estate-friendly themes.
Another bonus is that you’ll be able to quickly test the responsiveness of your chosen layout on three different screen types, right from your dashboard.
If you need more help getting started, your WordPress dashboard will now include some tutorial videos. Plus, you’ll find a new Inspirations menu that will lead you through switching to a different theme, in case you change your mind later on.
Step 3: Select Helpful Plugins to Enhance Your Site
Plugins can be essential to extending the functionality of your website. To manage your property listings and appeal to potential homebuyers, you might want to look into some plugins to help you design your site.
One plugin worth checking out is the Estatik Real Estate Plugin.
Estatik includes many important key features, such as saveable searches and property wish lists. There are also several widget options, as well as a customizable search function, information request forms, and slideshows.
This plugin has both free and premium options. The premium plugin will cost you $89 and includes additional functionality like agent support, private fields for admins and agents, and subscription plans with PayPal payment options.
Alternatively, If you’re looking for a low-risk plugin that’s gentle on the wallet, Easy Property Listings is worth a test drive.
This is a very dynamic and feature-heavy tool. Easy Property Listings offers a user-friendly approach to getting property listings online in a fast and straightforward way. With over 150 custom fields and seven custom post types, you won’t need developer skills to get your website set up just the way you want it.
This plugin enables your visitors to sort listings by date, price, or location. Additionally, individual listings can be flagged as sold, under contract, and so on. The number of listings you can create is unlimited, which is a nice touch from a completely free plugin.
Step 4: Set Up Your First Listings
At this point, you’re ready to get your first listings online. When doing this, it can help to keep some listing best practices in mind.
For instance, you’ll want to choose your adjectives wisely and work on highlighting the unique features of each property. In this listing, for example, the ceilings “soar,” the guest bedroom is “charming,” and the pool is “sparkling.”
The Trinity Hawaii property site uses WordPress to create an equally-beautiful online catalog for the many properties it has for sale. The grid-style setup is perfect for property listings.
Choosing a strong headline and crafting your descriptions to do each property justice takes practice. However, the effort you put in now can pay off over time in increased visits and conversions.
Build a Following with Real Estate Marketing
Now that you have some stunning images and listings up on your new website, you may be wondering about the best way to get the word out. There are a couple of marketing tactics real estate agents should consider at this stage.
One way to build a following is to add testimonials to your site. As consumers, we typically like to hear what other people are saying about a service or product before we try it. Even if you haven’t been in business long, you can ask permission to post a testimonial from a previous client to get started.
Another popular way to draw attention to your site is to use drone photography to capture amazing shots of your properties. You can invest in a drone if you’re interested, but there are services you can employ as well if you just want to give it a try.
Additionally, letting your potential clients get to know and trust you through a blog can be a smart move.
If you do decide to set up a blog, there are some best practices to consider for keeping its information up-to-date. Featuring lots of new and accurate content on your website lets visitors know that you’re active and trustworthy.
Lead Generation for Agents and Brokers
The real estate business might have you on the run all the time, but you can rest easy knowing your listings are displayed beautifully thanks to our professional WordPress website builder. Plus, many plugins can help you manage image galleries, property information, and more.
Here at DreamHost, we want you to focus on making your customers’ home buying dreams come true, rather than worrying about whether your website maintenance or support is taken care of. That’s why we offer complete WordPress hosting solutions with reliable support, so you can focus on selling that dream home!