How to Build a Real Estate Website That Maximizes Leads

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller,April 19, 2022

Real,Estate,Website,Mock,Up,On,Laptop,Screen,,Tablet,AndIn today’s digital landscape, every agent needs a well-designed website to complement their real estate lead-building strategies. A lead-generating real estate website should be easy to navigate, highlight your target communities or neighborhoods, and make it easy to communicate with your potential customers. This blog post will discuss some tips for creating a real estate website that will help you attract more online visitors and close more deals. So whether you’re a lead-generation beginner or an expert looking for a fresh perspective, read on for some helpful advice on creating a real estate website that maximizes leads.

First Impressions Count: Choose The Best Domain Name

Creating a domain name is the first step toward building a successful lead-generating real estate website. Your domain should be easy to remember, related to your brand, and targeted at potential leads.

Your instinct might be to use your brokerage name or your name for your website. Naming your website after yourself or your brokerage is great if you already have brand recognition, but it probably won’t be as effective if you’re not already highly recognized.

Think of your brand as a snowball: you have to start small and build your way up. So if you’re not already a household name in your area, a self-branded domain name may not be the wisest choice.

Melbourne,,Australia,-,Feb,11,,2021:,Browsing,Properties,For,SaleIf your goal is to generate leads, your domain should be most relevant to people searching for your services, not your identity.

Put yourself in the prospective homebuyer’s shoes when choosing a domain name. Would you be more likely to search online for:

“John Doe’s real estate website” OR “Homes for sale in

Probably the latter, right? The most simple “recipe” for a lead-generating domain name looks something like this: your area + “real estate” or “homes for sale.”

Take texasrealestatesource.com, for example. People can read the domain name once and know what the website is about. 

Choosing the right domain name is one of the best SEO practices for real estate. The right name can make your website easy to discover by Google, other search engines, and your future customers. The wrong name can cause you to be buried by the competition.

Registering & Hosting Your Domain Name

Domain names can be registered through a variety of domain name registrars. Popular domain name registrars include GoDaddy, Namecheap, and Hover.

When registering your domain name, choose a provider that offers a web hosting package. This will provide you with the necessary tools to build and host your website.

In these early stages of building your real estate website, you should also ensure your hosting platform includes an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate immediately lets your customers know that their data is secure when browsing your site.

Find a Customer Relationship Management System That Works For You

Creative,Woman,Working,With,Computer,In,The,OfficeA customer relationship management system (CRM) is software that helps businesses manage customer data.

For real estate agents, a CRM system will be an integral part of your website.

It’s essential to choose a CRM that integrates seamlessly with your website so that you can easily track your leads and follow up with them promptly.

Here are a few different features that to look for in a CRM:

  • Built-in lead
  • IDX (or MLS) Integration
  • SEO-friendly blog platform and content marketing services

Below, you’ll find a brief overview of three CRMs, although it barely scratches the surface of all the best real estate CRMs currently available.

WordPress

WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, so it’s no wonder that many real estate agents use it as a starting point for their online presence.

WordPress is a popular content management system that many real estate agents use to build their websites. It’s a DIY platform that’s relatively easy to use and helps you easily create a search engine-optimized website.

WordPress also includes many features (called plug-ins) that can help real estate agents customize their experience.

Real Geeksreal geeks logo

Real Geeks is an all-in-one real estate sales marketing solution. They are catered to agents with their highly optimized mobile responsive websites that capture leads through property search and a variety of landing pages. The CRM tool also tracks and nurtures lead databases with marketing automation features and real-time reporting and analytics.

A few major pros of Real Geeks platform include:

  • In-house marketing team offers managed PPC to drive traffic to Real Geeks websites
  • Automated email drip system that sends email campaigns (including SMS and postcards) to leads
  • Quick & easy solution to creating Facebook ads that drive traffic to high-converting landing pages

Sierra Interactivesierra interactive logo

Sierra Interactive is one of many CRM platforms that cater specifically to the real estate industry. Some agents have found that although WordPress and other multi-industry CRMs are adequate for smaller sites, more robust real estate websites benefit from Sierra Interactive’s industry-tailored features.

A few lead-generating highlights of Sierra Interactive include:

  • SEO-friendly design that claims to increase organic traffic
  • Special focus on a quality experience for mobile browsers
  • No limit on the number of community pages per website
  • Easy-to-use tool for customized saved searches covering high-priority areas

LionDeskLion-Desk-Logo

LionDesk is another CRM designed specifically for real estate brokerage teams and agents. They strive to provide a straightforward platform that makes it easy to track and follow up on every read.

The software easily integrates with other tools, making it easy to have a customizable experience.

People also appreciate the affordable pricing. The monthly plans are cheaper than others, and real estate agents can try one month free without a credit card.

Building Website Pages: URL Structure, Search Options & Page-Ranking Tips

Salesman,Broker,Insurer,Advisor,Consult,Work,With,African,American,ClientsCreating a domain name and choosing a CRM is like building the foundation of a home. People can’t see it, but you can’t start the process without it.

Once you have those essential steps out of the way, you can move on to creating web pages—the stuff your leads can actually see.

You’re probably eager to get going, but stop and make a plan first. A website that generates leads needs to be well-organized and consistent. Here’s how you can achieve that.

Create a Logical, Intuitive URL Structure Before Building Any Pages

A lead-generating website has to be well-organized, and designing a URL structure before creating pages sets an organizational precedent that provides consistency for the entire life of your website.

It’s pretty simple. You want an intuitive URL structure that makes it easy for visitors and search engines to find the information they need.

Above all else, it’s essential to avoid contradictory site structures.

A website with contradictory URLs leaves room for redundancy, overlap, and overall disorganization that drives away leads. The URL is the hardest thing to change on a page after it’s already set up, so it’s the most important thing to get right at the onset.

When creating a real estate website, consider your domain name’s context to the URL. If your domain name includes the area you service, it’d be redundant to repeat it in the subdirectory of every page.

Example:

  • HomesForSaleOnEarth.com/earth-homes-for-sale < redundant
  • HomesForSaleOnEarth.com/idx < simple and logical

Give Your Visitors Plenty of Search Options — But Not Too Many

Word,House,Written,In,Search,Bar,On,Virtual,Screen.Your leads should never have to go hunting for a way to search your listings. Consider providing a search bar on the homepage of your real estate website to give visitors an easy starting point. The search bar needs to be big and bold, with clearly defined fields.

Before launching, you should also create community pages for the primary counties, cities, and neighborhoods you service.

A good community page should include a heading, a brief description of the area, and the IDX listings. Beneath the listings, you can include even more content to nurture your leads by educating them about the area.

Then, you can develop more niche pages that highlight in-demand architecture styles and property features. As a local real estate expert, you should know which niche pages to prioritize.

For example, a mountainous region should highlight ski homes, while a beach community can highlight luxury estates with water views.

Beware of creating too many pages: excessive search options will overwhelm your visitors and make the search engine ranking algorithms question the purpose of your website.

Cement Your Structure With Interlinking and a Sitemap

Website,Planning.,Web,Designer,Working,On,Website,Sitemap.,Flat,LayAfter you’ve built a few pages, you need to crystallize the organization of your website so it can be easily found by the search engine bots that dictate page rankings.

The two best ways to do this are through interlinking and creating a site map.

Interlinking is the process of adding links to your pages that connect to other pages on your website. Interlinking adds context to your content by showing the search engine bots what your pages are about and how they relate to each other.

A sitemap is an XML file that contains a list of all the pages on your website. Think of it as an outline for your real estate website. Creating a sitemap helps the search engine bots index all of your pages to be ranked appropriately.

Numerous online tools can help you make a site map in minutes.

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Business,Process,Photo.,Account,Manager,Using,Mobile,Phone.,Typing,ContemporaryThe vast majority of today’s internet traffic comes from mobile devices. In fact, many experts estimate that more than 50% of web traffic comes from people browsing on a smartphone or tablet. Your real estate website must be designed for a small screen.

A mobile-friendly design draws in leads because it’s easy to use for people on the go. If your site looks cramped and unpleasant to use on a mobile device, you’re pushing away most of your new customers.

You can do a few things to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. The most important is to use a responsive design. This means that the layout of your website will change depending on the size of the screen it’s being viewed on.

Keeping your site mobile-friendly relates to choosing the right CRM. The CRM you choose should have procedures to make it easier to size pages for mobile users.

Create a Content Marketing Strategy That Drives Traffic To Your IDX Pages

 Person,Looking,For,Places,To,Stay,On,Digital,Tablet,AppReal estate content marketing is an extensive subject, so let’s stay focused on how it relates to designing a website.

Your CRM should have the ability to host blog posts. Blogs are a great way to share your real estate expertise with potential leads. 

As an agent, you know firsthand how many questions first-time homebuyers have. There are thousands of people in your city right now typing home buying queries into Google, Bing, and other search engines. Your blogs can lead them to your website and encourage them to partner with you. 

Everyone who searches for a term related to real estate is a potential lead. Designing a website that integrates seamlessly with your content marketing strategy ensures that you can be there to inform, entertain, and assist your future leads.

When creating a URL structure for your content marketing strategy, ensure that all your promotional articles are in a separate section for blogs; you don’t want them mixed in with community pages.

The goal of a real estate content marketing strategy is to extend the reach of your website. Real estate websites aren’t like other e-commerce websites where buyers can be coerced down a funnel towards making an impulse purchase. The goal of a real estate website is to create authentic relationships that lead to home sales.

Design your website to accommodate content that tells your leads that you’re someone they can trust to help them buy the perfect home.

A Lead-Generating Website Pays For Itself

A well-executed website can be a powerful lead generation tool for real estate agents. You can achieve a great real estate website design by choosing the right domain name, finding a CRM that suits your needs, and organizing your site before building pages are essential. Once your website is live, make sure it’s mobile-friendly and extend the reach of your content with marketing initiatives. With careful planning and execution, you can design a real estate website that pays for itself by generating leads and new business.

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 5/20/2022

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