Real Estate Website Development Overview: Tech Stack, Features & Cost To Check Out
If you are going into your own real estate website development or you have an existing one, you’re probably already aware that having a first-rate website is of the utmost importance for business. As now almost every customer are seeking a house to rent or to buy online and if your website doesn’t fit the user needs he just leaves it and move to the next. Thus it’s critical to ensure that your real estate website meets user expectations, is highly performed and stay competitive. Then it will be profitable for your business.
With the purpose to help you build the realty website that makes money for your business have we gathered the latest most working real estate website features and UX tips. So pay close attention as we explain the most critical points of a highly-functioning real estate site.
Why Does Your Real Estate Website Matter So Much?
It’s vital for you to understand that you need a real estate website that has excellent UX regardless of whether the person attempting to view it is using a mobile device, or a laptop or desktop computer instead.
It’s an absolute requirement for any property business to have an authoritative online presence, as 93% of all age groups users are browsing websites frequently or occasionally when looking for a house according to NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report. So if you skip option to build an effective website, then you target only 7% of customers who go to the offline agencies.
Check more details from infographics below on what source of information different age groups prefer to use while searching for a house.
Because of this, a meticulously developed and mobile-adapted real estate website is a must-have for any property business. Moreover, keeping in mind the numbers on the high mobile app usage for house search, you can even dig deeper and think on the development of own real estate app to open even more opportunities for your company.
Why Does Your Real Estate Business Need a Custom-Built Website?
If you are setting up your real estate business website, you might be tempted to take a less expensive route and use a template that hasn’t been customized. However, this would be a crucial mistake.
A simple website builder is not going to be able to provide the level of customization and personalization to which your potential clients are going to respond.
Your real estate website requirements should include a color scheme that is going to be immediately identifiable and fits your brand colors. You’re also going to want the correct font for all of the information that you feature on your site. You’ll want to use original, professional-quality photos rather than stock images.
You can see what we mean when you visit the most popular worldwide real estate websites, like Trulia, Zillow, Realtor, RightMove, and Zoopla. If you spend some time there and examine some of the features, you’ll see that each of them is highly customized. There aren’t any elements that don’t function well with any devices, and the graphics and all of the design elements look entirely professional. This is the standard for which you should strive when it comes to realty web design.
The website design plan that you implement should make for a secure site so that your clients will have no problems sharing their personal details. It should be highly personalized for brand recognition, all of the functions users need should work correctly and be easy to locate.
Let’s have a quick look at what website elements users find the most useful:
So, to achieve these tasks, the best choice is to develop your real estate website from scratch. It’s better to invest your time and efforts on the first stage rather than buying or using a free simple template for your site and only after disappointing in its effectiveness switch to custom website development. Make only long-term purposes and data driven-decisions and save your time and money from the very beginning.
Choosing Tech Stack Real Estate Website
Well, you’ve decided to develop your custom real estate agency website. Thus, before getting into how to make a real estate website, it’s vital to identify who your target audience or customers are going to be. In other words, think about whether the majority of individuals who come to your site are going to be sellers, buyers, or agents. If you’re not sure of your answer, think about your business model. To whom are you trying to market your company?
Based on the answer to that question, you should be able to figure out what features your real estate website is going to need. Next, you’ll also need to choose what tech stack you are going to use to implement all those features and functionalities in the most effective way.
Real Estate Website Development Stages
Well, when you’ve chosen with the technology stack for your real estate software, then you need to define your realty website development plan.
Preparation stage starts with figuring out what hosting you’re going to use, and the entire server setup. You want to be sure that you’re using a reliable host for your site, or else it might not always be accessible for your clients.
After choosing with the secure and safe hosting providing, let’s move ahead of the actual realty web development process stages:
1. Real Estate Website Design Prototyping & Development
If you choose to set up a website from scratch rather than using a template, for the first step you need to put your efforts into your real estate design development. As an example, if you look at a site like Zillow, you will see how highly customized and functional its UX is. That’s critically important in the business.
After that, you move to design development and website functionality implementation that combines front-end and back-end coding. The framework that is put in place will probably be due to the use of PHP, Laravel, or another of the better-known templates that are on the market.
2. 3rd Parties Integrations
Your real estate website should also be integrated with such platforms as IDX/MLS. This will allow you to manage your listings so that anyone will be able to easily see what properties you have on the market at any given time. You’ll also be able to optimize your property pages with the inclusion of area-specific keywords.
3. Content Management System Setup
Once the basic framework for your site is in place, you should concentrate on the content management aspect. Your real estate platform should feature not only your properties but also fresh content that will propel your site to the pinnacle of the search engine rankings and keep it there. Your blog will be a great way to do that.
4. CRM for Customer Service
Next should come to a CRM that is specifically tailored to meet all the demands of your site visitors. It might vary somewhat depending on your business model, but the point is that whoever comes to your site should have a clear picture of what their options are and how they can contact you. Depending on whether you are using a template, there may be built-in solutions for you or your design team can customize the site to your needs.
5. Testing and Debugging Your Site
The final step, while real estate platform is still in beta, will be to do extensive testing and debugging before it goes live. You’ll need to test your website security to make sure that you are not an appealing target for hackers. You’ll also want to check your page loading speed, that ideally, should be no more than 3 seconds If you’re having trouble with that, your real estate website development team should optimize resources like CSS, JS, and whatever site images you are using.
Overview of Vital Realty Website Features
There are many real estate website features on which you should be concentrating as your site goes live, so let’s briefly touch on some of those.
- Real Estate Website Layout and Clear Navigation
There should be an appealing layout that visitors will find pleasing to the eye. They should also no trouble navigating to whatever they want to view on the site.
- Responsive Website and Cross-Browser Support
A non-responsive website is an ample reason for many potential customers to look elsewhere. Make sure that doesn’t happen. Your real estate site should also work on any browser with no problems.
- Users Flows and Registration Process
Before your real estate website design development, you should define your users flow e.g. what types of users your website can serve like real estate agents, buyers, sellers. Next, take care of the easy registration process that provides enough protection for users' data.
For example, in one of our clients’ projects Rently our design and developers team had created a pretty streamlined registration process with a few steps that easily guide users till the final stage. While it provides enough protection without suppressing the adoption due to its difficulty.
- Social Media Integration
Your site should also be integrated with the various social media platforms that people enjoy, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. You can add the possibility for users to login with their social media accounts and share house page on their social media with two clicks. Altogether it increases your company marketing efforts and helps to promote each separate property listing.
- Advanced Search with Search Filtration
You should have an advanced search mode available on your site so that visitors can find something easily applying different filters mode like locations, price, type of property. That all makes your website more usable while house hunting process not exhaustive but rather effective for visitors.
Have a look at advanced property search feature implementation with a wide range of filters we’ve made on one of our clients RadPad website.
- Saved Searches
This is a must-have feature for boosting your real estate sales. As it makes much easier for everyone who is actively house or apartment hunting then after searching get back to the favorites places and rent or buy it.
- Compare Listing Feature and Listing Statistics
A compare listing feature is useful when a potential customer is trying to decide between properties that are appealing to them. Agents usually appreciate a listing statistics feature. It’s a way for them to see whether a neighborhood is hot or not.
- Listing Detail Pages
It’s helpful for you to have a descriptive listing details pages for each of the properties with its high-quality photos or video. You can even go deeper and add some additional features such as “What’s nearby” with details on what places are not far from this property.
Or in the case of rental property listing page, adding some custom features like pet policies, parking spot or elevator availability improve the website functionality as well as user experience.
Look how it is implemented in one of our clients’ projects RadPad.
That way, each site visitor will be able to look at a property and see if it checks off all the boxes of features that they were seeking. So it cuts the time between listing publishing and renting as users find faster the exact property they’re hunting for.
- Booking Feature & Calendar Synchronization
A calendar and booking feature will let users know when open houses are taking place. There are APIs for this purpose by Microsoft, Apple, and Google.
- Google Maps Integration
Google Maps is a feature that many individuals like to use when they’re looking at property, rental or booking websites. That way, they’ll be able to get an impression of a neighborhood with which they might be unfamiliar. Look how Google Maps is built-in on Booking.com property listing.
- Email Alerts Feature
As some site users might like to get email alerts regarding properties in which they have shown an interest. It would improve your website UX and even increase your sales in real estate, as UX and conversions are quite dependent on each other.
- Mortgage Calculators
They help your users to determine a mortgage's monthly payments, number of payments per year interest rate, etc. You can choose already ready solutions like this one below from Zillow or build your own one.
- Live Chat, and Messaging
A live chat feature will enable website visitors to get real-time answers to their questions from your support team. While messaging might be helping in communication with real estate agents or directly house owners. You can even integrate chat-bot into your messaging platform to automate customer support services and make them more effective.
- 3D Showcase or Virtual Reality Tours with VR integration
It is a 3D property visualization right on the website. Making a 3D photo of the property and implementing embedded player lets the users have a virtual tour by your real estate before deciding to rent or buy it. It significantly increases the likelihood of the buying or renting of the property as buyers see what they are going to buy right from the website.
That’s proven by the numbers as most people when looking for a house visit on average between 5 and 7 homes before making a final decision. Building virtual Reality or 3D features into your website cuts down the numbers of these wasted visits of property that people are not interested in buying.
- Reviews & Rating Section Features
This function is quite useful for rental property listing. Usually, users trust more the website where you can leave review and house profiles with high ratings. While the agents or house owners start to care about their property rating and actually about the quality of services they provide.
- Payment Gateways Integration
The last tip from our list is integrating the right payment gateway into your realty website. You can choose from PayPal, Braintree, or Stripe systems. But base your decision on the region your platform focuses on and determine the most used payment gateways in that area.
How Much Might a Real Estate Website Cost
The cost of a real estate website is going to depend on many different variables. It depends hugely on what is the purpose of your website and what features it needs for that as well as on real estate developer salary in your region.
If you are in Europe, you might be looking at $75,000 to $100,000 depending on whether your team is designing the whole thing from scratch. The price of real estate website creation in the U.S. or Australia can be as much as $200,000 to $300,000 and higher. Depending on the state you locate or qualifications and programming languages you’re looking the developer salary can differ impactfully. You might be able to do it for cheaper, but that will likely mean sacrificing some of the quality.
While the job of setting up a real estate website may seem daunting at first, following our advice and this guide tips you can get really successful results. Instead, if you prefer to delegate work to professional, our team has extensive experience in real estate development. Having worked with such entities as Proper, RadPad, and Rently we know what design and web development approach works best for real estate and bring your sales.
So, don’t cut corners when it comes to real estate website creation. You may save money, but you surely won’t get the engagement numbers for which you were hoping.
Have a look through real estate projects we’ve developed for our clients and get some ideas on your own ones. And don’t miss to get a free quote from our developers and PM team on your project ideas.