100% Honest Reviews
I’ve worked for, competed against, and founded the companies that design many of the best real estate websites on earth.
I also believe in radical transparency. Real estate website design companies excel differently. Agents and brokers have very different needs.
Based on your specific situation, I may strongly recommend that you choose a different service than my own real estate website design and lead generation company, InboundREM.
How To Choose the Best Real Estate Website Company
The perfect choice starts with aligning your goals with the right services and expertise. Of course, your budget is also top priority. But there are other considerations that are easy to overlook.
- Does a website provider have a history of sudden, unexpected price hikes?
- Is it difficult to switch companies?
- If you do switch, will you lose your entire investment?
- What do past customers have to say?
As you’re probably aware, negative reviews tend to be more revealing than positive ones.
This blog post shows you how to choose the best company to build a real estate website that best suits your needs and budget.
These reviews are up-to-date, brutally honest, radically transparent, and the culmination of 150+ hours of research. It’s the only guide to real estate website design companies you’ll ever need.
Types of Real Estate Websites
IMPORTANT: Great real estate websites focus on a primary objective. Knowing what your main goal is when buying a website will make choosing between real estate design companies much easier.
Real estate websites fall into three broad categories. ALL real estate websites have secondary features that enhance their core offering.
- Lead Generation – The websites might look the same, but the companies that supply these websites design their service offering around producing leads. It’s their core purpose.
- Search/IDX – The primary of these companies is to offer a unique search experience. They might claim/offer lead generation, but their core competency is the actual search experience.
- Brand/Custom Design – The primary objective is to look different/better than your competitors. While these companies might claim excellent lead generation, their real expertise is brand-creation.
- CRM – Customer Record Management
- CMS – Content Management System
- Email Marketing – As an integrated service connected to the website
- Lead Management – Giving you a dashboard that you or your agents can log into and manage communication with leads.
- Landing Pages – The ability to create a special webpage that funnels leads
- SEO – Creating high-ranking content or giving you the tools to do it yourself
- Drip Marketing – Automated emails sent to prospects that have registered with your website
Lead generation websites focus on attracting lots of the right kind of digital traffic. They use social media, email marketing, direct advertising, and high-ranking blog articles to turn prospective clients into actual clients.
Usually, real estate website design companies make these websites with trusted, effective templates. They can then give their prospective customers lead generation estimates based on facts and research as opposed to guesses.
Each time you make a real estate web developer change design in a significant way they no longer have a fact-based experience to estimate lead generation. Small changes can occasionally result in big differences in lead generation percentages.
IMPORTANT: Many real estate website building companies (except InboundREM) don’t allow you to own your actual website.
Usually, they also use direct advertising (Except InboundREM who uses SEO and direct advertising) to generate traffic via Google Adwords, Facebook Marketing, and occasionally automated Craigslist posting.
Prices range from $500-$5,000 for setup and monthly costs between $750-$5000.
Example companies specializing in lead generation include BoomTown, Real Geeks, and InboundREM.
IDX means Information Data Exchange. Any MLS that exchanges information with a real estate technology company is engaged in an Information Data Exchange.
Any company I have put into this category is there because the main selling feature of their website packages is the search experience. The secondary services they offer often include lead generation, which makes understanding the difference between real estate website providers a little difficult.
IDX/Search vs Lead Generation Companies
One main way to define a true lead generation company is the way that they support the website. Both InboundREM and BoomTown provide end-to-end solutions where the only task the client has to do is manage leads.
Boomtown and IREM both require some learning, but this is a managed process with resources dedicated to stepping you through the process.
ALL other providers make the client LEARN how to get leads from their website. If you fail to follow these companies’ tutorials (if there are any), they will promptly tell you the reason you’re not getting leads is your incorrect use of the website.
IMO, a true lead generation company takes all that guesswork away from the client. The only service education should be educating real estate teams on how to access and work leads.
A quick way to identify how RICH a real estate IDX website search experience is supposed to be is the price. Prices range from $0-5000 for setup and monthly costs of $56-1000.
Custom designs are great when creating a unique brand is central to your real estate business goals. Luxury real estate agents are the #1 consumers of this kind of real estate website.
Custom design projects tend to be very difficult because they require a lot of detail. 80% of the time, you aren’t capable of giving the technical/design specifications for website-building companies to pull off these projects without a lot of redos.
ALL the companies listed in this category tend to customize PART of a website (like the home page). They leave the rest of the webpages pre-designed.
Fully-customized sites (designing every page to your specifications) START at $10,000.
Note: Very few teams or agents see an ROI unless the site (re)design is done alongside an expert SEO/UX specialist AND an aggressive SEO campaign.
Best Lead Generation Website Providers
🏆 Best For Lead Generation (Without Owning Your Site)
$750-$1500+ Setup and $1000-$1500 Monthly Licensing Fees. BoomTown is a highly-reviewed real estate website provider that’s a great option for teams of 10+ with large marketing budgets. They build best-in-class real estate lead generation websites that focus on short-term tactics like PPC. However, they have very expensive monthly licensing fees and fall short on SEO and content marketing.
BoomTown Review: CRM, Leads, Websites
- Setup – $750-$1500.00
- Monthly Licensing Fee – $1000-$1500.00 (+$35 for every additional user after 25)
Online Advertising Costs (100% necessary to generate leads)
- 3-5 Agents: $1000 per month
- 5-10 Agents: $1500 per month
- 10-30 Agents: $2000 per month
- Additional 15% Ad Spend management fee
- Seller Lead Suite: $250 per month
Grier Allen founded BoomTown in 2006. Some websites in 2019 identify them as having 250+ employees.
- Grier Allen, CEO
- Rivers Pierce, Director of Inbound Marketing
- Don Sedora, Director of Product Development
The company has been fast-tracking since 2006. They’ve made the INC 500 four years running. They are the recommended lead generation company of Keller Williams and famously noted as a key ingredient to Ben Kinney’s meteoric success.
BoomTown has expanded into a renovated warehouse and has high ratings from the employees on Glassdoor. The outward product and the internal reviews make this company the one to watch in the real estate marketing space.
My only note here is this company is ripe for acquisition. They sought and received 20 million in a private bond release. This was the first time BoomTown sought or received funding which makes them unique in the tech space.
Since BoomTown does NOT publish its pricing, I rely on customer intelligence. In 2021, I heard through industry contacts that BoomTown has changed their pricing. They have lowered their monthly licensing fee for individual real estate agents.
The changes published elsewhere claimed that BoomTown had created a different product for smaller teams or individuals. That product REQUIRED a $250.00 per month PPC spend on top of the published rates available in this review/writeup.
I will update this article as required if I receive proof BoomTown has changed its packages. I’ve had to alter the details of BoomTown offer very little since 2017 when I first added them to this list of best real estate website design companies.
🏆 Best for Lead Generation (With Owning Your Site)
🏆 Best for Long-Term ROI
$2500+ Setup and $750+ Monthly SEO Campaigns ($0 Licensing Fees) . InboundREM provides excellent value for individual agents and small to medium-sized agencies and brokerages. If you already have 3-5+ years of experience, and you value long-term ROI, then seriously consider an InboundREM website. IREM’s deep SEO expertise can earn clients a 10:1 ROI after 18-months. Plus you own your website, which means monthly costs go to lead generation, not licensing fees. IREM has a 5-star rating across all review platforms.
InboundREM Review: ROI Case Study
- Anyone who wants to OWN their website.
Only InboundREM and Agent Image allow agents to own the website they pay to build. Otherwise you’ll pay to build your site, then pay monthly licensing fees, and you’ll have to forfeit your content if you want to switch providers.
Because InboundREM lets clients own their sites, they own a valuable investment (the site itself) and monthly payments go to lead generation efforts, which in turn make the website itself more valuable.
The other two main lead generation website providers, BoomTown and Real Estate Webmasters, charge $300-$1500 per month to lease the very site you paid to build. Over 5 years, that will cost between $18,000 and $90,000. With IREM, those costs go directly into lead generation campaigns.
2. Single agents or small teams with moderate budgets ($750-$2000/month) who value long-term ROI
SEO-focused websites take more time to get leads rolling, but they pay off much better in the long-term. That said, we’ve also had clients with a 12:1 ROI after 18 months during COVID.
3. Agents and brokerages that want to leverage the unbelievable power of SEO lead generation
SEO leads are far more evergreen than PPC, Facebook ads, and other short-term tactics. A single blog post can generate leads for several years, while short-term strategies usually work on a week-to-week basis.
4. Luxury real estate agents that want to focus on digital lead generation
The new BRANDMASTER website platform is our standard powerhouse lead generation machine, coupled with drop-dead gorgeous aesthetics.
- Brand New or Inexperienced Agents
- Agents with Low Marketing Budgets
- Agents and Brokers Only Interested in Short-Term Marketing Strategies (like Facebook or Zillow)
- Agencies or Brokerages with Large Marketing Budgets
*All Pricing is inclusive except for IDX, which is $79.99 per month
- Setup – $2500 – $3500
- Custom Websites – $2500 – $10,000
SEO Marketing Campaigns
- Small City – $600 per month
- Medium City – $1000 per month
- Large Cities (single area) or luxury neighborhoods – $1500 per month
- Small Teams and Brokerages – $2000+ All inclusive. PPC management, CRM, Service and agent education are all part of the monthly.
Even a quick tour of our websites reveals a load of features that turn a real estate website into a powerful lead-generation machine.
Notice the stunning video banners, realtor introduction videos, extensive contact options, zip code maps, in-depth blog posts, testimonial bars/carousels, widespread agent headshots, Local-SEO-friendly URLs, and visually stunning IDX maps.
Features like these and many others allow us to generate exception long-term ROI for our clients. And our clients are over the moon about it, as you can see from the testimonial carousel below.
Robert Newman founded InboundREM in 2014. His role is Chief Marketing Officer. You can see more about Robert and his history within the real estate marketing space by watching this video.
Rafe Altschuler (his brother) leads project management. The company consists of a team of 20+ social media managers, content writers, developers and designers that work remotely.
Robert focuses on educating Real Estate professionals about online lead generation and provides deep analysis for existing real estate online marketing solutions.
InboundREM is the only company on this list that provides a real estate lead generation solution the real estate client owns.
Disclosure: I am the founder of InboundREM Inc.
In 2019, we finished development on our “Agent Hub” WordPress website platform. What does that mean for our clients?
- Exceptional listing and search design comparable to Trulia and Zillow
- Real Estate listings are read as original content to the website, even though they are fed in through IDX (Excellent for SEO)
- Reviews imported from Yelp, Zillow, Google, and Facebook
- Customized maps
- Websites are ready for PPC campaigns with comparable conversion rates to Real Geeks, BoomTown, Zurple, and most other major real estate marketing platforms
- Design upgrades
- Advanced services for brokers and small teams*
*The advanced service for small teams and brokers costs $5k for setup and $2k per month. It includes Pay-Per-Click marketing (PPC), Customer Relationship Management software (CRM), and website servicing.
In other words, we provide services comparable to BoomTown or Zillow, but at equal or less cost.
InboundREM has grown its distributed workforce to 10 dedicated resources and another 20+ part-time or overflow resources with the core team located in the US. We now have 40+ accounts in the U.S. and a couple outside of the country.
2022 saw InboundREM add to its reviews and we maintained a perfect 5-star rating across all platforms. You can see our latest video testimonial on our services page.
Schedule a meeting with me
Let’s chat about how an SEO-focused website that YOU OWN can generate high-quality leads and exceptional long-term ROI. If my services aren’t the best move for you, I’ll gladly point you in the right direction
Best Real Estate IDX Website Companies
🏆 Best for IDX Websites
$250-$1000 Setup ($9000 for Premier Site) and $399-$499/Monthly. Sierra Interactive is an excellent company with high reviews, high-profile clients, and a strong track record. They produce both template and custom IDX websites that also work for content marketing. Because of the pricing plans, however, they aren’t the best option for everyone. Clients pay at least $4800/year to lease the site they paid to build.
Sierra Interactive Review: CRM, Websites, Pros, Cons
- ROI is especially important to you when investing in a new real estate website
- You have 3-15 years experience as a real estate agent/broker
- You have a medium to a high level of technical and SEO experience
- Agents with less than 3 years of experience
- Anyone who wants to own their website
- Anyone with a small digital marketing budget ($1000/month or less)
🏆 Best for Affordable IDX Websites
$249+ Monthly and Free Setup. Like Placester and Easy Agent Pro, Real Geeks is an inexpensive, entry-level option for real estate websites. They have a superior IDX/Search function, perform better for direct advertising campaigns, and are great for small teams. They also boast highly positive reviews and client testimonials. $249/month is for licensing. You will have to pay an additional $1000-$2000+/month for managed Google Ads or Facebook Marketing campaigns.
Real Geeks Review: Backend, Websites, CRM
1. Small teams building their first website
The Real Geeks platform is the better option for small teams, while Easy Agent Pro is better designed for individual agents.
2. Agents and brokers looking for the best inexpensive IDX real estate website
Real Geeks produces better IDX websites, but EAP is the better option for new agents wanting to learn SEO content marketing.
1. Individual agents building their first website
Don’t get me wrong. Real Geeks is still a very strong option for individual agents. When it comes to deciding between the two companies, however, this is one way to choose. Real Geeks is better for small teams, while EAP is better for individual agents.
2. Large teams of agents or brokers
If you’re a large team, consider companies like BoomTown for SEO, Sierra Interactive for IDX, and Real Estate Webmasters for an all-around website provider. That said, there are success stories and positive reviews from large teams using Real Geeks.
3. Agencies and brokerages with sizeable marketing budgets
Generally speaking, you should sink 20% of your profits into marketing. If that means you have more than $300/month or $3600/year to spend, then consider website providers like BoomTown, Sierra Interactive, or InboundREM.
- Setup: Free
- Service Costs: $249-$349/month
- Facebook Marketing Campaigns: $550/month for service plus $500+ for ads
- Google Ads: $300-$500/month for service plus $300-$1100 for ads
- Extra Users: $25/month beyond 2 users
Best Custom Real Estate Website Companies
$2000-$10,000+ Setup and $99 Monthly Fees. Agent Image specializes in custom, branded real estate websites. They feature strong reviews, high-profile clientele, low monthly costs, and the rare ability to own your website. However, they are not a strong option for lead generation, whether short-term or long-term. They also have no integrated CRM and can be quite expensive.
Agent Image Review: Websites, CRM, Pros, Cons
1. Teams who have their own plan and expertise for lead generation and nurturing
Of course, there are companies that provide highly-customizable websites in addition to extensive lead generation features. Why might you choose Agent Image anyway?
First, you’ll pay low monthly fees. For example, Real Estate Webmasters will probably charge you $500/month in licensing fees instead of Agent Image’s $99/month.
Second, you’re free to choose your own CRM. Maybe you already have a great CRM that your team knows how to use. You may want to upgrade your website without committing to a pre-integrated CRM.
2. Teams who want to own their website
Agent Image is one of the very few companies that allows you to own your website. That means no licensing fees, the ability to change website providers, and ownership over a valuable product.
3. Teams who have a clear, established brand
It’s problematic to have a custom website built before you have a deep understanding of your brand. Branding goes beyond graphic design and font choices. It’s about your unique values and selling points. It includes your niche and client profiles.
Real estate branding crystalizes over time. Teams that haven’t evolved their brand into something that fits like a glove and speaks to their client base may want to wait until they sink $5000+ into a website. You don’t want to continually pay to rebrand your website every year.
1. Teams who want a lead generation machine
Of course, it is possible to turn an Agent Image website into a lead generation powerhouse, but only if you have an in-house expert in digital marketing.
2. New agents or inexperienced agents
Agent Image websites are expensive, and it’s rare that inexperienced agents have the client base to pay for a customized website. Even if you do have the budget, it may be smarter to hire a company better suited to the needs of a burgeoning brand.
3. Those who want an integrated CRM
Clients have to choose, integrate, and maintain their CRM, including educating their teams on how to use it.
Other Great Real Estate Website Companies
🏆 Best For Brand New Individual Agents
Easy Agent Pro
$149-$379/Month and $199 Activation Fee. Like Real Geeks and Placester, EAP provides DIY template websites for affordable costs. EAP stands out in two major ways. First, it’s the best option for agents who want to learn SEO content marketing. Second, they have the best resource center for learning about optimizing a real estate website.
EAP Review: Website, Pricing, CRM
1. Agents and small teams who want an affordable DIY website where they can learn SEO and content marketing techniques
Because of the DIY setup and the strong education resources, an EAP website is a great practice ground for developing digital content marketing skills.
2. Agents who want a very affordable real estate website provider.
Real Geeks starts at $250/month, making Easy Agent Pro less expensive. The cheapest basic plan on the market is from Placester at $80/month. However, Placester is still repairing its reputation for terrible customer service. On the other hand, Easy Agent Pro reviews and testimonials hover between 4 and 5 stars on average.
- $199 Activation Cost (Setup is DIY)
- Pro Package: $179/month
- Ultimate Package: $259/month
- Ultimate Plus Package: $379/month
- In-Depth Comparison (Easy Agent Pro vs Real Geeks)
- Yelp [6 Reviews] 5 of 5 stars – (Note: EAP used to be called “Page One”)
Tyler Zey and Robert Laprise founded EAP in New Mexico. Tyler handles content marketing/SEO, and Robert handles website development.
Regardless of what the rest of my review says, these guys are top in class for real estate marketing services. When it comes to results, Tyler is the best content marketer in the entire real estate vertical.
Seth Price from Placester is comparable. His results are slightly better, but he has considerably more resources.
Both companies focus on educating real estate professionals on how to utilize digital marketing to enhance real estate sales revenue. In the process, they show you how their tools can help meet sales goals.
Tyler may have shifted his role and moved full-time into Product/Service Development.
Tyler Zey, Co-Founder, CTO
Robert Laprise, Co-Founder, Head of Development, Chief Amazement Officer
Easy Agent Pro constantly updated their pricing in 2019-2020. I’ve seen the setup cost range from $99 to $500.
In 2020, Tyler Zey stated that Easy Agent Pro got acquired at the end of 2018. There’s no info on who bought the company. His LinkedIn profile also says he is the CTO, and they are working on a custom backend solution. That suggests they will be moving away from WordPress over the next couple of years.
🏆 Most Scalable Among Affordable Websites
$80-$300+/Month and $0-$100 Setup. Placester’s special niche is highly affordable websites that can grow with your agency or brokerage, at least in terms of size. However, they lack a strong track record for customer support even though they provide DIY template websites. Additionally, their websites are not the best option for SEO or lead generation.
Placester Review: Websites, CRM, Pros, Cons
Every Placester client should have a decent technological competence and at least 5 hours per week to devote to website building and maintenance.
- New and Inexperienced Agents
- Agents with Low Budgets ($200/month)
- Large Brokerages with Low Marketing Budgets
- Agents Who Want To Own Their Website
- Agents With Low Tolerance For Headaches
- Agents Who Want Excellent Long-Term ROI
- Agents/Brokerages with Large Marketing Budgets
NAR Realtors receive a 20% discount for the first two tiers. Plus, any client that pays annually receives a 20% discount. In effect, the starter plan and advanced plan can be as affordable as $64/month and $120/month.
Placester Setup Costs
- Starter: DIY for free or pay $100 for Basic Setup
- Advanced: DIY for free, $100 for Basic Setup, or $650 for Custom Build
- Office Builder: DIY for free, $100 for Basic Setup, or $650-$1350 for Custom Build
- Concierge Custom: Free Custom Build
Monthly Placester Pricing
- Starter Plan: $80/month
- Advanced Plan: $150/month
- Office Builder: $300/month
- Concierge Custom: $1250/month
Placester is a Real Estate Technology company that sells WordPress real estate websites which include IDX and online marketing options. With over 400,000 customers, 1/6 of real estate professionals in North America use their services.
In 2021 Placester rolled out a new platform designed to be more scalable and function better. Seth Price, the VP of Product, allow me to check out the backend (what the client uses), and it looks promising. However, it still remains to be seen whether Placester can improve it’s customer service issues, which have been the source of many bad reviews.
🏆 Best For Luxury Real Estate Websites
$5000-$15,000 Setup and $300-$500/Monthly Licensing Fee. Luxury Presence is a meteoric new company with plenty of satisfied, high-profile clients. When it comes to SEO lead generation, there are both positive and negative case studies. Luxury agents who want evergreen lead generation machines should consider Real Estate Webmasters or InboundREM for deep SEO expertise. All other luxury agents should seriously consider Luxury Presence.