In the 336th episode of the Mail Right Show, Jonathan Denwood and Robert Newman explored the advantages of owning a real estate website versus leasing one from a service provider. The episode also covers when a real estate broker should consider owning a real estate website. Robert Newman is the founder of Inbound REM, an inbound marketing agency, and a real estate SEO specialist with over 14 years of experience. On the other hand, Jonathan Denwood is the founder and CEO of Mail Right, a company that combines multiple digital tools into a single, simple-to-use package.
What does Owning a Website Mean?
Having your website means you own the domain, can take it with you, and can move it to another hosting area. If you’re a real estate agent, you’ll need to collaborate with your brokerage, but if you’re a freelance agent, you’ll need a website with your own domain.
If you are a domain owner, the first and second words of the domain should be your first and second names; if your first and second names are popular, you should add another word. Google or cloudfare.com are two options for registering and purchasing a domain. A domain on Cloudflare will most likely cost $8.
Should every Real Estate Agent Own a Website?
Every real estate agent does not need to have a website. If you have two to three pages, such as the home page, about us page, contact form, or if you have any other pages, you can do it on Squarespace, WordPress, or Wix. However, if you are a serious agent, even if the said platform has provided a page on a brokerage website, you still need something; thus, you need your own website.
When You Should Own a Website
If you want to pursue SEO, inbound marketing, or content marketing, you’ll need a website and ownership or control of the domain. You should establish a website if you want to spend a lot of time and effort developing content.
A website is not necessary for those in their first few years of employment; however, if you work full-time and earn between $100 and $150,000 per year, you will need one, and possibly more, depending on what you are doing to go to the next level, such as earning $300,000 or $500,000.
Furthermore, although a website is not necessary for those who are not full-time, it is still essential to do something to promote themselves on the market, and a web presence is one way to do that. For instance, someone is hiring agents to sell an important asset or to advise them to buy a property, and that person can look at the agent’s website, and without a good website, there’s a low chance of getting hired.
The Advantages of Having a Real Estate Website
You have complete control over the content and messaging of a real estate website when you own it. There is a distinction between leasing and owning. Ownership comes with the same responsibilities in the digital space as in the physical space. That means because you benefit from ownership, anything that happens on what you own online is your responsibility; you are the one to fix it, secure it, and maintain the appearance of your website. Because you own it, you don’t lease it. Some service providers may provide you with some control over your website. However, it is limited, and another advantage of having your own website is that you are not obligated to pay for an upgrade to whatever these providers offer or move your website’s content if you don’t upgrade.
If someone is looking for an agent, they might check the agent’s website. They can read the testimonials on the website or the about us page- better if it has a video to learn more about the agent. That is why having your own website is important. You can also sell your website afterward- a hyperlocal real estate website or a website that manages to get some conversion or get some information out of traffic are valuable. However, very few people in real estate are doing it.
Disadvantages of Using Website from Service Providers
Many service providers offer websites such as Ylopo, Zurple, Zillow, Luxury Presence, Real Estate Webmaster, Sierra Interactive, Real Geeks, and Easy Agent Pro. However, these service providers do not give you management or ownership of your website. It has limitations, and moving your data anywhere will be difficult, and you won’t be able to receive your leads. Moreover, since you don’t have control of your website, you are giving over all your brand’s revenue and upside potential to these service providers.