A Toronto-based real estate startup will begin offering feature-rich real estate websites tomorrow for what it says is the lowest price on the market — a one-time, $99 payment.
WebsiteBox describes its sites as sharp and attractive with search engine-optimized, ready-to-publish content customized by real estate specialty; lead capture and customer relationship management capabilities, an all-in-one control panel; a branded email address; perpetual 24/7 website hosting; and full Internet Data Exchange (IDX) search integration.
WebsiteBox has signed vendor agreements with more than 120 multiple listing services in the U.S. and Canada, the company said.
Screen shot of sample WebsiteBox site.
The sites are also mobile-friendly. They incorporate responsive design, a type of Web design that senses the type of device a person uses to access a website and subsequently changes dynamically according the device’s screen size. The design allows users to view a site on any device, including smartphones and tablets, without having to zoom in and out to view the site comfortably.
WebsiteBox offers three $99 packages tailored to agents, brokers and teams.
Kurt D. Lynn, the company’s founder and CEO, said website technology in every other industry sells for a fraction of what real estate agents and brokers are asked to pay, which he said could be between $100 and $1,500 a year for services equivalent to those offered by WebsiteBox.
"That’s tantamount to price gouging. But there’s no need for real estate professionals to get their pockets picked now that there’s WebsiteBox," Lynn said in a statement.
"We deploy modern Internet technology, customize it to conform to real estate requirements, and sell it at a fair price. It’s no small irony that, simply by doing what’s typical in other markets, we’ll be the value leader in the real estate world."
Lynn was formerly a consultant at real estate marketing company RealtySoft. WebsiteBox said it anticipates its low price to "accelerate" how websites are used in the real estate marketplace.
"At $99, agents now can afford to have a single-property website for any listing in their portfolio. For brokers, the $99 price tag, together with the collaborative CRM built into each website, will allow every agent in the brokerage to have a personalized website," Lynn said.
Screen shot of WebsiteBox CRM.
The company’s business model partially relies on extras it sells to its website customers. These extras include a blog application, extra email accounts, enhanced telephone support, more websites, and more email marketing impressions for drip-marketing campaigns. Each costs $99.
WebsiteBox compares its costs and features with competing website providers such as Zillow, a la mode, Top Producer, and Point2, here. There are also free alternatives such as WordPress.