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There’s something to be said about affordable website solutions for real estate agents.
Of course, it all depends on how you define affordable.
I’ve worked on websites that cost $20,000 — which is very affordable. I know paying six figures for a site isn’t at all uncommon. Smart programming and design is that valuable.
I think a happy medium should exist. A middle ground between thrift store and capital investment, where differentiating design and engaging content are the selling points, but price doesn’t make it out of reach.
Maybe WingWire is in that sweet spot.
WingWire isn’t pitching a vague, esoteric business model or trying to blend multiple business functions into a website offering.
There is something unique about its approach though, which is why I thought it worthwhile to share with readers.
WingWire handles all the design and content for you. Forever. Or at least until you choose to move on from real estate.
That’s right — there’s no dashboard to learn, property galleries to build or free blocks of “SEO-ready” copy.
After a very reasonable $999 design-stage fee, users pay $199 per month to have WingWire write two blog posts per week, handle social media content, update all site content, manage listings and even send a regular email newsletter to your contact list.
The company adds listings via IDX (Internet data exchange) links, new agents, news, map searches, videos and any other form of content you think will empower your Web presence.
After working with you to determine needs, goals and branding elements, WingWire’s designers and content managers translate your unique approach into a compelling website.
With a cadre of copywriters, designers and programmers, WingWire takes the most essential components of building a website out of your hands. And they never give it back.
When you need some copy updated, just email. An agent left your company? Let them know. A luxury listing assignment was secured? WingWire will build you a stand-alone mini-site to ensure it gets the attention it deserves.
Their team of writers create new blog posts every Monday and Thursday, and they’ll send regular Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter posts for you, too. Even if you’re already adept on those fronts, WingWire’s assistance will suitably supplement your efforts.
The blog content is consistent and well-written, but not overly captivating. It’s rather run-of-the-mill actually, with a lot of “Top 5 Ways To … ” lists. Granted, that’s what gets shared today. If you have market insights and compelling content ideas for blog posts, send them their way.
Each device-responsive site is created for you, based on designs and trends you like, that you feel represent what you want prospects to think about your team. There’s not a template catalog to choose from.
Looking at some client site samples, it’s safe to say there are some recurring visual trends among the sites, but that’s often a representation of what the client wants. If you think WingWire is for you, push them. Search the Web for unique designs and make yours stand out.
However, I also looked at several of their clients’ sites on my iPhone 5, and they responded really well to the Safari app, and they loaded quickly. A home search on mobile performed nicely, returning a bold property image, the price, address and a quick description. No doubt, this base is covered.
Remember, customers are watching, and doing so through more device windows than ever before. Websites are visited and left every day for an array of reasons. It’s critical that agents always be looking to reduce the number of reasons a visitor may leave your site. Find those exit pages and patch the holes.
WingWire works to stay in front of Web usability trends, so as fluctuations in user engagement occur, they work to fix it. They’ll provide ongoing design upgrades as tools and trends change.
On the Web, perusing prospective real estate agents is just like browsing a rack of magazines in the airport newsstand; what cover will win your attention? What’s just trashy, time-sucking content for the sake of earning your flight delay time and what’s actually going to make it on the plane?
Although only 30 days live, the team behind WingWire has been in and around real estate marketing on many different fronts for about a decade. This its first foray into Web design services.
No, you can’t buy a WingWire site with a week’s worth of sofa change.
However, haven’t we completely oversold the notion of cheap Web design? What does that say about the industry’s demand for quality? I think it’s time agents focus on service and consider paying for actual Internet marketing expertise.
Do you use WingWire? What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!
Do you have a product for our tech expert to review? Email Craig Rowe.