MarketingTechnology

Are single-property websites worth the time investment?

Making every home on the Internet seem like a custom estate

Single-property websites allow agents to provide more information on a listing in a customizable space. But individualized sites for every listing take longer to craft than advertisements and must be built with a seamless design if you want them to impress your audience. Otherwise, you’re better off relying on high-quality photos and well-crafted listing descriptions on the MLS or the consumer-focused portal of your choice.

If you are ready to market your listing on a single-property website, consider the reasons why they are successful and how you can achieve the same effect on a budget if you’re strapped for cash.

Why are individual property websites so impressive?

Special homes deserve their own corner of the Internet — at least, that’s what buyers will think when they come across 123MainStreet.com, a place dedicated solely to one property where you can customize the audience’s entire experience.

Special homes deserve their own corner of the Internet — at least, that’s what buyers will think.

Unlike real estate portals, where house-hunters are quick to scroll through homes and get distracted with competing information, a dedicated website draws potential buyers to your home and your home only. They’ll have to physically exit the site when they aren’t interested, and there’s no risk that a buyer will lose your listing’s information amidst the sea of homes on the market.

Eugenio Marongiu / Shutterstock

Eugenio Marongiu / Shutterstock

You have more freedom to market your property on a single domain with virtual tours and detailed property specifics. You can include information about nearby schools, restaurants and community parks. Plus, full control of the layout gives you the chance to upload more images in a visually appealing fashion without bombarding buyers in one small slideshow box.

Single-property websites provide better exposure for the listing agent, too. Unlike a syndicated listing, you have the power to advertise yourself on the sidebars or header as much as you choose. You can even provide links to similar properties in your portfolio.

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Creating an effective website

Before you start registering every listing address on your plate for a fresh domain, consider the time investment it takes to create quality websites you can maintain. Aesthetically pleasing color schemes, zooming capabilities for images, virtual tours, interactive maps and unique content to fill the page are just a few of the necessities.

Depending on how many clients you’re working with, you might choose to operate just one or two single-property sites at a time to avoid falling behind. You’re better off skipping single-property websites entirely than risking a neglected, dated page associated with your listing.

Many single-property website services, including ListingDomains.com and Single Property Sites, take the guesswork out of building your individualized website. They take care of anything from design and layout to automatic listing submissions to Zillow and Trulia. If you’re not Web-savvy and have a few dollars to spend, using a website service saves some of your precious time for other marketing tasks.

Subdomains: A cheaper option

Are you ready to set up single-property websites but want to avoid extra costs? Maybe you just prefer having your listings in one convenient place versus scattered across the Internet on multiple hosts.

Instead of creating an entirely new website or hiring a service, you can build a subdomain off your main professional website that looks similar to a single-property website — but without the hassle and additional overhead.

Instead of creating an entirely new website or hiring a service, you can build a subdomain off your main professional website.

First, you’ll want to make sure your Web host allows you to add subdomains for free. Sometimes an additional cost is required to register subdomains, but it’s still less expensive than paying for an entirely new domain. The URL won’t look completely unique, but 123MainStreet.AgentName.com may intrigue buyers better than simple pages separated by a backslash would.

If you’re working for a big-name brokerage and lack your own website, you probably won’t be able to create subdomains. Chances are, nationwide brokerages have similar or exact-match addresses in different cities at any given time. Either register a personal domain and go from there, or stick with your current online marketing tactics. A boutique or independent brokerage might be more flexible, especially if the brokerage only services one city.

Aside from impressing buyers, single-property sites help expand your online reach. It’s important to maximize traffic and increase your odds of a sale — or at least use some self-promotion for your services to pay back your time and monetary investment.

Share your unique domains on social media and look into pay-per-click ads to drive attention to your new domain. Write about your property in a blog post on your personal site and link back to the property website to help with search engine optimization.

Onsite, optimize on-page keywords to enhance your search rankings on Google and Bing.

Above all: Don’t use Comic Sans, WordArt or a giant picture of your face on the front page. This is about making your properties shine.

Email Jennifer Riner.