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I wasn’t super-psyched on WebsiteBox upon its initial review four years ago. It was more than capable but a tad dated.
In the software world, though, four years is an eon. And it looks as if the team behind this combined website and CRM provider has spent that time wisely.
New updates were announced last week, the highlight being
a much faster MLS data feed, going from 24 hours to every few minutes.
Given the pace at which mobile technologies and real estate search apps have evolved in four years, it’s critical for market data to never lag. Consumers want information now, and WebsiteBox was smart to improve this feature.
Twenty new design templates are available, and they can be deployed with a more efficient design and launch process. Users can also choose from 40 content elements to enhance their new site.
Individual agents, teams and brokerages can benefit from WebsiteBox.
Google G Suite has been added as an integration partner, meaning a seamless transition for those users already entrenched with Alphabet Inc.’s productivity tools, such as calendars, Gmail and Drive.
The company has also updated its pricing plans and staged them in three levels: Basic, Standard and Plus.
The first includes a basic website and local content; the second includes those features, IDX listings and search features and WebsiteBox’s CRM.
Lastly, Plus includes all of the lower-level features with up to 10 websites, a blog app and a lead capture app.
The CMS (content management system) uses live page WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editing with on-screen overlays to adjust color, text and images. The content blocks, or “containers” range from listing windows and map inserts to FAQ blocks and audio files.
I’ve always worried about the “rapid website” model because an agent’s online presence should require time and strategy. It shouldn’t be done in five minutes, and I would like to see industry players stop promoting this.
Still, the practical business person in me understands why there’s a need. Website usage differs.
Is your plan to use your site as a branding platform or merely a place to find a phone number? Will it be the home base for content marketing, or will you rely on social media and YouTube? How will property searches be executed?
I suppose it all comes down to where one is in their business. I know that (most) new agents can’t afford five-figure websites and third-party content specialists. Companies like WebsiteBox help this corner of the market.
It’s also priced fairly enough so allow brokers to offer website services to their agents, something most major brands severely stumble trying to do. In the press release, WebsiteBox founder and CEO recognized as much.
“In view of the options available in the market for real estate professionals, we strongly believe that our new platform and new pricing plans will make an impact for two key reasons,” he said, referring to their affordability and quick rollout.
WebsiteBox’s array of templates are contemporary, easy to manage, and mobile-friendly. They would make an ideal solution for small to mid-size independent brokerages and teams.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Correction: In its original form, this story inaccurately stated WebsiteBox’s Basic plan included an IDX search option and that its Plus plan included ongoing blog content. Inman regrets the errors.