Do Single Property Websites Sell Homes?

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AgencyLogic, the single property website provider, unveiled the latest version of its PowerSites product today, adding free syndication of listings to Trulia, Oodle, Edgeio, PropSmart and Google Base. They’ve also added RSS feeds to their templates so you can begin to aggregate them all back to a central location.

This got me thinking. Single property websites are an interesting question and I go back and forth in my mind on their effectiveness.

On the upside, you can highlight the specific features of the home you’re trying to sell. And for an FSBO, there’s no question that you should have some sort of web presence. Case in point, I recently created a website for my parents, who are trying to sell a condo in Victoria, Canada (BTW, anyone interested in a 2BR/2BA Downtown Victoria Condo?)

I suppose as a point of differentiation over other agents, especially if you’re competing for a high-end, luxury property, then appealing to a seller’s ego and telling them you’ll build them a unique website could secure you that listing. So could telling you’ll put them on television as well, I guess (see Success with Spot Runner?).

Also, if there is some unique characteristic to the home, like the fact it has a 1600sq. ft. subterranean fortress 45′ under the house (now, how cool is that?) – then you definitely need a unique web site to detail its features.

Finally, there are some SEO advantages to maintaining a network of individual property pages – not only for heightening search engine visibility on particular search times, but linking them all back to your main web site may give you a squirt of Google juice.

Back to PowerSites though. I do like their product. Functionally, their sites are pretty decent (for an example, check out www.123anyst.com). But I think they face a big uphill challenge largely due to their price structure.

Tech- savvy Realtors will take one look at the price and scoff. $3000 for 50 sites? I can host 100 domains on a (gs) Grid Server at MediaTemple for $20/month and $8.95 at Godaddy will buy me all the domains I need. Throw up a free WordPress template for each listing and I’m off and running. (Heck, the guys at Bloodhound Realty are already doing this).

But, if what I just said made your eyes cross slightly, then stay with me – you could still be in the market for what AgencyLogic has to offer.

As a percentage of a commission (especially again, for those high end homes), or if you’re looking for a hand’s off option, AgencyLogic’s prices might be inline; considering they do shoulder the lion’s share of the development.

But, even then, their pricing seems a little out of wack – especially with all kinds of new competitors now offering virtually the same services for free. I’m thinking specifically of Postlets and vFlyer (whom I used to build my parents’ condo site).

In the end however, I think that most agents should focus on getting all their listings on their primary web site first, before they dive into creating single property web sites. Then, on a case by case basis, explore any of the options outlined above.

What are your experiences with single property websites? Are they worth the time and effort?

Update: Read the Tomato’s take on single property websites.