Over the years, buying a house has been a purely physical endeavor. Typically, people had to read flyers (like this one) and physically view a couple of houses before finally settling on their choice. However, the internet has changed the rudimentary way in which we approach and view real estate.
The internet has enabled individuals to be able to view all the relevant aspects related to virtual house viewing, through the internet. The process of physically checking out various houses has been simplified to a more virtual experience. This way, l get to access all the features and pricing related to specific houses on sale before making any physical appearance.
Except for the walk-in feeling that you get when you enter a house of your choice, every other detail regarding the specific house is readily available online through the real estate agency’s website. As such, it is paramount for any serious real estate agent to establish an online presence that reaches their target audiences.
Not only does an online presence creates more accessibility to customers, but is also able to reach the ever-growing market in real estate. The interaction between the customer and the real estate websites is largely influenced by the web hosting provider.
Choosing web hosting providers for real estate agents
Choosing the ideal web hosting provider for real estate agents is dependent on an array of factors:
First and foremost, I would consider the cost of the web hosting provider so as to maximize the profits. Personally, I recommend going for the web hosting provider that provides reliable, quality web hosting services at the least price possible.
With regards to scalability, I prefer a web hosting provider that is much more flexible. This is because client decisions are uncertain. You would want to operate in such a way that when there are more customers or more traffic in your website (maybe even exceeding that of your current subscription), you can be able to accommodate them with ease.
Ideally, I would go for web hosting providers with 100% uptime. Nevertheless, this is virtually impossible. Even so, a reliable uptime record would guarantee maximum gains, and minimal to no interruptions, in the provision of real estate services to the respective customers.
Yet another important factor to consider when selecting a web hosting provider is data security. Data security is very important as both customer and agent data are confidential. Reliable security means that I can be able to access and utilize the websites seamlessly when accessing real estate services offered by the web hosting provider.
Also, a reliable support team is an essential factor to consider when selecting a web hosting provider. You will find that when running a website, there are technical difficulties from time to time. A reliable customer support team working 24/7, should be able to offer the required assistance to ensure the smooth running of the website at all times.
Besides, the operational speed of the web hosting provider should be optimal. Customers and real estate agents should be able to load and access services on the websites at very fast speeds. This ensures the accessibility and reliability of any real estate functions required by the customer with no delays.
Finally, a smart person like myself would take into consideration what other users are saying about the web hosting provider that I’m selecting. Despite the personal decision to engage a specified web hosting provider, reviews from customers are vital in sharing insight on the usability and reliability of the web hosting provider before making the decision to actually use it.
Best web hosting providers for real estate
There are various web hosting providers that can be able to provide web hosting functions specifically for real estate agents. Having used and reviewed the majority of these web hosting providers at great depths, I have been able to establish the pros and cons associated with them. In my analysis, I reckon that the following are the best web hosting providers for real estate agents:
SiteGround is by far the best web hosting platform for real estate agents. For starters, it is inexpensive in that, it has a pricing plan that starts at $3.95 per month. It is an ideal plan for upcoming real estate businesses given that the platform offers high-quality services.
Further, SiteGround has offers a free email service that enables you to reach multiple customers by mail. It also provides a secure platform with its SSL capability, which is free. In addition to the free SSL service, it also incorporates a free staging tool.
Besides, SiteGround has a routine daily back-up service that enables all the client and customer data to be backed up to the servers on a daily basis. This way, the risk of potential data loss is mitigated. If this is not enough, SiteGround, in partnership with Cloudflare, offers a free CDN service that is critical in the seamless running of the hosting platform.
Finally, SiteGround has a reliable customer support system that enables all its clients to access technical assistance via live chats, emails, or directly via phone. This ensures that clients are able to restore normal running of the system in case of any technical problems that may affect the functionality of the hosted website.
Bluehost web hosting platform is a valiant choice with regards to the best real estate web hosting choices. Much like SiteGround, Bluehost has a cheap pricing plan starting at $3.95 per month if you were to select the 36 months pricing package. This pricing feature also comes with a 30 – day moneyback guarantee.
Also, Bluehost is deeply secured with a free SSL service that enables the client and the customer to be able to share important and critical information within the website. Besides, Bluehost offers a 1-click WordPress tutorial that increases the website functionality to the customer.
Another advantage of using Bluehost as the preferred web hosting service is that it is the only platform that offers free domains. Other web hosting platforms typically require you to buy a domain name with another credited registrar. This proponent enables you to save on costs while rendering quality services to customers.
In addition, Bluehost web hosting platform provides its clients with detailed website analytics. This is a very important aspect of analyzing the traffic through your website and how this traffic is related to the overall performance of your real estate business.
To conclude, the web hosting provider also has a reliable customer support system that can be accessed through live chats, emails, or via phone for 24hrs a day. The customer support is able to help with any technical assistance needed in running the website for the convenience of your clients. To sign up with Bluehost, just access their main website.
Wix web hosting platform is a great real estate web hosting provider. It has a pricing plan that starts at $5 per month. This pricing plan is a bit expensive as compared to the other web hosting platforms, but compensates for this difference in the provision of its features.
First off, Wix doesn’t require prior coding skills as it has a drag and drop website builder that lets you compile website features with ease. In fact, I can be able to build small sites using very little resources. I can also include additional features from Wix’s app store.
In addition, Wix offers a variety of industry-specific templates and a few real estate widgets to choose from. Unfortunately, Wix does not have ready-made support that would enable you to access additional listing services such as IDX and MLS.
Even so, the Wix web hosting platform has an e-commerce platform that lets you interact with your real estate clients with ease. Sign up to be able to access these features.
Like Wix, iPage has a drag and drop feature. Wix’ Weebly site builder simplifies the site-building exercise as the site builder tools have quick install functions. Moreover, iPage has SEO enabled tools that propagate higher rankings on various search engines such as Google and Bing.
Further, iPage has over a hundred mobile-friendly templates that are compatible with different mobile and tablet sizes. More so, iPage also has pre-built sections and pages that you can access once the sign up process is complete. With the 1-click installation for Content Management System (CMS), you can use Joomla and WordPress to access various custom themes.
Besides, PayPal integration enables easy payment protocols for customers. Once the payment is done, you can be able to create forums, directories, and portfolios that allow efficient interaction with customers. Also, you can be able to access an unlimited image library that allows customers to have multiple views of the houses in a 360 view.
My final recommendation for the best web hosting platform for real estate agents is Boldgrid. It has a mere starting price of $3.49 per month, which is relatively cheap. It also has customizable content provision; Boldgrid has an in-built gridlockgridblock builder that lets you insert forms, galleries, images, and texts.
Similar to Wix and iPage, Boldgrid has over 100 highly responsive themes that are compatible with different mobile and tablet views. Moreover, these themes have multiple color schemes in which the client can choose from, with respect to their theme palette.
More so, Boldgrid has pre-installed plugins with a flexible gallery that enables you to set up usable images and texts. This feature subsequently enables Boldgrid to collaborate with WordPress, making them highly competitive in the market.
Real Estate Virtual Tour
Sometimes, real estate agents may not need the whole website to market their services. I found that it is relatively easy to conduct a virtual tour, where customers can be able to access real estate services without having a website.
Here are some of the real estate virtual tours that I would recommend using:
RealTourVision (RTV) is a virtual tour platform that is used by over 95% of real estate agents who prefer virtual tours to actual websites. This is because RTV has a 360 view of real estate components, which are of high quality and at competitive prices. RTV is best applicable to real estate listings.
More so, RTV also allows the real estate feeds to share the virtual tours to national portal sites for your convenience. This allows more customers to be able to view the real estate listings associated with the real estate company, expanding the market base.
Tourbuzz has a drag- and- drop feature that lets you feed photos, videos, panoramas, and even floorplans onto the virtual tour. Further, it has a cloud hosting program that has an optimized media with regards to the loading speed and the quality.
More so, Tourbuzz has many designs that have customizable fonts and a variety of color schemes. Both these branded and unbranded tours can be used with mobiles, tablets, or desktops. This is possible as Tourbuzz has flexible themes that enable you to perform these functions.
I was able to easily upload videos thatwhich were directly linked to Youtube via this platform. In addition, Tourbuzz’s client panel enables the customer to be able to download media, and perform minor edits to the virtual tour.
Veewme is yet another real estate virtual tour platform that enables you to share the floorplans, associated pictures and full-motionfull motion videos for real estate viewings. Veewme has a target-specifictarget specific overview page that enables the client to choose whether to continue viewing the chosen property.
It is worth mentioning that Veewme has a special feature that lets you effectively track your marketing progress. This is especially helpful when considering that Veewme provides access to already established audiences with the snapshots statistics made easily available.
WordPress Real Estate Themes
WordPress provides amicable real estate themes through WordPress.org. In here, I was able to search real estate on the search bar to get access to the templates and themes, which are pretty easy to download and install.
Some of the top real estate themes that I found include:
- Interior Lite
- Real Estate Lite
- Movers Packers
All of these themes are easily applicable with one-clickone – click installations. Nonetheless, you should prioritize themes with software specific add-ons with regards to both the security and the site loading speed.