Did you know that the US has roughly 107,000 real estate companies? This number does not even account for independent realtors, but it shows the industry's competition level. Be that as it may, there are also millions of people looking for an exceptional property to rent or invest in. Successful real estate companies are those that are highly visible and convincing to the multitude of potential clients. 

Developing a high-quality real estate website should do the trick to reach as many of the company's intended audience. But like building a real estate property, building a website is not effortless. Owners and managers might find it profitable to hire one of the best web development companies to help them achieve their business goals. Utilizing Limeup, building a captivating real estate website has never been easier.

This article will equip real estate business owners with everything they need to know about building a real estate website. It will walk them through a brief overview of the industry and the benefits and key concepts of creating a real estate website. More importantly, this article will discuss the steps in developing the website, from planning and designing to launching and post-launching the site.

Overview of the real estate industry and online presence

The real estate industry is a booming industry. In 2021, it has been recorded by Grand View Research that the global market size of real estate has a value of USD 3.69 trillion. With a steady compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2%, the market size value is expected to reach USD 5.85 trillion in the year 2030. 

Real estate consists of four types: residential, commercial, industrial, and land. Among these four categories, commercial real estate is the most profitable and is considered the primary driving force for the industry's continued expansion. 

A real estate company can cover at least one of the six areas of the industry. These areas include real estate development, sales and marketing, brokerage, property management, lending, and professional services. Regardless of the type of real estate firm, the business will flourish through a robust online presence. 

Top real estate companies have a high-quality, well-maintained website with a seamless landing page on top of their social media presence. These companies capitalize on their top-notch website to reach their target market and achieve desired goals.

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Importance and benefits of creating a real estate website

Knowing how to build a real estate website is advantageous in today's digital epoch. As the demand for real estate property surges, investing in a robust and sustainable real estate website becomes increasingly vital. The following are benefits real estate firm owners can reap when they create a website for their firm.

  • Increase exposure and awareness
  • Create a robust online presence 
  • Generate leads
  • Build brand and reputation
  • Provide information and education 

Understanding the real estate website concept

The internet is an extremely valuable tool that connects people with queries to entities that offer valuable solutions. In the case of real estate, people looking for residential, commercial, and industrial properties and land are directed to real estate websites that offer them. For this interaction to happen, the website must be developed optimally according to a real estate website's search engine optimization principles and key features.

Key features of a successful real estate website

Real estate websites have common features that make them effective, engaging, and valuable. These features help provide users with a worthwhile and valuable user experience that will likely turn them into customers.

1. Property listings and search functionality

One of the most important elements of a real estate website is listings. This is the collection of residential, commercial, and industrial properties, including land, that the company offers to the market. 

Properties must be organized and classified accordingly so that users can easily identify the type of property and whether it is for lease or sale. Property listings must come with a complementary search function with filter and sort options. This will aid users in exploring and finding the right property that matches their needs, preferences, and budget.

2. Map integration and location-based services

Map integration is another indispensable feature of a successful real estate website. Linking real estate properties to web mapping services such as Google Maps or Apple Maps allows users to easily pin down the locations of properties and identify landmarks and nearby amenities, such as supermarkets, schools, gyms, and transport terminals. Proximity to such facilities can be a huge selling point and can increase the value of a property.

3. Agent profiles and contact information

Including real estate agent profiles and contact information facilitates faster communication and improved customer service. With this information readily available, users can easily connect with the agents and the company. Featuring agent profiles is also useful for building a real estate firm's reputation and reliability. When users recognize featured realtors' years of experience, expertise, and achievements, they will attribute it to the excellent performance and record of the real estate company.

4. Image galleries and virtual tours

A real estate website is a great avenue to showcase properties to potential buyers. Image galleries consisting of photos and videos, coupled with relevant and captivating details, are powerful tools that can help potential buyers decide which properties to shortlist and pay a visit to. Real estate web developers can also consider adding VR tours to provide customers with an in-depth property experience without visiting the physical site. This can attract rush investors, buyers, and renters.

5. Lead capture forms and user registration

To ensure faster transactions, direct response, and effective correspondence with clients, lead capture and user registration forms must be part of a real estate website. It is where interested clients can input their information so that the real estate business can contact them and provide them with relevant and interesting content. Lead capture forms are vital because they provide the developers and owners with information about the interests and preferences of users. 

Identifying the target audience

Knowledge of how to build a real estate website will not be complete without learning about the target market. The intended market for real estate properties includes homebuyers, sellers, and renters, as well as real estate agents and brokers

1. Homebuyers, sellers, and renters

Conducting market research about homebuyers, sellers, and renters can optimize a real estate website. These people are users who are likely to interact with the business and purchase or rent a property. Therefore, understanding the demographics of potential buyers is critical to the website's success. A great tip for market research is to analyze buyers' history and understand the properties they are looking for. 

2. Real estate agents and brokers

Agents and brokers of real estate are individuals specializing in property sales. They are part of a real estate website's target audience because they act as a third party to end customers. They are potential buyers of properties and lands, so the website must cater to them as well as it does to direct customers. Real estate agents and brokers can either sell the property to other people right away or upgrade the property to increase value before selling.

Planning and designing the real estate website

The guide on building a real estate website has just begun. This is the part where the process of planning and designing the website will be discussed. 

Market research and competitor analysis

Market research and competitor analysis are central to the real estate website planning. They provide information for the company and the web developers on how to optimize the website's content to generate leads and remain competitive against competitors.

1. Studying industry trends and successful websites

Competitor analysis is pretty self-explanatory. It involves analyzing the highly competitive industry and researching top competing firms' strategies to determine ways to outrank the competition. Studying real estate industry trends allows the company to confirm the profitability of the industry. On the other hand, learning about the strengths, weaknesses, differentiators, and pricing strategies of other companies can be utilized and integrated by the real estate company to improve their business strategy.

2. Identifying unique selling points and niche markets

Understanding the competition and target market leads to the identification of Unique Selling Points (USP), which are features that differentiate the company and make it stand out from competitors. Does the company offer the lowest market price? Fastest transaction time? Or perhaps the most valuable properties? USP makes buyers, sellers, and agents favor the real estate company over other similar firms. 

Finding a niche market is another way to win against the competition. A niche market is a particular subset of a larger market with unique needs, likes, and interests. By selecting and taking advantage of a niche, the company can serve its specialized customers better than companies that cater to a larger market.

Defining website requirements and functionalities

The next step in preparing how to build a real estate website is identifying the requirements and functionalities of the website, which include the following.

1. User stories and feature prioritization

A real estate website does not need to include all a user wants. Doing so will only waste time and resources. Rather than integrating all user stories and features, the company must strategically prioritize them and include only stories that add value to the website. There are many prioritization methods available, including the MoSCoW model and numerical (1-3) prioritization method, to help developers pick which user stories have a higher significance.

2. Design mockups and wireframes

Mockups and wireframes are simple to detailed illustrations that help visualize how to build a real estate website. Created at the planning stage of the website development cycle, these models allow developers to gather user feedback and suggestions on the website's interface before dwelling on the intricacies of coding and designing. 

Three of the most popular builders for creating real estate websites

1. WordPress


Key Features:

  • User-friendly interface with a wide range of customizable themes and templates.
  • Extensive plugin library for adding functionality such as property listings, search filters, and contact forms.
  • Mobile-responsive designs for optimal viewing on different devices.
  • SEO-friendly structure and built-in tools for optimizing website visibility.
  • Integration with popular real estate plugins and services.
  • Robust blogging capabilities to engage visitors with informative content.

2. Wix


Key Features:

  • Drag-and-drop website builder with a user-friendly interface, requiring no coding skills.
  • Wide selection of customizable real estate templates tailored for various property types.
  • Intuitive editor for easily modifying layouts, colors, fonts, and more.
  • Mobile optimization to ensure a seamless browsing experience on smartphones and tablets.
  • Integration with third-party apps, such as property listings, booking systems, and contact forms.
  • SEO tools to optimize website visibility in search engines.

3. Squarespace


Key Features:

  • Elegant and modern templates designed specifically for real estate websites.
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop editor for easy customization and content creation.
  • Mobile-responsive designs to ensure optimal viewing on all devices.
  • Integrated blogging platform to share property-related news and updates.
  • Built-in SEO features to improve website visibility in search engines.
  • Integration with popular real estate tools, such as IDX (Internet Data Exchange), for property listings.

Selecting the right technology stack

The planning stage would not be complete without preparing the set of technologies that will make the website functional. 

Front-end and back-end technologies

Front-end and back-end technologies are solutions that make a real estate website visually appealing and engaging. Front-end development creates the things visible on the website, while back-end developments are inconspicuous functions found on the server's side. 

Despite being unseen on the website, choosing the right back-end technology for the website is equally as important as the front-end technology. Examples of these technologies are Java, JavaScript, and Python.

Database and hosting solutions

A real estate website requires a large-capacity database to store information and resources such as customer information. One cost-effective database solution is utilizing third-party servers that offer hosting services. Considering its budget and unique requirements, the real estate company must pick the right service provider among thousands of database hosts.

Developing the real estate website

The fourth part of this How to Build a Real Estate Website Guide is the real estate website development itself. After the planning and preparation stage, it's time to create the website.

Assembling the development team

Creating a professional business website like a real estate website requires technical expertise and experience. Successful real estate websites are built by a professional development team composed of different key players, either in-house or outsourced. 

In-house vs. outsourced development

The people who will work on the software development can be part of the company or outsourced. Each option has its pros and cons. An in-house team will likely have skill gaps and produce output longer. Hiring in-house developers can also be financially exhaustive for the company since it has to pay employees with premiums, pensions, benefits, and bonuses on top of the basic salary. On the contrary, an outsourced development team comprises specialists who can produce exceptional output within the given timeframe. It is also a more cost-effective option because the company only needs to compensate the team for their accomplished tasks. 

Key roles and responsibilities

Although a skilled developer knows how to build a real estate website, it will surely be a stressful and mediocre endeavor. Building a website is a complex and elaborate task that requires team members with unique and valuable contributions to the job. An effective web development team has at least the following members:

  • Project manager
  • Project Architect
  • UI/UX designers
  • Web developers. 

Implementing the development process

The effective implementation of the software development process is key to the seamless execution of the real estate website. Having an agile methodology and identifying milestones and timelines serve as guides to ensure that the real estate website development is in full swing.

Agile development methodology

The development team must put in place an Agile methodology to streamline software development processes. This strategy involves splitting the bulk project into smaller phases, which requires continuous management and collaboration. Because of this division of labor, the team can instantly make changes as website creation proceeds, thereby enhancing and optimizing the website.

Development milestones and timelines

Milestones and timelines serve as a blueprint for website development that indicates what needs to be achieved and when it has to be done. The previous parts mentioned in this guide are examples of milestones, including conducting market research and competitor analysis, completing website requirements, and selecting a technology stack. 

Add deadlines for the fulfillment of this task to generate timelines. Setting a project timeline is expedient in monitoring the priorities and progress of website creation.

Quality assurance and testing

Quality Assurance (QA) tests are done throughout the software development process, ideally after coding, to identify and remediate issues immediately. QA testing ensures that the real estate website has met customers' requirements and that the output is seamless, functional, secure, and optimal in general.

1. Functional testing and user acceptance testing

Functional testing and user acceptance testing are examples of QA tests that verify how functional the real estate website is to users. Web developers believe their web product is valuable to users, but this cannot be confirmed without user testing. User testing confirms that the website works correctly as intended and that it provides valuable solutions that an average user is looking for. 

2. Security and performance testing

Performance testing is an elaborate test that evaluates a web product's speed, stability, and responsiveness given a certain number of users and tasks at hand. It encompasses a wide range of assessments, including the internet browser and page response time, data consumption, and the presence of bugs and errors. This test is consequential to ensure quality user experience and a high degree of customer satisfaction.

QA tests ensure that the website's security mechanisms are robust and uncompromised. Security testing identifies vulnerabilities and security issues that could threaten user information as well as the company.

Launching and marketing the real estate website

Developing a real estate website does not end with the creation of a functional, secure, and high–performance website. The website should be launched and publicly promoted to ensure high traffic and lead generation.

Pre-launch activities

Prior to launching the real estate website, a few more steps must be taken.

Beta testing and gathering user feedback

In addition to QA testing, Beta testing is done to confirm the quality and functionality of the website before its official release. Real users who are part of the target audience will explore and maneuver the website to discover issues, bugs, and errors that a wider audience can encounter. Individuals participating in the Beta testing can then provide feedback and suggestions on improving the website. 

Finalizing the website for public release

The feedback from the Beta testing is helpful for the developers to enhance the website to cater to users more effectively. The software developers must finalize the real estate website by integrating the Beta testing feedback.

Marketing and promotion strategies

Successful launching of a real estate website involves effective marketing and promotions strategies, such as the following:

Content marketing and SEO

Developing high-quality web content can increase the visibility of a real estate website. An SEO expert can assist the web development team in ensuring that the website contains high value and authority and that it could appear on the first page of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Social media and email marketing

Over the years of the digital revolution, social media and email have proven themselves to be valuable tools for effective and efficient promotion strategies. Having a strong online presence will benefit a real estate company since many users spend a significant portion of their time on various social media platforms. Thus, sharing regular posts via social media and email notifications about real estate updates can help the company outmatch competitors. 

Strategic partnerships and industry events

Potential buyers, renters, and real estate agents and brokers often attend social affairs like partnership and networking events. Thus, they are a great avenue to promote a real estate business and website. At the same time, it can also be an opportunity to collaborate with potential business partners.

Post-launch website maintenance and growth

Learning about how to build a real estate website does not stop at launching. Since developing a real estate website is a continuous process, gaining knowledge on maintaining and constantly upgrading the website is practical.

Continuous improvement and feature updates

The only reason why the software development process is a cycle is to continuously optimize the website for the benefit of the users. Continuous improvement and feature updates are critical in providing users with a valuable UX.

Analyzing user feedback and usage data

Monitoring user feedback and data analytics of the real estate website provides valuable information developers can use to enhance the website. For instance, data on the demographics of customers that visit the website can help developers adjust the web content for these types of users.

Implementing new features and enhancements

As digital and technological advancements evolve, creative features and new trends that enhance user experience emerge. Professional developers are aware of the latest trends in design and must incorporate them into website development and design to keep the software up to date.

Lead generation and Customer Relationship Management

Lead generation is taking advantage of potential consumers' interest in real estate by furthering and cultivating this interest. The goal of lead generation is to eventually convert users into purchasing customers. 

Implementing CRM tools and lead nurturing strategies

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an effective technological solution used to manage and evaluate the real estate company's relationship and interaction with current and future customers.

It provides information about how the company is doing in terms of client relations to offer better customer service and enhance productivity. Some examples of CRM strategies include monitoring customers' behavior and engagement, analyzing customer reviews, and automating chat responses.

Tracking and analyzing website performance metrics

Measuring website performance is critical for the consistent development of how to build a real estate website. Metrics are put in place, tracked, and analyzed to acquire data on web performance. The following are the most common website performance metrics that can be used in a real estate website.

  • Page loading time
  • SEO
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  • Bounce rate
  • Time To First Byte (TTFB)
  • Unique Visitors
  • Scroll depth

Conclusion of how to build a real estate website

While this guide on how to build a real estate website seems linear, the web development process is a cycle. Web developers must change their web features and design elements to optimize the user experience and content for website visitors.

Buyers, sellers, renters, brokers, and real estate agents seek websites that offer them a valuable and enjoyable experience. They typically expect real estate websites to have well-organized property listings, advanced search options, image galleries, mapping services, agent profiles, lead capture, and contact forms.

These are the fundamental elements in building a successful real estate website that an experienced and passionate web development team can implement. These professionals have the technical expertise to ensure a real estate website's functionality, performance, and security. 

As more people search online for the products and services they need, leveraging an online presence becomes more important. The real estate industry continues to grow because many businesses and companies have made their websites and social media more visible to people interested in buying, renting, or selling real estate.

For your real estate business to remain competitive in the digital environment, it is essential to understand how to build a real estate website that meets the expectations of your target audience. You can create a user-friendly platform that attracts potential buyers, sellers, and renters by enabling the main features mentioned earlier. Collaborating with an experienced web development team that knows how to build a real estate website can help you navigate the complexities and establish a solid online presence.

Don't miss this opportunity to build a solid online presence and create a functional website for your real estate business. With the proper knowledge and experience, you can create a powerful online platform to effectively showcase your properties and services, ultimately driving growth and success in the competitive real estate market.

Peter Herzog
Ruby on Rails Developer
Peter is a Ruby on Rails web developer with 10 years of experience, and a strong foundation in full-stack development, with a particular focus on building scalable and efficient web applications using the Ruby on Rails framework. With a proven track record of delivering high-quality software on time and within budget, Peter is skilled in agile development methodologies and has a deep understanding of modern web technologies, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and various database systems.

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How to Build a Real Estate Website in 2023