Why are you holding on to your old real estate website when you (should) know it looks bad?

Bjørn Hellesylt
Feb 23 · 5 min read

In today’s real estate market, a great website is more important than ever. Just about every property buyer will look up what is available on the internet first and after finding the perfect house or condo, contact the agent. The first impression is important.

Ready-made real estate website by Hosting-Group
Ready-made real estate website by Hosting-Group

I still see a lot of old websites with terrible design and bad user interface. I do not understand how a real estate agent can afford to have such a website. Yes, I know, it usually costs a lot of money and is a lot of work to get a new website. I know that at Hosting-Group in Pattaya, they have some ready-made real estate websites at a very affordable price starting at only 19,900 THB.

How many condos or houses do you need to sell to cover the cost of a website like that? I think you know the answer. Even a couple of rentals would cover the cost. Anyway, having one sale in a year more than what you normally would have due to a new and modern website would easily cover that expense. Don’t you agree? Can you afford to keep your old website?

These are some arguments I hear about why people are scared to get a new website

  • Worry they are going to lose their SEO ranking.
  • Everyone tells me my website looks good and easy to use
  • I have a lot of traffic on my site and don’t want to lose customers
  • They think it is too much work and cannot move all content

I will address each one of these misconceptions

Worry they are going to lose their SEO ranking

Initially, this might be true, but once Google picks up your sitemap (I hope you have this on your site), your ranking will start to improve rapidly. Search engine optimization (SEO) works very differently today than it did 5 years or more ago. Most importantly is the shift to Mobile First by Google Search. As more than 50% of all search these days are made from a mobile phone, Google gives the best ranking to websites that are mobile-friendly/responsive.

If you are using Google Analytics you might see that you do not get many visitors from mobile phone users anyway, so you might think it is not that important for you. Well, this is where you need to change your way of thinking. You do not get many visitors on your mobile phone BECAUSE your website is not mobile-friendly.

Everyone tells me my website looks good and easy to use

A modern well-designed website will always be more user-friendly than your old website. I have met with potential customers that told me this and did not want to change the website. By coincident, one time I hired a new sales staff and asked him to show me a bad looking real estate website, he told me about this exact same website. He had been looking through several real estate websites in Pattaya to find a house, but when coming to this website, he simply skipped it.

Keep in mind that the majority will never tell you it looks bad even if they think so.

I have a lot of traffic on my site and don’t want to lose customers

You DO lose customers every day because your site is old and not up to date! This is a simple fact and you need to come to terms with it.

They think it is too much work and cannot move all content

Think about this: Every day your site will get older, have more content and will be harder to move into a new system. The sooner you get started on the process, the better it is. So I suggest you update your real estate website sooner rather than later. If you find a professional team, they can help you and move all for you.

A great real estate website should have at least these features

  • A clean and beautiful design. The first impression is important.
  • Mobile friendly
  • SaaS-based (Software as a Service) such as exPub.net, so it is always up to date and always backed up by the provider. After all, you are a real estate agent and not a webmaster
  • Easy admin of properties
  • Easy image upload with resize
  • CRM — Customer Relationship Management where you can link multiple properties to an owner
  • Owners information for each property

I will get into more depth about what makes up a good real estate website in a future post, but these are essential points.

A website is more than just the website

You also need someone to manage the website for you and that is just as important as the website itself.

These days just about anyone can set up a website, but making sure it is run safely and stable, always updated with the latest software, always backed up and so on is very important and you need to take that seriously. After all your website is an important and integrated part of your business.

Things to think about regarding your website provider

  • How long have they been in business? Are they here to stay?
  • Do they have a fixed-line phone number you can call them on when you need help, or is it just one person and a mobile phone?
  • Do they have a team that can help you with any future needs you might have? Or is it a one-man show?
  • Do they have the in-house skills to do changes/add-ons you need in the future (everyone needs more in the future)
  • Can they change the module you are using for your real estate listing, or are they relying on third party suppliers? Make sure they can do changes if needed.

Conclusion

If you have an old website, that is not possible to update, you need to consider upgrading as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the bigger the job will be.
Ok, so you have finally made up your mind that you will get yourself a new real estate website. Great! Make sure the new website has at least the following features: Always up to date, backed up daily, mobile-friendly, scalable, and last but not least, a team that can help you whenever needed, such as Hosting-Group.

Bjørn Hellesylt

Written by

Co-owner of Hosting-Group and SingTham with 25 years experience in developing websites. Specializes now on real-estate websites in addition to SingTham.

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