I see ten advertisements a day for these sites. All include the IDX, SEO, Social Media tips, Blogging, Support and so on...
Are they really worth it? Which one is the best? Or is it best to use the Trulia/Zillow market leader? Or are they all a waste of money?
The best one is the one you use.
I know several agents (doing 30+ million in sales) using out of the box sites. Some are using custom stuff some are using the site their brokerage gives them. The difference between them and agents who make no money off their sites is they drive traffic. That is the biggest thing with a RE Website. You need to know how you plan to drive traffic. Then figure out if you are looking for buyers or sellers. If you start driving massive amounts of traffic can you handle the leads?
Sites that are known to do well. Tiger leads, Boomtown, TeamLeads. You want blogging, it's part of building the SEO for the natural traffic. Unless you will do all ppc traffic in which case forget the blog.
It really is all about driving traffic to your website at first. But once you have the traffic you want to make sure you have a website accomplishes your goal. To convert viewers into clients you'll need to have compelling content that has calls to action. These CTA's should get them to either call you, fill out a contact form or sign up for an email list.
make sure to know your intent before you start having a website built. Makes for a better user experience.
If you are in a competitive area, these out of the box sites will be very ineffective. If there's 10 agents using these sites, how exactly do you think you will outrank the next guy using the same service?
Customized and targeted SEO is the way to go.
Totally agree with @Lucas P.
Custom is better in a densely marketed area and with SEO you can beat them with an out of the box site, but it will be tougher. Google LOVES Unique Content.
@Patrick Jacques All forms of local online marketing can and will help you get more leads. Yes, it will take time and effort but you have to put in the work to make it happen. That starts by having the right people on your team handling your marketing which needs to bring your that online presence you need to grow massively.
There isn't necessarily a "best" site/template to use. They are all going to say they have things like SEO and lead capture but this is really just a marketing tool for them. No matter what you choose it is going to require work to actually drive traffic to the site. SEO is not something they can just sell where you buy the site, customize it to your liking, and then you show up on the first page of google. It is something that takes a lot of time and effort through content creation and good SEO practices.
With that being said, in the long run you would probably see the best results using a custom template/ theme. When you use cookie cutter sites they can be devalued by search engines because it may appear to their crawlers that you have a site that is exactly like all these other people.
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