We all know “Real Estate and Property” are a lucrative business with lots of possibilities. All over the world there is need for property and land for various purposes. In big cities, people demand housing in the form of villas,flats and apartments. They seek properties either for rent or for buying it as an investment. Businesses usually seek properties for their office needs, building work places or as warehouses for their stock keeping requirements. In most cases they seek buildings suitable to open physical stores in cities. In villages, large plots or lands are usually traded for large scale agriculture purpose, business purpose and similar ventures.
In the olden days selling, buying or renting of a property/land happened through real estate brokers and agents. To facilitate large and big deals there were agencies with professional agents who specialized in property business. But with the advent of Internet, the scenario has changed. Now a major share of property and real estate transactions takes place through websites that specialise in property listing. There are many big players in property listing business like HomeFinder , Zillow and Realtor. Most of these websites target a specific country or a set of cities. Properties can be listed in these websites by property owner himself or agents can list a set of properties they promote.
Why a Real Estate Agent or an Agency should start their own website ?
A real estate agency or agent sells his properties by marketing them to prospects. A website with properties listed is a great marketing tool. Yuval Degani & Avi Ron of DreamTown Realty knew this perfectly. They have setup a feature rich website, where all their properties are listed for sale & rent. They have a custom search engine which helps their clients to filter properties based on their choice. The team behind DreamTown goes extra mile by offering their clients services like neighborhood finder – a Google map based application in their website which lists nearby cafeterias, schools, grocery stores and other essentials. Michael Gordon & Thaddeus Wong of AtProperties are another two smart guys in real estate business who markets their properties brilliantly through their website. A property listing website is one of the best marketing investment for people in real estate business.
How to start your Property Listings Website in less than 100 US Dollars ?
You might be thinking that it will cost you thousands of dollars to build a pretty looking and feature rich website, which facilitates you with listing properties very easily. Actually you can launch a fully functional, feature rich and good looking website within 100 US Dollars and you can do all this yourself without any professional help. Lets see how to start your own real estate listing website in just 5 steps.
STEP 1) You need a good domain name like HomeFinder , Realtor or Zillow. You can register this domain name through a domain name registrar company like GoDaddy or NameCheap. If you are looking for a .COM domain name extension, you can get one for 10 USD or even less.
To help you more with finding a good domain name & registering it, I have written two detailed articles. Please read them carefully to get this job done perfectly.
1. How to find a really good domain name for your website – In this article I have explained the different ways to come up with a catchy domain name for your business. Finding a good domain name like Zillow or Amazon is an art. A good domain name can help you in building your brand value. I have explained 6+ different ways to come up with a good & catchy domain name.
2. How to Register a domain name for your website – This article is to help you with registering a domain name. I have written this article for those who are not very familiar with internet & domain names. In this article, I have explained the step by step procedures involved in registering a domain name. To make the learning easier, I have added screenshots of GoDaddy as well.
STEP 2) You need to host your websites files and data with a web hosting provider. You can buy a good hosting account from Hostgator , Dreamhost or Godaddy. You can buy a basic hosting plan for less than 5 USD per month.[df_bluehost]
STEP 3) You need to setup your website’s files using an open source platform like WordPress. WordPress is an open source content management system that helps you to build your website within no time and free of cost! That’s it and you are done!
STEP 4) Choose and Buy a Premium Real Estate Theme for WordPress – Once you have finished step 1,2 & 3, you got the basic setup ready. In step 1, you registered a domain name and in step 2, you have purchased & setup a web hosting account. In step 3, you installed WordPress content management system into your web hosting account. Now in step 4 & 5, we are going to setup a brand new real estate website using the WordPress installed in your hosting account. WordPress is a flexible, easy to use content management system. We can modify wordpress into any type of web application based on our requirements. In our case, we need to transform WordPress into a real estate website – which can be used to list properties, classify them as rent or buy, list photographs of properties, list videos, list google maps location of property, list agents for property etc.
There are two ways to get this done. One option is to hire a wordpress development agency to build a custom real estate website solution using wordpress. If you go by this route, you can build the website completely on your imagination. But this option will cost you thousands of dollars. A good development agency will charge more than three thousand US dollars to implement a feature rich, real estate listing solution using WordPress. Since our aim is to launch a property listing website within 100 US Dollars, there is a better second option. You can always setup a fully functional, feature rich real estate website using premium wordpress themes. A premium wordpress theme is a prefabricated template, usually developed by an experienced wordpress solutions providing company. A premium theme transforms wordpress into a desired application of any kind. We can build many different types of website applications using wordpress & premium themes; say a job board, a real estate website, an auto listing website, an e-commerce website, a tour package website, business directory, coupon management application or any such website applications. The good news is that you can buy a high quality, feature rich wordpress premium theme for a price tag between 40 US Dollars & 100 US Dollars
Demonstration of Real Estate Website using WordPress
Let’s first see a demonstration of real estate website created using WordPress. “Graha” – is a feature rich, Google maps based real estate wordpress template created by Layero.com. You can see a full demo of Graha here. You can purchase Graha for just 49 US Dollars and the company behind the theme offers excellent customer support as well. Now lets dig deep into Graha and its features.
Highlighted Features of Graha
1. List Unlimited Properties – You can list any number of properties through the wordpress admin area. Graha has a clean user interface, which makes its easier to list any number of properties and its associated data. Each property listing can be created with its own set of images,photographs,floor plans,videos and other essential data. You can add a detailed description of the property along with its amenities. You may see the demo of property details page to understand what all different types of data you can add in your website. Two other important features of Graha are its integrated neighborhood map & 360 degree panorama images. The neighborhood map lists all popular cafeterias, schools, churches, bars, pubs, restaurants etc near the property. A 360 degree panorama feature can be used to display the cylindrical 360 degree projection of rooms & interiors.
2. Functional Search Engine & Filter – Have a look at the sidebar of Graha to see the search filter. You can see a demonstration of search results page to understand how search results look. You can filter the search according to rent/buy, number of bedrooms, type of property and many other criteria. The search results page outputs the result in Google maps & in the classic boxed layout.
3. Responsive Layouts – All pages of Graha real estate wordpress theme are responsive. This means, the real estate website setup using Graha can adjust itself to fit into the screen of different devices; say smart phones, tablets, notebooks & personal computers. Your real estate website will look perfect in Ipad, Iphone, Samsung Galaxy S4,S3 and other series, Google Nexus tablets and other similar mobile devices.
Other important features of Graha are its front end submission – where a user can submit details of property for listing, theme customization panel – where website admin can change colors,fonts,logos and make many essential changes in the website without any technical knowledge, multiple agent listing – where a single property can be attached to more than one agent, profile for agents – where all properties listed by an agent grouped into a single profile page, integrated blog – where admin & agents can publish articles,
In addition to Graha, there are a handful of other real estate wordpress themes. I have written a detailed review of the best premium real estate wordpress themes available in the market. This review will help you to differentiate between many themes and choose the right one.
We have covered a lot in step 4. Now all you need to do is choose the right premium theme for your real estate website. Once you choose the right one, buy the theme and download it.
STEP 5) Install & Setup the Premium Theme – we have reached the final step. What remains is setting up the new premium wordpress theme. I have written a detailed guide on How to Install & Setup a new theme in WordPress to help you with installation. Once you install the theme, read through documentation to set it up perfectly. Each premium theme comes with its own documentation and administration panel. If you experience any difficulty in setting up the website using a premium theme, you can always bank on the customer support offered by the theme maker (from where you purchased, be it Layero.com or Themeforest.net).
I hope my article was of help to you in creating a real estate/property listing website within just 100 US Dollars. It just takes 5 steps to create a website on your own without any professional help. The good thing is that, you can customize a premium theme using professional services at much lesser cost. If it costs around 3000 US Dollars to create a real estate listing website from scratch using a professional web development agency, it would cost only around 1000 US Dollars to create a customized real estate website based on a premium theme. A premium theme incorporates much of the needed features into its code base and a professional agency requires much lesser time to do the project than creating everything from scratch.
If you have any doubts, let me know in comments. I am happy to help.