Searching for the best real estate website builders for your business? A website is one of the essential marketing tools you can use. If you don’t have a high-converting lead generation website, you’re leaving $1000s on the table.
But before you start the process, it’s essential to understand exactly what that process entails.
It would help if you had a solid understanding of real estate website builder vs. custom website development.
This guide will walk you through each real estate website building step and detail every key factor for creating an effective site that attracts your ideal clients.
Whether you’re an agent or investor, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll explain the purpose of real estate website builders, the pros and cons of building your custom website, the elements that every successful real estate website needs, and how to choose the perfect website builder for your business.
Some of the biggest mistakes agents and investors make when creating a website are…
- They go overboard creating a professionally-designed site based on what they think looks good (not what prospects respond to)
- They just use whatever is low-cost or free (Wix, broker site, WordPress)
- They just build a website for “online marketing” vs. a true “hub” that’ll make all of their marketing work better (KEY)
Only one thing matters: Performance To Achieve Results.
We see websites as a lead generation hub for real estate agents and investors. It would be best to have an online presence to stand out in today’s crowded market. Traditional websites are nothing more than digital business cards.
Now imagine a website that…
- Increases credibility and authority
- Amplifies all of your marketing efforts (online and offline)
- It is right out of the box, optimized for SEO and lead conversion
We’ve been in business for nearly a decade, served tens of thousands of real estate professionals around the nation, and generated millions of leads for our members.
So we know a thing or two about online marketing and web design in the real estate industry.
Stick with us, and we’ll guide you through this process and help you decide which route is best for your business…a website created by a real estate website builder or a customized website.
Table of Contents
What is a Real Estate Website Builder?
Building a website is the first step to succeeding in your real estate career.
But there’s a big difference between having a website and having a website that generates a consistent flow of leads and ultimately gives you freedom for your business.
The truth is, your website is only one part of the online marketing puzzle.
For instance, do you have answers to the following questions?
- How are you going to drive consistent, high-quality traffic to your website?
- How will you make sure that your website converts traffic into leads?
- How will you know when a lead comes in so you can contact them immediately?
Those are super important questions to answer before you start building your website.
The biggest mistake that real estate professionals make is they just put up a website and cross their fingers and then get crickets.
Your website will only be as effective as your entire online marketing strategy.
We start with giving our members a high-converting website that turns visitors into leads like clockwork.
That’s ground zero.
Then we provide the tools, resources, and software to help our members…
- Drive high-quality traffic through Google.
- Track performance.
- Get notified when leads come in.
- Brand their business.
- And lots more.
Just having a website is not enough if you’re serious about using the power of online marketing to grow your real estate business. You need all the other puzzle pieces in place.
Once you have the entire strategy, your website will become an asset for your business, creating predictable and exciting lead flow.
Now, you could do that yourself, and try your hand at a custom unique-to-you website, if you want. Or hire that out…
But unless you or they are a professional web designer AND expert online marketer in the real estate industry, you’re probably in for stress and confusion.
How to Choose the Best Real Estate Website Builder
What is the best real estate website builder? Ultimately, there is no “best” product. The best web builder depends on your company size and business type.
Your real estate business needs a website that converts visitors into leads. But, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start.
Designing a website can be complicated. You might even find yourself quitting before learning how to build a website.
The good news. To build a good business website, you don’t have to understand or learn complex coding. You can use a website builder instead!
An excellent real estate website builder is easy for beginners to learn and get started with. They typically provide templates and features based on best practices that give you the advantage of faster results without spending as much time learning the details of website building.
If you’re unsure where to begin, using a website builder rather than hiring a website designer would be a better choice. And that’s true of any business putting off building a website because you don’t know where to start. Every day your business goes without a website, you lose leads and deals.
So, are you contemplating hiring someone to build you a custom site vs. a website builder specializing in real estate? Both are good options, but there are some things you should know.
Whether you are a large or small business owner, this article will help you choose the best website builder platform for your website.
The Benefits of Real Estate Website Builders
Here are some of the critical benefits of website builders.
- Takes Less Time: A website builder will take a fraction of the time to build compared to a custom site.
This is because website builders are designed for non-experts. So there’s no need to spend weeks or months learning how to use the platform.
- Costs Much Less: Website builders like Carrot cost a fraction of what hiring a web developer to build you a custom site would cost.
In addition, there are no ongoing maintenance costs. All updates and changes are free for life.
- Is Easy To Use: Website builders like Carrot are easy to use, even for people without experience with coding or web design.
Want to make some changes? All you need to do is drag and drop, and you’re done! It’s that easy.
- Converts Like Clockwork: There’s no guarantee that a custom-built site will convert well — and since it’s nearly impossible to change after the fact, you’ve only got one shot…
Most website builders allow you to quickly make changes and test different things whenever you want. Plus, you get website templates proven to convert in your specific niche, whether you’re a real estate agent or investor.
Key Features a Real Estate Website Builder Should Have
Hopefully, you understand the benefits of using a website builder like Carrot instead of hiring someone to build you a custom site (learn more about custom sites below).
But what features should you vet when looking for the best real estate website builder?
After all, not all website builders are created equal. Some will work better and perform better than others.
Here are the features we recommend looking for in the tool you choose. Carrot has all of these!
- A Mobile-Friendly Design: More than 50% of all web traffic and leads now comes from mobile devices, so your site must be designed with mobile devices in mind.
Test your website using Google’s mobile-friendly test.
Here is an example of a mobile-friendly website.
- An Intuitive Editor: The website editor should be easy to use and understand, even if you have no experience with coding or web design.
- Industry-Specific Templates: The best real estate website builders will have specifically designed templates for the real estate industry.
- Lead Generation Tools: A good real estate website builder will give you more than just a website but also lead capture forms, call to action (CTA) buttons, lead managers, SEO trackers, and other lead gen tools.
- IDX Integration: One of the most critical features for real estate agents is IDX integration.
- Tested and Proven to Convert: Your website builder should have a history of converting visitors into leads.
- 24/7 Customer Support: If you have questions or need help with your site, you’ll want customer support available around the clock.
- Free Updates and Changes: All updates and changes should be free to members.
Best Real Estate Website Builders
As technology and the real estate industry continue to evolve, web companies are looking at ways they can provide new tools and services to support their members.
Certain real estate website builders can provide incredible opportunities to boost your business.
Best Real Estate Investor Website Builders
What’s Important for a Real Estate Investor Website? Check out this video.
Carrot – How Do We Stack Up?
So now, let’s ask the most critical question: how does Carrot stack up to that minefield of problems?
Here’s a quick review…
Carrot is 100% mobile-friendly. If you’re looking for a website builder that will look great on any device, Carrot is your best bet.
Easy To Use
Carrot’s editor is straightforward, even if you have no experience with coding or web design. You can have a professional-looking design and high-converting website up and running in no time.
Carrot has templates specifically designed for the real estate industry. These templates come with pre-built pages, essential features for any real estate website, SEO for tools installed and configured for you, CTA buttons, and more.
Tested and Proven to Convert
We’ve also got data to back it up.
Our websites load 68% faster than custom WordPress sites. And leads that come through our member’s sites convert 7x better and are 2.5x more profitable than non-Carrot leads (learn why here).
Carrot has a proven track record of converting visitors into leads. If you’re looking for a website builder to help you generate more leads, Carrot is the way to go.
On average, Carrot leads have $13,930.15 in EXTRA profit per deal!
As mentioned above, our sites are 68% faster than custom WordPress sites, but our tech stack outperformed WordPress, GoDaddy, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace in a third-party test.
World-class Customer Support
You can always contact Carrot’s world-class customer support team if you have questions or need help with your site. They’re always happy to help.
Free Updates and Changes
All updates and changes are free of charge to existing members. You’ll never have to pay for minor changes or updates to our software. So you can use your budget where it matters most to find leads and get deals.
Optimized For SEO
Carrot gives you all the SEO tools you need to hit the ground running with a website optimized for top search engine ranking.
Learn more about our real estate investor websites… take a demo today!
Other Website Builder Options for Investors:
The world’s most popular website builder. 43% of the web is built on WordPress. Bloggers, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies use WordPress more than all other options combined. It offers thousands of easy‑to‑install add‑ons. Collect leads, create contact forms, automatically back up your site, and more.
REI Blackbook offers many tools you need to grow your real estate investing business. You can build a sales system with their all-in-one marketing and sales tool kit.
Their built-in CRM works with your front-end marketing and sales tools so leads won’t slip through the cracks.
LeadPropeller has been a staple in the industry for many years.
If you have more time than money, a LeadPropeller website may be for you.
InvestorPro websites are designed for investors, specifically for the creative real estate business. Their websites are “foolproof,” so anyone can use them.
You can create a professional-looking site to attract motivated sellers in no time.
See our full breakdown of real estate investor website options.
Best Real Estate Website Builders for Agents:
What’s Important for a Real Estate Agent Website? Check out this video.
Carrot helps real estate agents stand out from the competition and generate consistent, qualified leads with SEO-friendly websites that bring purpose and focus to your marketing.
Whether you know it or not, your website speaks to two different audiences: search engines and prospects. Carrot sites are built to be found by search engines so you can outrank your competitors — while giving your prospects the information they need about you.
Our Key Features
- SEO-optimized site templates
- SEO tool
- Keyword tracking
A centralized hub that brings together all your marketing efforts.
Marketing shouldn’t be left to trial and error or require you to constantly spin your wheels. Carrot brings all your marketing together in one place so you can see what’s working and what’s not while giving you the tools and resources you need to build an evergreen marketing strategy that helps leads find you — not the other way around.
Our Key Features
Find your niches with unlimited pages for unlimited targeting.
The market is saturated — you’re competing with other agents, iBuyers, big tech (with deep pockets). To reduce your competition, your targeting needs to get more granular. With unlimited pages on your Carrot site, you can niche down lower than the city level to attract the right leads.
Our Key Features
Other Website Builder Options for Agents:
Placester is a website builder specifically designed for real estate agents. It has built-in lead capture, CRM tools, custom templates, and design options to help you quickly and easily create a professional website.
Boomtown provides lead generation tools and a CRM system for real estate agents. It allows you to generate leads through its many online marketing tools, including search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and social media.
IDX Broker is a website builder specifically for real estate agents. It integrates with your MLS to give you access to property listings from all over the country.
Squarespace is a website builder that offers users a simple drag-and-drop interface. It’s an easy way to create a beautiful website without prior experience or design knowledge.
See our full breakdown of real estate agent website options.
What is a Custom Real Estate Website?
When you’re talking about custom real estate websites, there are, of course, lots to think about.
We’re happy to walk you through the steps to do that. But we also want you to understand that the DIY approach to website building for real estate professionals isn’t always easy.
That’s because it’s not just about building a website it’s about understanding SEO strategies, mastering lead conversion techniques, setting up marketing automation software, etc.
It’s a lot to learn, and most people don’t have the time or patience to figure it out independently.
We recommend using a real estate website builder instead that can create your website and connect all the other online marketing dots.
If you want to build your custom website, though, here are the top 7 steps…
1. Choose a Domain Name
The first step is to choose a domain name for your website.
This is the web address that people will type into their browser to visit your site (e.g., www.carrot.com).
Domain names can be purchased from various places, but we recommend using a service like GoDaddy or NameCheap.
2. Obtain secure, scalable website hosting with good tech support
A website host is a company that offers the technology and services necessary for a website to be viewed on the internet. You connect your domain name to your hosting provider so that when users visit your website address, they are presented with your website that you store on your hosting account.
Depending on your chosen technology and support, hosting services can cost anywhere between $3 to $100++ per month. You can usually get a discount if you purchase a yearly plan instead of a monthly plan.
3. Create an engaging website user interface
This is probably the most challenging (and expensive) part of building a custom website.
You need a design that looks good, and you need a design that will convert well, build brand authority, and speak directly to your target market.
Finding a web designer with those skill sets is often challenging.
4. Install SEO Plugins and Set Up Google Analytics
One of the most important things you need to do when building a custom website is to install SEO plugins and set up Google Analytics.
SEO plugins help you optimize your website for Google search, and Google Analytics allows you to track your website traffic and performance.
This will require you or your web designer to play around with the back-end code of your website.
5. Create Useful Content
The next step is to create helpful content for your website.
It would help if you had a blog where you could publish content that would rank on Google. You also should have an “About” page and compelling landing pages.
Again, this can be difficult if you’ve never designed a website before.
6. Connect Social Media Accounts
Connect your social media accounts so you can share your content across your networks.
7. Optimize Performance
Once your website is built, you need to optimize the performance and ensure it looks good on all browsers.
This usually requires more back-end code tweaking and can challenge non-technical people.
Building a custom website isn’t worth the time and money for most real estate professionals. Hiring a website designer is the most expensive option, with an upfront price tag between $2000 and $10,000.
At Carrot, you can get our entire lead generation hub for the price of a full tank of gas per month. That includes a website, our lead manager, monthly blog content, SMS lead notifications, world-class support, coaching calls, tracking links, and tons more.
4 Facts About Building A Custom Website That Will Make You Think Twice
Here are some main reasons that building a custom real estate website is almost always a mistake.
1 – Talks too long: A custom build will take at least a few months. And if you’re working with someone inexperienced, it could take much longer.
From start to launch, the build could look something like this:
- 3 weeks for discovery,
- 6 weeks for design,
- 3 weeks for initial development,
- and 2 weeks of modifications.
You don’t have 14 weeks to wait around — you need to be marketing your business and generating leads NOW.
2 – Costs too much: Hiring a web designer is the most expensive option. Still, it’s the best choice if you need absolute control over the build and customization of that site.
Costs Associated with Building a Custom Website
Most people won’t pay less than $5,000 for a web designer. Those who do, end up disappointed because of a lack of lead generation.
Although it’s expensive, hiring a designer takes the technical hassle out of your hands. Using a website builder is cheaper, but you likely will not get the same level of control as you do with a custom site. That control, though, may also come with much extra frustration.
A good quality custom site will start at around $2,000-$10,000. But if you want something top-notch, you’re looking at closer to $20,000 or more.
Again, this money could be better spent on marketing and generating leads for your business.
3 – The maintenance & upkeep is a nightmare: Once your site is built, you’ll need an experienced web developer who will likely charge you an hourly rate to make even simple changes and updates. If you don’t have someone on staff who knows how to code, you’ll be stuck paying that bill every time you need to make a change.
And if you’re not familiar with coding or web design, it will be tough for you to make any changes to your site.
With a website builder like Carrot, on the other hand, anyone can easily make changes and updates with our drag-and-drop editor.
4 – It likely won’t convert: Building a custom site that will convert visitors into leads is no easy task. It’s one of the most challenging things to do.
And even if you manage to create a beautiful custom site, it’s unlikely to convert well because the designer doesn’t have industry-specific expertise and years of experience in the conversion rate optimization space.
Carrot websites are designed by conversion experts and routinely convert website visitors into leads.
This exact thing happened to one of the Nation’s largest home buyers. Carter Steph didn’t realize his “pretty” $8k+ custom website was costing him $200k/yr in lost profits… (here’s why)
Learn more about Carter Steph’s journey from custom site to Carrot here.
Your Website – The Lead Generation Hub For Real Estate Professionals
We’ve spent the last decade designing, testing, and iterating our website templates and marketing systems to get real estate professionals the best results possible.
Perhaps we have a near-perfect score on Featured Customers after over 1000 reviews.
The point is, we’re obsessed with…
- Website Optimization
- Conversion Optimization
- Getting Our Members REAL RESULTS
We have over 7,000 members, and we’ve generated over one million leads for our members (which is crazy!).
We’re the largest and most well-known website builder in the industry.
But it’s not just websites we provide — we give you everything you need to maintain a significant online presence. That includes…
- High Converting Websites
- Carrot Lead Manager
- SMS Lead Notifications
- World-Class Support
- Group Coaching Calls
- SEO Ranking Tracker
- CRM & Marketing Integrations
- Monthly SEO Blog Content
- 1:1 Marketing Strategy Reviews
- And more!
The real magic of Carrot lies in how well the sites convert traffic into leads and how well the sites rank on Google. It’s not uncommon to see that 80% of the sites ranking for high-value keywords in a given target market are Carrot sites…
Why do Carrot sites rank so well?
Because our tech stack is built to please Google (fast load speed, mobile optimized, etc.), the content we provide is optimized to rank for specific keywords.
Not to mention that our member’s websites consistently get 20% or higher conversion rates.
We avoid calling ourselves a “website builder” and prefer the term “Carrot Lead Generation Hub” because we are different. We give our members everything they need to grow their businesses with an online presence.
And we want to prove it to you.
What Pages Does Your Real Estate Website Need?
Now that you understand the importance of online marketing and why using a real estate website builder is a better strategy, let’s talk about the different types of pages your website will need.
Marketers want to create and host real estate websites with valuable content that effectively engages buyers and sellers. They know they need a website but don’t know what pages are the most necessary or where they should start when putting one together.
There’s a big difference between a well-thought-out real estate website and one put up on a whim.
For instance, our Carrot website templates have been tested and improved for years. Here’s what our websites look like for investors…
And here’s what they look like for agents…
So which pages does your real estate website need?
Here are the main ones…
Your homepage is the first thing people see when they visit your website.
This should be the most compelling page on your website. The headline should quickly tell people what you do, and the rest of the page should empathize with your target market and explain how you can help them.
The CTA, meanwhile, should be front-and-center.
Here’s an example of an agent website (scroll to see the full page)…
Here’s an example of an investor website (scroll to see the full page)…
If you operate in multiple locations, you’ll want to create location pages for each one. This will help you rank in Google for various high-value keyword phrases.
Your location pages will be your homepage duplicated with specific locations and updated content to that market.
Here’s an example of a location page on a real estate agent website (scroll to see the full page)…
And here’s one for a real estate investor website (scroll to see the full page)…
Your about page is a critical piece of your website. In fact, according to our tests, it’s the second-most visited page after the homepage.
This is where you introduce yourself to your target market and explain why you’re the best person for the job.
You should also list your qualifications, experience, and any awards or recognition.
Here’s an example of an agent website about page (scroll to see the full page)…
And here’s an example of an investor website about page (scroll to see the full page)…
Testimonial (Review) Pages
To prove just how powerful testimonials can be (at least the conversion rate side of things), Unbounce reports on an A/B test run on WikiJob’s website. Ideal for testing, Version A and Version B are identical save for one difference: Version B includes a testimonial above the website’s opt-in form.
In the end, Version B increased the conversion rate by 34%.
Let’s put that in perspective for a wholesaler’s website.
Imagine that you drive 1,000 website visits every month, generating 100 leads per month on your website (a 10% conversion rate — typical for Carrot websites) and that you close 1 in 25 leads. That means you’re doing about 4 deals per month at, let’s assume, $10,000 profit per deal.
Boom — you add a glowing testimonial to your website and increase your conversion rate by 34%, from 10% to 13.4%.
Now, you will get more than 130 leads per month with the same amount of traffic (1,000 website visits). And since you close 1 in 25 leads, you’ll now be doing a little more than 5 deals monthly with the same amount of website traffic.
You added $10,000 in monthly wholesale fees (from $40,000 to $50,000 per month) by putting a testimonial on your website.
And the same goes for real estate agents: you can increase your conversion rate and monthly income by adding excellent testimonials to your website.
And here’s an example of a good testimonials page (scroll to see the full page)…
Real Estate Squeeze Pages
Your squeeze page is where you’ll capture leads. This significant page should be designed to convert as many people as possible into leads.
The best way to do this is by offering something of value in exchange for their contact information — you might offer a free resource that will appeal to your target market.
Here’s an example of a website squeeze page…
Some website builders will come with page templates already baked in. They’re designed specifically for real estate investors and real estate agents.
We’ve made it as simple and effective as possible.
You’ve Got a Website! Now What?
As you should now know, having a website is just the beginning.
If you choose the right website builder that generates leads, drives traffic, and helps your business grow, it will become an asset for your business.
You can continue working on getting more rankings on Google, build more brand awareness in your market, and create an ongoing influx of high-quality leads.
Ready to get started? Take a demo of Carrot’s Lead Generation Hub now…