If you’re looking to build your own website for a small portfolio of properties, we have the top five platforms for the role. These platforms all enable you to create a professional property website yourself, without it looking like you made it yourself…
Best Website Builder for Real Estate: Our Top 5
The website builders in this list have all been through our full website builder research process, including:
- First hand ease of use testing (with actual participants, as well as us)
- Cross-analysis of features
- Design analysis according to best practice
- Help and support testing
On top of this, we’ve also looked at them specifically from a real estate website point of view. What a real estate website builder needs above all else is the right features, and a useful design – so we’ve weighted these factors higher than normal in our ranking.
In terms of features, we’ve zoomed in specifically on:
- Collecting leads – contact forms, booking requests, ability to book appointments
- Integrating IDX/MLS – essential for adding listings to your site from other platforms. If these are already built into the templates, it’s a bonus, as you’ll reap the full SEO benefits.
Squarespace, unsurprisingly, came out on top. Great design is something this platform has nailed, and we love the real estate templates on offer. Features were also a strong point, with lots of ways to capture and nurture leads, as well as a pain-free MLS integration.
Above, we’ve showcased the five winning website builders from our real estate-specific research (although as you may have gathered, it’s more of a three horse race).
Below are some big platforms which you may have been surprised didn’t make the cut. They still deserve a mention, which we’ll do right now, along with explaining why they’re not in our top five ranking.
Placester is a dedicated real estate website builder, so of course it comes with a whole load of really useful features for real estate websites built right in (although for considerably more money). You won’t have to worry about things like choosing an unsuitable template, or having to manually integrate IDX.
Placester is designed for big real estate websites, and for this has sacrificed a lot of ease of use – without the customer support in place to hold your hand through the process. Customer reviews also complain the platform is glitchy and outdated.
This is a problem we see time and time again with ‘niche’ website builders; they have useful features, but don’t have the same backing and investment as larger platforms, meaning basic things can fall by the wayside.
It’s a very similar story with Intagent, another feature-rich but dated platform. Intagent does offer a web design package though, so if you’re looking to outsource the actual building of your site, that could be something worth looking into. Just steer clear of the $29.95/month website builder package.
WordPress is a big name in the world of website building, but it’s not a website builder, and works quite differently to the other platforms in our ranking.
WordPress (this is WordPress.org, rather than WordPress.com) is a content management system (CMS). It’s a powerful and customizable platform (probably the most powerful, and the most customizable), but you’ll struggle to build a good real estate website as a non-designer/developer.
WordPress is an exciting platform, with many opportunities to explore. If you have the budget to hire a web developer, it’s an option worth exploring.
We’ve presented you with five strong options for your real estate website builder. Let’s recap three overlooked criteria you need to look out for when making your decision, and why:
1. Access to IDX listings and the MLS
If you’re in the real estate game, then you already know the importance of being able to access the IDX, as well as being able to close deals via the MLS.
As we’ve seen, a growing number of real estate website builders are equipping their platforms with the ability to pull in listings from the IDX – albeit in varying degrees.
2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
You want people without any prior knowledge of your business to be able to find you by googling ‘real estate agent [your local area]’. Given that people are unlikely to look past the first few Google results, you need a builder with strong SEO support and/or apps to get you there.
3. Lead capture and nurture
You’ve got a visitor to your site, and they like one of your properties. Great! But now what? You need a website builder with customizable contact/booking forms in order for users to take the next step to arranging a viewing.
Property not quite right? With great email marketing tools, you can tailor campaigns to keep them in the loop when new properties come up which match their criteria.
4. Help and support
It’s no use being bowled over by fancy features and stunning designs, only to find a hurdle you can’t get over, and nobody available to help.
Having a dedicated support team is something that sets website builders apart from CMS platforms, like WordPress. It’s something people often forget to check for, or don’t realize the importance of until they hit a blocker.
We’ve covered our top-rated platforms for your real estate website, according to your website. As you’ve seen, they all offer something a little different – by now, you can feel confident choosing the one that’s right for you. Here’s a recap of the ranking, and the core strength of each platform:
5 Best Website Builders for Real Estate
- Squarespace – best for small real estate websites
- Duda – best templates with IDX/MLS pre-integrated
- Wix – best for ease of use
- Weebly – cheap, but at the expense of features
- Strikingly – best for simple, one-page location sites
Now all that’s left to do is to go and build your website! Remember that each website builder has either a free trial or a free plan, so you can try it out commitment-free.
There sure are! Of our list of the top five website builders for real estate, three offer completely free plans you can stay on forever: Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. That said, we’d recommend upgrading as soon as possible – free websites come with storage limitations, ads from the platform, and auto-generated domain names, all of which will stop you from giving a professional impression.
Website builders often keep their cards pretty close to their chest in this department, but Wix is probably the most popular website builder overall, most recently reporting over 180 million users.