5-minute read Updated on December 1, 2023 Published on August 10, 2023

Today, nearly every real estate journey begins online. As a real estate broker, it’s your job to ensure your brokerage, offices, and real estate agents have great websites for showcasing your property listings, sharing your expertise, and growing your business.

Simply having a website probably won’t get you the results you’re looking for. The best real estate websites have features that make them findable on search engines, easy to navigate for buyers and sellers, and easy for agents to update whenever they need to.

Here’s our list of the 10 essential features all the best real estate websites have and how they help make your agents and your brokerage successful.

1. A stellar user experience

User experience (UX) refers to how visitors interact with your website. The best real estate websites have a good user experience that encourages visitors to stay on your site longer, explore more of its pages, and return to it again the next time they need something. A few of the areas that make for good UX are:

Simple and easy navigation

Homebuyers and sellers are coming to your website for one reason: to learn more about real estate. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to find what they are looking for. This means a logical structure, clearly labeled buttons, and interactions that users either already know, or can learn instinctively with little to no effort.

Clear, easy-to-understand words

Your current and potential clients are smart, informed people. But real estate is a jargon-heavy industry full of terms that are unfamiliar to the average person. Most adults read at around an 8th grade reading level, which means you should use short, simple sentences, avoid unnecessarily technical words, and provide unambiguous calls to action. There are lots of tools online to help you check your website’s reading level and adjust it for greater accessibility and usability.

Responsive design

Responsive design refers to digital design that accounts for all the different mediums we use to consume content, so your website always looks great. Your visitors might be visiting on a computer, a phone, or a tablet; and each one has a display that’s a different size and resolution, with different picture quality, contrast, and more. Responsive design means your site will look just as good on an old desktop computer as it does on the latest smartphone, and on everything else in between.

Contrasting colors and fonts

We spend a large part of our days looking at screens, which can put a lot of strain on our eyes. We also all have different visual abilities, which means that for some people, certain colors are difficult to read. Thankfully, there are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that help you check whether the colors on your website are easy for a maximum of people to read, based on a specific, scientifically tested contrast ratio. If not, you can make adjustments to improve the usability of your site.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of elements that contribute to a great user experience, but a few of the basics that the best real estate websites always have covered.

2. Built-in search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of making your site appear higher on the search engine results page (SERP). Having your brokerage or agent sites appear in the first position on your clients’ favorite search engine is an excellent way to drive more leads to your website without having to buy them.

But SEO is easy to overlook because it isn’t something you can see. The first step is ensuring your website is built in a way that is easy for search engines to crawl and index. It needs to be fast, findable, and contain the proper codes and tags. The next is making sure your site has content that answers searchers’ questions. It can be a lot to take on, but it will pay off in the long run.


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3. High-quality IDX

Internet Data Exchange (IDX) refers to how real estate brokers and agents share each other’s listings on their websites. There are a variety of different IDX providers out there whose job it is to ensure you can share not just your seller listings but all the listings in your area, so your team can drum up buyer leads, too.

Some IDX providers overpromise and underdeliver when it comes to their offering. Since visitors are primarily visiting your site to view listings, make sure your site has fully integrated and reliable IDX feeds.

4. Versatile property search

Sure, visitors are on your site to look at listings, but once they’re there, how do you help them find what they’re looking for?

The answer is a versatile property search feature that allows them to filter down available listings by location, property characteristics, and budget. If your property search is clunky or incomplete, if listing photos aren’t displaying beautifully or loading quickly, or if users can’t save their searches for later, there might not be a later.

5. Lead capture

Once you’ve got visitors on your site, you’ll want to provide plenty of ways to stay in touch. This first means making your Contact form easy to find and use. Next, it means providing resources on your site that visitors will want in exchange for their contact information. These could be useful homebuying or selling guides for your local market, free home valuation tools, savable property searches, recommended properties, chatbots, and more.

Your website is just one of your lead touchpoints, but it’s an increasingly important one because of how many people start their property search online. For help getting all your lead touchpoints working together, check out our ebook.

6. CRM integration

Once you’ve captured a valuable lead, don’t let it go cold. Studies have shown that leads generally go with whoever responds first, but real estate leads are special in that it can sometimes take months or even years for a lead to convert.

This is where a CRM can be especially helpful for nurturing those leads until they’re ready to take action. It’s easier to keep a lead warm than it is to revive a cold one, and a CRM can take the effort and guesswork out of lead follow-ups with helpful automations and pre-built nurture campaigns that are sure to get you results.

7. Tiered website structure

As a broker, you want to get maximum exposure for your brand, which means maximizing traffic to your website. Web traffic can have a snowball effect: the more engagement your site gets, the more traffic search engines will send your way.

In addition to SEO, one way to boost brokerage website traffic is to use a tiered website structure. With these tiers, you have your brokerage site, then your office sites, then your agent sites. When properly set up, the traffic to your agent and office sites can have a positive effect on your brokerage site, too, boosting organic traffic and SERP rankings.

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8. Blog posts or articles

Blog posts serve a variety of functions on real estate websites. They help you showcase your expertise about the homebuying and selling process, feature information about neighborhoods in your community, and share news about your brokerage, all while helping to answer searchers’ questions and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.

You can read more about the benefits of blogging for real estate professionals in a previous post and learn more about automated blog posting to help keep website content fresh.

9. No-code agent website builder

Agent adoption is always a challenge when it comes to brokerage technology. And very few agents have web development expertise. This is why no-code, drag-and-drop website editors are a useful way to boost adoption, make website updates easy, and allow agents to personalize their sites without straying too far from your brokerage’s brand identity.

10. Reliable, high-quality hosting

Now we’re down to the nuts and bolts. Much of what we’ve talked about above is meaningless if your website is always going down because of a bad host. Good hosts provide better security, back up your site in case something accidentally gets deleted, monitor your site for anomalies, support better loading times, and ultimately help your brokerage grow your business through a robust online presence. Hosting is a necessary expense and one the best websites don’t scrounge on.

The best websites for franchises, brokers, and MLSs

No two websites are the same, but the best real estate sites on the world wide web all have a few things in common. If you’re looking for a website provider that gives you all of these features and more, look no further than Constellation1 Websites, the best website solution for real estate. Our sites power some of the biggest names in the industry, and we could power your business, too.


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