When I meet with an agent for the first time about their online real estate marketing plan, one of the first things they ask me is how much a website will cost. The answer depends on what kind of site you want.
Here are three basic website options for an agent, along with a rough estimate of how much each one costs. All offer you the ability to display your real estate listings with photos.
Template Site: This is the most common kind of site offered by real estate website companies and a great way to launch an online real estate marketing program if you're on a tight budget.
Template sites offer a handful of pre-set designs for you to choose from and some flexibility with color selections.
The architecture of a template site is usually ‘fixed.’ This means the way a visitor moves about the site can’t be changed and that certain pages are filled with the company’s own content.
This last example, from Beetown is the best value I’ve found to date— under $300 a month for both set up and hosting.
Usually prices for template sites run about $400-800 to set up and $40.00/month for hosting. IDX is available at an additional cost. Good companies that offer sites at this price point are Vreo (I think they're charging a $400 set-up and $40/month hosting right now), and Z57 (their set-ups run a little higher, but the hosting fee is the same).
Custom Sites: With a custom site, the world is your creative oyster. There is no limit to what you can do with a custom site (as long as you’re willing to pay for it!).
I’ve found that the cost of custom sites that meet my standards start about $3,500 and go up to the moon from there.
Hosting is often cheaper for a custom site and can run under $10 a month.
Hybrid Sites: Hybrid sites are template sites that have been modified to meet the unique needs of an agent's online real estate marketing plan. Agent Image sites are an excellent example of a hybrid site. They ‘break the mold’ after a certain number of their template sites are produced, and each site is designed with a unique color scheme. You can also pay extra to add pages or change the architecture of the site.
Many template site companies are more than happy to turn their designs into hybrid site for an extra cost. Be careful when you choose this option however—the price of the modifications can quickly run up and surpass the cost of a custom site.