Don’t use just anyone for your real estate needs
We scoured the internet for the
Top Real Estate Websites for 2021
COVID-19 has changed the way we purchase everything. In 2021, we now use the internet for purchasing just about everything. The real estate industry had to up their game to provide a great website. You now need virtual showing and more information on listings then ever.
With over 95% of the public using the internet to find their next home, its critical that your next real estate practitioner has a great real estate website to display your property. In addition, having a quality website shows their understanding of the world of the internet and digital marketing.
We research the top real estate websites to inform buyers and sellers in understanding who to choose for their real estate needs.
Click to read the top real estate franchises are for 2021?
With the searching for real estate online, it is important to make sure that the real estate website that you are using has a direct connection to the MLS for the most up-to-date listings. Real estate statistics for 2021 show that listings are going under contract much faster than before — and homes are selling quickly and in many instances, above list price.
Types of Real Estate Websites
There are multiple types of real estate websites — and each serves a particular purpose. Most of them, are for the benefit of the real estate agent or broker – and not necessarily the absolute best for the public. Meaning, there are 3rd party websites such asRealtor.com and Trulia, which are NOT real estate brokers. These types of real estate websites are lead generation machines.
They make their money by selling an online presence to the real estate broker or agent. When you request “more information” on these 3rd party sites, you will most likely NOT be getting in touch with the listing agent, but whomever has paid to receive those leads for that geographic area. As a consumer looking to simply buy a home, and leveraging the internet to search for homes for sale, it is important that you understand what you are getting into when you submit a request on a 3rd Party real estate website.
As of late 2020, Zillow has become a real estate broker. This has caused quite an uproar in the real estate world. For years, Zillow has claimed to simply be a real estate marketing website – that existed to sell ads and provide leads to real estate agents. The fact that they are now directly competing with agents and brokers across the country has many people in the industry upset.
All The Listings
In the past, the ONLY websites to have ALL of the listings were the real estate brokers websites. Although home buyers were under the impression that the broker only displayed their listings and the 3rd party websites (like Zillow or Trulia) were the ones with ALL of the listings. That has never been an accurate assessment of the quality of the listing database being shown online.
The non-broker websites had to rely on agents and brokers to add their listings. Recently, Zillow has won the fight with many of the local MLSs to have sending your listings to Zillow be an option at the MLS level. Because of that, the larger sites now have a much more accurate listing database, buy by no means do they have ALL of the listings.
UPDATE: Since Zillow is now a real estate broker and licensed in all 50 states — they can NOW acquire all of the real estate data directly from the MLS. The challenge for Zillow moving forward, is NOW they have to play by the rules that apply to real estate brokers, which are different state by state.
IDX Powered Real Estate Websites
All of the best real estate websites in the US that we are going to refer to all going to be IDX driven websites. This is the ONLY way to can rest assured that you will have the most accurate listing database. IDX based real estate websites have a direct connection to the local MLS (they have over 700 individual MLSs across the US) which insures that they always have the most accurate listings available to the public.
Some of the top real estate companies will have access to multiple MLSs – which can get close to a statewide MLS. Some real estate brokers and agents must subscribe to many MLSs just to have one local area – if they have competing MLSs in the area. These factors are very important to keep abreast of when searching for homes for sale on the internet.
Simply put, the best real estate websites are going to be the local brokers websites, NOT Zillow or Trulia. You will want to look for a modern website that is fast and renders well on mobile phones. In addition, you want the real estate website to have the option of signing up to receive the newest listings as soon as they hit the market.
Many new, disruptive real estate franchises are developing nation-wide listing portals also. Since they have local brokers, they can get a direct data feed from the local MLS.
We research to find the best websites for real estate to make sure that everyday consumers can find influential and quality Realtors and real estate brokers.
Our goal is to list only the highest quality websites available in 2021 that regularly update their content, have the most advanced property search and have an established, growing audience. Our focus is on Broker, Agent and Team websites, rather than the 3rd party aggregation websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia and Homes.com.
The Top Real Estate Websites
Information on the Top Real Estate Websites
The Top Real Estate Schools
Information on the Top Real Estate Schools
The Top Real Estate Agents
Information on the Top Real Estate Agents
The Top Real Estate Companies
Information on the Top Real Estate Companies
Most Visited Real Estate Websites
These may or may not have ALL of the real estate listings in YOUR area. Just because a website ranks well on Google and has a large advertising media spend, does NOT make it the best for searching real estate online. Nonetheless, here are the most trafficked real estate websites according to Statista:
- Zillow – Estimated Monthly Traffic 36 million unique visitors per month
- Trulia – Estimated Monthly Traffic 23 million unique visitors per month (also owned by Zillow)
- Realtor.com – Estimated Monthly Traffic 18 million unique visitors per month (NAR’s real estate listings website operated by Move)
- RedFin – Estimated Monthly Traffic 6 million unique visitors per month (the first real estate broker on the list – not in all areas)
- Homes.com – Estimated Monthly Traffic 5 million unique visitors per month
- ReMax – Estimated Monthly Traffic 1.8 million unique visitors per month (real estate franchise website)
- ZipRealty – Estimated Monthly Traffic 1.6 million unique visitors per month (another actual real estate broker – not in all areas)
Although the volume has changed, the above websites have stayed in their respective place for the second year in a row.
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Top 7 USA Real Estate Websites for 2021
We have traveled the web looking and analyzing real estate sites. When looking at Best Design, Best Mobile Apps, Best Neighborhood Pages, Best city pages, Best Property Detail, Video Strategy and Conversion Rates to rank the leaders. For instance, when reviewing a city page – it should have a unique photo of the area, links to most common searches, real estate stats for the area, sold properties and market information. For a good example of a well done city page – click here.
Keep in mind – the below list may not be the most trafficked, but will provide a superior experience. As an example, if you were looking to purchase a home in Greenville SC
2021 – Best Overall Real Estate Website Results:
- Latter & Blum
- Realty Austin
- Climb Real Estate
- Pacific Union
- William Pitt Julia B Fee Sotherby’s International Realty
- Heather Murphy Real Estate Group
What Makes The Top Real Estate Websites Land On This List
Just throwing up a website these days will not work to get traffic to your site. Many factors come into play when sites such as Google, Bing and other search engines rank a website. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has identified eight ways to make visitors come back time and time again to your website. Regardless of how good a website may be, if it doesn’t get found when people search for real estate, it doesn’t matter.
Website up & working 24/7, 365 days a year
Nobody wants to go to a Real Estate Website only to find that it is down, or non-existent. Even a lapse in renewing your domain can cause this to happen. Staying on top of this is a must.
Full IDX Search That Is Consumer Friendly
At the forefront of your mind, must be the awareness that consumers come to your website to search for listings. Most users, when visiting a real estate website, want to see homes for sale. Using just your office listings is not going to be enough. Give the visitor full IDX search or do not even bother having that feature on your website. Your search tab should be the first tab on your page, an easy to find and click tab.
Click Here To View & Contact Forms
The purpose of a Real Estate Website is to get more business. Having the tabs for “contact an Agent for more information” as a contact form will capture the visitors information, to now become a lead. In addition, using tabs to ask them to make an appointment, receive a FREE CMA, and signing up for local market data can capture them for follow up. An automated system of follow up would be best, but the website owner still has to follow up on the leads reports and capture rates.
Clear Layout & Design
Keep in mind “pretty” is great, functionality is “best”. The visitor experience to the site is what will keep them coming back. Consumers looking for assistance from a Real Estate Professional want clear and easy to navigate pages. White space is okay, overwhelming the visitor with text is not. Keep it clear and concise.
To have a successful real estate website in 2021, you need to have useful content. Focus on neighborhood statistics, links to schools system rankings, fresh and useful information. Content non-specific to the market area the website services can be anything from DIY projects, real estate news & trends, FAQs and financing information. Embedding videos on the website are another way to engage the visitor. Use a good mix of text, images and videos to grab the visitors attention.
Add Links To Your Page Content
Adding links from the home page to other pages and blogs on the website will send the visitor deeper into your site. To add value to a website, the home page should be the portal to move visitors through the site. Add clear menus with navigation tabs and links to existing content on the home page.
Visitors to websites these days like to watch and hear the content, versus reading long text.
Use this opportunity to add video highlights of Spotlight Neighborhoods and Agent Introductions. Embedding videos of maps and other useful information will engage the visitor longer, and if you have the right search engine optimization behind your videos, you can increase the traffic to your site as well.
In today’s social media world, successful social media links are more than just Facebook Business Pages. It is more effective to not lose visitors to the Facebook stream to distract them from what they went to the website for to begin with. Use social media “share” buttons to have the website content “shared” and “liked”. Also using social media to drive traffic to the website by using links that take the viewer back to the website to “read more” when uploading a new blog post. This will lead to more traffic to the website and keep the visitor from being distracted, and ultimately moved to other sites.
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