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  • Websites for REALTORS® Canada: Free Broker Sites Vs. Paid Sites

    As a new or old REALTOR®, having a website is an important part of your success. Your website allows potential clients to learn about what you offer and how your skills can benefit them. It’s also a great place for you to build authority in the industry and capture digital leads. When you join a reputable brokerage, you're often confronted with the choice between investing in a custom website or using a free one provided by the brokerage. It's essential to determine which option aligns best with your marketing goals and budget. To help you make an informed decision, we've created this post to guide you through the process of choosing the right websites for REALTORS® in Canada. Follow along below to learn more! 

    Understanding Your Budget and Branding Needs

    Before you entertain the possibility of a custom site, it’s important to understand your budget. For many new agents, the cost of a website is a significant factor in the decision-making process. A free website provided by the broker is often an enticing option since it comes at no extra cost to use. However, free websites like these generally come with limitations that may inhibit an agent's ability to grow. On the contrary, a paid website will typically allow you to tailor the platform as you see fit. 

    For new agents, it can be beneficial to stick with the free template site provided by your broker until you get off the ground. This will allow you to build a relationship with some clients and pocket more of your earnings in the early stages. Once you settle into the rhythm, then you can begin to look at what a custom website would do for you. However, some agents do find that investing in a custom site early on helps them build a foundation and establish a stronger reputation. What you choose is entirely up to you and your financial threshold. 

    Beyond the budget, you’ll need to think about how your website will convey your brand. A key advantage of a custom site is that you can build it out to suit your branding needs/personality. Custom websites give you more freedom to create unique and professional-looking platforms. Consequently, increasing your chances of standing out in a competitive market. For those who stick with the free broker site, there may be limitations in terms of customization. This can make it challenging to optimize your site with respect to your brand. 

    Future Scalability and Growth

    Another factor to consider when deciding between free and paid REALTOR® websites is how much control you have over the features and functionality. Paid sites generally offer more features and functions than those provided free with your brokerage. These functionalities may include lead generation tools, CRM integration, custom data analytics tools, and more. Having such features can ultimately increase your lead generation and sales volume. 

    In addition to this, paid sites usually give you more control over your online presence. With a free website, you may be restricted from posting certain content, changing the design/layout of the site and what branding elements you’re able to use. This lack of control can hinder your ability to create a lasting impression on visitors. By contrast, those with full digital control can customize and post until their heart is content. Having this opportunity makes it much easier to create a uniform brand image across all platforms. Thus, leaving website visitors with a better first impression. 

    The last thing that you’ll want to consider before choosing which website to invest in is scalability. As your business grows, your website will need to handle more demand from clients and you may need additional functionalities that you were able to do without originally. Paid REALTOR® websites offer scalability options that allow agents to expand their site as their business grows. On the other hand, using a free brokerage site can make it especially difficult for you to scale your website for growth. This often leads to agents needing to upgrade to a paid site, which can be costly and disruptive. As such, it’s important to consider how you anticipate your long-term goals will affect what kind of website you need. 

    Contact us About Websites for REALTORS® Canada! 

    Having a great website that’s in line with current industry standards and reflects your brand is critical. Doing so will ensure that you remain competitive and continue to foster an authoritative reputation in your community’s real estate market. 

    For more information about how to decide between a free brokerage website and a custom website, contact us today. We’d be happy to help you as you work toward establishing yourself in the real estate industry. Be sure to check back next month for more information like this! We look forward to working with you in the near future.

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