Choosing a web host for your real estate business is not a decision to be taken lightly. While you want to know that you are getting an affordable cost for hosting, you also need to be certain that your chosen host is reliable and offers the features and support that you need to provide your customers with a good website experience.
Most real estate agents don’t use good web hosting providers, that’s why we are focusing on the right real estate web hosting companies.
Real estate web hosting involves a few more considerations than a typical website host.
When you have a real estate website you have to ensure that you can easily and reliably display your listings in one place. Real estate companies and agents typically have a large database of information that they have to display. You need to make sure that your web host can store the massive amount of files you will have, so choose your real estate web hosting company carefully and make sure storage is never an issue.
Your host should offer the disk space that you require without charging you a fortune for added space. You want to be able to provide information about the properties that you have available as well as area considerations like schools, shopping, hospitals and other things that potential buyers may need to know.
Your site needs to be accessible at all times. Not everyone has the time to browse the internet during the day so your host should offer a good uptime guarantee so that your customers can see your listings whenever they have time to browse.
Many hosts today offer up time guarantees of at least 99 percent with some going as high as 99.9 percent. This is an important aspect to consider when selecting a web host. You need to know that you will not be facing server issues and that your customers will always have access to your listings and other information.
Building your real estate site is something else to consider. Many hosting companies offer a number of website builders with drag and drop features as well as pre-designed templates that will make creating your site fast and easy.
If you are looking to get your website up and running in a short period of time, website builders are a must. Choose a host that provides site builders and site management systems that will make creating and running your site easier.
MLS or Multiple Listing Service is essential for any good real estate website. You have to ensure that the host you select can integrate this service into your site. You may also want to choose a host that offers marketing features like Google or Yahoo marketing credits.
Many companies provide a $100 credit for advertising when you choose a specific package. This is an excellent way to instantly begin marketing your site and reaching new customers. When comparing hosts, look for those that give you these little extras to help you to get your site noticed and get your real estate business off the ground.
Virtual tours are another aspect to consider when choosing a host. Adding a virtual tour to your real estate site allows your customers to look through a home without actually traveling to the property in person. Virtual tours have proven to be one of the most effective tools that a real estate agent has when it comes to selling a property.
They help you to save time by allowing customers to know whether or not a specific property will meet their needs before they schedule an actual in person viewing of that property. Your hosting company should offer the bandwidth required to host a virtual tour of various properties.
Finally, cost is certainly a consideration. Most hosts today offer a varying range of costs and many are relatively inexpensive. HostMonster, BlueHost, FatCow and others can provide hosting for around $4 or less each month although many require you to purchase a hosting package of at least 12 months or more to qualify for a lower rate.
You may find a host that offers a hosting cost of $10 per month but gives you many more options and special features than one that comes in at a lower rate. This is why it is important that you consider more than just cost when choosing your host.
You should also keep in mind that just because a host is more expensive does not necessarily mean that it offers the best service. Check to ensure that you have multiple means of communication with the hosting company that you choose.
Email, phone, web chat and other forms of reporting issues should be available. Let me know who you would choose for your real estate web hosting and why you chose them over everyone else.