Realtor vs. Agency website

Property Websites 17 April 2019

In this article, we will explain the key differences between realtor and agency website, highlight what is needed to keep a real estate website up-to-date, and outline the required features for a successful property listing website.

There are two traditional models in real estate business - independent and agency model. An independent model implies a realtor who is licensed to sell properties and not affiliated with a real estate company. This business model is more commonly known in some parts of the United States, Canada, and Australia. An agency model implies multiple agents working for the same company and it is a common case for Europe. These two business models stand behind our FW Real Estate product and are communicated via its two versions - FW Real Estate Agency and Realtor. Let’s review the main differences between a realtor and agency website and key real estate data management principles below.

Realtor vs Agency website: common base and differences

When it comes to a common thread, both realtor and agency websites should have up-to-date property listings, which is a matter of MLS/IDX integration described below. Except for MLS/IDX integration, a good real estate website should have a bunch of features:
  • Multiple fields allowing to specify property information - specification details, floor/room plans, amenities, interior/exterior details, specific terms, etc. The more information you can provide about the property, the better your chances to succeed. 
  • Advanced search functionality enabling your users to search for properties by multiple criteria such as location, status, price range, property type, and more.
  • Map view enabling your visitors to visualize the properties and neighborhood boundaries giving all information they needed to buy or rent with confidence.
  • Rental functionality allowing to specify lease terms, dates, pets friendly/not friendly information, utility costs, etc.
  • Social sharing features allowing to share your property ads on social media and, in such a way, expand your online presence.
  • Interactive and informative media elements such as 3d virtual and video tours, engaging slideshows, PDF brochures, multiple images display, etc. 

All of the above-listed features are crucial for a professional and competitive real estate website and they are all available in both FW Real Estate Agency and Realtor products. However, there are certain conceptual differences between realtor and agency websites. These differences are basically centered around multiple agents functionality which is present in the agency website and absent in the realtor website.Thus, a good agency website should provide the following basic things:

  • Property listings associated with particular agents. In other words, each property ad should display the agent who is in charge of it so the user could immediately contact the agent directly from your ad.
  • Agents user pages, where agents can publish and edit their property listings and present their bios and qualifications as well. It is also important that your agent users could interact with the website directly from the front-end, without having to access the admin panel. 
  • Pages displaying all agents working within the company so the user could choose and contact the agent they like. If you don’t provide agents listings, your visitors may leave the website to search for an agent and chance are low that they will ever come back. 
  • Pages displaying all properties from a particular agent. Once the agent is chosen, the user can go to the page with all properties from the agent they like.
  • An eye-catching agents promo functionality allowing to position your new or popular agents in the best possible light. 

FW Real Estate Agency offers a full range of agents functionalities so you could create a consistent and working real estate agency website.

How to keep your real estate website up-to-date effortlessly

Real estate business is constantly changing. If your properties listings respond to the ongoing changes on the real estate marketplace, your potential buyers will more likely find the property they want and come to you when it’s time to buy or rent. There are three different ways to keep your real estate website up-to-date:
 
  • Manually, when each property is added and edited manually. This method is free but time-consuming. 
  • Export/import, when properties tables are exported, edited, and imported manually. This method is less time-consuming, then the manual one. However, it is suitable for the websites with a small number of properties updated once in two-three days. The more property ads are updated using this method, the better chance of making mistake in properties tables.
  • Automated, when integration with a properties database (MLS/IDX) is handled via API calls or XML/CSV technology. All properties coming to the marketplace get automatically to MLS/IDX database. Once a property is sold or rent out, this information is instantly reflected in the MLS/IDX database. So it is not surprising, why it is so important to keep your real estate website synchronized with MLS/IDX database. This method is effortless and time-saving. MLS/IDX integration allows to automatically pull broker's listings from the MLS/IDX database and get them published directly on the website. 
As you can see, it depends on your business needs, which properties update method to choose. We offer automated properties update service in the form of a custom-developed plugin. The plugin gets integrated with MLS/IDX provider via XML technology. To learn more about our integration service, review our MLS/IDX/XML integration service page. 
 
Review our FW Real Estate demo website to find more information about FW RE Agency and Realtor. Get familiar with FW Real Estate documentation to learn about FW Real Estate installation, configuration, and settings. Please use the comments section at the bottom of each documentation page to comment and suggest improvements that will make the product experience better.