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Single Property Websites

4 minute read

Websites dedicated to an individual property listing are a common trend amongst real estate agents in the US. Many American agents use specific web based applications like vflyer, postlets and mymarketware to quickly and cheaply create a single property website. Single property websites aren’t really used by agents in Australia rather they appear to be opted by private sellers who can’t gain access to the larger Australia real estate portals.

So what is a single property website? It’s basically a website which is dedicated to a single property which is for sale or lease. Here is an example of a vflyer property website which is hosted on the vflyer website and also a postlets site. There are basically two types of single property websites, a subdomain or an individual domain website. Both vflyer and postlets offer a sub domain service which allows an agent or vendor to have a single property website as a subdomain of vflyer or postlets.

Mymarketware offers agents and vendors the option to have their single property website under a unique domain name which the agent/vendor can select. Although this option is a little more expensive because it requires more work to setup, it is a lot better for SEO if a descriptive domain name which reflects the location and type of property is selected.

What are the benefits of having a single property website for your listing(s)? A lot of the suppliers of these websites rant on about how having a single property website will improve the likelihood of a buyer finding the property on the internet. This is a little unrealistic given how competitive the online real estate segment is. Even when one of these sites is indexed by a search engine it will never rank above the real estate portals, most real estate franchises and any real estate agent in that geographic area who has a reasonable online presence. Unless you are lucky enough to secure a domain name which represents what a user will type into a search engine then i don’t see too many buyers finding the property website before they see it on a real estate portal or agent website.

But where I think single agent websites can help an agent or real estate agency is improving their online presence and SEO of their existing agency website, helping attract buyers and vendors to their agency. If you are creating an individual website for every single listing in your agency then an average agency would be creating 70 to 100 websites each year. These websites will be specific to the property type and suburb the property is located in and all will link back to the main agency website. Also, once a property has sold the status of the property will change to sold on the property website but the property website will remain on the web forever.

What does all this mean? This is great for your agency website SEO.  Over a period of time you will have a bundle of websites all with content, keywords and domain names specific to the suburbs your agency operate in. How this really helps your SEO is that you can link all of these websites back to your main agency website increasing the direct traffic it receives. Also, it’s these links from websites containing similar content to what your website contains which search engines dig and will improve your page ranking.

I’ve seen one service in Australia MyPropertyAddress who cater for this niche market but I’m not aware of any other existing services. If there are any others out there then please make yourself known!

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18 Comments

  • Nick
    Posted August 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm 0Likes

    Wouldnt it actually detract from your site for SEO purposes?
    The individual property pages themselves would get virtually no links in (since its mostly physical links) and the domains dont stick around so search engines dont give them much credibility.

    If you did it extensively, I’d bet that it would harm your primary site due to everyone going to these other sites (from a search engine’s point of view) instead of yours.
    A link back to your primary site would only soften the impact slightly.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 2:27 am 0Likes

    Got to say, from my perspective this is a waste of time. I can see why they do it, but for SEO, the prime driver in the future must be your own website.

    To me it is just a gimmick and for the sales pitch. I just don’t think it would get me over the line.

    If I was selling
    I must be on realestate.com.au, domain.com.au first (and others to impress me) and I want your website (the agents) to showcase my property in a very professional manner – probably with more features than on portals.

  • The Insider
    The Insider
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 8:36 am 0Likes

    I happen to know a private selling website in Australia which has excellent SEO out ranking many of the franchise head office websites and the smaller portals for real estate keyword searchers. Doing some investigation into the type of links back to this site and I found there were a lot of single page websites with similar real estate content. I believe this business was (and still is) creating 100’s of sites which are interlinking to one another and all linking back to his main site.

    And a “gimmick for the sales pitch” this is something i left out of the post but was uncovered in the research. Many US Agents create these websites purely to differentiate themselves from their competitors by providing an added marketing benefit to vendors.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 9:36 am 0Likes

    Sorry but I am with Peter on this given that I want my SEO to feed directly into our online model. SEO should not be shared when it can very easily be all ours for our keeping. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about SEO was from Peter Ricci when he told me to just keep adding pages to our website and where possible we add between 50 to 75 new pages each and every week.

  • Jon
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 11:06 am 0Likes

    Theses responses perhaps help explain why I received zero interest when I offered a FREE individual property website “to the first 6 agents that call”

    See my example here… http://www.6wandist.com/

    Perhaps they appeal more to vendor vanity, and for that reason, a could be a
    point-of-difference service that the agency can offer.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm 0Likes

    We provide a single property website service at http://www.HomeWebsites.com.au & I know that there are a number of others on their way.

    Here’s a demo site at http://www.888AnySt.com

    I don’t believe that SEO is the reason you would use them. Winning the listing & appearing in more places across the web are why you use them.

    I see it as project marketing a property. When you look at how the project marketing companies promote their projects they have a website dedicated to that property.

    On their signs the website stands out. In their printed material it stands out & except for having a bar code scanning facility on your print media, having a website address for the property in your offline advertisements is the fastest way that someone can get to see more information about a property online.

    The vendors & purchasers love them PLUS it helps to by-pass traffic away from the major portals.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm 0Likes

    These seem a good idea to me.
    While I agree wholeheartedly with maximising the value of our own agency websites, individual property websites could provide a smart ‘feature’ for vendor properties. They sort of fit where newspaper space once did for display ads (and where ‘feature’ properties on portals don’t!). Individual websites will surely assist in gaining vendor acceptance that their property receives individualised attention. Why do you think commercial buildings have their own websites when they could sit on an agent’s website (or several agents websites)? Isn’t this why agents all produce individual brochures?

    Just my two-penneth 🙂

  • Andrew
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 7:07 am 0Likes

    Great to see communication regarding single property web sites.

    Our company provides individual property web sites – as an ongoing online strategy – they work. Hodges Real Estate for example receive hundreds of hits over a 4-6 week campaign (fact, contact Hodges).

    Don’t be defeated with regards to the portals. As a strategy and when linking correctly, individual property web sites can appear number 1 in google searches, when the address is typed in the search.

    More and more people are typing in the address into google for searching as it takes to long (unless you have the property id), to search on the portals or the agents site.

    Would you not prefer the buyers / potential vendors going to your own agent BRANDED individual web site with links to your main site rather than the portals?

    The back links create many SEO advantages and are a great point of difference in the market place.

    Other strategies implemented by http://www.mypropertyaddress.com.au actually use the portals to assist driving traffic to the sites and therefore attracting more people to your brand and the opportunity to go to your main agent site. We have found this to be true through monitoring google analytics.

    Capturing the attention of potential clients is what the online world is all about, the longer they spend looking at your properties and your brand, the greater the opportunity to convert to a transacting client.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 10:30 am 0Likes

    Technically it is impossible for this to be bad for the SEO of your primary site if the individual sites are completley standalone with no connection to your main website. Naturally you dont want them totally standalone so to make sure they only provide positive SEO to your main site you just have to follow a few rules.

    If you have 10 listings with their own individual websites those 10 properties should also be listed on your primary site. This means your main website has lost absolutley nothing in terms of page numbers or content.

    But you should contstruct a linking strategy with these sites but it should be totally one way. Your primary site should not link back to the individual sites but all those individual sites should link to any and all other websites you have. This will actually benefit the SEO on your primary site rather than harm it. It wont be major as the individual sites have not earnt enough “link juice” themselves to pass on but every little bit helps.

    When they will start appearing in the rankings and be of benefit as an inlink to yoru main site will generally be after the prime selling period.. ie.. after 60 days..

    Generally these websites work on the basis that they are up for 12 months so once the property is sold you can convert the site to be a testimonial site promoting the agency or rather than the property. You could upload sold pictures and happy vendor snaps and replace the marketing text with a tesimonial from the owners. Too many agents just leave them sitting idle.

    You should only think of these sites as additional marketing rather than replacing your primary site. Because they will not attract much SEO effect in their own right for several months their primary traffic sources would primarily be through signs, window cards and other print advertising.

    One tip with these sites though is that they generally only ever use .com domains rather than .com.au. This means to get the most out of them from an SEO perspective you need to get these validated in Google Webmaster and then the Geographic Target to be set to Australia.

    They certainly do work as a listing and marketing tool. Initially they have very little SEO value, but in time they can be of benefit if you manage them right.

  • Andrew
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 10:51 am 0Likes

    http://8-22mayroadtoorak.com/ The individual property web site completed for Biggin Scott has been live for less than 3 weeks and is ranked 1 when searched by the address only in google.

    Ranking number 1 in google is possible for these sites within the campaign period, ranking above the portals on the same address..

    Again I stress, there are a couple of key processes required to assist in achieving this outcome for every individual property web site. Not hard to achieve.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 11:14 am 0Likes

    Andrew, if anyone enters a URL into a Google search it always comes back first so the only key process would be to type the URL in correctly 🙂

  • Andrew
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 11:18 am 0Likes

    Robert, type in the property address – not the url address.

    The advantage is when talking to clients about the property you can tell them to simply type in the full property address into google and goto the site.

    Great for phone enquiries when the agents are on the road or when the clients drive past a property and complete a Google search. NO http: or .com required.

    This has been working extremely well for Hodges Real Estate.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 12:02 pm 0Likes

    As a contributor of this blog & a provider of individual property websites I have to be mindful of what I say about this particular topic.

    There is one important factor about these individual property websites that I believe agents should be made aware of & that is viral marketing.

    I’ve had agents ask me why they’ve had 30 or more visits to their clients individual property website before they’ve even done any marketing at all. It turns out the vendor emailed their friends about the website.

    Vendors & buyers also share them with their friends on facebook & Twitter.

    Another thing that I have experienced with these websites, buyers of the property will often contact me directly to see if they can keep the website live after they’ve moved in & extend the website hosting & domain name.

    Because we do not sell direct to the public, the purchaser gave the agent their credit card details & the renewal was paid via the agent’s user account.

    To give you an idea of what’s happened to one of the sites during this renewal period… one site was renewed back in February & it’s had 44 unique visits last month & 40 unique visits so far this month. (Overall since Feb there’s been a Total of 474 visits – 294 unique visits).

    That’s without any marketing at all on the agent’s behalf. All this time the agent’s company is being promoted on the web for another 12 months for free & the buyer is really happy.

    PS: There are a number of things that agents can do to get better results from these websites, but I’ll need to check with Peter before commenting any further on this topic.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm 0Likes

    Andrew,

    It might be first for “8/22 May Road, Toorak” but not so good for “22 May Road Toorak” or “May Road Toorak”

    That shows it has certainly been indexed but its SEO value is not really that high just yet. The fact it is coming up is because nothing else has the term 8/22 May Road, Toorak”.

    You can certainly use it for the example you suggest, but I don’t think that the SEO features of that site has kicked in just yet. That really takes a bit more time for new domains. The pages that are ranked higher might be new pages but they are on established domains….. such as realestate.com.au, domain.com.au and myhome.com.au, homehound.com.au, homepriceguide.com.au etc etc..

    A new domain just can’t compete that quickly and thankfully so or the spammers of this world would churn out websites to flood the indexes like they do email spam.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 11:05 am 0Likes

    If you copy and paste Site://8-22mayroadtoorak.com/ into a Google search you will see that SEO is basically non existant which is where it fails from that perspective. It does have a Business2 listing so it works for that SEO.

    For others type Site: (your URL without the www) to see how many pages Google has scraped for your respective business – then you will see if you are on the right track.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm 0Likes

    SEO doesn’t even enter my mind as the reason why an agent would offer an individual property website to a client & quite frankly if an agent did start trying to market them that way they will be found out by any seller who has a basic knowledge of SEO.

    Forget SEO as part of the strategy unless Google Caffeine makes them rank faster, which I doubt. SEO takes too long & after a few weeks if the website doesn’t appear on Google then you’ll have some explaining to do.

    The home is probably sold by then & the number of referrals you’d get from people finding them on Google, it’s almost insignificant.

    The place where the websites make a difference is when the agent is in the home at a listing presentation. Winning the listing over their competitor.

    Call it a gimmick, a listing tool, whatever you like, but that’s the number 1 place where they count for an agent.

    Our sites allow agents to create a Free Demo Website for the client right before their eyes. This provides a great opportunity to ask involvement questions. I’d even suggest that the owner be involved, because once they’ve built the website then they’d want to show it off to their friends (viral marketing), especially if they’ve never built a website before.

    But to be able to show the website off to their friends they’d basically have to do a couple of things first – sign up with the agent & order the site.

    While they are sharing the website with their friends, chances are that their friends might be selling too & want a website as well.

    The share functionality within the websites also allows the sites to be posted on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, My Space, LinkedIn, Digg, etc & bookmarked on sites like Delicious & StumbleUpon, etc ( There are over 100 sharing sites available).

    Having the ability to share the Individual Property Websites over the web is a really important feature not only for linking & spreading your message broader over the web, but also because the fastest way people can get to a website while they are on the internet is via the click of a mouse. So having links scattered about the web helps to drive traffic to your site.

    Now the 2nd place where the Individual Property Websites work for an agent is that they compliment an agents offline marketing campaign by providing one of the fastest ways that a person can find out more about an agent’s listing online from an agent’s offline media ( signboards, brochures, print media, window display, leaflets, etc ).

    Unfortunately, because people have become familiar with navigating sites like realestate.com.au & domain.com.au you’ll find that most people looking at an agents print media or signs, will have a tendency to go to the major portals to find out more about the property. When in reality, trying to find out more about a property from a standing start via the usual suburb search on the major portals is only the 6th fastest way that someone can view an agents listing online from an offline media campaign.

    ( This also means an agent’s offline media campaign is actually sending a lot of people across to the major portals & past their competitors listings.)

    Some agents will be thinking that the fastest way for someone to find out more about one of their listings from their print media is via their company website. Unfortunately not. A similar search on the agents company website comes in at number 5 & if it’s any consolation the Individual Property Websites actually come in at number 2.

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  • Craig
    Posted September 22, 2010 at 7:33 am 0Likes

    FWIW, I have added the ability to create single property web sites to my web site http://www.baseestate.com/upload.mvc A sample web site is http://www.30marjoriecrescent.com/. We will be adding more templates as we go.

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