The right website will help position your brokerage for success while also providing a platform that’s easy to update and manipulate for future changes. That’s why it’s vital to evaluate your brokerage’s needs, match them with the functionality offered and choose a platform that allows for growth.
The following is criteria that you should consider when choosing a website vendor. We recommend you invite at least two vendors to the table, so you are able to compare the website offerings.
1. Lock Down Domain Name(s)
The first step that is critically essential when choosing a website vendor is to register your domain. Why? Purchasing and owning your domain takes away any potential opportunity for a vendor or partner to take control of your domain. Think of your domain as the land and your house as your website. If the house is taken away, you still own the land and can build another house.
2. Years In Business
After registering your domain name(s), identify how long potential website vendors have been in business. Years of experience will make a world of difference when it comes to the overall process. A website vendor with years of experience will have clear-cut processes that will make the design and development process much more streamlined.
3. Customer and Industry Profile
Look for a strong portfolio when choosing a website vendor. The number of successful projects is an important indicator that the vendor is reliable and skilled. Analyze other websites built by the website vendor to identify core strengths and weaknesses. Look for reputable and identifiable brokerages as well as design elements, functionality, speed and overall features on the profiled websites.
4. Freedom of Choice
Nothing is worse than having a website for which you can’t make changes or adapt as your brokerage grows. A backend that allows for further development, design and the ability to add or manipulate content is important when choosing a website vendor. Request a demo or walk-through of the vendor’s backend/CMS to identify if the platform provides the type of additional development flexibility required for your brokerage. There should always be the ability to make changes or add content without having to pay the website vendor or a developer to perform updates.
5. Platform and Technology
Performing due diligence on a website vendor’s technology and platform choice will lay the foundation on which your website will be built. Identify the platform early in the process to ensure it’s a fit for a brokerage-style website. Afterall, you’ll need to leverages high-level data and several different integrations of technology. This is another opportunity to request a demo or walk-through to understand the technology being used and the impact it plays in the overall success of the website.