Although 2008 financial crisis turned the real estate industry upside down, things have been recovering since then. The industry may not be what once it was, but as long as there are people and some sort of financial stability, rentals and purchases will still happen.
Sure that economy is now looking up, it is important for real estate agents to remain competitive. There is money to be made but it is not as easy as before anymore
That’s why it is important for property agents to have websites. As a matter of fact, many of them do. But those websites are nothing more than a bunch of brochure-like sites, with smiling photos of the agents, some information about the company that nobody will read, and contact information. That’s about it.
Is it really enough? People are now searching about properties online. They don’t read on newspapers anymore. They search about almost everything on the Web. So if you as a property agent aren’t where your customers are looking, you will be missing out a lot.
A website can have more than just your smiling photo and profile. It can showcase all your listings, complete with pictures, and even virtual tour of the entire place. You can feature mortgage fee calculator, tax calculator, and everything else your customers need to know. Do they only want to rent? Sure, you can give them a search engine where they can input price range, how many bedrooms they want, what features they need and the areas, then voila.
Not only that, you can also do SEO and rank well on local search terms. Imagine ranking your website at the top for terms like “Chicago best apartments”. Imagine what it can do for your business.
So in order to help you, here are are 5 best hosting companies we hand picked for real estate agents. Their hosting plans are affordable, and you can easily build awesome sites on them. Check them out after the break.
Winner – Eleven2 – From $4.95/month
Eleven2 is an awesome hosting company and you will realize that as soon as you are done reading this review. First thing that must be mentioned about the company is their datacenters. They have got four datacenters at the moment and they are located in three different continents. USA, UK and Singapore are the destinations where their datacenters are located. This provides with an opportunity to select the hosting destination for your website easily. If most of your traffic comes from USA, go for a server that is located in USA. This will provide better loading speed to the people that are visiting the website. They also offer shared hosting services on optimized servers.
Eleven2 is hosting more than 100,000+ websites on their servers and they are committed towards offering high quality services to their customers. The 60 days money back guarantee is an example of how committed they are towards offering top-notch services to their customers. Most of the companies offer either 30 or 45 days money back guarantee but 60 days money back guarantee is definitely something to talk about. The main focus of the company is cloud and shared hosting but they also offer VPS hosting plans and dedicated servers too.
The lowest shared hosting plan will cost only $4.95/ month but it is available on yearly billing cycle only. In this plan, customers can get 10GB of disk space and 50GB of bandwidth for data transfer and up to 10 websites can be hosted on same account. By paying more monthly charges, a customer can get more disk space and bandwidth too. They also offer free SSL certificate and dedicated IP address for the website a customer is registering.
2. HostGator – From $3.96/month
Over 400,000 customers and 8 million domains can’t be wrong. And this is exactly the number of customers and domains HostGator is currently serving for. Yes, 8 millions. You didn’t read it wrong nor it’s a typo. HostGator is a behemoth in web hosting industry, and perhaps the most well-known one too. So if you are a “huge brands only” guy, then you will really want to look into going with HostGator.
Well-known for their affordably priced shared hosting plans, HostGator has customers from all over the world. The word has it that their customers come from 200 countries (isn’t there just 196 countries according to UN though?) plus from outerspace. You can pick from shared hosting, resellers and VPS, but for most part, shared hosting plans would be more than sufficient for your needs. When your site grows and need more power, then maybe you can go with a VPS or a dedicated server.
All hosting plans are backed by a 45-day money back guarantee so that you can easily ask for a refund if you are not satisfied. That’s 15 days more than industry standard. The starter shared hosting plan will cost you just $7.16 a month if you pay monthly or commit to 6 months billing cycle. If you can commit to HostGator for 3 years and pay $142.56 in advance, then you will get at just $3.96 a month. Only do it after you have tested HostGator and are absolutely sure you like them. Otherwise, it is hard to back down once you have already paid.
All shared hosting plans come with unlimited space and bandwidth. While a lot of small web hosting firms offering “unlimited resources” are usually overselling, HostGator seems to be managing their resources well. We don’t know how they are doing it but even the RAM and CPU restrictions they put on each shared hosting accounts are decent.
3. Little Oak Hosting – From $80/year
Probably the most terrific thing about Little Oak hosting is its culture and rich values. Despite being quite a young player in the industry, the firm is among the market’s leader hosting service providers. It was kicked off in 2007 by a group of developers and web designers. Today it hosts around 400,000 accounts. Though we cannot compare it with HostGator but it’s certainly bigger than Site5 and Eleven2.
Looking at their competitive offerings, we come to know that they offer some 100% uptime Service Level Agreement. This is something very innovative in the shared hosting business because hardly any traditional hosting service provider offers 100% uptime guarantee. This was originally a product of cloud based services, which Little Oak adopted. As per this agreement, clients receive refund for downtime. For example, if the downtime lasts for consecutive 10 minutes, the company offers 10% refund.
Can’t we praise their confidence?
Looking at their hosting plan, we find their pricing quite reasonable. Shared hosting plans start from $80 a year, and they will give you 5GB disk space and 50GB data transfer. One thing that might tease few people a bit is their billing. After sign up, you are billed for the whole year, which means that at least one year of relationship. However, this concern is addressed by 30 days money back guarantee option.
4. SiteGround – From $3.95/month
SiteGround is one of those hosting companies that have the ability to optimize their resources properly even on shared web hosts. Servers of SiteGround are optimized properly and a customer can get access to useful resources even in shared hosting account. A forum site that accommodates thousands of visitors each day can be easily hosted on their servers. With the help of different ecommerce tools like Magento, running an ecommerce website is not a big issue. SiteGround also offers VPS hosting plans which are best to manage hundreds of thousands of visitors per day.
For more than 10 years, SiteGround has been serving the webhosting industry. More than 150,000 websites are hosted on their servers at this moment. The company is dedicated to offer high quality, well optimized and affordable web hosting services to its customers around the globe. Considering the number of customers and pricing plan of the company, it can be said that they are offering very legitimate hosting services.
A customer can start using their hosting services by paying only $3.95/ month and avail unlimited bandwidth and disk space too. Monthly billing will cost an additional $14.95 setup fee but this fee is waived if a customer opts for yearly billing.
5. JustHost – From $3.25/month
When you have multiple hosting plans, it can make you confused. The case of JustHost is quite different as it has only one hosting plan. Those people who want to avoid the headache of making a right choice; this can be the perfect place. Though you might not find its name in famous names in local hosting industry but owing to the patronage of famous Endurance International Group, customers can feel quite relaxed while signing up.
Fundamentally, JustHost keeps its focus on the budget-conscious segment that has small websites. However, if you expect to receive higher traffic on your site, it is important to skip this for some better option. Though, they can offer you reliable hosting service for the simple websites and low-budget projects; however, we do not recommend JustHost for high competition and high traffic websites. They are definitely not optimized for resource intensive scripts though small websites will work fine.
In addition to this, a customer is entitled to receive $100 Google AdWords coupon to try out paid marketing campaigns. Though the plan is called as unlimited bandwidth and disk space; however, the fair usage policy is applicable. Generally, it is $8.95 a month plus $20 setup fee for monthly billing cycle. However, if you go for yearly billing cycle, the cost per month will come down to $3.25.
We know that you are fighting tooth and nail to keep your business alive. Being a real estate agent is becoming increasingly difficult with increasing competition and still less than favourable economy. So if you still don’t have a website yet, not is the time to get one and start beating the competition. If you think these 5 companies are not good enough or want to know more alternatives, just head on to our hosting comparison tool and check them out yourself.