As more people go online to shop for a home or get their homes listed, it’s crucial for agents, brokers, and other players in the industry to become visible on the web. Apart from social media, you will also need to create a website for attracting clients and providing them with the resources they need to make the right decisions. However, building a website isn’t easy. There are creative and technical aspects to consider, and if you are not familiar with the process, you could end up with a low-quality website that also doesn’t get traction in the search engines. If that’s the case, you will need the help of a web developer. Check the list of helpful tips on whether to hire a web developer and how to do it right.
The Basics of How to Hire a Web Developer
Unless you have a background in building websites, you will need an experienced web developer to handle every step of the process. These days, it’s easy to find web development professionals for your real estate business. It’s just a matter of choosing between a web development agency and a freelance web developer.
The Advantage of a Web Development Company
When you are working with a web development company, you have the advantage of oversight. The developers you hire will be under the direct supervision of the company. That means you won’t have to deal with any hands-on work. The company also has the tools and platforms you need so you won’t have to spend time setting up web hosting, managing content databases, and securing an SSL certificate.
In case there are problems you need to deal with, outsourcing companies provide 24/7 customer support. Moreover, you are also assured of continuity in case a web developer is sick or on vacation. The company will simply assign a temporary replacement to keep the project going.
The Advantage of a Freelance Web Developer
There are those who work as independent contractors or freelancers. You can find them on sites like Craigslist, Guru, Upwork, or Freelancer.com. The advantage of hiring freelancers is the cost. While companies charge depending on the package you chose, a freelancer charges a lower hourly rate. Hiring a developer will cost you $500 or more in the long run, but there are freelancers who charge by the hour starting at $20 an hour.
Knowing this, you might be thinking about hiring someone who offers the lowest price for the project. Then again, there is more to hiring a web developer than meets the eye. You will need to check if a company or freelancer is the right fit for your line of business. Check out these tips before you begin your search:
Tips to Help You Check If a Web Developer Is Right for You
Make Industry Knowledge a Top Priority
Not all web developers know a lot about real estate, so it’s important to find someone who has experience in your field or niche. For instance, if you run a cash-buying company such as Nexus Homebuyers, look for someone who has worked with investors and fix-and-flippers.
Do a Background Check
If you find a company or a contractor that says they specialize in web development for the real estate industry, take their statement with a grain of salt. If you are looking for a web agency, look up their address and telephone number.
Moreover, you can also look them up on the Better Business Bureau. If the agency has at least an A-rating, then it’s likely legitimate. You will also need to check for any bad reviews from past clients. In case you are in the market for independent contractors, look for their LinkedIn profiles and scroll down to the reviews section.
Ask People You Know
A background check can help you determine if an agency or contractor is legitimate, but how do you know if you will be comfortable working with them? If customer service and reliability are crucial to you, it helps if you check with other real estate professionals. Ask them about their experience with the service provider.
Professionalism and trustworthiness are crucial to choosing a legitimate web development service provider, but they are not the only factors to look for. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website and increase the number of queries, you need an agency or freelancer that has the following skill sets:
Programming and Technical Skills
These are a must for web developers to be highly skilled with one or more programming languages. The most widespread right now is CSS as it allows websites to adapt to varying screen sizes.
Hire a Web Developer – Visual Communication
In most cases, you will need both a web designer and a web developer to work in tandem. The designer will prepare the layout while the developer sets up the needed features and handles the back-end tasks such as coding, search engine optimization, and web administration. However, considering the differences between these roles, there was always room for conflict. There are cases in which a designer and developer may disagree on creative and technical grounds.
If you are lucky, you can find a web developer who also has a designer’s eye. The advantage of this is balance. Apart from making sure each website component is functional, such a developer will also check if the component doesn’t affect the overall layout.
Web development uses highly technical language. You could get lost in the details if you hire a developer who won’t explain an issue in simple terms. For this reason, you need someone who is easy to talk to and responsive to the questions you ask.
Whether you are hiring locally or outsourcing the project to an offshore agency or contractor, it’s important to know if you are dealing with someone who can explain what’s going on. Look for someone who is available on the messaging platform of your choice. It also matters to find a developer who knows how to use collaboration tools such as Trello, Red Pen, or Bitrix 24.
Efficiency and Work Ethics
Just because a developer knows how to communicate well doesn’t mean they work well. As with hiring any other employee for your real estate company, it’s important that you have people who meet your expectations. Especially if you are planning to launch a website on a specific date, you will need a developer who can balance speed and efficiency with quality. If you are interviewing a candidate, be sure to ask them for samples of the real estate websites they helped build.
How to Hire a Web Developer – Bottomline
Building a website for your real estate business is essential. Knowing that more people are using search engines and social media to find real estate brokers, investors, and agents, you will need a website developer who knows a lot about your industry.