With the right tools and knowledge, one can easily create a website with listings from MLS’s (Multiple Listing Services). This article will cover the steps and considerations needed to build a successful MLS website.
It is essential to understand the purpose and functionality of such website. His main function is to be an online stage for real estate agents to compile and publicize properties for sale or rent. Furthermore, it allows agents to exchange listings amongst themselves, thereby facilitating the quest for properties on the part of purchasers and lessees.
Once built, it can become a valuable tool for agents and buyers as it increases the visibility of properties and streamlines the search process.
The first step you need to do is to decide on what platform will build it. Several options are available, including using a pre-built template on a free CMS(content management system) like WordPress or building a custom website from scratch.
Using WordPress with an already-made real estate theme is an excellent option for those new to website building or with a limited budget. They are easy to use and come with pre-designed layouts and features. However, some of these templates may have only some of the features required for integrating with an MLS database.
The opposite option is to make a custom website from scratch. This will allow you to build a website with your desired features and functionality. However, the high costs will likely be over 10k, and we don’t think this is the best solution when you have so many professional real estate themes for WordPress.
Once you have decided on the platform, it is time to make a list of the features and functionalities of your website. Some of the key elements that an MLS website should have to include the following:
- A search form that allows users to look for properties based on location, price, and other criteria.
- A listing management system that will enable agents to add, edit, and delete listings quickly.
- A user registration and login system will help agents create and manage their listings.
- A contact form that allows interested buyers or renters to contact the agent directly.
- A map view that will enable users to view properties on a map and filter by location.
- The listing page should have a photo gallery where you will display high-quality images of properties.
Once you understand what you must build, you can move to the next step: designing the website. In this phase, you should involve a professional (you can hire a freelancer from sites like upwork.com or look for a reputable company ). This step includes choosing a suitable color scheme, layout, and overall aesthetic. It is important to keep the design clean and professional while making it easy to navigate. While getting involved in the creative process may be tempting, let the designers do their job and listen to what they are saying.
Remember to ask the design team for desktop and mobile versions since many users will access the website on their smartphones or tablets.
After the design is complete, it is time to start building the website. You also need to hire a developer or a development company (in many cases, the company that did the design can do the coding, also).
This part includes coding the front-end and back-end of the website, integrating the design from the previews step, and building the features and functionality previously outlined.
Once the coding part is completed, testing the website thoroughly before launching is essential. No matter how good the developers are, they will always be some bugs. That’s why you should get involved in this part and ensure the site is functioning correctly and there are no errors.
The last step is to choose the right hosting provider. This is an essential part as it will affect the speed and reliability of your website. Many cheap options are market, but we recommend something other than those. Usually, these hosting packages are suitable for a personal website rather than a company one.
Also, you must know that your website will have over a thousand listings (most of the MLS have over 10k active listings). That means you will have an extensive database and many images. Therefore, you will need some power behind this website.
A good hosting provider will have a high uptime, good customer support, and scalability options; If you need to be more technical, ask for advice from the development company – don’t go to the 5$ hosting thing.
As you can see, things can get very complicated: you need to think and do a feature list, hire a design team and create a visual template, then do the coding, the testing and pick a hosting.
If you are unwilling to spend a car value on this website, you must look for a more suitable solution.
And this solution is this: use WordPress, a free Content management system, buy (no free themes, please) a professional real estate theme, and use a wordpress plugin to integrate your MLS database with your website.
Here is how this solves your problems :
When you use WordPress, you get a fast, reliable, and tested system that is used by more than 30% of today’s websites. You don’t need to worry about tests, development, or hiring engineers.
When you get a professional real estate theme (like WpResidene), you get a nice-looking design, the option to adjust this composition, and a lot of features – even the ones you did not think of it. You also get various demos to use as a starting point. Everything is bug-free, tested, retested, and optimized.
When using plugins like MlsImport, you get a currently maintained, optimized, and tested product. If something changes on the MLS side or a bug appears, you get an update—nothing to worry about.
How to create an MLS website with WordPress?
Creating MLS (Multiple Listing Service) websites with WordPress is a popular and cost-effective option. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that is widely used for creating websites of all types, including real estate ones.
The first step in creating with WordPress is to choose a suitable theme. A theme is a pre-designed template that controls your website’s overall layout and design.
Many real estate themes are available for WordPress, easily customized to suit your needs. However, we recommend the WpResidence Real estate theme from Wpestate.org – its feature-reach software that works perfectly with mlsimport.com.
The installation process is very straightforward: upload the zip file and then activate the theme. Then add your license code and install the required plugin.
After that is time to pick your demo. While this is not a required step, starting from something already made is much easier. In the WpResidence case, there are 37 or so demos – so you have plenty of choices. Pick and install one.
Once you have chosen a theme, installing and setting up the necessary plugins is the next step. Plugins are software extensions that add specific features and functionality to your website.
For example, for an MLS website, you should choose the following plugins.
RESO Ready plugins like MlsImport
WpRocket – As cache Plugin
Elementor – As Website Builder
ITheme Security Pro as a Security plugin
After you get the theme and plugins ready is time to customize your website. Upload your logo, add your contact details, change the colors, etc. Everything is done via a friendly interface and is easy to manage.
If you do not have experience building a website or working with WordPress, you can hire someone to set this up for you. Now that you have installed a theme and demo, it will be much faster and cheaper.
If you have the patience, you can watch this video and see how you can set up your website using WpResidence.
Finally, promoting the website to attract agents and buyers is essential. You can do this through various marketing methods, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and paid advertising. It is also important to regularly update the website with new listings and features to keep it fresh and relevant.
In the end, you probably realize that creating an MLS website can be challenging, but with the right tools and knowledge, you can do this quickly. We, the MLS import team, can assist you with the import process and with advice regarding your setup. So, if you need help, feel free to ask via the chat or contact form.