We sometimes like to say here that, for our custom clients, we start with blank pages. That is to say, when crafting fully custom real estate brokerage websites — while we certainly bring a lot of expertise and years’ worth of experience in both technology and real estate to the table — we let our clients paint the picture of what you want in a platform. After all, once we’ve launched the site, it’s not ours anymore; you own it. Sure, our Concierge support team will be around to support you, 11 hours a day, five days a week, and will be proactively checking in to see if there’s anything we can do to make your experience even better. But you’re not leasing your custom site from us — it’s 100 percent yours. So you might as well make every last inch of it your own. That’s why we let you dictate the terms of how this space of the internet looks, feels, moves, behaves.
How do we get from a notebook of blank pages to a fully functioning, fully you website? It’s a journey that takes some time, and a lot of conversations.
Filling in the First Blank Pages: the Scope
Think of the initial scope as a skeleton, the bones of which we will start putting together from our first phone call with you. We will come prepared with some ideas and best practices, but this is where you can really start dreaming big. If we are going to start building your perfect platform, we are going to need all the ideas you have — whether you want your homepage to scream “friendly helper” or “strictly business,” whether you want your home-search functions front and center or highlight some luxury listings up top, whether your properties are the star of the show or your agents are. Luckily, TRIBUS’ platform is a dexterous system with a nimble API, so there’s not much we can’t do (though, of course, some requests may take more development time than others).
From these conversations, we will put together that skeleton and start putting together a detailed scope of work. As we go through the design phase, we will be revisiting the scope together to put some meat on its bones before we have a final, complete plan of action. But by the time this scoping process is done, your team and ours will have a good idea of how to proceed from here. And, now, the design phase.
Adding Some Color to the Blank Pages: Design Phase
Between your ideas and our expert design team, we will put together first a “wireframe” of the site, all the while communicating back and forth on what’s working and what needs tweaking. (And, yes, if you already have a design agency you love working with, we will be happy to work with them during this process too.) A wireframe looks like this — basically a series of templates, for both desktop and mobile views. It needs content and color, but the foundations for what the site will be are all intact:
Assuming you love the wireframe looks as much as we do, we will start coloring inside the lines and stylizing the site until it’s picture-perfect for your tastes. The key here — as with anything concerning our custom real estate brokerage websites — is continual communication. We’ll submit final designs for your approval, and at that point we will take a final look at the scope we assembled with you to put the finishing touches on our plans. Now, of course, if you change your mind about something or want an added feature, of course we can make that happen for you. After this step, however, that modification will be processed as a change order to the scope.
Blank Pages, No More: Development
This is the easiest bit for you and perhaps the most labor-intensive for us: making your dream site become a reality. We will be building all those designs into a living, breathing website, making sure everything functions the way you want it to. We have high standards; before you get a good look at the final product, we will have already tested every nook and cranny of the site during our Quality Assurance period, as well as built good SEO deep into its structure.
Once you send us your content, we will load all of it in for you: blog posts you want to migrate over, agent roster info, details about the communities you serve and whatever else you will want imported into the site. Soon, once we’re happy with the results, your team can start testing it for themselves with the Beta version. Beta testing is all-important for custom real estate brokerage websites, as there are a ton of moving parts to them, and a few minor bugs are bound to crop up during this part of the process. Our tireless Concierge support team will start their ongoing training of your staff, agents and team members while we make some final revisions where needed. With launch day fast approaching, your work is almost over, but ours has just begun.
Launch and Beyond: TRIBUS Sticks With You
We don’t take a launch day lightly. Over in the TRIBUS offices, we have all hands on deck to make totally sure everything runs smoothy the day of launch and for the rest of the week after it. And our Concierge support staff will be working extra hard to help out your agents and staff as they begin fully utilizing their new agent websites and powerful backend tools. After this week, those customer support representatives don’t just vanish; they’re your helping hands for as long as you’re a TRIBUS customer, available by phone, chat or email, from 8 a.m to 7 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. Seeing as they have a 99 percent approval rating among our clients, they certainly mean business.
If this seems like a long road to get to custom real estate brokerage websites, that’s because it is — but it’s a long road we love taking. We love making a site that doesn’t speak to just our love of technology, real estate and the people who sell it. We love making a site that speaks to you, and what you love about what you do. Watching your brand grow, and watching tech adoption rates among your agents and staff skyrocket as they become more productive, is why we do what we do. By the time it’s finished, it’s hard to believe it all started with a couple blank pages.
If you’re curious about what launching custom real estate brokerage websites looks like in real life for one of our clients, I would encourage you to download our case study on that very subject.