New start-up web designers and website builders pop-up on an almost a daily basis. All are vying for your business and it’s easy to be lured by their over-exuberant patter and unrealistic promises of guaranteed online success and property world domination.
Unfortunately, however, almost just as many of them are here today and gone tomorrow, leaving businesses floundering online.
90% of new businesses fail in their first year and 50% within 4-5 years and we’ve increasingly found ourselves helping estate agents pick up the pieces when they suddenly find themselves let down by their suppliers.
In fact, this has been a big source of new business for us over the last few years, along with lack of support from small one or two man bands who offer an unbeatable new build cost but forget about the long-term maintenance and support required.
Increasingly, graphic designers with a modicum of technical know-how have jumped onto the WordPress Template bandwagon, in the belief that they can build property websites. ‘Build’ is deceptive. It’s more like decorating a property after the builders have finished.
The sites they build, do indeed look very attractive, in true Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Changing Rooms style, but as our clients have divulged, they are often littered with errors, not fit for purpose and getting maintenance jobs done is almost impossible. In many cases, once a site has been built and paid for, they are left to fend for themselves.
This is often a very difficult time for agents as they can also find that they’ve been tied into a lengthy contract and any changes needed come with a hefty price tag.
We’ve also had several cases where sites have gone down and hosting has been turned off when suppliers have gone under and left estate agents with no website or email.
All of these things have left agents out of pocket and losing business.
We don’t like to see this happening to agents. We could rub our hands together and say “whoopee, more business for us” but the reality is, it’s harder to get a website out of the mire in a hurry than build a new site or maintain/fix one that was built well to start with.
We’re always happy to help but it isn’t the ideal scenario for anyone. It would be much better to avoid the situation in the first place.
When you are considering investing in a new website, check your supplier’s credentials.
- Have they got enough industry-specific knowledge?
- Have they got the technical know-how?
- Do they have the staff to maintain and support your website?
- Are they financially capable of providing a long-term service?
- Have they priced realistically and what does it cover?
If the answer is NO to any of these questions or if you’ve found yourself struggling with your website supplier, get in touch with us today.
We’ve helped plenty of estate agents salvage their websites from online car crash situations, so nothing surprises us or gets us in a flap.
In fact, we could almost call ourselves the 999 Emergency Service for property websites!
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