When you decide to launch a real estate listing site, the ultimate goal is always to make a profit. Despite the fact that it may take a few years of hard work to reach the level of income that you target, you can start monetizing your site as soon as it becomes well-functioning and appealing to users. However, before getting to monetizing your site, do your best to ensure that your Real Estate Listing CMS works perfectly, you have installed all the necessary plugins, including payment gateways, to boost its functionality, and that there are lots of active listings on your website.
Once your listing property website has reached the benchmark mentioned above and you feel that it is ready to be monetized, you will need to consider a list of monetization options that our script offers. The options that we offer below are most common and easy to use, and we are confident about the fact that you will find some, if not all, of them interesting.
Bump-up and Highlight Packages
If your real estate site is large and popular, it is likely that listings will be added to it on a regular basis. It means that ads posted a few hours ago will go down in the list and get fewer views than those that have been added recently. You can use this as an opportunity to earn some money by selling bump-up and highlight packages to your users through our Monetizer plugin.
The bump-up option allows users to move their ads to the top page where they are more likely to be spotted by buyers. The highlight option allows listing owners to highlight their ads and make them more noticeable and eye-catching. Users can use either of the two options or both of them to promote their ads.
Selling Banner Space
Selling space for banners is also a good idea to monetize your portal. You can post banners to promote services or goods related to real estate or those that can be associated with buying, selling, or renting property, for example, decoration or domestic services, landscaping services, legal assistance, sale of furniture or household items, etc.
Banners, which can come in a variety of sizes and are usually rectangular in shape, can be placed in positions preconfigured by your template. Positions are set with standard content boxes that act as containers for banners. The Banners plugin that is used to handle banners is capable of using banners in HTML and image formats, including animated ones.
In order to place a banner on your site, a user needs to buy a banner package that suits his purposes. You can either sign a contract with a major client or use banners from many clients at the same time by placing them on different pages.
Both users and the Administrator can add banners to a real property site. However, you may choose to allow only the Administrator to place banners on the site if you prefer to have control over the content added to your site. The user, who has placed or ordered placement of a banner on your site, may see the list of banner packages that he purchased as well as the statistics on all of the existing banners, such as the number of shows, clicks, etc.
If you own a property listing site, you can sell membership plans to real estate agencies willing to showcase their properties on your site. Buying a membership plan allows agencies to not only have featured accounts with multiple useful options (including adding listings, uploading photos/videos, etc.), but also be able to add agents representing the agency as subaccounts, and thus share the agency logo, vision, contact information, etc.
An additional opportunity to generate profit through membership plans is to sell those to users who want to see contact details of agents or sellers selling or leasing their properties, and be able to contact those through your website.
Membership plans may vary considerably in the number of options provided. The more options are offered, the more expensive the plan is. Besides, all membership plans work on a subscription basis which means that both users and agencies/agents working under a membership plan will have to extend the subscription as soon as it expires and pay you for such extension.
During the first months after the launch of your website, it is likely that you will want to generate as much organic traffic as possible and will probably provide an opportunity for everyone to add listings on a free-of-charge basis. However, as your site becomes more popular, you may start creating premium listing packages that will allow users to enjoy the options not available in the free package. For example, you can limit the number of options offered in the free package to adding only one listing with two or three pictures and therefore encourage users willing to upload more pictures to upgrade to a premium listing package (Bronze, Silver, Golden package, etc.).
Generally, as an Administrator, you can create a great variety of packages offering multiple options and charge for such packages in accordance with the number and relevance of such options to a certain user.
Listings added within premium packages, the so-called featured listings, will be marked accordingly and be listed first on category pages. In addition, featured listings are used in featured content boxes placed or rotated in a certain area of your real property site which also makes them more noticeable for users.
If you plan to launch a rental property site, the booking option, which is implemented through our massive Booking plugin, is the best tool to monetize your site.
If you own a small site offering users to book rooms in your guest house, you can directly interact with your customers and receive a down payment for booking the rooms and then the rest of the amount when customers arrive at your place.
If your rental property portal is a platform that allows multiple property owners to showcase their properties, you can get a commission for the provision of the booking service to such property owners. This is how it works:
- owners of properties add their listings,
- potential users book the properties on the established terms and pay a certain amount agreed upon between property owners and the Administrator. This amount, which is actually a down payment, can be automatically transferred to the Administrator’s account, or the Administrator can keep a commission and send the rest of the amount to property owners.
You can also make the booking option unavailable for standard listings added under a free package and offer it in your premium listing packages or membership plans.
Internal Payment System
The Pay-as-you-go Credits is an internal payment system that allows the Administrator to create credit packages that a user can buy and then spend to pay for any premium services that he needs, including those that are not offered under listing packages and membership plans. Users can also use credits to pay for banner space that they may request to advertise their services.
This system facilitates the payment process by helping the user purchase a certain number of credits and use them as required, without the need to connect to a payment gateway each time he needs to buy something on the site. You can also encourage users to purchase more expensive credit packages by providing them extra credits that they can use on your site.
The Pay-As-You-Go Credits plugin works perfectly both with our online payment gateways and the Offline Payments plugin that allows users with no access to online payment systems to be able to buy credit packages on your site and then purchase services that they need.
Invoices for Specific Services
You may sell listing packages, membership plans, banner space, and other products, but there are always users who want more than you normally offer or some specific services that are not listed among the services stated on your website. For cases like these, you can issue separate invoices and send those to your customers using our Invoices plugin. This method of monetization is not used very often but it does help your users to get what they want and allows you to make extra money.
The last but not least interesting monetization option that we are going to tell you about is our Affiliate Program. The Affiliate Program allows you to generate more traffic to your property listing website and attract new users, which eventually leads to an increase in the number of listing packages and membership plans purchased. In addition, the Program allows you to boost the use of other services offered on your website, and therefore raise your revenues. Users, who decide to join the Affiliate Program, become your affiliates and can earn a commission from you for advertising your site.
Affiliates can use either personal links or banner codes generated by the Affiliate Program plugin and add those to their websites, blogs, or articles. Visitors, who come to your site by following the affiliate links, are called referrals. They can sign-up, buy listing packages, membership plans, or other products on your website; and for each such action, the affiliates, whose links such visitors used to come to your site, will get a corresponding commission.
These are probably the most popular and effective methods that you can use to monetize your property listing portal operating based on our script. However, the list is far from being exhaustive. Share your ideas on the ways to monetize a real property site and get inspired by the ideas suggested by others. If you have any questions regarding monetization, please, submit those to our specialists.