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Thinking outside the WebsiteBox
SMB

Thinking outside the WebsiteBox 

Designed for use by real estate agents, WebsiteBox provides all of the tools required for creating a high-quality Web presence in a neat package. For a nominal fee, agents can start building a website for their business from the ground up, while saving thousands of dollars in development costs.

WebsiteBox is the brainchild of Peyman Aleagha, founder and CEO of the company. The idea was conceived when Aleagha was approached by his aunt for assistance with building a website.

“A few years ago, my aunt Nina called me one day, and she said ‘Hey, Peyman, I just became a Realtor and I need a website. Can you help me out?’” Aleagha recalls.

Aleagha, an experienced Internet entrepreneur and online marketing specialist, then began the process of creating a website for his aunt’s new business. Little did he know that it would be quite cumbersome.

“I started looking at different ways I could launch a website for her, and eventually found out in order to launch the website, she needed to go to six or seven different vendors,” says Aleagha. “First, she needed to go to a website designer to design the look and feel of the website, and then she needed to hire a writer to write content for it. Once the website was launched, she had to go and get all of the tools she would need to run an efficient real estate website.”

For Realtors, a proper Web presentation allows them to show their MLS listings and interact directly with current and potential clients, in addition to having a CRM system in place to manage their leads. But the inclusion of these elements comes at a hefty price. Realizing this, Aleagha hatched a plan in to create a solution that would offer Realtors all of the essentials in one convenient bundle.

“WebsiteBox was born out of the need to build something wonderful,” he says. “In January 2013, WebsiteBox was launched after two years of development, and to date, we’ve (registered) over 12,000 real estate agents.”

One key component that sets this service apart from other Web development platforms is its pricing model. As Alleagha explains, “For a one-time fee of only $99, we provide them with all the tools they need to launch their online business in a matter of minutes. These are the two main selling propositions that we were able to put together for WebsiteBox.”

Despite being launched in Canada, Alleagha notes that the majority of the company’s customers are based in the United States; Canadian agents only comprise 10 per cent of WebsiteBox users. Additionally, in attempt to provide their client base with updated real estate market data, the service works with over 300 MLS outlets across North America.

Given that establishing a strong Web presence is vital for virtually any type of business today, Alleagha believes that now is a great time for a service like this to exist, especially from a small business perspective.

“Websites for small businesses are commoditizing, and it has been said that the days of just having a website with your photo and a story about your dog are over,” he says. “Small businesses need websites that work for them, and (Realtors) need to provide home buyers and sellers with tools that allow them to connect with them. I find this is very relevant.”

The next step for WebsiteBox involves adapting the service for use within other industries, all of which are centered around homes and real estate.

“This year, the next industry we are eying is the home improvement sector,” Alleagha says. “We will be creating websites for plumbers, electricians, landscapers, mortgage brokers, appraisers and inspectors. They will have the same characteristics of our real estate websites with relevant content for these industries.”

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