This last week I was helping Clay Baldwin, in Houston find a way to create a presentable, professional looking website for his real estate photography business without spending a bunch of money while he was getting started. Clay is using phanfare.com for tours but needed a way to present his contact information and services so agents can find him from the real estate photographer's directory.
I did a little Googling and found yola.com. Yola lets you build a pretty decent looking site with a choice of almost 200 free templates. Clay built his site in a few hours with just a single photo on the front page but yola also has a flickr lightbox widget you can point at your flickr account (or Smugmug) and it will grab the most recent photos from your flickr stream and create and thumbnail matrix and slide show with those photos.
I'm blown away by how easy it is to create a complete, professional looking site for free. Yola also includes a very professional looking blogging platform. A free site has a URL of the form lohrman.yolasite.com but Yola will be happy to sell you a custom URL. They will also sell you custom templates. The free templates can each be customized with your own text, header images. The premium templates are $19.95 and save you time in putting together a complete site. For $9.95 Yola will remove the little "Make a free website with Yola" banner at the bottom so no one has to know that this is a free website.
My conclusion is that Yola is ideal for someone just getting started in real estate photography. It's also useful for established photographers who want to build a site dedicated to real estate photography. I see many photographer websites that have too many different types of photography presented together on the same site so there is no strong implied message that, "I shoot real estate photography!" The resulting impression on someone looking for a real estate photographer is weak. With a product like Yola, there's no longer any reason not to have a dedicated real estate photography site.