- By calcoastwebdesign
- 1 Comments
- 16 Sep 2009
I wanted to take a moment to discuss IDX, its importance to your website, and highlight a few of the companies we recommend for quality real estate IDX solutions.
Why is IDX so important?
Let me start by saying IDX is the main way you are going to generate leads from your real estate website. People are there to see PROPERTY, and your IDX solution gives them just that. More than likely, you’re already saying “Oh, I have IDX on my website, I just can’t get my website to bring me any leads”. Well, if you have IDX on your website, and you aren’t getting any leads, DARE I say you don’t have the right solution?!? Oh, I dare. You don’t.
What IS the right solution? Well, that depends on your MLS and your buyer preferences. I’ll tell you right now, the IDX you get for free with your website is NOT enough. You NEED to get an IDX solution where people can save and maintain their own home searches through your website. And its your job as an agent to have the best, brightest, and most comprehensive homesearch on your website. Buyers start searching everywhere online, but eventually they get in the car with the agent who sent them the most relevant listings on a CONSISTENT basis.
Requiring clients and prospects to come back to your website to search IDX and new listings is just unacceptable. You need to put the listings in their inbox if you expect to close that deal. Period. Realtors, this means you need to shell out even MORE marketing money and buy a lead generating IDX solution. If you’re spending money on PPC, SMO, or SEO right now without quality IDX… you’re throwing money away. A meal is not a meal without the main course. IDX is your main course.
How do I know the best IDX solution?
Now that you understand why IDX is so crucial, you need to choose your solution wisely. Costs and features of these IDX solutions vary, and there are soooo many to choose from. Do NOT NOT NOT just choose the cheapest solution. Don’t go the extreme opposite and think you are gonna pay to program your own, either. My advice is to ALWAYS check at least 2 different solutions (that you can afford) from a buyers perspective. How do you do that? Well, you call the company, ask for example websites, and go register on another agent’s site. If you say when you register “just checking this IDX solution”, many agents won’t care, especially if they aren’t in your area. Now, its time to question and compare:
- How does it look? Appealing? Can you match it to your site?
- Can you save a search? Multiple searches? Target a neighborhood? School district? Zip code?
- Now pretend to be an investor. Can you weed out short sales and REO’s? Single level’s?
If YOU can’t figure it out, then passerby on your website won’t be able to either. Its gotta be simple.
After you decide that you like the solution as a ‘perspective buyer’, you’re only half way there. Now its time to qualify the ‘back end’ as an agent.
- Can you go in and see when people are logging in, what they are looking at, what they are saving?
- Even better, does the system ‘alert’ you by email or text when any of the above happens?
- Is it easy for you to FIND a prospect in your system? (Imagine you have 1000 active searches in there, I do in mine)
- What happens if you decide to leave? Can your leads and searches be exported?
- How is the pricing structure? What’s the average yearly increase?
- Do they try to pitch your clients or advertise to them with banners online or in email?
- How is their tech support? How is their staff? Are they constantly improving upon and making the solution better?
- How do they integrate with your existing website? Who does the integration and what are the fees?
Wow, that’s a lot of homework, huh?! But those who take the time to diligently do the homework win the deals online. Every time.
What are some IDX solutions Cal Coast recommends?
I wonder why she didn’t mention Listingbook? hmmm….I guess they didn’t match the criteria above…
Not any one solution above is perfect, but for our clients who have them, they generate leads. If your website is not generating leads, you need to reconsider your IDX and your internet marketing. You’ll never be Redfin or Realtor.com, but then again, Redfin and Realtor.com don’t offer a consistently friendly voice to talk to, either. In the end, real estate is really about relationships. Make your website ‘a keeper’.
If YOU are a web 2.0 agent and proud of your IDX and lead generation systems, go right ahead and comment your website link on this blog post. We’ll approve your shameless keyword seeded linkback. Only because you were willing to be a nice Realtor and to share tools with others in your industry!!
Can’t stand IDX research? Don’t want to spend the time to find the best IDX feed for your real estate website?
Cal Coast would love to help you out! Contact us at 888-281-7665 x 2 and we’d be happy to do all the research and come back to you with a user-friendly IDX solution for your neighborhood.