Top Ten things to consider when it comes to IDX and VOW

You can view a Demo system at the link below, In April 2016 we are working on new templates, we will have several you can choose from and they can all be modified by you, your web person, or we can modify them to your liking.

http://dev.leadidx.com/

The LeadIDX team has been in the IDX/VOW world for 5 years. In that time
we have learned a lot, taught a lot, and kept a lot of secrets when we learn things. Without giving away the key to the kingdom below we share some high level areas of consideration. This list will grow over time.

  1. Do you have the best IDX system in your market? Do you know how to
    qualify what the “best” is? Do you know how a good IDX system can actually bring new clients to you? Fresh from google to your website to your phone or email, just that simple! We do not mean people that are searching for your company name or the names of your realtors, we mean consumers that do not know you but turn to google looking for a home, a lot, a condo, a farm, a commercial property and they find your website. The love the search, the functionality, they stay and search, they return often, and when they are ready to act they CHOOSE your brokerage because of the technology. This is the story of our clients.
  2. Does your brokerage get paid based on Website Pageviews and Visitors? Of course not. Therefore you cannot measure the success of your website based on Pageviews and Visitors. However, if you do find the place where you can cash in Pageviews for real money please let us know so we can post the info here for the benefit of others. Last year we had a new client that bragged out his page views and “pageviews per visitor”. That last metric is simply how many pages does each vistor see per visit as an average. The national average for all websites is about 2 pages per visit. He also bragged that his “bounce rate” was less than 1%. Typically the bounce rate for an average site is about 60% or more. Our customers average about 30%. Low is good for this metric as it is the number of people as a percentage that simply view one page on your website and LEAVE. When we heard him brag about a 1% bounce rate we knew something was wrong so we investigated and found that his google tracking code was put on the website TWICE which meant that every visit was counted twice which meant every SINGLE visit was logged as TWO visits which resulted in a 1% bounce rate. This is when we asked him if a low bounce rate could be cashed in for money. Of course it doesn’t work that way, however the point is that metrics are meaningless if you aren'[t FEELING and SEEING the results in your bottom line.
  3.  Most IDX websites are NOT effective. Most IDX companies do not really understand the market, consumers, and what it takes to generate real revenue from an IDX/VOW website.
  4. The IDX market is not going to get easier, it is going to get harder. This is true for many reasons but even more true because for the last several years more and more national companies are competing for your local traffic. Our system is as good, if not better ,than theirs and we outrank them consistently. As a local broker you have the “local advantage” in the search engines. That combined with our system means we typically outrank the national companies for the local terms. Do a test search of “homes for sale in your favorite local subdivision” or “homes for sale in your local favorite school or school district”. You will find over 10 national companies competing for these and every other term. Here is a sample search for a popular subdivion in Fort Wayne (Cherry Hill – opens in new window). Notice that our client ranks either #1 or #2, we consistenly rank with the national companies and consistently out rank most of them for most terms.
  5.  You should be able to describe your website via a mathmatatical formula that results in a postitive number which is your ROI. Do you know how many visitors it takes to generate a lead? Do you know how many leads it takes to generate a real estate transaction? With LeadIDX you will know these answers.
  6. Each visitor on your site is like a visitor walking in a store. Do you actually track and store everything they do? Do you really? No, do you REALLY?..no we mean do you REALLY TRACK AND STORE EVERYTHING THEY DO? If you don’t, then how do you KNOW that you are doing the right things, how do you know the options you give are the options they want? Are you testing various options with your website visitors? Do you track every click, every search, every everything? If you did…you might be surprised what you may learn about IDX websites and how people search. Example: 100 users were given a choice between glazed and powder donuts. Can we conclude people do not like chocolate donuts? Of course not. With that in mind, if you have an existing IDX site, really look at the options you give your consumers and the data you are tracking. Are you really learning anything? If your answer ties back to Website visitors or Pageviews them of course you are not really learning anything because Real Estate Brokers get compensated based on sales and not pageviews.
  7. What is the purpose of your website? As the broker ultimately you answer this question. As a vendor if you ask us what our purpose to our client is..we will answer “to bring new customers to your website and convert them into contacts and ultimately revenue”. We have the systems in place to do so, we have been doing this for 7 years, and we can prove we do it, how we do it, with what effort, and although we have not tested it…we believe we could do it in our sleep. Wait…we have tested it because our customer sites work when we are sleeping, and when they are sleeping.
  8. The real estate industry has changed in the last 10 years. 10 years ago realtors were dropping off or faxing MLS sheets for consumers to consider. Today very often the consumer is researching the MLS without the aid of a realtor and only when they want to see a home do they reach out to a realtor and often that decision is made from the pool of realtors available on their chosen website. That “chosen” website is based on techology. We often track consumers across days and weeks and sometimes a few months as they peruse the MLS and when they want to request a showing they finally reveal themselves and are ready to talk to a realtor.
  9.  As a selling agent a good IDX website is extremly important. A seller wants to know the broker has a powerful web presence. Our Broker customers use website statistics and other related information in the presentation to potential sellers.
  10. Some brokers are leary of doing a Virtual Office Website (VOW Website). They believe showing sold data to the consumer negates the need for a Realtor. This fear minifies the value of a Realtor. Consumers are hungry for information and we should FEED THEM and Feed Them Well. Consumers like to self serve and feel empowered when they do so. Consumers like to research homes that have sold in their neighborhood when they are a seller and the neighborhood they are considering buying into as a buyer.