Who can really do a VOW (Virtual Office Website) website?
Rarely a week goes by that we don’t hear from a broker that we are one of the very few companies that “actually” can and has done VOW websites.
We often hear that our competitors market VOW capabilities but once the broker contacts them directly they find that VOW is not possible.
Simply put, VOW allows the broker to display sold and non-idx properties on their website to users that are logged in via confirming their email address and agreeing they have a relationship with the broker.
Of course we are not surprised. Every broker ask us why.
Here is the answer:
- VOW is not easy. It can often mean enormous amounts of data that is simply too much for most IDX providers to handle
- The email confirmation and user tracking is often functionality that isn’t “normally” found in an IDX system and therefore the IDX company doesn’t want to add it
- Some local and regional boards require that the IDX/VOW provider track and limit how many sold properties the user can view over a lifetime. If an IDX company does not have these capabilities they can be scared to put their neck on the line and potentially cause their client broker to incur fines or fees.
- Most IDX systems (our competitors) are slow. Compared to our system they are all slow. See our post (http://leadidx.com/post/IDX-Website-rankings-are-affected-by-page-load-speed.aspx) Using Northeast Indiana as an example, approx 3000 residential properties active on the market (IDX) but when including VOW (sold, non-idx but active) the number jumps into the tens of thousands. So if your system is slow with 3k properties, how much slower will it be with 20k? This is the question they ponder and cannot solve.
- More and more local boards are joining regional boards which means more data and more filters, this comes back to complexity which is a big challenge for most IDX providers.
Hopefully this gives you some insight.
We have done numerous VOW’s with success and ease.