7 Tips to Real Estate Marketing During a Recession (Infographic)

Many agents make the wrong moves during an economic downturn, and it costs many of them their business. In this article, learn what wise Realtors and small businesses have done to not only thrive during a market slow down but thrive on the other side.

Are we going into an economic slowdown? I can’t answer that, but I can give you some guidance and data on what you should do during one.

This infographic below gives you a quick summary of what you need to know. Keep reading below it for more information.

Real Estate Marketing During a Recession Infographic: How Your Business Can Survive the Recession by Investing in Digital Marketing

Marketing based on or in spite of your feelings

As I write this, we are several weeks into the COVID-19 outbreak. I’ve spoken with about two dozen agents in the past few days, interacted with hundreds of Realtors in some of our private groups online, and spoken to half a dozen of our Certified Partners.

Many of them have gone through regional and domestic slowdowns/crashes in the past. For others, it’s their first time while marketing/selling in real estate.

What I love about these conversations is this tribe’s willingness to share their past experiences and share strategies with each other.

Whether it’s a global pandemic (e.g. Coronavirus, H1N1, etc.), a domestic recession, or a regional pull-back in your housing market, it’s scary. At the beginning, we often do not know how long the slow down will take to turn around.

The good news is that things always turn around, hopefully with as little loss of life as possible. I am encouraged by many of the work-from-home initiatives so many businesses have taken in the past few days. Only time will tell how these measures help.

I’ve been a marketer for many years and given some of my roles in the industry, I’ve been able to work directly with dozens of companies across industries and coach thousands of business owners and marketers. This gives me solid insights into what has worked well and what to avoid. Plus, I believe that we all become better with wise council.

In the past few days, as worked on this infographic and list, I’ve reached out to some of my friends in real estate marketing and the wider marketing landscape. They all agree.

Use your concerns of a potential slow down to take inventory of your business and make wise decisions for you how spend your time. This is the time to focus on your real estate website, adding a modern IDX plugin, the content you know will help your clients, and ways to automate your business in the future.

Rand Fishkin’s quote from the 2009 bust holds true today and has been backed up by the data.

“Sales might drop, conversion rates might falter a bit but raw search traffic isn’t going anywhere. A recession doesn’t mean that people stop searching the web, and with broadband adoption rates, Internet penetration and searches per users consistently rising, search is no fad – it’s here for the long haul.” – Rand Fishkin

So what should you do? Keep reading to learn the action to take in the coming weeks and (perhaps) months.

What could an effective digital marketing strategy do during an economic crisis?

  • increasing the visibility of your personal brand;
  • increasing the number of visitors to your site;
  • increasing your credibility and market share;
  • increasing the number of returning clients;
  • increasing sales;
  • generate profit growth.

You should remember that your marketing budget is an investment, not an expense!

The 7 steps you can take:

  1. Work smart to retain your existing client base
  2. Get even more visible in front of your target niche(s) 
  3. Invest time in improving your real estate website and making it the hub of your marketing
  4. Focus on driving conversions
  5. Set aside time to write 1 -2 valuable hyperlocal articles per week and schedule for future release
  6. Build meaningful hyperlocal community pages with 400 – 1500 words of content on each
  7. Measure, test, learn, test

The importance of marketing during an economic slowdown

Organic traffic and content marketing outperform other channels and get more powerful over time.

Plus, wise marketers know that sitting around during downturns does not help grow your business, today or next year.

You may not be showing or listing as many houses, and open houses may have fewer than normal visitors. The great news is that you have more time during a downturn to reshape your marketing strategy and do the work that will grow your business.

Over the previous year, I’ve helped analyze over 100,000 real estate websites and have seen hundreds of individual agents do the work to grow their businesses, and the data backs up why online marketing is so important.

49% of real estate agents feel their top marketing challenge is generating enough high-quality leads

The Made in America Movement, 2020 Real Estate Report

79% of sellers are more likely to list their home with an agent who has their own website with MLS property search

The Made in America Movement, 2020 Real Estate Report

95% of home buyers visit real estate agents’ websites during their home search

The National Association of REALTORS®, 2018 Report.

Think about that. That means if you do not have a website, you are fighting for only 5% of home buyers.

This investment is critical to SEO (organic traffic from Google) and re-engaging past clients. The good news is that you can do this yourself. Yes, a Certified Partner can help you go faster, but you are capable of doing this yourself.

Digital Marketing keeps your personal brand awareness high in the community. Customers are more likely to turn to the brands they readily remember.

Our conclusion: Keep investing in marketing during a recession!

A good marketing strategy and focus on implementation is always the best response to an economic crisis situation!

You’ll be ahead of your competition. You’ll be able to continue to run your real estate business at a rate that will ensure profitability during the economic recession. You’ll survive the recession like no other!

When times are good you should be selling not doing SEO. But when things are slow, don’t just complain and goof off — use this time to invest in your future!

What advice do you have for agents to focus on during a downturn in their market? Leave a comment below.

Next steps:

==> Read our success guide on the features driving the 24 most successful real estate websites

==> Take a free course in the Grow Your Real Estate Business Academy (and get access to 200+ free pieces of social media content)

The Ultimate IDX Zapier Integration Guide

This guide will walk you through how to set up processes and automate parts of your marketing to let you double or triple your business with less effort.

As a real estate agent, your time is valuable and following up with leads is critical to success.

You’re using Showcase IDX as the hub to your marketing because it’s one of the best real estate tools available and the only home search consistently chosen over Zillow, but chances are you’re using other tools or copying and pasting client information to help you close a deal.

Let’s show you how you can spend a little time and use a free tool called Zapier to connect your IDX and website to give you an INSANE ROI and help you over the long-term.

Already familiar with Zapier? Scroll down to find 60+ ways to automate your marketing including 1) our featured integrations 2) ways to add leads to your newsletter 3) add people to your CRM 4) add them on your marketing automation platform 5) other ways to improve your marketing.

What is Zapier? How does it work?

Zapier is a web-based service that takes data from one service and sends it to another service or tool.

When a lead signs up on your websites, using one of 9 types of lead generation from Showcase IDX, that triggers an “event” that will automatically execute your predefined orders. And, the best part is that this all happens automatically.

Terms to know: A “zap” is basically an automated task that you want run over and over again between two online apps.

Zapier integration is included in all IDX accounts, and Zapier has a FREE Forever plan that will work for most people.

Want your leads to magically appear in another application? To save you time and highlight some of the best uses for automating your business with Showcase IDX, keep reading.

Note: You need to be signed into your Zapier account to access each of the 60+ zap templates linked below. No worries if you do not have an account yet, they’ll prompt you to set one up.

You can use Zapier to connect Showcase IDX to hundreds of different tools. We have created Zap templates to make this even easier for you by matching up things like “first name”, “last name”, and “email” field in each connection.


Featured integrations to try

The Ultimate IDX Zapier Integration Guide by Kurt Uhlir

Send new Showcase IDX contacts to Google Contacts

Google contacts to Showcase IDX Integration guide zapier

If you’re trying to keep up with all your new Showcase IDX contacts over on Google Contacts as well, you’re spending needless time by doing it manually. Set up this Zap instead, and every time a new contact is added to Showcase IDX, they will also be sent to Google Contacts, ensuring both lists match at all times so you can pursue those relationships whenever and however you want. ==> Click to add Zap

Create Microsoft Outlook Contacts from new Showcase IDX Contacts

Microsoft Outlook contacts to Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

The customer data you gather on your Showcase IDX CRM is useful for your other apps, but that doesn’t mean you should copy them over yourself. Set up this automation, and whenever a new customer is added to Showcase IDX, we’ll also create a new contact on Microsoft Outlook, putting all those personal details at your fingertips whenever you need them. ==> Click to add Zap

Send new Showcase IDX contacts to Microsoft Office 365 Contacts

Microsoft Office 365 and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

If you’re trying to keep up with all your new Showcase IDX contacts over on Microsoft Office 365 Contacts as well, you’re spending needless time by doing it manually. Set up this Zap instead, and every time a new contact is added to Showcase IDX, they will also be sent to Microsoft Office 365 Contacts, ensuring both lists match at all times so you can pursue those relationships whenever and however you want. ==> Click to add Zap

Send new Showcase IDX leads an email from Gmail

Google contacts to Showcase IDX Integration guide zapier

Your new leads come in at all hours, and it’s important to follow up immediately with a personal touch. When a new lead fills out a Showcase IDX form on your website, this Zap will send them a message from your Gmail, day or night. ==> Click to add Zap

Get Slack direct message for new Showcase IDX leads

Slack and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Following up with new leads is the best way to turn them into clients, but keeping track manually can be hard to stay on top of. Have your leads sent to you as a direct message on Slack from Showcase IDX. When a new lead fills out a Showcase IDX form on your website, this Zap will send a direct message with your new lead to Slack. ==> Click to add Zap
*With Showcase IDX’s Premium plan, you have a direct integration to send over property information, website activities, and more data.

Post a message to a Slack channel for new Showcase IDX leads

Slack and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Following up with new leads is the best way to turn them into clients, but keeping track manually is hard to stay on top of. It’s even harder when you have a team and need to make sure someone can get in contact with them quickly. Have your leads sent as a channel message on Slack from Showcase IDX. When a new lead fills out a Showcase IDX form on your website, this Zap will send a direct message with your new lead to Slack. ==> Click to add Zap
*With Showcase IDX’s Premium plan, you have a direct integration to send over property information, website activities, and more data.

Add new Showcase IDX leads to BombBomb

Get your leads from Showcase IDX straight into BombBomb. With this integration, a new lead captured by Showcase IDX will be automatically pushed to your BombBomb.com account to help you save time and close the sale. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to BombBomb contact list

Looking for a better way to connect with your new leads? Now with Zapier you can have all your newly captured Showcase IDX leads added to your BombBomb contact list, making it that much easier to send video emails to your new inquiries and engage them. ==> Click to add Zap

Send new Showcase IDX contacts to BombBomb drip

Want to make sure your Showcase IDX leads also get added to your drip campaigns on BombBomb? Forget about keeping things updated manually—this Showcase IDX BombBomb integration can sort it out for you. Once it’s on, every new lead added to Showcase IDX will have its data sent to BombBomb as well, adding them as a new contact to the drip of your choice. ==> Click to add Zap

Receive an SMS when you get new Showcase IDX lead

SMS by Zapier and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

If you’re trying to keep up with all your new Showcase IDX contacts over on Google Contacts as well, you’re spending needless time by doing it manually. Set up this Zap instead, and every time a new contact is added to Showcase IDX, they will also be sent to Google Contacts, ensuring both lists match at all times so you can pursue those relationships whenever and however you want. ==> Click to add Zap

Note: The text alert from Zapier may come from a different number each time. The template is set up to let you know the message is from a new client and will contain the person’s contact info.

Add new Showcase IDX leads to a HelloAlex account

If you respond to a lead inquiry within the first 5 minutes of their request you are 71% more likely to do business with that lead business! HelloAlex helps Real Estate agents say Hello! Their Automated Income Assistant “Alex” uses conversational A.I. to start conversations with your clients and leads 24/7

HelloAlex and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Using Showcase IDX to capture leads and want to follow-up with them using your marketing solution? Once activated, this integration will automatically create a new contact in HelloAlex for every Showcase IDX lead captured so you can save time and follow-up with them faster. In HelloAlex, it will add a new lead in Leads Center where they can use it during campaigns for them to receive emails, text /MMS messages, postcards, and letters. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads as new rows on Google Sheets

You always want to have ready access to your leads. Want to try a new marketing automation or email tool but need a CSV of your leads? Change brokerages and want to move your contact database? A Google Sheet gives you a quick way to access your leads

Google Sheets and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Looking for a better way to have a constantly updated archive of your Showcase IDX leads that’s easy to manipulate? Try this Showcase IDX Google Sheets integration out. Once you set it up, we’ll make sure the information from every new lead from Showcase IDX is sent to Google Sheets, automatically adding a new row for you with it every time. ==> Click to add Zap

Set up a Bonjoro task when you get new Showcase IDX lead

Use the Bonjoro mobile app or web recorder to send an engaging video to each contact. Think BombBomb but more personal and easy to do from your phone.

Your new leads come in at all hours, when you may have lots of things going on, and it’s important to follow up immediately with a personal touch. Set up a Bonjoro task when a new lead signs up in your Showcase IDX account. ==> Click to add Zap


Easily integrate with your newsletters

You know you need to send a newsletter to your clients. I’ve heard from thousands of agents that sometimes they can feel overwhelmed thinking about all of the little things that need to be done to send an email blast and make it perfect.

Let’s make it a little easier by making sure that your leads and clients are already in your MailChimp, Aweber, or Constant Contact accounts.

Add new Showcase IDX leads to AWeber as subscribers

AWeber and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Don’t bother exporting those new leads out by hand—we’ve got this. Activate this Showcase IDX-AWeber integration, and whenever someone submits information through Showcase IDX, they’ll trigger the automation and be added as a new subscriber on AWeber automatically. ==> Click to add Zap

Create contacts on Constant Contact for new Showcase IDX leads

Constant Contact and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

You can make use of that user information the moment it’s submitted—there’s no need to wait until you remember to export it. Set up this Showcase IDX-Constant Contact integration and we’ll take care of all that for you, automatically creating a new contact on Constant Contact for every new lead that submits their responses to your Showcase IDX. ==> Click to add Zap

Subscribe new Showcase IDX leads to a MailChimp list

Email newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with real estate leads. Once this integration is set up, Zapier will add each new Showcase IDX lead as a subscriber to a specified MailChimp list. That way, you can rest assured that all your leads will be in the loop on your latest updates. ==> Click to add Zap


Easily integrate with your CRM

How to integrate your CRM with IDX plugin

Showcase IDX contains some great CRM tools that many of our clients use, but we understand you may need a more full-featured CRM. Perhaps your brokerage gives you a CRM that you’re required to use.

We want to make that super simple for you. Through our integration with Zapier, you can easily connect Showcase IDX to Contactually, TRIBUS CRM, Keller Williams Command, Realty Executives Prime Agent, Kunversion, Agent Legend, Agile CRM, BoomTown, Cloze, Copper, Follow Up Boss, Freshsales, HighLevel, Hubspot CRM, LeadSimple, LionDesk, Mojo, Pro Agent Solutions, Realvolve, Streak, Surefire CRM, Wise Agent CRM, and dozens of other CRMS.

Note: With Showcase IDX’s Premium plan and premium integrations, you can send over additional lead data such as real-time updates, messages, all the lead’s search activity on your website, property information, website activities, and more data. With Real Synch, which we’ll cover in another guide, even more IDX integrations are available.

Scroll down to the next section see more integrations for marketing automation, workflow management tools (e.g. Trello), and others.

Add new Showcase IDX leads to a campaign in Agent Legend

Agent Legend and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Get your leads from Showcase IDX straight into Agile CRM. With this integration, a new lead captured by Showcase IDX will be automatically pushed to your Agile CRM account to help you save time and close the sale. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to Agile CRM

Agile CRM and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Get your leads from Showcase IDX straight into Agile CRM. With this integration, a new lead captured by Showcase IDX will be automatically pushed to your Agile CRM account to help you save time and close the sale. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to BoomTown as leads

BoomTown and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you struggling to follow up on your new leads from Showcase IDX to close the deal? Use this integration to automatically capture them as leads in BoomTown. That way, you can use the CRM features to manage follow-ups and convert Showcase IDX leads into sales. ==> Click to add Zap
*With Showcase IDX’s Premium plan and Real Synch, you can send over property information, website activities, and more data.

Add new Showcase IDX leads to Cloze

Cloze and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Get your leads from Showcase IDX straight into Cloze. With this integration, a new lead captured by Showcase IDX will be automatically pushed to your Cloze account to help you save time and close the sale. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads as contacts to Contactually

Contactually and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you tired of manually copying and pasting new Showcase IDX leads into Contactually? Once this integration is configured, new Showcase IDX leads will get automatically added as contacts in Contactually, speeding up your sales cycle and saving you time. ==> Click to add Zap
*With Showcase IDX’s Premium plan and Real Synch, you can send over property information, website activities, and more data.

Send new Showcase IDX contacts to Copper as new leads

Copper and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

If you can’t afford to miss out on any new opportunity with your Showcase IDX contacts, let us help you stay organized. Activate this Showcase IDX-Copper integration and we’ll create those leads on Copper for you with all the details from every new contact you add on Showcase IDX from then on. ==> Click to add Zap

Create Follow Up Boss contacts for new Showcase IDX leads

Follow Up Boss and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Noticing a little too much friction in the connection between your Showcase IDX and Follow Up Boss setup? Set up this Zap, and this will be a thing of the past. Once you do, every new contact added to Showcase IDX will automatically add a new contact to Follow Up Boss, giving you everything you need to chase down those leads without having to worry about data management. ==> Click to add Zap
*With Showcase IDX’s Premium plan and Real Synch, you can send over property information, website activities, and more data.

Add new Showcase IDX leads to Freshsales

Freshsales and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Get your leads from Showcase IDX straight into Freshsales. With this integration, a new lead captured by Showcase IDX will be automatically pushed to your Freshsales account to help you save time and close the sale. ==> Click to add Zap

Send new Showcase IDX contacts to HighLevel campaign

HighLevel and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Want to make sure your Showcase IDX leads also get added to your campaigns on HighLevel? Forget about keeping things updated manually—this Showcase IDX HighLevel integration can sort it out for you. Once it’s on, every new lead added to Showcase IDX will have its data sent to HighLevel as well, adding them as a new contact to the campaign of your choice. ==> Click to add Zap

Send new Showcase IDX leads to HubSpot

Hubspot CRM and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Why update all your contact lists with the same information manually, running the risk of missing someone? If you set up this Showcase IDX-HubSpot integration, you’ll save time and avoid omissions by sending all new Showcase IDX leads to HubSpot automatically, where contacts will be created or updated if a match is found, working behind the scenes for you from then on. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to Keller Williams Command as leads

Keller Williams Command and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you struggling to follow up on your new leads from Showcase IDX to close the deal? Use this integration to automatically capture them as leads in Keller Williams Command. That way, you can use the CRM features to manage follow-ups and convert Showcase IDX leads into sales. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to Kunversion

Kunversion and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Spending too much time manually copy and pasting your leads from your website and home search into your CRM? Once set up, this integration will automatically add your Showcase IDX leads directly to your Kunversion account to save you time! Once your leads are added to Kunversion, kick off intelligent automation and follow-up campaigns automatically. ==> Click to add Zap

Add leads on LeadSimple for new Showcase IDX leads

LeadSimple and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Feel like your follow-ups on LeadSimple could happen a little faster? Turn on this Showcase IDX LeadSimple integration and we’ll make sure of it. Every new contact on Showcase IDX will trigger it from that point on, using the information to create a new lead on LeadSimple automatically from then on. ==> Click to add Zap

Copy new Showcase IDX contacts to LionDesk

LionDesk and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Moving contacts from one platform to another can be a lot of work. This integration helps. It moves data between Showcase IDX and LionDesk so you don’t have to. Once active, it turns each new contact on Showcase IDX into a contact on LionDesk. ==> Click to add Zap

*With Showcase IDX’s Premium plan, you get a deep direct integration that sends over property information, website activities, and more data.

Create Mojo contacts from new Showcase IDX leads

Mojo and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you tired of manually copying and pasting new Showcase IDX leads into Mojo? Once this integration is configured, new Showcase IDX leads will get automatically added as contacts in Mojo, speeding up your sales cycle and saving you time. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX contacts to Pro Agent Solutions as contacts

Pro Agent Solutions and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you struggling to follow up on your new leads from Showcase IDX to close the deal? Use this integration to automatically capture them as contacts in Pro Agent Solutions. That way, you can use the CRM features to manage follow-ups and convert Showcase IDX leads into sales. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to Realty Executives Prime Agent as leads

Realty Executives Prime Agent and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you struggling to follow up on your new leads from Showcase IDX to close the deal? Use this integration to automatically capture them as leads in Realty Executives Prime Agent. That way, you can use the CRM features to manage follow-ups and convert Showcase IDX leads into sales. ==> Click to add Zap

Create Realvolve contacts from new Showcase IDX contacts

Realvolve and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Frustrated with the amount of time you spend adding duplicate contacts to your system? Activate this Showcase IDX-Realvolve integration and we’ll take over for you, creating a new contact on Realvolve for every new one on Showcase IDX from then on. ==> Click to add Zap

Create boxes on Streak for new contacts on Showcase IDX

Streak and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Using Streak to stay organized? Reach out beyond Gmail by using this Showcase IDX Streak integration to watch Showcase IDX. It will trigger every time you add a new contact on Showcase IDX, automatically creating a box on Streak so that you’re always prepared. ==> Click to add Zap

Create Surefire contacts from new Showcase IDX leads

Surefire CRM and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Need help managing all those Showcase IDX leads? With this Showcase IDX plugin and Surefire CRM integration, every new lead that is generated by your Showcase IDX marketing hub will be automatically created as a Surefire contact. This will make follow-up and lead management a breeze and ensure no leads fall through the cracks. ==> Click to add Zap

Add leads to TRIBUS CRM when new contacts are created in Showcase IDX

TRIBUS and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

When you generate a lead on your website with Showcase IDX, you’ll definitely want to port those new contacts over to your CRM so that you can launch email marketing campaigns, add details and notes, and continue to manage that lead’s account. This integration will save you time by creating leads in TRIBUS CRM any time a new contact is created in your Showcase IDX account. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to Wise Agent CRM as leads

Wise Agent and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you struggling to follow up on your new leads from Showcase IDX to close the deal? Use this integration to automatically capture them as leads in Wise Agent CRM. That way, you can use the CRM features to manage follow-ups and convert Showcase IDX leads into sales. ==> Click to add Zap


Easily integrate with your workflow management

The Ultimate IDX Zapier Integration Guide: monday.com, Podio, Trello

Successful agents know that generating leads and building a brand are critical but you have to deliver on each and every transaction. That’s where good workflow management or project management tools can help.

They let you keep up with all the little tasks that need to be completed to close each deal and increase your GCI. Here are some easy integrations with a few of my favorite ones.

Scroll down to the next section see more integrations for marketing automation tools.

Create new Trello card for each Showcase IDX lead

Trello and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you tired of manually copying and pasting new Showcase IDX leads into Trello cards? Once this integration is configured, new Showcase IDX leads will get automatically added as cards in Trello, speeding up your workflows and processes to save you time. ==> Click to add Zap

Create a new Pulse on monday.com for each Showcase IDX lead

monday.com and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you tired of manually copying and pasting new Showcase IDX leads into monday.com pulses? Once this integration is configured, new Showcase IDX leads will get automatically added as a pulse in monday.com, speeding up your workflows and processes to save you time. ==> Click to add Zap

Create Podio items for new Showcase IDX contacts

Podio and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Want to make sure your Podio workflows are always updated with the latest contact information from Showcase IDX leads? Set up this Showcase IDX Podio integration and we’ll keep things organized for you—a new Podio item will then be created for each new contact on Showcase IDX, every time. ==> Click to add Zap


Easily integrate with your favorite marketing automation tool with the only IDX consumers choose over Zillow

The Ultimate IDX Zapier Integration Guide: How to integrate your IDX plugin with marketing automation platforms

Whether a new client is ready to buy or sell right away or they’re just starting the relationship, you need to stay in touch and a great marketing automation tool will let you send drip emails, text messages, and more over the coming weeks, months, and even years.

Showcase IDX’s 9 avenues of lead generation are an easy way to gather information from people, and one of the best pieces of information to gather is their email address. These tools will help automate and personalize your campaigns.

Add or update ActiveCampaign contacts with new Showcase IDX leads

ActiveCampaign and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Whether your business runs on referrals or you generate leads from ads, it can be a challenge to process new leads—unless you automate your way to organization. With this Zap active on your dashboard, Zapier will automatically create new contacts or update an existing match on ActiveCampaign whenever a new lead’s submission is detected from Showcase IDX. ==> Click to add Zap

Add deals to ActiveCampaign when new leads are generated with Showcase IDX

ActiveCampaign and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

The busier you get, the easier it is to forget to record your progress and lose track of vital information. Let us help keep things organized with some Zapier automation: Every new lead you generate on Showcase IDX will trigger this Zap, automatically adding a new deal to ActiveCampaign with the details you need. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to Campaign Monitor as contacts

Campaign Monitor and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

If you use more than one email marketing tool, it can be time-consuming to import them to another source. Zapier can make your life easier with Showcase IDX integration with Campaign Monitor. Create new subscribers with Showcase IDX leads in Campaign Monitor. ==> Click to add Zap

Create ClickFunnels contact profiles from new Showcase IDX leads

ClickFunnels and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Never miss another contact opportunity! This Zapier automation will check for new leads in Showcase IDX, then create a new contact profile in ClickFunnels with the customer’s submitted contact information. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to a ClickFunnels list

ClickFunnels and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Creating contacts inside of ClickFunnels and adding them to a list can be a time-consuming task if you are manually asking them to sign up after they’ve already signed up for a home search alert or inquired about a property. This Zapier integration will automatically add each new Showcase IDX leads to a list inside of ClickFunnels. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX lead to a ConvertKit sequence

ConvertKit and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

If they’re signing up for on your website or for a home search, chances are new users might be interested in your other marketing, too. Start engaging with them automatically by setting up this Zapier integration—every time a new client signs up through Showcase IDX, it will also subscribe the client to your sequence on ConvertKit, keeping your mailing lists active and healthy. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new leads from Showcase IDX to a ConvertKit form

ConvertKit and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

ConvertKit’s forms help you grow your audience of potential clients and those in your real estate niche. So, too, does Showcase IDX, letting you pull in the names and emails of individuals wanting to connect with you. Next time a potential client signs up on your site, use this Showcase IDX-ConvertKit integration to automatically add each new leads to a ConvertKit form. ==> Click to add Zap

Add Showcase IDX entries to a ConvertKit tag

ConvertKit and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Showcase IDX’s 9 avenues of lead generation are an easy way to gather information from people, and one of the best pieces of information to gather is their email address. It’s an easy way to keep in touch, follow up, and more. With ConvertKit, you can do this easily, and trigger an automated marketing sequence for your subscribers. ==> Click to add Zap

Create or update Drip subscriber from new lead on Showcase IDX

Drip and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

With this Zap, when a new lead is created in Showcase, Zapier will transfer that information into Drip by updating your Drip subscriber list. Easy enough, right? Now, you can easily send lifecycle Drip marketing emails without having to manually add each of your subscribers. ==> Click to add Zap

Create or update Infusionsoft contacts from new Showcase IDX leads

Infusionsoft by Keap and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Don’t run the risk of overlooking a potential client just because you were too busy to add their information to all your apps—let Zapier send it wherever it needs to be. In particular, this Showcase IDX-Infusionsoft integration will watch for any new leads on Showcase IDX, triggering with each one and passing the data over to Infusionsoft by Keap automatically. If a match is found for your lead, the contact will be updated, otherwise, a new one will be created for you with all the information they submitted. ==> Click to add Zap

Create Insightly contacts for new Showcase IDX contacts

Insightly and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Need to improve your response time for new connections on Showcase IDX? Activate this Showcase IDX Insightly integration and we’ll keep you focused, creating a new contact on Insightly for every new contact on Showcase IDX from then on. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new leads from Showcase IDX to lemlist as leads

lemlist and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

In order to be as efficient as possible, you need to have the latest data at all times. Start your workflow with this Showcase IDX-lemlist integration and you’ll never lag behind your website again. Once this Zap is active, Zapier will add new leads from Showcase IDX to lemlist automatically. That way, you can turn your newest leads into clients quickly. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to lemlist Buddies-to-be campaign

lemlist and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Save time on prospecting and automating your entire follow up process. Use this Zap to automatically add new Showcase IDX leads to a lemlist Buddies-to-be campaign. Now you can get fresh leads from your website visitors with Showcase IDX, then automate your follow up emails with lemlist. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to GetResponse as new contacts

GetResponse and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Chances for conversion are highest when your leads are most engaged. We can help ensure you get the right information to prospects as soon as possible. Turn on this integration, and Zapier will then add a new contact to GetResponse for every new lead you get on Showcase IDX. You’ll never have to worry about missed prospects or wasting time on data entry again! ==> Click to add Zap


Bonus: A few additional integrations to consider

The Ultimate IDX Zapier Integration Guide Bonus Integrations

Here are a few additional Zaps to consider.

Add new Showcase IDX leads as new record in Airtable

Airtable and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Looking for a better way to have a constantly updated archive of your Showcase IDX leads that’s easy to manipulate? Try this Showcase IDX Airtable integration out. Once you set it up, we’ll make sure the information from every new lead from Showcase IDX is sent to Airtable, automatically adding a new row for you with it every time. ==> Click to add Zap

Create a loop in Dotloop for each new Showcase IDX lead

Dotloop and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you tired of manually copying and pasting new Showcase IDX leads into Dotloop loops? Once this integration is configured, new Showcase IDX leads will get automatically added as a loop in Dotloop, speeding up your workflows and processes to save you time. ==> Click to add Zap

Add new Showcase IDX leads to REIPro as buyer leads

REIPro and Showcase IDX Integration guide - Zapier

Are you struggling to follow up on your new leads from Showcase IDX to close the deal? Use this integration to automatically capture them as buyer leads in REIPro. That way, you can use the CRM features to manage follow-ups and convert Showcase IDX leads into sales. ==> Click to add Zap


You’ve now learned how to follow up with new leads quickly, add new leads to your CRM, schedule showings instantly, and more. No need to set them all up at once.

I recommend picking one or two IDX integrations to start with.

Learn more

Learn The Features Driving the 24 Most Successful Real Estate Websites

Successful real estate websites must meet consumers’ expectations and help drive your business.

In this article, we’ll walk through the features that our 24 most successful customers are using to grow their businesses in 2020.

Successful real estate website features covered in this guide

What your real estate website must do

Great first impressions and a modern home search are a must to generate leads and grow your business.

The best real estate websites strike a perfect balance in function and form, making consumers feel like they’ve come to the right place. The best sites do more than simply work on mobile, they shine!

home search mobile versus desktop

You must first decide what success looks like for you and prioritize the goals you’d like your website to accomplish are. How important is building a strong hyperlocal brand compared to generating new leads or helping to close existing leads into completed transactions? Our feature list below will help guide you in iterating on your current website or building a new one.

mobile home search and IDX

Many agents build simple “business card” style websites or use an outdated IDX (e.g. using iFrames, subdomains, limited data, etc) and are left wondering why their past clients and new leads still go to Zillow or Trulia, where the clients’ contact info and budget are given to competing agents.

95% of home buyers visit real estate agents’ websites during their home search. — The National Association of REALTORS®, 2018 Report

Your site serves as the hub for any successful real estate marketing strategy today. It’s the digital face of your business that potential clients use to vet you against other agents and decide if they want to work with you. Your site can also protect your clients’ personal info and guide them through finding the right home or selling their current one.

How to analyze real estate websites

Our unique place in the market allows us to examine tens of thousands of real estate websites, those powered by Showcase IDX, those with older IDX options, and even all-in-one solutions. As a marketing coach, I’m constantly looking at what other top marketers are doing to see how to apply the most effective practices.

Here are 3 ways I analyzed real estate websites (2 of them you can do)

1) BuiltWith:

This year alone, my team has analyzed over 100,000 real estate websites. Tools like BuiltWith let you see the public-facing technologies and marketing solutions used on a website. Want to know if a site has the Facebook marketing pixel installed, how about if it’s built on WordPress (almost all top sites are), or if uses Hubspot to track visits for email automation? All of that is easily available by simply entering the URL of a website.

If you have deeper technology expertise, there are other services with APIs that can provide you similar data at scale, but what I love about BuiltWith is that it allows non-technical people to easily get an idea about what is being used on an individual website.

2) View Source:

With a little more technical knowledge, you can inspect the source code for a website to learn even more things, such as what WordPress theme is being used, some of the plugins on the website (most plugins though are private and cannot be identified without admin access to the site), 3rd party software used, etc.

How to view source code for an individual website?

Using Chrome on a Mac, simply visit the website you would like to inspect, click View > Developer > View Source. Alternatively, right-click the page and look at the menu that appears. From that menu, click View page source.

analyze real estate website

3) Our Internal Data:

We partner with marketing agencies and web developers that build a single site per year to those that support tens of thousands of websites. For this guide, I looked at what IDX and home search settings our most successful clients are using.

We take our clients’ data and privacy extremely seriously and would NEVER expose the specific settings for individual clients, or even small groups of them. So, if you’re looking for what a specific site uses for their settings, I won’t be sharing that with you. If you’d like some insights into what I see from the most successful real estate websites, keep reading.

The results of examining our top 24 most successful customers confirmed many of my strategies, and a few of the results surprised me. This guide will give you some insights into things to try for your own website.

But first, let’s agree on what “successful” means.

What qualifies as a successful Realtor or broker website?

Some marketing agencies will try to tell you that any website that highlights your personal brand well is successful, but they’re missing the point of modern real estate marketing.

Whether you work primarily from referrals and past clients or if you’re primarily focused on new leads, your website must keep your clients on your site and not have them longing for the experience on Zillow or Trulia. We call it “leakage” if a qualified client leaves your site and goes to a large portal because they “leak” out of your sales funnel.

We’ve seen some outdated IDX solutions have leakage of 40% to as high as 90%. Imagine having 90% of strong referrals or leads you spent $25 CPA to acquire visit your landing page and then going to a portal that will share their info with competing agents.

Every website will have a “bounce rate” (the percentage of people that visit and leave. That rate will depend on the source of the traffic, but for a high-traffic site, a good bounce rate may be as high as 80%. We see much lower bounce rates in our top 24 websites.

Here are 3 ways of tracking success from your website:

1. Your website needs to quickly give your clients a modern home search experience and must highlight your hyperlocal expertise.

Websites built by our trusted partners and powered by Showcase IDX do both of these. With a site from one of these partners (click here to become a partner), you are able to give your clients a modern home search experience. And with our Friends and Family search, they can more easily coordinate with their family without having to use text/email or share logins. This helps to reinforce your value as a hyperlocal expert that can be trusted to keep their (and their families’) information confidential.

2. Your website must let you capture leads.

When a new visitor comes to your site, does your site use tools that incentivize people to enter their contact info?

In our top 24 websites, there are conversion rates from 0.02% – 5.56% (visitors that become leads), and I’ve seen rates from some clients that are significantly greater. However, we must remember that there is a balance to be considered here about what “best” looks like depending on your business and marketing strategy. There may be times when you’re more focused on building your personal brand and views/visitors matter more than sign-ups, and there are other times where you may be optimizing your marketing for something else like “total closings in a quarter”.

In the next section of this guide, I’ll show you what some of the IDX settings are that drive that leads to sign-up below. Keep reading.

3. Lastly, a successful real estate website must drive organic traffic from search engines over the long-term.

Unless you’re willing to simply buy leads for years to come, you want to create a lead generation machine, and start generating traffic from Google, Bing, Pinterest, and others to scale your business.

In our top 24 websites, the sites drive between 4,300 sessions per month to 30,000 sessions per month, with a substantial portion from organic and direct/referral traffic. If I sort by organic traffic only, 16 of the sites remain in the top 24.

For clients that I consult with on their real estate sites and coach to help grow their business, I’ve learned that “success” is relative and that the key to growth is acknowledging where each site is and taking the wise steps needed to achieve the next level in business growth. Don’t get distracted by someone else’s success. Most agents are not adequately investing in either their marketing or their websites. There is a huge opportunity for everyone at every stage.

Only 16.5% of real estate agents had success with purchased leads. (OutboundEngine Real Estate Marketing Benchmarks Report)

Building organic traffic and good SEO is like compound interest, it takes a steady investment over time and the results get better and better. Many of these sites are also driving traffic because the agents 1) proactively setup custom search subscriptions for each client 2) show their clients how to use Friends and Family and 3) add regular local content each month.

What I’ve seen in my wider research this year is that it is almost impossible to rank a website well if an IDX uses iFrames or subdomains. The good news is that we hate iFrames and subdomains almost as much as Google does, so you won’t find them at Showcase IDX.

Remember though, generating organic leads takes work. Just like in the physical world, it takes work to knock on doors, attend local events, volunteer, make cold calls, etc. Ranking on Google takes works too. The good news is that this guide shows some incredible success stories and shows you what settings to use on your IDX.

Nine of the most successful agents in our top 24 websites are single agents. In order to have a successful website, you don’t have to be on a large team or be a broker.

I loved finding this in our data because it shows what I’ve been saying.

Anyone can be successful, and it does not take spending thousands of dollars per month. Now, while I am a strong believer in investing in marketing to grow ANY business, many of these most successful sites were built by individual agents that simply carved out time each week/month to do the work to rank their sites.

In the long-term, organic traffic (what you get from Google/Bing/etc) is much cheaper than spending money on ads (paid media). Plus, what happens when you stop spending on ads? The traffic stops. The value of SEO (search engine optimization) is much closer to compound interest, where it only gets better over time.

How did we determine the 24 most successful sites?

The section above talked through the three ways we believe you should evaluate if your site is successful.

Assuming you have a website that uses Showcase IDX to stop the “leakage” of clients going to Zillow, there are times when driving traffic alone will be your main driver of success, and there are times when leads are the most important.

We sorted all of our customers by most traffic generated and then also by most leads generated over the same time period. The lists were very similar and the top three sites remained the top three by both methods. We opted to sort by total traffic for this guide, as generating new traffic and retaining that traffic (returning visitors) are frequently my suggestion to focus on first, before moving to optimize for conversion to leads.

This method does weigh the list to real estate websites in larger cities and MLSs. As an example, Atlanta has 45,000+ active listings and nearly as many agents, while a smaller city like may have 1,000+ listings with 1,400+ members. With more consumers, there will be more traffic. However, we did see several sites in smaller cities/regions make the list, and the features and settings in this guide apply for every market.

In the rest of this guide, we’ll walk through the features that helped to drive traffic and the settings we see sites with both 1) a higher lead conversion rate and 2) total number of leads generated within those top 24 sites. This will help you save time as you optimize for initial traffic and then for conversions if you have a steady stream of traffic.

The features and settings of the most successful real estate websites according to the data

Let’s get into the fun and dig into the data. Some of these features and settings are contained within Showcase IDX and some are not.

Read through the list and you’ll see what website features and settings other agents are using to grow their business and what you may want to test on your website.

Number of real estate websites

The vast majority of successful real estate agents only have 1 website. 19 out of our 24 most successful real estate websites are the ONLY site for that agent/broker/team. Of the other five, four had two sites, one had three websites, and none of those additional sites were in our most successful sites list.

This one didn’t surprise me. Years ago, SEOs (those that practice search engine optimization) would recommend you have multiple micro-sites that would all feed into a single site. Some marketing agencies will still try to tell agents they need dozens of sites, but if you hear that you should run, and our data confirms what Google says.

As far back as 2010, when microsites and blog networks started to become a more popular SEO tactic, Google posted on the Google Webmaster Blog that site owners wanting to create multiple sites should ensure each site had unique, quality content.

While you’re free to run as many sites as you want, keep in mind that users prefer to see unique and compelling content. It is a good idea to give each site its own content, personality and function. This is true of any website, regardless of whether it’s a single-page hobby-site or part of a large portfolio.

We suggest not spreading out your efforts too broadly, though. It can be difficult to maintain multiple sites while keeping the content fresh and engaging. It’s better to have one or a few good sites than a multitude of shallow, low value-add sites.

More recently, Google’s John Mueller (Webmaster Trends Analyst – basically their public-facing expert on what it takes to rank well), discussed how Google views the idea of microsites versus the one standalone site method.

The question in the hangout was about content silos, which Mueller interpreted as being about the practice of creating many microsites instead of a larger more comprehensive one for SEO purposes.

John’s response:

I’m not particularly sure what you mean with content silos. I assume this is something like creating niche sites or something general… generally like that where you create small websites that are focused on one specific topic.

From my point of view, that’s usually something we recommend against, just because it’s a lot easier for you to maintain things on one website, where things are kind of interconnected on one website. And it’s a lot easier for you to kind of build up that almost like brand awareness, I guess, with regards to your one website, compared to having like, all of these other different individual websites that are kind of connected to your main website but not really on your main website.

So for the most part, I’d recommend trying to focus on like a smaller number of websites and keeping everything together and kind of tying everything together in a reasonable way so that when users find your content, they can easily kind of move along that path to actually converting into whatever you want them to do, if you want them to buy something or sign up for something. Kind of make that as easy as possible so that when they go back to your content, they know what to find and what to do.

Focus your efforts on a single website. There are lots of ways to create individual landing pages, interest categories, and segment useful content within a single site. In the end, you’ll find it much more useful for the growth of your business to rank a single site than to rank even one site if you have multiple ones.

Hotsheets and Community Pages

This is probably the most important feature of building a successful real estate website.

What is a hotsheet? Hotsheets and community pages are individual pages on your site that focus on a single type of home, an individual condo building, homes within walking of a particular school, or any other refined interest that your clients may have.

Before digging into the actual data, I would have told you that “more” was better, but as I’m continuing to see with Google Analytics (since their E-A-T update on expertise, authority, and trustworthiness), Google cares more about quality than quantity.

Of our top 24 websites:

  • Four had 11 or less hotsheets, and one in the top 5 had only two.
  • Three had between 12 and 99 hotsheets
  • Eleven had between 100 and 499 community pages
  • Two had 500 to 999 pages, and
  • Only four had more than 1,000 pages.

Outside of our top 24 most successful customers, we’ve seen many customers do well by building hundreds and thousands of hotsheets on their sites. This is achievable by carving out a few hours every week to invest in writing content and adding a few new hotsheets.

Research shows that websites with fresh content earn 88% more leads per month than static content. Hotsheets and community pages give your website a stream of fresh content that if done correctly will meet what a potential buyer/seller is searching for on Google, and Google is increasingly looking for content that meets “searcher’s intent”..

To rank well on Google, especially after Google’s more recent updates, I suggest building high-quality community pages and hotsheets that support the niche you’re focused on. Focus on providing quality content, written and/or video, on these pages.

Adding saved searches from Showcase IDX to the pages will ensure that Google sees regularly updated pre-rendered content on these pages and provide your visitors with home listing results they desire.

To support your advertising or outbound email/call marketing, create a hotsheet tailored for the individual persona you are targeting with each advertisement or reach out. The more your advertising message aligns with the landing page you’re sending them to, the higher your conversion rate will be because the visitors will find more value.

Showcase Plan: Premium or Essentials

Do you expect me to say you have to buy Premium to be successful?

You do NOT have to use the Premium version of our product to be successful.

While we see an incredible amount of success from the agents and brokers that use Premium as a whole, only ½ of the websites in our top 24 most successful use the Premium version of our product.

With that said, our top five most successful sites all use Showcase IDX Premium on their sites. The key is “how” they use it, and how they use it with the registration locks we’ll talk about later.

Success with zero registration locks

Within Showcase IDX, you can restrict certain information from visitors that they only see after registering or signing in. We call this feature a registration lock. Here’s one example:

IDX home search lead generation
Prompt for access to open houses and local data

Even if you’re focused on brand building at this stage of growing your business in a specific real estate niche, you still need to capture visitors’ info at some point. So, when should you prompt visitors to enter their name and contact info?

We see agents, teams, and brokers driving thousands of visitors and home search users every month regardless of if they’re using a registration lock.

Nine of the sites in our top 24 most successful sites use zero registration locks (neither hard locks or soft prompts).

They’re generating dozens of leads from other lead capture tools within Showcase IDX such as “asking a question about a property”, “schedule a tour”, inviting family or friends to collaborate on their search, etc.

Home search collaboration with friends and family

Tip: Show your clients how they can use the Friends & Family tools to collaborate without using text/email to share properties and comments. This can lead to 1 – 5 additional potential leads from the single contact you may have in your CRM. It’s also a great way for clients to get a feel for their next home before they’re ready to actively start looking.

Prompting for registration on listing views and search results

After you’ve built up a strong flow of organic traffic or if you’re driving traffic from advertising, you’ll capture more leads by turning on some registration locks.

15 of our 24 most successful sites are using some form of registration locks.

All Showcase IDX plans include the ability to lock the maximum number of listing detail pages a visitor can view until they are prompted to register or sign in. This can be a soft prompt that the visitor can skip or a hard lock where the potential client cannot see any other listing detail pages until they register or sign in.

IDX lead generation - home search registration

7 of the top 24 sites uses a soft registration prompt when a visitor has seen a certain number of listings, and we see success with the prompt displaying every 5 to 25 listings. For the 15 that use some form of registration lock, 7 out of those 15 sites use soft registration prompts.

5 of the top 24 sites use a hard registration lock, and we see success with the prompt showing on the first property being displayed and up to after the 10th listing.

Premium users have the added feature of being able to set the maximum number of search results a lead can see before they have to register. This allows the user to see multiple potential pages of search results before having to register on your site.

6 of the top 24 sites use the Search Results Lock, with it triggering between 2 pages and 5 pages. For the 15 that use some form of registration lock, 6 out of 15 sites use this Search Results Lock.

Requiring registration to see premium listing data

This may be one of the most important IDX and home search features if you’re goal is to generate leads.

IDX premium content feature

Premium listing data is additional, unique, and highly valuable data beyond what is provided from your MLS. It includes information such as:

  • Walk score for the neighborhood
  • Transit scores for the community
  • Bike scores showing the biking infrastructure
  • Links to nearby restaurants, grocery stores, and more
  • Population insights: total population, median age, population density, etc.
  • Community demographics, including:
    • Gender
    • Age group
    • Education levels
    • Average household size
    • Median household income
    • Average individual income
    • Cost of living compared to national average
    • Marital statuses
    • Blue Collar vs White Collar Workers
    • Type of Commute for those working.
    • Average commute times

50% of the most successful sites that are on Premium require a visitor to register before seeing Premium Listing Data.

Tip: Consumers love this data, and it can be a strong reason to register on your site. We’ve seen people see a drastic increase in their lead conversion by simply turning on the Premium Listing Content lock. In other places on their site, they explicitly shows the type of additional content you get when you register.

Visitors for different real estate niches and parts of the country are unique, so make sure to test how the lock works on your site. Turn it on for a few weeks, then off for the same amount of time, then compare the results in Google Analytics. The key here is to understand your local target niche(s). If you do not test registration locks, you risk valuable data that could tell you that you’re losing visitors because a lock was put at the wrong time or for the wrong data.

Combining hard and soft locks

There are no clear winners for whether no registration locks, soft registration prompts, or hard registration locks drive more success.

For Premium users, the hard lock on Premium Content do appear to outperform from a pure lead generation perspective, once a website/agent has a strong hyperlocal brand established in their community.

Tip: Setting up a new website today or updating an existing site with little to moderate content? I would suggest starting with no locks or soft registration prompts until you have regular traffic, if your on Essentials. If you’re a Premium customer, start with the Premium Content lock. Focus on adding local content and refining the niche that you work with.

Niches lead to riches. Your efforts will best be spent invested in refining your message to your niche. You’ll know when you “get it” when your referral clients and new sign-ups repeat back your specific niche to you as to why they selected you.

After you’ve found success from a traffic and conversation perspective in your niche, begin to test hard locks and monitor your analytics to see how your visitors respond.

Streamlined versus advanced search types

Showcase IDX offers two different search types:

  • Streamlined search is ideal for searching multiple MLSs and mobile
  • Advanced search provides detailed advanced search features
Property search from home on real estate agent website - Showcase IDX

Of our 24 most successful real estate websites powered by Showcase IDX, 8 use our Streamlined Home Search and 16 use the Advanced Home Search.

However, the data within these sites and across our wider customer base does not show a clear winner.

The Streamlined and Advanced Home Search options are split almost equal when I examine the data based on 1) most traffic 2) most number of leads and 3) highest conversion of visitors to leads. The conclusion is that both perform well with consumers.

Tip: The choice of which search type should be a discussion between you and website developer. Ultimately, you want to make the choice based on the experience you’re trying to tailor for your clients.

Map style for home search

Choosing different map styles can be a great way to customize the look and feel of your real estate websites. It’s also one of the most underutilized features we see used.

Showcase IDX offers nine different map styles for Premium users. These home search map styles change the colors and fonts of all maps displayed on your website (e.g. regional maps, listing page, hotsheets, open houses, etc.)

IDX customization map styles

Only 4 of the 12 sites with access to this feature have chosen a map style different than the default.

However, 2 of the 3 most successful sites in terms of the total number of leads generated are using a Premium map style.

Tip: Test the feel of your site using “Light Grey”, “ Light and Bright”, “High End”, or “Outdoors”. If you want a stark contrast to other sites, we’ve seen success with “Elegant” as a style.

No budget or shared hosting

One consistent feature of all 24 of the most successful real estate websites from our customers is that none of them use a budget or shared host.

We understand the need to stay within budget. You have to get a good return on investment (ROI) on your marketing, and while a website with a great home search is required for any successful real estate marketing strategy, many agents cannot spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month on hosting their websites.

Use Google Analytics to know what browsers your clients are using

The great news is that you do not have to spend that much on hosting. Simply stay away from the super-cheap $5 – $10 per month shared hosts.

Some of the hosting options we see used by these top 24 sites include:

  • Digital Ocean
  • Google
  • AgentFire (as part of their website offerings)
  • WpEngine

Tip: Want to know where a website is hosted? Enter the URL of a website into a tool like Who Is Hosting This? or Hosting Checker.

$30 – $200 themes

This is huge for any agent building their own website or any marketing agency wanting to scale their company serving Realtors and brokers.

17 of the top 24 most successful real estate website use themes they licensed for $30 – $200 one-time.

By using the View Source tip I shared earlier, you can see the code for any website. Search for “theme” and in most cases, you’ll be able to identify the theme used on the website. Look for a section like /wp-content/themes/THEMENAME/ Here’s an example from inspecting the code on my personal site:

You can then search google for the name for that theme using a search such as “THEMENAME wordpress theme” to learn more about the theme.

Tip: A few great themes to start with are Astra, Avada, and Enfold.

Conclusions to Real Estate Website Success

Okay, every smart marketer knows that an agent has to have their own real estate website, independent from your Broker’s site to be successful. Why? Besides the “leakage” issue we discussed earlier, according to NAR, agents change brokerages every 4 to 5 years on average.

The two most valuable assets to growing your real estate business over time are 1) your personal brand and 2) your contacts/relationships.

Having a great real estate website that your clients will actually use is the single most valuable piece of marketing technology (Martech) that you can invest in. It supports both your personal brand and puts you in control of the your clients’ information.

Our #1 job is to showcase you as the local expert and grow your real estate business. - Kurt Uhlir

Is it worth a few hundred dollars and a time investment to build your own site to enjoy these benefits? Of course, it is. This is your business!

The sooner you launch your site, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits.

The tips in this guide will give you a jumpstart on building out your website or upgrading your current one.

Showcase IDX is the engine that powers the most effective real estate agent, team and brokerage websites.

Want to build your own site or already have a developer? Start your free trial of Showcase IDX today.

Need help getting started? Choose one of our approved partners to guide you through building a stunning website to grow your business this year.

The Future of Home Buying: As Easy as Google Maps Combined with Consumer Privacy

Years ago, we all kept paper maps in our cars, then came early (expensive) navigations systems, followed by sites like Mapquest where you could print out specific sets of routing directions. Garmin quickly came out with lower-cost personal navigation systems, and now, we all have Waze on our smartphones and can easily embed Google Maps or Mapbox on any website.

As discussed at the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) Fall 2019 conference, real estate has come a long way from the paper catalogs used years ago. Keep reading to see the behind the scenes at the industry conference, and learn how new tools are changing how to search for a home for both consumers and Realtors.

Large real estate portals selling consumer information

Zillow and Trulia earned more than $1,333,600,000 (yes, $1.3 billion) in revenues in 2018 with the majority of that revenue coming from selling consumer contact and budget information to real estate agents and other providers.

According to their 2018 annual report, their IMT segment is defined as “We generate revenue from the sale of advertising services and our suite of marketing software and technology solutions to businesses and professionals primarily associated with the residential real estate, rental and mortgage industries.”. Ask the average agent paying for their tools/advertising, and lead information is the primary value they see, and this accounted for $1.28 billion of their TOTAL $1.3 billion revenue. That’s how much your clients’ info is worth!

Consumers are quickly becoming aware of what happens on Zillow and other large real estate portals with their information. You would never go to a website and enter your contact info, along with the $500k value of your 401k, and let them know that you are planning to move investments in a few months, but that is equivalent of what happens when someone is looking for a $500k house. You’re telling an information broker that you’re planning to have a major financial transaction in several months.

Realtors are increasingly realizing that sending their clients to these large portals is causing them to lose clients because their clients’ info is being provided to “Premier Agents” of those sites, so they’re in essence referring clients to their competitors.

Smart real estate agents realize that consumer privacy is a competitive advantage and with a modern IDX engine and consumer tools, they can provide an even better home search experience on their own website.

Real estate data and tools following growth of maps and navigation applications

Remember paper maps in your car? I was at the front lines of the HERE Technologies (NAVTEQ) that provided the map and traffic data behind almost every map and navigation application in the United States and Europe and shaped the experience we all use almost every day today.

Here’s a quick 10 minutes of my talk from The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) Fall conference about the parallels real estate agents and consumers are seeing today with what happened with map/navigation apps 15 years ago.

If you want to geek out a little more on innovation in the mapping industry and see more of what’s coming in real estate, here are pages 6 and 7 from RESO’s recent case study “It’s Inevitable: Moving to Replication via the RESO Web API“.

Auto Manufacturers Move to APIs

This was the situation when car manufacturer Toyota released the first navigation system in 1987 on the Toyota Crown. “While Google Maps was first released using GPS in November 2007, many of us first experienced a change in the navigation experience that was only possible due to a change in spatial data being accessed via APIs. This was done by pioneers like MapQuest’s Find Me and later by Waze, the GPS navigation software app owned by Google. This change in how the data was accessed also created a fundamental shift in how companies collected spatial data.”

A major player in this transformation was Kurt Uhlir, currently Showcase IDX’s Chief Marketing Officer. Uhlir was part of the small team that realized that there was a more efficient way to collect, enhance, and verify the data and created the spatial data and navigation industry that grew NAVTEQ from $85 million in revenue to $1.2 billion. Companies previously spent hundreds of millions of dollars on field teams and remote data to create their core asset (spatial data with 250+ attributes per road segment and millimeter-level accuracy) around the world, according to Uhlir. When Google entered the arena, it spent an estimated $300 million in 18 months to collect only a portion of the road network in the United States and Canada.

Since then, the technology Uhlir and his team invented and patented has been used by companies like Waze, Google Maps, Apple Maps, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others, and is quickly becoming the backbone for the data driving much of the autonomous vehicle industry.

“This seemingly small, behind-the-scenes change to accessing spatial data via APIs was the triggering change that led to the vast majority of motorists using Waze to get directions to our next open house, people playing games like Pokémon GO, and many of the athletic applications we use to track our progress today,” Uhlir explains.

Borrowing a Page From the Navigation Industry

Uhlir cited the example of the navigation industry moving from one data set to an API. “Most people have multiple mapping apps on their phones that provide full navigation,” Uhlir explains.

“While the spatial data industry saw mass consumer adoption of navigation thanks to Garmin, Magellan, and TomTom offering personal navigation devices, it really was a change in how the data was accessed, combined with the mass adoption of smartphones that made navigation a part of our everyday lives.”

“HERE (formerly called NAVTEQ) has been the dominant map provider in the United States, Europe, and much of the world for decades,” said Uhlir, adding that everything from printed Rand McNally maps to car navigation systems to personal navigation devices and even websites like MapQuest were powered by HERE data and a few smaller data providers.

These navigation systems and applications used static copies of a subset of the HERE map that was generally recreated by each brand into a proprietary data format,” said Uhlir. “These navigation system and applications used static copies of a subset of the HERE map that was generally recreated by each brand into a proprietary data format,” said Uhlir. “This changed when Traffic.com and INRIX began providing real-time traffic data; these mapping and navigation systems incorporated into the consumer experiences. But the bulk of all spatial data was not accessed in real-time – or even short time,” Uhlir joked.

How to ride the tsunami of innovation in real estate marketing technology

If you wanted maps on your website or in your SaaS application, would you ever think of building your own version of Google Maps or Mapbox? Absolutely not.

Mapbox has invested hundreds of millions in capital, after having raised $227 million and earned many more millions in revenue, to build their solution. Google Maps is known to have invested hundreds of millions building search, display, and routing applications to create the Google Maps API offering. Even if an agent had access to the map data, the cost to build an experience reasonably acceptable to consumers could not be done.

Yet, many people attempting to build “all-in-one” real estate marketing platforms have tried to do this with home search and consumer engagement tools.

The rumor within real estate technology circles is that Zillow spent $25 million to create the technology and systems to ingest all the data they use on their sites. Now, this includes more than simply MLS data, but that’s still a staggering amount to just acquire data, normalize it, and make it internally available to applications like a home search.

Smart marketers and real estate companies have realized that a modern IDX requires the focus of a Google Maps or Mapbox. Showcase IDX has been called an “IDX engine” and referred to as the “Intel Inside” of any modern real estate marketing solution for that reason.

In my keynote talks about Tsunami Innovation, I talk about riding the increasing waves of innovation. It’s almost impossible to stand against a tidal shift of a tsunami, yet when you harness the wave and learn to ride on top, the entire industry changes and people’s lives change.

Home search and consumer engagement tools in real estate are at a similar point to where we saw mapping and navigation technology a few years ago.

I’m excited to be at the front of this change and working with a team that not only loves deep data and technology but that wakes up each day excited to be changing the world.

The central hub to successful real estate marketing

It takes incredible agencies and partners to provide a cohesive marketing strategy that works and is tailored for different teams and individual agent brands.

No matter the marketing campaign, you ultimately have to drive a consumer to an online experience where they can search for a home, save searches, get alerts of new properties, interact with their friends and family, etc. – all without having their information sent to competitive agents and service providers.

“Powered by Showcase IDX” has become the central hub to successful real estate marketing campaigns. We know that focusing on building the modern IDX engine allows other vendors (e.g. CRM, social media management, etc) to focus on what they do best.

Have your own website? Start your trial of Showcase IDX today.

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