Technology continues to redefine many industries, and the real estate world is no exception. While some real estate agents lament the advent of sites like Zillow and Trulia, one thing’s for sure.
Consumers like the convenience of these sites. Especially when it comes to browsing listings.
Fortunately, you can provide the same convenience on your website through the Internet Data Exchange (IDX).
How? IDX software permits you to make part of the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) directly available to clients. This exciting development is changing the face of real estate lead generation.
Ready to learn more? Continue reading for a full breakdown of how to make it work for you.
The Multiple Listing Service and Your Real Estate Business
Although real estate can feel highly competitive at times, there are clear areas of cooperation and collaboration. These include the MLS, a system that allows agents and brokers to share information about property listings.
The MLS represents a compilation of data from a given region including the unique database about properties being sold by real estate brokers that are members of the each MLS. These databases can be owned by a variety of individuals or groups. There are multiple listing services across the world, from the United States to Canada, Australia to India, throughout Europe, and elsewhere.
They can also vary greatly in scope from citywide databases to national ones. For example, Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) covers Arizona while Bright MLS covers 6 states (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, and New Jersey). These databases are only accessible to people who pay a subscription fee.
The MLS represents your go-to resource for property listings. There’s no better way to advertise a given property to a wide audience.
Of course, until very recently, the MLS could only be accessed by real estate agents. But, oh how times have changed!
IDX for Real Estate Lead Generation
First and foremost, what’s the difference between MLS and IDX? An MLS is the source of current and new real estate listings in a given area, and IDX is the software that places this information directly onto a real estate website for the public to see.
Now, you can give your clients direct access to property listings and data in your MLS. Why would you want to make this information available to the public?
One of the most obvious reasons is linked directly to the concept of content marketing itself. When you provide your prospects and customers with value, they’ll return the favor by enlisting your services when they’re ready to buy.
Besides ramping up the amount of high-quality content on your website, a simple and easy-to-setup real estate IDX allows you to craft a bespoke listing of relevant properties curated from the MLS.
In other words, you can focus on a narrow geographic area, price range, or even home type such as customs, as well as highlight why you are a trusted local expert that specializes in the type of home your visitors are looking for.
This is one area where Zillow and Trulia still can’t compete.
The ability to create and archive these listings is also very good for your website’s SEO. Why? Because when the listings are seen as appearing on your website, it increases the number of times your pages appear in search engines. And, when you create hyper-local community and neighborhood pages, the lead generation from organic Google rankings have a strong chance of beating out the large portals and national brokerages.
The Ideal Lead Generation Real Estate Resource
You’ll also appreciate the new sense of control and freedom that you have over your listings and the information that appears on your website. And you don’t have to be tech-savvy to utilize this great resource.
Every time your IDX solution lists a home on your website, a URL will be auto-generated for it as well as page titles and keywords. That way, you guarantee more visibility for your website without having to add extra steps to your routine.
And when it comes to metadata? You can easily update your descriptions using the MLS WordPress plugin for added SEO value. A modern IDX platform like Showcase IDX will automatically create this metadata for you, based on your unique personalization settings.
But what about compatibility? And other issues such as load time? Fortunately, a good IDX plugin doesn’t negatively impact either of these areas.
So, you don’t have to compromise load times to start enjoying these features now.
When you combine a solid real estate theme through WordPress and the capabilities of IDX home search, you’ll have a website you can be proud of. And one that’ll do the legwork for you when it comes to securing new customers.
Instead of spending hours cold calling people or sending out expensive mailers, you’ll have a lead generation process in place constantly working for you. What’s more, there are numerous widgets you can add to further enhance lead generation.
Competing in Today’s Real Estate Market
The transition to new technologies hasn’t always gone smoothly for the real estate industry. As you may already know, there has been a contentious relationship between many agents and sites such as Trulia and Zillow.
Some real estate professionals have scrambled to keep apace of these technological changes and wondered how to compete with these real estate websites. The IDX WordPress plugin represents your ideal tool for making this happen.
Applying this technology will not only let you compete with major sites, but it will also give you a competitive edge when it comes to curated listings. After all, the last thing today’s customer has is time.
Shuffling through hundreds of potential property listings on Trulia and Zillow is simply inconvenient, and having your clients’ contact info sold to dozens of agents and other service providers is annoying. But when you craft MLS-based lists around the types of properties your clientele love, you’ll provide them with a unique service.
In essence, IDX allows you to give your customers exactly what they want. Now that’s a potent advertising tool.
But IDX will also make your life easier. How? By placing all of the information that your customers need right at their fingertips.
That way, you only need to be in direct communication with them when they need a little nudge in the right direction.
Finally, IDX can help you rank better in Google, which proves crucial to attracting new clients. If you’re not on page one of search rankings, you’re losing business. The IDX plugin can help you ramp up your SEO game.
Gaining a Competitive Edge over Other Agents
While the real estate industry has looked somewhat hesitantly at emerging technologies in the past, it’s time to take advantage of IDX. Or, you stand to lose out when it comes to harnessing the full potential of real estate lead generation.
Today’s savvy digital customer searches for added value. With the IDX WordPress plugin, you can provide this added value while establishing a trusted relationship with them.
What’s more, you can provide your clients with the information that they need at crucial points along the Customer Journey. Ready for more useful tools to help you generate leads? Browse our high-tech, high-quality web tools now.