IDX syndication has been around for a few years now. However, have we stopped to consider if allowing access to the pool of listing inventory to so many venues been a real benefit to the broker/agent and the consumer?
I remember listening to a story told from a broker I had my license with back in the early 90's. He was addressing the cost of advertising a single home that was unique and the seller and the listing agent felt it deserved special attention over the other properties in the companies inventory.
The main theme was that advertising was needed because other companies placed ads in the newspaper therefore we needed to offer similar service to compete for the listings. He noted that during a strike at the local newspaper that lasted several weeks the phone rang off the wall with buyers and sellers. Access to home inventory wasn't available to the general public and if you needed to sell or buyer it was off the the phone directory and calling the pros.
Fast forward to 2012. Real estate listings are everywhere. ABC listings show up on XYZ website. Listings populate on pool sites from listing hubs and in many areas agents can broadcast other company listings on their own web site. But has it increased business? Has it helped the real estate industry?
What does this vast access do to the consumer? Have you tried to search for a home from a buyers position. Let's assume 1st time buyers or a buyer that hasn't made a real estate transaction in 15 years and isn't tech savvy. I would argue overall frustration is the result.
Here's a sort list of problems I think consumers are faced with. Please expand your pro or con thoughts.
Many agents that have a web site don't maintain them.
- Outdated information.
- Limited/overloaded information.
- Poor photo quality.
- Poorly written script.
- To much fluff or non essentials.
Response times to inquires are to slow.
- Dropped leads from duty desk.
- Busy with clients and can't respond till later.
- Didn't check the inbox or lead program today.
- Requires personal contact information to put's consumer's on emailing list.
- Lack of internet skills by a large group of real estate professionals
Wrong information and to much navigation.
- Poor or limited search engine options.
- Insufficient keyword description.
- 10 properties per page and 100 plus pages to click through.
- Pages overloaded with script slowing page downloads.
- Poorly written ad descriptions.
Results are; off to another real estate site to start it all over... Frustration building.
I listed these as a few cons of Internet marketing and it doesn't cover everything. My next post I'll address some Pros to using tech marketing.
- What are your thoughts on the cons?
- How do you feel about IDX syndication.
- Do you use print advertising effectively?
- Why do you or don't you merge print and Internet marketing?
- Are there too many options today for you to use to market, similar to consumers search issues?
- When would you try something that offered a solution?