Should You Give Away Your Listings Content On Your Website?

By
Real Estate Agent with Silicon Beach Properties • KW CalBRE #01712960

 There seems to be two distinct, diametrically opposed schools of thought out there among web developers about what agents should do with their listings information on their website.  In one corner is the group that advocates mandatory pre-registration before a visitor can see even a hint of listings information and, in the other corner, is the group that says, "hey, give it away because consumers will never register anyway."

I'm here on my soapbox to advocate for the Green Party.  OK, who could help dropping in a little political joke with all the politicos in the news right now, but I am perfectly serious when I tell you that there is another road less traveled in the online lead generation game.

As I've stated before, pre-registration is a turn off for consumers and a waste of your traffic generating efforts.  The big giveaway, on the other hand, is an utter waste of a unique opportunity to generate solid leads for your real estate business.

There is, I humbly submit, a middle ground.

A sophisticated IDX solutions allows you to "dance" with your visitors, keeping them on your site longer and ultimately getting a little contact information to start forging a stronger relationship.  These solutions let you give away a lot of great listings information, but they also let you trade a soft registration for extra value, like a place for the visitor to save his or her listings, the ability to get a listing's address, the opportunity to receive daily new listing updates by email, and so on. 

An IDX database is just that -- a database.  Databases can be manipulated in creative and enticing ways to serve information hungry website visitors and encourage registration with extras.  I talk about this more in What Has Your IDX Done For You Lately?

 I absolutely agree with the giveaway crowd that an agent should be generous with information.  But I also believe that subtle lead capturing should be aggressively pursued wherever and whenever possible, as the fastest ticket to solid business growth.  Real estate agents have a unique online marketing opportunity because their stock in trade -- listings -- can be reduced to a manipulable database, and they should fully leverage this opportunity to grow their businesses.  Doctors, lawyers and other service professionals aren't so lucky.  Why would you waste this opportunity?

What do you think?  Join me on my soapbox for a better way?

Posted by

 

 

Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW, CalBRE #01712960
m: 424.272.1339 | w: www.SiliconBeach.properties

buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.

Comments (17)

Rebecca Savitski
BSR Real Estate Group - Cary, NC
NC Real Estate Listings
I have 2 websites 1 with preregistration and 1 just giving you the information. I get 85% of my internet business off of the 1 with the preregistration. It works try it the trick is to provide some information but not all.
Aug 23, 2007 02:29 PM
Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW - Venice, CA
buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.

You got it, Rebecca!  Do the dance!

Aug 23, 2007 02:40 PM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
Thanks for the nice post Tracy.  Most agree that the visitor tends to leave if faced with certain mandatory pre-reg.  We all need to develope skills with our sites to help retain them.
Aug 23, 2007 02:41 PM
Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW - Venice, CA
buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.
It's all in the listings, Bill.  Thanks for stopping by.
Aug 23, 2007 02:44 PM
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

Tracy,

It really seems like a no-brainer. If there are agents that allow visitors to view listings without any pre-registration....why would any website visitor go through the hoops on a site that requires registration. There should be no secrets. Here are the available homes. If you want to save your search, fill out this little form so you can access your saved listings when you return.

Wonderful post....but don't encourage them. I would prefer that most agents demanded pre-registration. My traffic would spike. : )

jmac

Aug 23, 2007 02:46 PM
Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW - Venice, CA
buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.
John, I think you're safe with your traffic.  That is until I transform the world with my little ole soapbox.
Aug 23, 2007 02:50 PM
Drew & Christine Morgan
RE/MAX Star Properties - Belmont, CA
Belmont California Real Estate

We try and direct people to our web site Morganhomes.com so that they can see details about our listings (virtual tours). We hope that they will sign up for automated updates so we can stay in touch but our job first and foremost is to market our listings. We have two search engines on our site--one allows for instant (non-registered) searches and one which you can sign up for email alerts.

Cheers,

 =DLM=

Aug 23, 2007 03:04 PM
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Tracy, I think we're successfully doing what you are suggesting - www.SearchClearwaterProperties.com I know it works well for us.
Aug 23, 2007 04:20 PM
Kory Benken
Keller Williams Realty - Lake Mary, FL
REALTOR, G.R.I.

Tracy,

Great Post!  I'm in the process of designing my own sites. I already have a major site with my real estate team and we've have battled over this issue for a while.  I think that time invested in learning about idx solutions will be time well spent.  Thanks for the tip.

Kory

Aug 23, 2007 04:24 PM
Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW - Venice, CA
buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.

Drew, you might want to consider pulling up your virtual tour links to the top of that homepage, if your goal is to get visitors to tour the listings.  They may not scroll down that far.

Hi Cyndee!  It's late where you are!  Thank you for taking the time to comment.  It's kind of late here, too and I'm a little bleary-eyed, but I couldn't find any listings information on that website you referenced.  Give me a big, fat hint and I'll look.

Kory, let me know if I can help you out with IDX for your site.  We get great data in your area and have a beautiful interactive IDX package with your MLS's data.  Next time the battle rages over registration with your team, circulate my post.  =-)

Aug 23, 2007 04:58 PM
Kory Benken
Keller Williams Realty - Lake Mary, FL
REALTOR, G.R.I.

Tracy,

Thanks for the offer. I might take you up on that when the time comes.

Aug 24, 2007 06:47 AM
Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW - Venice, CA
buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.

Sure, Kory.  Start picking my brain any time.  Or stop back by.  I'll be continuing to write from my soapbox....

Aug 24, 2007 08:45 AM
Drew & Christine Morgan
RE/MAX Star Properties - Belmont, CA
Belmont California Real Estate
Thanks for the input Tracy. I'll make that change tomorrow when I get rid of my frames page--I'm a bit of an arachnophobe and it seems to be keeping the spiders away.
Aug 24, 2007 02:55 PM
Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW - Venice, CA
buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.
My pleasure, Drew.  I'm always happy to share opinions on online marketing strategies!
Aug 25, 2007 01:21 AM
Dan Forbes
Bradenton, FL

Tracy - I agree with you.  Give consumers the info they want and they will come to you.

Thanks for commenting on my Law of Attraction post.

Aug 31, 2007 03:01 AM
Tracy Thrower Conyers
Silicon Beach Properties • KW - Venice, CA
buy. sell. lease. residential in silicon beach.
Thank YOU, Dan, for stopping by.
Aug 31, 2007 03:05 AM
Roland Woodworth
eXp Realty - Clarksville, TN
eXp Realty

Thanks Tracy.... I recently had this discussion with another realtor in my office... He trulybelieves in if they won't give me their information, they are not serious and so one. I have had the same conversation with others and the say don't run them off by forcing them to sign in..... I like the idea of the soft registration and dance idea you mention...... I will read your other post and evaluate this options.

 

Jan 22, 2008 06:01 PM

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