Why do people use sites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com and Trulia.com? It could be just the advertising and marketing that these major real estate sites do. But all advertising can do is to get them there once. There must be other reasons that people return to these sites over and over again. They’re obviously finding what they want at these sites.
They want listings. The interesting thing is that these huge sites offer listings all over the country, but the average searcher is interested in only one locality. You would think that an IDX search on a real estate professional’s site would be just as good. It would except …
Data and Demographics
This isn’t just real estate market data, though that’s certainly important. They also want area demographics, population, employment data, average and median incomes, average and median home prices, major businesses in the area, major shopping and cultural centers, and much more.
School Info & Points of Interest
Schools and their ratings, from elementary through universities are always of major interest. Once they narrow down the school districts of value to them, then they want to know more about those areas, lifestyle, points of interest, etc.
Maps, Maps, Maps
The importance of maps can’t be minimized. There are some great area maps on these major sites showing all of the businesses, points of interest, schools, government, recreation and so much more. Web visitors love interactive maps.
The Competitive Advantage We’re Giving Away
The unfortunate fact is that real estate professionals know that their site visitors want these things, and they want to provide them. You find real estate professional sites linking out to these mega-sites to provide the information their visitors need.
It’s natural, as we want to be helpful to our site visitors. However, we’re giving away the farm to these sites. Because we can’t provide these informational assets to our site visitors, we’re linking them away from our site to these mega-sites. The worst part is that when your site visitor goes to one of these sites, they’re exposed to your competitors. There they are, all those photos and links to their websites, all right beside that information your site visitor wanted. Unfortunately, you can’t control their visit to the sites, or limit their ability to see your competitors.
However, you can stop sending them there.
This article isn’t designed to induce depression. Sure, there’s a problem. But it’s only a big problem if there’s no solution. Perk up! There is one. RealtySoft’s websites offer an IDX solution with interactive tools and data for the visitor embedded right there on your site, without leaving, RealtySoft site visitors can access the information they need and want:
- School information
- All the local MLS listings
- Area data and demographics
- Area entertainment, points of interest, and shopping
- And enough maps to keep them occupied for hours
RealtySoft gathers information from many sources for inclusion in your realty sites. In fact, some of this information may even come from mega sites or the sources they use. However, the difference is that this information, charts and maps are embedded in your RealtySoft site, not reached via a link out to another site.
So, instead of sitting around moping about the inadequacies of your site, or sending your visitors to the mega-sites with all of your competitors, you could be providing them with everything they want right on your site.
Check out these screenshots. This is how a typical listing would show up on your RealtySoft powered website:
Property Info Screen
Property Maps Screen
Nearby Schools Screen
Points of Interest Screen
Estimated Value Screen
Sales Trends Screen