IDX is an important component to your website, to your entire marketing plan and a succesful real estate business as Bob states in his random thoughts posting below.
The single most important component of your success in generating business leads online is your IDX site. Anyone telling you anything different is full of $#!&^. It's not ActiveRain, it's not a wordpress blog, it's not Zillow or Trulia or realtor.com. It is without question your IDX. There are certain things you have to have in your IDX. If you are going to spend money on anything, that should be what you spend it on. We spent a ridiculous amount of money building our own 8 years ago. Today, you don't have to do that. There are companies that have great options.....you just have to find one. But expect to pay for it. You get what you pay for with free or cheap.
My wife takes her wedding ring off every night to sleep. I give her a hard time about it. Her excuse is that her hands swell in the Summer. In the Winter, it's a different excuse. She takes it off to do odd stuff around the house too. I understand, I really do. However, I don't understand her forgetting to put it back on. So, I've hidden it from her a few times. Guess what she did? She freaked out for four days but was scared to tell me.......until I asked her about it. Haha! I got a good laugh out of it. I've decided that instead of her beautiful ring, we are going to trade it in for some little rubberband rings (we could get a lifetime supply of rubberband rings). They won't get in the way and it doesn't matter if you get them dirty. They also can stretch if her hands get swollen. Don't worry Lovey, we'll get them custom made so all the girls will be jealous!
Sad to see Matt Hasselbeck leave Seattle. He's getting old so I understand why we weren't willing to give him more money or a longer contract.......but, ummmm, guys??? Matt Leinart, Charlie Whitehurst and Tavaris Jackson? Are you joking me?? We wouldn't win the CFL Grey Cup with one of those three starting. Is it bad that I'm almost rooting for my team to go 2-14 so that we have a chance to land Andrew Luck? With this beard the guy is destined to be a superstar!! I said 'almost rooting' for that to happen. I can't decide. I'll probably figure it out after a few games which way to root. The problem is, we won the division at 7-9 last year. Paul Allen, I expect more from you.........
Did I mention that the single most important component of your success generating leads online is your IDX site? Well it's that important that I'm mentioning it again. Does your site allow you to create unique URL's to link to for specific searches? Does your IDX speak to your CRM? (do you even know what these two terms mean? IDX=Information Data Exchange.....it's how you are able to display listings from the MLS to your website. CRM=Client or Customer Relationship Management). If your IDX and CRM speak to each other, you should know who returned to your site today. If they speak, you should know how many homes they looked at today. You should know if there are patterns to what they like. You become better able to help them. Your CRM should also allow you to set up automated home searches. Oh, your MLS has this feature? So what......does it drive them back to your site or some dead end at the MLS site? All things to consider........(maybe we'll come back to this again)
If you missed the '37 Ways Not to Suck at Real Estate' webinar that Ben Kinney did for me today at ActiveRain University, never fear. We will be turning over the recording for your viewing pleasure soon. Keep an eye on my blog, I'll have it here in the next day or two. We maxed out GoToMeeting.com with 1000 people attending. That's all they can hold. So there are probably some annoyed folks who didn't get in because there were over 2200 registrations. Sorry (that's all I got)......the recording is coming. We overbook it because our experience tells us that about 50% of people actually show up when they register for something online.
Speaking of Ben Kinney.........I'm playing in a memorial golf tournament in Bellingham when I'm back in Seattle later this month. The tournament raises money for a scholarship for kids from the high school to which I attended. It's in honor of a good friend of mine's father (that English is probably pretty bad, not sure how to write that), who passed away when we were in school. I'm excited as there will be a lot of people there I haven't seen in a number of years. Anyway, Ben. So I ask him if he wants to play with me as I need one more for my foursome. He proceeds to tell me that his last outing to the driving range ended with him hitting the guy in the stall next to him with a (super ridiculous) errant shot. I must really like this guy, I still asked him to join me. Scrambles are the best.....doesn't matter if you stink as long as your team can pick you up.
I've been trying to catch up with Brad Andersohn on the phone for the last two weeks. I think he's avoiding me or maybe I pissed him off.....I've been known to do that. I've decided to start taking away large chunks of ActiveRain points from him until he calls me back. Bradley..........Can you hear me??? (although from the picture in this post.....maybe we just keep missing each other.....hmmmm)
My favorite thing to cook fast is Macaroni and Cheese. I LOVE IT!! It has to be the Kraft stuff. I'm very particular about that. At no point in time does our cupboard run out of Macaroni and Cheese. I'm not sure why I have such a hankering for it. Maybe it's getting just a little bit of extra milk so it's just a tad bit runny. Maybe it's making sure there is plenty of fresh ground pepper....or maybe it's that it fills me up exactly as full as I want to be. I'm not sure, but I love it!
I'm doing a webinar tomorrow (that would be Wedneday August 3rd if you are actually reading this tomorrow) about linking and how to hit your target with your links. It's the first time I've ever done it so there will be a few little kinks but since you are still reading I wanted to invite you to listen in. You probably already know all you need to know about creating great links in your blog posts, but in case you could use a tip or two, feel free to join me.