The topic of self hosted self managed websites can always gather a crowd. To have a idx or not? Now I realize there are some folks out there who have every reason in the book why spending $ 49.00 a month on an IDX feed isn't worth it for them but this blog isn't for them. Go away go now!
This blog is for the real estate agent who wants to attract buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants on a 24 hour a day basis on the customers schedule.
The shift in idx feeds has been from sub domains to sub directories and this has allowed even the most novice of agents to benefit from all the Google juice. Some idx providers set up your feed as a sub domain. An example would be homes.yourwebsite.com while the trend is shifting to www.yourwebsite.com/homes
In the second example all the data flows UP from the detailed listing pages back to the top level. If you have 10,000 listing in your market you will use that data to enhance the optimized value of the site. In a sub domain you do not achieve that goal. (Now is the time when someone will write me and say it ain't so but go look on the interent and find me a subdomain site in the top 5 )
Currently I know that Diverse Solutions (fyi, I don't care who owns them) and IHome Finder are set to provide subdirectory structure.
The wordpress platform is changing fast. Soon you will see better data base management where agents are in total control of the data and pull the data feed from the mls ( a rets feed) just like Zillow does and has total control of he display fields, layouts and maybe even sold data (another blog in itself) This will really level the playing field. At the end of this month I am going to make a run at a new site building it in this manner but in the meantime time, my idx based site generates leads on a daily basis which is the real jist of this post.
If you have a website, do this right now. In Google type in the command site:Yourwebsite.com (no www)
This will tell you how many pages you have indexed. More pages indexed equals more chances to gain a customer. Recently I took a little side job for an agent in California to plug in an idx and clean up his site and and in the process I saw some big hitters, agents with a serious teams even brokerages with dismally small page counts.
The internet will work to gain new prospects, customers and friends. It can grow your personal brand equal to or great than the total number of listings in your market when done correctly. To have a better understanding of what sites have big page counts:
Zillow- Over 61 million pages (no wonder they're everywhere, it's because they're everywhere)
Active Rain 656,000 pages
My site- Over 11,000 pages (and this brings daily leads.)
Shamelessly I add in closing. I hope this helps. If you just want me to do this for you I enjoy the side work (it keeps my skills sharp) as well as helping my fellow agents. Lastly, hello Bob I hope I make the featured posts.
Steven Schafer, Realtor
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors Northfield NJ