IDX is the technology that allows MLS listings end up on a real estate website. It facilitates real engagement, as visitors on your website are able to search listings in their target area, in their price range, in real time.
A recent spate of online articles claim that real estate professionals should ditch the “middle-man” and forego IDX capability on their websites. Their reasons are varied; some say that consumers don’t use agent sites to find listings but instead depend on the big real estate portals. Any agent who pays attention to the metrics on their website’s back-end knows otherwise.
Real estate agents offer tremendous value to their leads and clients by providing ways to search local listings and assure that these listings are up-to-date and accurate – a far cry from what some of the big sites offer.
So, leave the IDX in place and read on for tips on how to get more leads out of your IDX website.
Force user registration.
Passively asking visitors for their contact information on your website will get you nowhere, fast. The highest converting websites have registration forms that must be completed if the user wants to continue looking at listings. Sure, some will move on to another site, but many will register.
Timing is key – don’t force registration right off the bat, but rather let them search and view a handful of listings to build rapport with your website before asking for their contact information.
Be sure to make the experience simple for those you’re asking to register. Asking visitors to provide an extensive list of information will lead to fewer conversions, according to Neil Patel. Only four fields are necessary to generate new leads and increase your website’s conversion rate: first name, last name, email address, and an optional phone number. The more fields you have, the less likely a lead is to complete the form.
Attract more visitors with a blog.
Advice on how to get more leads from your website is useless if people can’t find you online. Informative content, consistently posted, is key to driving visitors (and potential leads) to your website and the best place to host this content is on your blog. You do have a blog, don’t you? Not only will a blog help you rank in search engines, but it’s a fabulous way to demonstrate your real estate expertise and local knowledge.
You can use your blog as a catalyst for driving more traffic to your website by publishing content, then sharing it on social media and in your email blasts to keep people coming back.
Provide client testimonials.
Brightlocal.com reports that 92 percent of consumers read online reviews. Of these respondents, 90 percent read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion of a business or service and that a review must be current – within one month of the current date – to be considered relevant.
The key takeaway from the study, however, is that over 80 percent of respondents trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
“People love other people’s opinions, even if the other people are strangers they’ve never met, they will take their advice over anything they read from a company’s website.” – Adam Fridman, CEO, Advisor.tv
One of the primary purposes of your IDX website is to build trust, and client feedback is your number one tool for doing so. Learn more about how to use client testimonials on your IDX website, here.
Offer community information.
No giant real estate portal can provide the hyper-local information that a boots-on-the-ground agent can. When considering what community information you’ll provide, or any content for that matter, aim for quality over quantity. Robust content with in-depth neighborhood descriptions, amenities, businesses and local schools are going to be most valuable to your leads. All this information will also improve your search rankings, increasing the likelihood that you and your services are found online, where 92 percent of home buyers look for information today (Properties Online, 2016).
Remember to share your content on social media and through email. Creating a system of promotion that pushes all the information you publish to other platforms will continue to drive traffic back to your website and further increase your search rankings.