Dante Lee

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Rainmaker
809,103
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Having the search capability is the most important feature on our website which generates a ton of business for us.  I suppose it depends on your purpose for a website.  Is it simply to be a business card for you, telling consumers who you are and what you do or is it to generate business and capture consumers so they come back again and again?  You can find that following on a blog with good content, but in the end a buyer is going to want to search for homes and if they aren't on your website they will be on someone else's and when they find a home they are interested in they will call the number next to it.   My personal opinion is that blogging will get them to your site, the IDX and search capability will keep them there. -Kasey

May 10, 2017 08:16 PM
Rainmaker
7,298,699
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

The ability to search for homes is a key website element.

May 11, 2017 03:56 AM
Rainmaker
615,342
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

To be perfectly honest and IMHO I would not have a website without IDX because buyers and sellers are coming to the site to see what you have to offer (listings, homes for sale, etc.) ... not just to see a pretty face promising to help them with all their real estate needs.  Without IDX we missed the boat for real estate.  Hope this was helpful.  Great Question!

May 10, 2017 09:02 PM
Rainmaker
444,907
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

I really don't see how you can keep the prospect on your website without an MLS search tool.  Without it you are offering little more than a business card.

I know it is hard to compete with Zillow or Redfin, etc. But if they leave your website to search on another site they may never return.

May 10, 2017 08:02 PM
Rainmaker
1,389,001
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

I think an MLS is critical to drive potential clients to the website and to keep them there.

May 11, 2017 03:38 AM
Rainmaker
3,986,056
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

The MLS is the one thing that still keeps us Professional.WE start droping it and we are almost history at that point!

May 10, 2017 08:41 PM
Ambassador
4,751,957
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

I can't imagine having a website without the IDX search - worth every cent it costs!

May 10, 2017 08:21 PM
Rainmaker
4,722,853
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

People come to real estate sites for two primary reasons:

1. To look at/for homes.... you kind of need IDX for that.

2. To get local community information.

Getting an IDX feed is so simple and inexpensives these days, I wonder why anyone even asks if it should be there.

May 11, 2017 04:09 AM
Ambassador
5,959,198
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I think the duplication of having a personal IDX seems expensive and unneccessary, but those who have them find them to be great for collecting leads.

May 10, 2017 09:42 PM
Rainmaker
1,203,864
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

website must have to have a good idx for smart phone and desktop.

These days smart phone searching is popular than ever.

May 10, 2017 09:11 PM
Rainmaker
637,141
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

We need MLS to provide our listing feed. 

May 10, 2017 08:24 PM
Ambassador
4,849,624
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Good question, but it seems to me that the main thing most buyers, and perhaps sellers too, are looking for online is listings. You need to provide that through an IDX in order to be competitive- there are a number of solutions that are not expensive

May 10, 2017 08:06 PM
Rainmaker
598,824
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

They could - and usually do - just go to Zillow or REALTOR.com. But I like to provide the option because they won't be inundated with other agents, they can contact me directly, they can sign up for auto-emails, etc.

May 11, 2017 05:59 AM
Rainmaker
1,792,765
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

I can't believe you are asking that question. What is the #1 thing that buyers want on a site? They want to look at listings - if you don't have any, they will click off to somewhere that does.

You can get a complete WP package for $59 per month if you check hard enough. (Do not use Placester) That will take you in the direction that you want to go. OR .... don't even use a site.  Do a blog & a landing page search. There are so many options available to you. 

You have to make it as easy as possible or visitors will just click away & go elesewhere. Put yourself in the buyers/sellers shoes.

May 11, 2017 05:20 AM
Rainmaker
5,770,641
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

I agree with Kasey & John Boles 

May 10, 2017 09:00 PM
Rainmaker
91,542
Robert Newman
Inbound Real Estate Marketing L.L.C. - Buffalo, WY
Creating Enduring Online Marketing Results

I agree in principle with what Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA was saying. Asking Active Rain if you "Need" an MLS is asking for each agent to perhaps share what THEY are using the MLS for. I think the second part of your query is relevant. Has it been/can it be successful? 

 

The single best investment that a real estate agent can make IN MOST CASES is owning their own website, learning SEO and IDX optimization and slowly over time escalating returns and traffic through the cconsistent application of blogging and website promotion. I have seen agents/brokers sell websites for more than they paid out in marketing dollars ON TOP of generating hundreds of sales from the website lead generation.

You need both a website and MLS AND IDX to do these things. You also need to own the website. 

 

HOWEVER: In many cases, the knowledge you would have to acquire or the time and money you would have to spend might make it impractical, for YOU to pursue this strategy. It would take 6 months to a year to hone a DIY approach to blogging and SEO and 10-15K over the span of a year (at a minimum) to have a marketing company build the value for you. 

The questions aren't whether or not an MLS website or IDX system is valuable. The question is are you ready to sink the time and money into website knowledge so YOU can realize the value.

 

May 13, 2017 11:53 PM
Rainmaker
2,212,861
Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTACONDOS.COM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Yes it is.

May 11, 2017 07:56 PM
Ambassador
2,630,922
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

       Keep people on YOUR website, at all costs. 

       If they have go to another Broker's site to search IDX or MLS, or if they go to Zillow to look for properties, you have lost those potential clients/customers.

May 11, 2017 06:07 AM
Rainmaker
4,781,053
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Sounds like the MLS on your website wins!

May 11, 2017 05:58 AM
Rainmaker
4,799,925
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I do.

May 11, 2017 05:35 AM
Rainmaker
883,718
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

No, but it doesn't hurt to have it in some form. When I think about many buyers I worked with, I can tell you that the majority have their favorite place to search which includes Zillow, Redfin, Listing Book, Public MRIShomes (formerly homesdatabase), Trulia, realtor, remax, etc. The only way you can know for sure it to test 2 websites ( one with and one without) and see which one generates the most traffic. The bottom line is, buyers will choose some company to use for search, so your website should be one of their choices. Also, sellers also look at your website, and they like to search for other properties on market that are similar to theirs, and if they plan to sell, then buy, they will most likely use your website for search.

May 11, 2017 05:07 AM
Rainmaker
1,709,315
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Yes.

May 11, 2017 05:04 AM
Rainmaker
3,071,039
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Roy Kelley nailed this one!

May 11, 2017 04:32 AM
Rainmaker
4,433,865
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Yes.

May 11, 2017 03:11 AM
Ambassador
4,318,402
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Dante Lee - if you monitor your buyer's behavior and choices, yes.

May 10, 2017 11:34 PM
Rainmaker
4,544,362
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I have so many people still look at homes on it.

 

May 15, 2017 07:13 AM
Rainmaker
5,546,660
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I think the only reason the public finds my site is to view homes, so absolutely would keep the ability to search for homes.

May 13, 2017 12:53 PM
Rainmaker
1,689,854
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Yes, positively!!!

May 12, 2017 06:22 AM
Ambassador
3,987,776
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

You need an IDX feed and that can be through a Wordpress plug in. That is what the consumer wants so give it to them.

May 11, 2017 07:36 PM
Ambassador
3,207,772
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I could not say it any better than Kasey & John Boles 

May 11, 2017 03:38 PM
Rainmaker
1,525,455
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

If you don't have the information available they will go somewhere else to get it.

May 11, 2017 10:03 AM
Rainmaker
1,456,037
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

It's never been NEEDED.  I'd ask yourself how much business have you gotten from it.  If the answer is "zero to not much" then you definitely don't need it.  Also ask yourself, do you work more with buyers or sellers?  If sellers, you don't need it.

 

I've never seen it as a value add.  With sites like Realtor.com and Redfin out there and MLS systems having portals you can set buyers up on, why have one on your site?  The only value I've seen is when people spend serious money to drive people to their search page and have a forced registration to get leads.  If the IDX you're using is indexable, then your website could show up when people search an address... of course the ones I see out here are on page 2 and 3 of Google and no one is going beyond the top couple results.

May 11, 2017 09:24 AM
Rainmaker
5,581,880
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

yes, you need an MLS search tool for visitors to your site....if you don't have it, you'll not have many visitors....

May 11, 2017 08:02 AM
Rainmaker
959,773
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

If you don't have the MLS how are you going show properties?

May 11, 2017 06:41 AM
Rainmaker
2,718,690
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

MLS is just one of the tools in Real Estate. Use as needed

May 11, 2017 06:37 AM
Ambassador
1,616,860
Harry F. D'Elia III
Avant Garde Residential Management Services - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

yes for sure

May 11, 2017 06:22 AM
Rainmaker
4,525,794
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I wish we knew.

May 11, 2017 04:10 AM
Rainmaker
1,157,535
FN LN
Toronto, ON

I don't operate an MLS.

May 11, 2017 04:05 AM