Let me start by saying, all our real estate platforms are IDX-enabled. In fact, most of the IDX components are already built into our platforms; they just need to be activated and adjusted to match the clients look and brand. And we’re more than happy to do this for you.
So, the next question is naturally, why aren’t we focusing on IDX like everyone else?
Let’s address the number one concern up front and then we’ll address the other minor concerns down the list. Won’t people just leave my website if I don’t have IDX? If they came to your website for IDX and you do not have it the answer is probably, yes! But, most people are not coming to your website because you have a better IDX solution than REALTOR.com – you don’t.
People are visiting your website looking for something OTHER than IDX – often it’s an article on a new subdivision you may have written, or your name matched a local search, or a sentence on your website triggered a long-tail search phrase match. The majority of the organic website traffic real estate agent websites attract are not IDX related – those searches go to the big three. Sadly, however, most real estate websites are light on real estate content as IDX takes the center stage on their website – they’ve been misled by a statistic. The simple statistic is that 99% of home buyers search for real estate online; therefore you must have IDX to get your share of this market – this last part is the assumed conclusion, and it’s not true. You need to remember that as people do their home buying (or selling) research they are considering many things that require additional web searches – and it’s in this area that the real opportunities exist for real estate agents to standout, and attract/convert high quality leads.
Other Minor Considerations
- IDX is no longer a differentiating feature. Based on the marketing and traffic data, people are not skipping over REALTOR.com, Trulia, or Zillow to navigate to their local real estate agent website. And it’s not even a close fight; the top 3 websites mentioned attract nearly 100 million visitors a month. They invest millions of dollars annually in advertising and technology to stay on top in this category – it’s even a fair fight. Real estate customers are not seeking out your real estate website because you have a better IDX solution than REALTOR.com.
- IDX to improve ‘Time on Site’. The metric ‘Time on Site’ is not a universally significant metric. If you were a media company with advertisers, Time on Site is huge, but you’re not a media company, and you do not have any advertisers besides yourself. And as the sole advertiser on your website, your goal, like any advertiser is get a sale or lead conversion. Topic focused landing pages are a far more effective way to gain sales and lead conversions than IDX.
A Better Solution
Most IDX solutions cost anywhere from $40 to $100 a month. These funds could be invested far more efficiently to produce better results. For example, these funds could pay for a new landing page every two months, a new unique and local content, an occasionally PPC campaign. Those funds could actually have you stand apart from your competition instead of just blending in.
You need to remember that your website ought to serve two primary purposes. One, if should make it easier for people who already know you to find and reach you – and two, it should attract and convert interested real estate prospects who do not know you, whether those leads are coming organically or by active referral. And while most real estate websites at least accomplish the first objective, nearly all real estate websites fail at the second.
So, if IDX is the primary centerpiece of your present website you may want to rethink your website strategy (and dollars) in light of the data. IDX is a great add-on to a good real estate website – and it may even make it look good; but IDX does not make a real estate website good or effective, topic focused landing pages and content are key to a truly successful real estate website.