The next horizon for real estate websites

by Victor Lund on March 4, 2011

Whats next for real estate?

Back in the olden days, just after the MLS book lost its appeal and was replaced by the MLS – a rather interesting new product launched for agent and broker websites called IDX – internet data exchange.

The idea behind it was that broker participants of an MLS could display the listings of other participating brokers on each other’s websites. This led to an explosion of broker websites. Everyone has one.

After awhile, democratically minded MLS boards gave consideration to the agents and extended IDX privileges to them in most markets, as long as the broker approves the vendor and takes responsibility for compliance with IDX rules and regulations. This led to an explosion of agent websites – 20% of agents have one.

Template websites for agents – think rDesk, Z57, Advanced Access, and others make it easy for agents to get a website up fast and economically. Top producing agents went a more custom route, purchasing premium sites from the above providers, and still others pursued more elaborate business management solution like AgentAchieve or TopProducer.

Then came blogging. For the past 8 years – it has been a challenge to attend a seminar or conference in real estate without some session on the agenda dealing with blogging. Blogging is a way for agents and brokers to become publishers of information that is important to home buyers and sellers, enhance your search engine visibility, and create an online personality. Soon after blogs emerged, so did search solutions that plug into your blog – companies like Wolfnet, Diverse Solutions, and FBS became very popular.

A significant component of blogging is the ability to share your blog posts on a new platform that emerged with power about 5 years ago – Social Networking. Using some cut and paste plugins, you can easily promote your blog posts on twitter, facebook, likedin, youtube, etc. By extension, your blog post readers may do the same – helping your blog content to go Viral onSocial Networks with retweets and shares and the like.

Today we see a new trend emerging – forget your website, forget your blog – just use facebook as the center of your website life. Redirect your URL to your facebook page, plug in your twitter feed and IDX and call it a day. Facebook is becoming the new internet. Forget Web 2.0, forget designing websites around your Brand – just put together a great facebook page and connect all of your customer to that. Save a fortune, and always stay connected to your customers.

Given that the model rules and rugulations now permit indexing on agent websites, facebook may be a website provider, plugging in IDX to your facebook page may become commonplace – there is much to think about for the MLS rules committee in your local market. Just how far will you go, and how fast will you get there?

 

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: