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Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ

What makes a buyer or seller want to use or return to one Broker site over another?

Asked by Deborah Madey, Red Bank, NJ Thu Aug 16, 2007

We have been very hard a work at a complete revamp and overhaul of a new site. We don’t expect to launch for a while, although many pages have already been built. While I know that consumers want mapping, pictures and ease of use, can you provide examples of sites that excel in some way and define that? While I value RE Pro input here, too, I am really hoping a few members of the public will share their thoughts and identify examples that work well. Any hints of "Do's and Don'ts" are appreciated.

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Hello Deborah:

Some ideas, but I am sure ou have already thought of them:

A professional looking site with sharp, classic graphics attracts the attention when first logged on.

Once they are on your site, a well organized site with meaningful hierarchy allows ease of navigation. Easy load also saves time when navigate thru the site.

Know the clients you want to attract, and keep the content fresh so they will come back. Add useful information and pictures about the specific territory you want to cover. Blogs with meaning information helps to keep them.

Lots of tools, such as mls links, local government. .school links, news feeds, mortgage calculator, links to other sites, such as Trulia, ..etc Of course, some of the people have talking website or at least thet welcome message - I am not quite sure if I like that personally.

Will be very interested to see your new isite
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Novato, CA
MVP'08
Contact
I asked the question, and I found both answers helpful. Who raised those thumbs down????

Would love to hear any addiional feedback, RE Pros and especially consumers!

Tell me anything you don't like or do like about sites you have visited. If it is negative, please describe what it is you dislike, but don't reference the website. If it is positive, feel free to reference the site, or not.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 17, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
I feel there is a huge demand for more than just the traditional MLS data. Try to integrate more data from outside services. For example, we use OnBoard for our neighborhood information. Also, instead of virtual tours and lots of pictures, I would take a serious look at the emerging vendors in the video market e.g. welcomemat.com and realestateshows.com. Launch the video for your high-end listings first, your pageviews and return users will increase.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2007
When we were looking for our house. I used one broker's web site almost exclusively, based upon it's ease of use. For example: it consistently loaded quickly, it had A LOT of options for searches - we used the MLS search from it's main web page; it provided current mortgage rates; estimates of closing costs, monthly payments; community information; and we didn't have to input our contact information in order to use it. We even told our realtor of the ease of the competitor's web site in the hope that her broker would improve theirs.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2007
A web site company based In the Atlanta, GA area known as HomeScenes.com has built an 11 year reputation on hundreds of home buyers, sellers and agents returning over and over again! Foks come back because the complete virtual tours are awesome and the site is so easy to use! It gets you right to the pictures! You feel like you have seen the homes in person. The photography is excellent and close to magazine quality. They have built their system with all types of visitors in mind, even people on dial up. Having thousands of virtual tours from hundreds of real estate agents brings over 500,000 viewers per month into their web site. Virtual tours are linked to multiple listing service listings, Realtor.com, real estate company web sites, agent personal web sites, google, etc. Comcast TV Spotlight plays their tours on cable TV in Atlanta. And HomeScenes.com yard signs are in front of homes for sale all over Atlanta, North Florida, and eleswhere! They are rarely down for maintenance, I don't get errors, I don't have to sign in or register to see the tours. I can give feedback to the listing agent.. on every tour there is a feed back button. And I can e-mail complete virtual tours to multiple family and friends. Some tours have flyers, which are very helpful. Because the properties are listed by many agents from many companies it is a great way to shop for a home. These are just some of the reasons why me and my friends return to HomeScenes.com often!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
As a consumer I haunt several different sites just to collect all the info I want to know(rarely ever my agents) . Raduis incorporations are very helpful. Few will show dom and price reduction history which I find important when considering if I think It's price worthy. Overhead areial views are found on a site which lets me know online if the train is right behind a property(knowing this ahead is a good thing)This site also lets me know an overall market trend in dollar value of x area . In person I once fell for the house but alas it was right next to a gas station and a fire station...I wish i had know that before seeing it..my husband said no way I like my sleep undisturbed. Speed is CRUCIAL. I like one site just for the fact that it loads the photos in a slide show first then the property details. Hate sites that skip tax and room size info. Like to be able to search by style,size,lot,and specifically feature like ing pool. Need to beable to separate by school district. I like trulia to be able to see comps and sold info. Sometimes it is the tiny companies that offer much info. One or two of the largest I can't stand. I don't care to push for one over the other here but email me if you want specifics.Hmmm that's off the top of my head.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
The worst thing is slow speed. http://(www.bairdandwarner.com and http://www.BuysideRealty.com) You want to have pictures as thumbnails about 20kb, not just smaller versions of the original about 200kb. You also want to have the full photos open in a new window about 640x480 pixels, instead of having to hit the back button after looking at the picture (my rotating pictures at http://www.oak-park-il.com). The ideal though is a mouse over to change the image.

What I like most as a consumer is being able to see if a property is under contract http://(www.bairdandwarner.com).
Ruth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 15, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
First and foremost is to design the site around the cliental you are looking to attract a great website that i came across is http://www.SellwithChris.com more of the high end homes. Secondly, is getting your site indexed to the seach engines especially Google, this attracts alot of buyers and sellers which result to leads. Finally is blogging on trulia, zillow, activerain, craigslist, etc and always mentioning your website URL this will index your website higher on the search engines. If you want some more information on Search engine optimization visit my site http://www.OurNJhouse.com and email me
Web Reference: http://www.OurNJhouse.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 15, 2007
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