Easy Learning Curve
Search Engine Friendly
Frequently Updated Tools to offer
Good Traffic Tracking
There are things about AA I like and things I do not like. My site is a mashup of AA and Point2Agent.
I use AA for the home page, info pages and forms. I use P2A for listings, virtual tours & syndication.
My site is a 3.0 site, so I have not been able to use the new 4.0 features. They have been having trouble rolling over old clients to the new format and their recent buyout by a large company has caused customer service to suffer. The 3.0 is limited in it's search engine optimazation, due to the way the pages are created and inability to integrate XML site maps. And their listing format is really outdated. They also have limited listing syndication. The SEO program is VERY expensive and has limited success, depending upon your market. However, it is the most customizable site out there - especially the ability to creat custom forms, which is important for getting actual leads.
Point2Agent has a great listing setup - listings syndicate to 30 other real estate portals, are formatted for easy copy & paste to craigslist, creates a lovely, customizable video photo tour (Pro version) and offers Agent Handshake. However, their forms and customization (other than the home page or if you know CSS programming) are very limited.
The most important thing is to build a site that offers what the CONSUMER WANTS and isn't a brag page for the agent. The biggest mistake agents make is splashing their face all over the home page. Internet consumers are a different breed - they don't want to be pressured. So provide the best info and tools out there, keep your market stats up to date and provide a place for them to contact you when they are ready. They should see home searches, community info, schools, market stats FIRST and then your info descretely on the bottom or a Contact page.
You don't need to spend thousands of dollars to accomplish that - just a good, basic, search engine friendly site that is geared towards what the consumer wants.
Here is an example of my AA/P2A site:
This cost $600 to set up, plus about $100 in monthly hosting fees from both companies and hundreds of hours invested in learning HTML for customaization and several hundred dollars to purchase different web design programs.
and a P2A Pro site I recently designed for a collegue:
This cost her $0 to set up, about $1,000 to have me customize it for her and is about $50 a month hosting. She also benefitted from my SEO and online advertizing knowledge, so it saved her a lot of time.
The most important thing to know is that there really isn't one perfect template company out there yet. What works for you will depend on your knowledge of web site programming, search engine optimization and what buyers and sellers are looking for with a site.
If you're just looking for a brag site, your best bet is P2A standard. It is free and the most easy to use & effortlessly makes your listings look good and get good exposure. You can also upgrade to Pro later on, when you realize that a brag page doesn't get you leads!
As Ree mentioned below, they do have a live chat. I use that before I call them. If you're new to creating a website (as am I), I found some GREAT tips/tools that are inexpensive or free. Let me know if I can help with anything!!
I have used Advanced Access for the last 3 years, and I absolutely love them. They have the best customer service. What I really love is that they are located in Southern California. I am in South Florida. Most times, when I sit down to work on my website, it is later at night, and the 3 hour time difference is very, very helpful to me. If I am sitting down at 8:00 p.m. my time, they are open until 9:00 p.m. east coast time, so that is really helpful to me. I rarely have to wait on the phone for them, they are pretty good about getting to the calls right away. They have just added a live chat, which I have not yet used.
Their tech support is very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I am a very satisfied customer. If you like, tell them that I referred you: they give a free month of hosting to the referrer.
Good luck, Jennifer,
(954) 465-7464 http://www.buyinsouthflorida.com
Web Reference: http://www.buyinsouthflorida.com
I LOVE Advanced Access. I signed up with them about 6 wks ago. Feel free to check out my website and let me know what you think (pardon the dust in a few places as its still going through some changes). I'd be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Their customer service is amazing and the prices are really good. John Bui there is my contact at AA - hes incredibly helpful. Here's his contact info: http://sales2.com.myaasite.com/. My site is custom, which just goes to show how many options you have with an AA site, not to mention all the great products that come with!