Should Agents Use Real Estate Broker IDX Websites?

A recent post on Inman by an agent raised some interesting points about agent websites.

This agent breaks down how impressed he is with the self-service website building service, Squarespace, which allows people – in and outside of real estate – to create their own nicely designed websites. He sees benefits in Squarespace due to their professional designs, and customization that he’s not able to achieve with his broker’s platform or many agent-specific web platforms.

Agents have a lot of technology to navigate, from hardware to software. It’s intimidating. Making the wrong decisions can be costly. And making the right decisions isn’t as obvious as it should be. And, the variables vary considerably based on which broker an agent has affiliated with.

Frankly, there are a ton of agents in the same situation this agent described like this:

However, the big issue is not that the websites are missing an essential feature; it’s that these websites do not focus on the most important aspect of your business: you. These sites build in an “about us” page that is about as customizable as your Twitter profile. You can fill in some information, post a link and upload a photo, but that’s about it. Rarely can you add video, a gallery of your recently sold properties, client testimonials and so on.

Those are very legitimate concerns from an agent. If the website platform an agent uses doesn’t allow them to add video, recent solds, or client testimonials, it’s tying an arm behind the agent’s back when they try to differentiate themselves from other agents in their market. It’s a rational decision for agents in this situation to do whatever they have to do to market themselves appropriately.

But, it turns out that not all broker platforms are created equally. For example, WhereToLive.com’s broker platform does all of the things on this agent’s wish list AND gives him access to a top of the line agent branded IDX search.

Business rules vary by client, but a common scenario used by WhereToLive.com’s clients is to funnel leads to agents based on point of origin. As in, if an agent drives traffic to their site within the site, they earn the leads off that traffic.

Agents working under that model have an interesting option available to them. Rather than dump money into website technology, design, and hosting, they can spend that money driving traffic to their professionally designed, agent customized, sites.

Whether agents build sites from scratch or leverage their broker’s platforms, they’ll still benefit from creating custom content and marketing. That’s going to help regardless. However, leveraging technology provided by agent-centric brokers with quality technology provides a real leg up over agents who haven’t affiliated with companies providing competitive technology.

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