In a world with millions of websites and website developers, it seems like standing above the others is practically impossible. Fortunately, almost all of them are easy to beat with a well-made IDX website.
For one, most developers do not possess the technical skills to create a high-performance custom IDX website. Secondly, they don’t have design training, which provides knowledge of visual hierarchy, contrast, color balance, and other very important design concepts. In other words, their website won’t produce clients.
That’s great news for you!
Generally speaking, so-called website developers simply install WordPress with a free theme and customize the colors and images using the basic user interface. Then, they add poorly-written content throughout. It may be cheap, but don’t expect to generate sales with it.
A cheap website works like a business flyer and nothing more. In this article, you’ll learn the difference. Then, just focus on what’s important – putting keys in the hands of new homeowners.
Keep reading to uncover what makes a great IDX website win clients…
CUSTOM IDX WEBSITE: Freedom and performance
When you use a highly-trained and experienced IDX website developer and designer – full-stack, you gain unlimited design freedom and a website that performs very well. According to W3Schools, A full-stack web developer is a person who has all the appropriate skills:
That’s techno mumbo jumbo, but critical for IDX website performance nonetheless.
Now for your freedom. That lies in the design itself when using a well-rounded IDX website developer – designer.
Good designers understand the latest design trends. They also know how to create a design that looks great and is easy-to-follow from the first time its viewed. In other words, it requires skills and talent, which I’ll elaborate next.
Skillful design promotes peace & happiness
A skilled and talented web designer takes your website to the top by utilizing and optimizing every design concept for UX (User Experience). These design concepts include visual hierarchy, contrast, color balance, and many others. That means, your website visitors experience peace and happiness naturally – they’re directed through the beautiful content very effectively.
As your IDX website designer finishes, you’ll view your design multiple times from drawings to final product. As such, you won’t have eyes of the beholder – your first-time visitor. To understand what the eyes-of-the-beholder perceives, knowing the published studies is critical. These studies reveal how people react to various design elements when viewed for the first time.
Design knowledge is priceless. And since most website visits come from first-time visitors, that’s the most-important perspective to follow. When you trust the data and allow your talented designer to have the reins, visitors stay longer, explore more, and turn into quality leads.
Remember, your online visitors are on your IDX website to explore your area and find an ideal property. If they’re not happy with your website, they’ll visit one from your competitor – they just want to find something nice. Therefore, lead them to their new home comfortably, using a design based on all of that knowledge.
The importance of high performance
There are two reasons why your website must perform well: Visitor satisfaction and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). To elaborate, it all comes down to speed. A high-performance IDX website is fast.
Online visitors generally leave after two seconds if your website isn’t loaded. Because of that, page load speed affects SEO. Google actually rates low-performance websites VERY poorly regarding search results – slow pages show up last.
Mobile responsive IDX websites
The next performance mention is mobile responsiveness. A responsive web design is all about looking good on all devices. As such, responsive IDX website designs automatically adjust for different screen sizes and viewports. These include PCs, laptops, tablets and phones. On top of those is this: Each type of device comes in various sizes. It takes real technical skill to get it right on all devices.
IDX website functionality
Next comes your website functionality. It’s essentially what your website does and how it works. Additionally, it encompasses everything from user interactions to dynamic content.
Providing the right functionality is critical for the success of your IDX website. As such, it’s an essential part of the planning phase. It’s good to know that a skilled IDX website developer will anticipate what is needed ahead of time.
FX: Visual effects
Finally, there are important visual effects to consider. Nowadays, people get bored very easily. And that’s amplified online due to the visual nature of the web. That means, keep online visitors visually intrigued. Doing this right takes skill and talent.
IDX website technology in a nutshell
There are three important tasks performed by IDX on your real estate website. First, it establishes a solid data connection between your real estate website and the MLS system in your area. Then, it imports all local listings, which includes descriptions, details, and images for each one. Finally and most importantly, it displays those listings on your website in a basic format or in a custom layout.
Brief history of IDX websites
In anticipation of the increasing use of real estate websites to promote listings, members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) began developing the IDX concept back in 2000. The original intent was to connect to the MLS system to advertise all listings, from all brokers in a specific region using a blanket permission to post listings from other brokers.
Advantages of IDX website technology today
Nowadays, listings get updated every few hours through the IDX technology installed on your real estate website. That means, your online visitors always see up-to-date information about your listings. And of course, that includes the rest of the listings in your area from other brokers. If you’re looking for a simpler and cheaper solution – mission accomplished!
IDX providers are your MLS intermediaries
Local MLS listing data is provided to your website by an intermediary – an IDX provider. Examples of IDX providers include FlexMLS and my favorite, RoverIDX, which is the provider I usually use in Mexico. To import listings and to add or update listings, IDX provider servers connect to your local MLS system.
Quality IDX providers allow website developers like me to completely customize the look and layout to meet your website design wishes. On top of that, they allow for many different designs on numerous types of web pages that display listings. So from MLS search pages to featured listing pages and area-guide pages, your listings will look great and blend in with the overall design of each web page.
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Amazing agent & broker IDX WEBSITE BIO SECTIONS
Your IDX website needs to portray you as the go-to real estate professional in your region. It should be small yet impactful. From your photo and bio brief to your contact information, this little section must stand out, yet be simple. Build confidence and make your online visitors feel comfortable contacting you.
Now click Agent Bio Section Examples to see these two examples live. Always remember, the design and layout is just an example. Yours may look completely different.
AREA GUIDES: Reveal your beautiful locations
TWO THINGS – Each of your areas needs a web page with pictures and well-written content. Then, each area page needs the most important part – YOUR LISTINGS.
FEATURED AREAS – Your important areas will be featured on your home page with an enticing excerpt and a beautiful image linking to each area page.
Your area guides cover each area within and around your MLS region. From city centers to parks, beaches and other points of interest, area pages bring in traffic. They contain 900 to 2400 words of well-written content along with nice pictures and videos. These are considered “evergreen content” since they will remain relevant long-term.
Regarding SEO, area guides do very well when done right. They must use strong keywords pertaining to each location. Additionally, they must use all other SEO standards for articles and blog posts.
Listings that are in or near that area are also included on the page. The design and layout of your area pages will match your overall website design. Therefore, the look and feel will reflect your brand.
Display IDX website FEATURED LISTINGS
Feature your best listings in your Featured Listings section. It’s usually located near the top of your front page. From two to four listings is standard, but more is okay. Just don’t overwhelm your online visitors with a Featured Listings section that feels like a standard search-results layout with many listings to scroll through.
This is where IDX technology really shines. It keeps all of your listings up to date. So if a detail changes, like a price increase, it’ll automatically show up there.
Your Featured Listings must be changed manually, since the listings you present in this section are up to you. That means, if a featured listing sells, it must be replaced with another listing of your choice. This is easily done using the MLS#. It automatically fills in all of the information for you.
FEATURED COMMUNITIES: Your select neighborhoods
Just like the Featured Listings section, put your best communities on display. These are basically area guides for neighborhoods, but usually simpler and smaller.
Each community must have a web page with well-written content about the location along with images that present the neighborhood well. If it’s an ocean-front community, this page may be more like an area guide. It’ll describe the beach, the water and beach activities like windsurfing, whale watching, and sea turtles when applicable.
Each featured community web page includes a well-written 300 to 900-word description, a featured image, and other photos that make sense. These pages are also considered “evergreen content” – they’re never outdated. Just update them from time-to-time – keep them up-to-date. Usually located at the bottom of the page, listings within that community are displayed in an order you choose – by price, by listing date, or any other parameter.
Use your blog for CONTENT MARKETING
Real estate blogging is a great example of content marketing. Each blog post is well written and contains strong keywords and other SEO elements. And, they attract people who’re interested in visiting your beautiful region.
When you get a new listing and wish to put it on your blog, write a story about it. Of course, the description fits into the story, along with nice photos. But the story about the area, the home’s history – previous owners, and details about nearby locations like restaurants and shopping areas is what people want to read.
The importance of your IDX website blog
It all starts with tourism. People become interested in purchasing real estate in Mexico AFTER they visit, right? Before tourists visit your town in Mexico, they Google where to stay, where to eat, and things to do…
THERE’S WHERE YOU SHOW UP!
After reading YOUR content, they’ll know you and join your email list before they visit.
MESSENGER MARKETING: One-on-one conversations
The top online-marketing strategies that were here before the dawn of messenger marketing, were, and still are, a mixture of social media and email marketing. But although they both have the same purpose, the previous online-marketing strategies fall short on improving conversions or providing quick, personal service.
Today, online marketing strategies have changed dramatically. To explain, many businesses now use them to engage their online visitors, resolve customer service issues, personalize sales, book appointments, and a whole lot more.
Social media and email marketing
Social media marketing and email marketing each have their important place. So, don’t eliminate or ignore them. And if your business is new, develop those first. For one, your messenger marketing platform will be built on Facebook and other social media platforms. Therefore, build and use those from the beginning.
Messenger marketing vs email marketing
Messenger marketing strategies work much differently than email marketing. They’re conversational, which is why they are growing so rapidly. And that’s great, since online visitors look for one-on-one conversations these days.
Emails on the other hand are impersonal and delayed. As such, open and click-through rates continue to decline year-after-year. Because of that, the trend is evident:
Messenger marketing using ChatBots is the wave of the future for online marketing
Grow your email list much faster with messenger marketing. In a case study performed by ManyChat, the biggest ChatBot platform out there, this was the result:
“After one quarter, our ChatBot resulted in a 50% increase in our email newsletter subscribers and engagement with their content.”
Enhance your client’s experience with CHATBOTS
Personalize and optimize your client’s journey in real-time by using a custom-developed ChatBot. It’ll provide you with two great things! First, it’ll allow your online visitors to narrow down their search. Then, you’ll gain and engage leads all while capturing all of the important data.
The messenger platform
RE-MEX-IMAGE ChatBots are based on platforms like Facebook Messenger and they get placed right onto your website. Presently, using Messenger is the most effective way to gain prospects after people visit you online.
After creating your well-made website with a quality blog, create a great Facebook business page. Facebook Messenger requires a Facebook page to function on your website. Make sure your page reflects your brand.
Finally, developing your ChatBot comes next. It connects to both your Facebook account and your Facebook business page. Then, it gets placed onto your website to face the public.
Your ChatBot communication
ChatBots are fast and intuitive – they communicate well with your online visitors. And the responses they receive are short and easy to read. Most importantly, people like to use them, especially on Facebook! So capitalize on that right away. As people get more accustomed to using them, the less they’ll want to use other means of communication.
IDX website ChatBot development
Use smart targeted questions in your ChatBot that assess and qualify your potential leads without straining their online experience. As such, make it easy for them – keep them engaged. Your ChatBot must answer the most frequently asked questions quickly.