Listings, listings, listings — they’re one of the easiest things to find online.
But, does that mean that your website absolutely needs to have a treasure trove of them? The answer is a bit more complex than you might think.
In fact, it’s one of the questions we hear from agents the most: What should I do about listings on my site? What if I don’t have enough active? Do I need to have an IDX solution?
We think that one of the most successful things you can do, and leverage, is your own manually-added listings.
Here’s how it works, what the data tells us, and what you need to know…
Diving Into User Trends
Across the real estate industry, one of the most easily-discernible user trends is the desire to see listings. But, it’s important to understand why they want to see those listings.
If we divide it into the two most popular camps, buyers and sellers, the former wants to see listings in order to book showings, and the latter wants to see how a home is prepared and marketed.
Therein lies the key to today’s puzzle. How do we give both of these user groups what they need? And, how do we give them what they’re looking for when they come to our specific website (versus their options).
Let’s expand our thinking by considering a typical user’s perspective.
Chances are, as a user, you already know that Realtor.com or Zillow exists. It’s even more likely that you’re comfortable using them, so why would you want to see a specific agent or team’s collection of listings?
As a user, you want to see more. You want to see more of homes than you would otherwise find on those other platforms. That is the inherent advantage of manually-added listings.
How Adding Listings Can Benefit Your Site
There are three main ways that manually-added listings can be a boon for your real estate website.
They are as follows:
- SEO Performance
- Marketing Emphasis
- User Engagement
Let’s dive into each of these…
While it will not be the sole provider of your SEO weight, manually-added listings can offer consistent upkeep on your site and unique/rich media that can help your real estate website rank higher for keywords, addresses, and neighbourhoods.
★ We do a much more in-depth look into your listings and SEO in this blog post right here.
When you have a fully fleshed-out way to present listings on your own site, it can add an entirely new dimension to how you market and promote homes. Impressing buyers, clients, and potential clients who may want to list with you by showing them how their property will be marketed online via your website.
If you want users to convert on your website, you need to give them a reason to do two things: stick around longer and click through more information. Offering unique ways for them to engage with your listings, and to view more, can help result in both more buying and selling-related conversions.
Do I Need To Have An IDX Solution?
Many agents come to use with the expectation that an IDX solution is the golden standard and needs to exist on their site.
But, is that always the case? We have written at length about the utility of IDX for real estate websites in the future, and we feel like the answer still isn’t black and white.
It varies for and every agent, but the vast majority of the data tells us that IDX functionality on websites ends up being more about optics than performance.
That’s because while many of these pages may be popular on your website, they will never be as popular as the manually-added listings on your site. At the same time, the conversion rates relative to the traffic aren’t there.
It comes down to optics. A collection of results gives the appearance of carrying more listings for any agent or team, and while it may have been a strong lead-generation tool at one point, it is trending downward.
Users are becoming more savvy, every single day, and they are also become better acquainted with much more established listing platforms. An IDX feed may look impressive, but it won’t have the results to win the day.
Leveraging Your Listings For Greater Performance
It comes down to this. While having additional listings solutions on your real estate website may look impressive, the numbers won’t add up.
What really matters is having a well-designed, fleshed-out, and compelling and proprietary listing platform for you to emphasize your listings.
This allows you to showcase what makes you unique — your marketing, your insight, and your storytelling capabilities. For buyers and sellers, it works wonders, and it’s why we believe the future is in manually-added listings.
With up to date marketing trends relevant to today’s market, our report is a selection of curated content, information, and data that will give you an outline of what’s working right now in real estate marketing.