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IDX and BLOGS A match made in heaven.

I was trying to respond to Jeff Brown’s last post about successful blogging and my comments just kept getting too long. So I thought I would send it to Greg as a blog post and see what he thought about posting it. Now, here we are! Thanks Greg!

While some people are out there looking for the most experienced, thoughtful, succinct and eloquent agent they can find, I actually think those folks are in the minority. I have always felt like the average Joe doesn’t think that we are rocket scientist type consultants, they think we are salesmen.

Most sellers are looking for the listing agent who has the most signs and success in their neighborhood, or someone who has been referred to them. A few will call based on good blogging, but the vast majority finds the agents that help them by looking at homes that are listed in their area. They have two ways of contacting them, either by calling on the sign or by finding them online in someone’s IDX.

Most buyers don’t think they need an agent to help them; they just want to see houses.

A successful blog in my opinion doesn’t have to necessarily convince the potential seller or buyer that you are the one; it has to convince Google that your site has enough authority to place it near the top of the results when someone searches for real estate in your area. Blogs do this in two ways. The first is that Google just loves the blog format. I have written a blog post hit “publish”, realized I had a typo in the title, fixed it immediately and found it indexed in Google with the typo. The post was indexed within 3 minutes of posting.  My website is a blog, even though it has 128 static pages and I have only posted 28 posts. The posts add content; the comments add content (my 28 posts have about a thousand comments).  I would like to post more but I am too busy dealing with the leads.

I would suggest that when you are measuring bankable results from a Realtor web presence, a blog is just one part of the process.  The other important part of the web presence is having the device that actually converts readers/wishful thinkers into bank depositors, and that is the IDX. The blog brings authority to the site, helps push the site in the SERPs and also brings the visitors. The IDX turns the tire kickers into clients. One doesn’t work very well without the other.

IMHO it is very difficult to get Seller listing leads (where someone simply calls and wants to interview you for the listing) straight from the knowledge you impart on a blog unless you already dominate an area. I think it is almost impossible if you are new in the business.

Yet with an IDX, a newer agent (or any agent who has finally decided that it’s actually time to go to work) can attract buyers and help the agent sell some homes. It will also indirectly lead to some listing opportunities with the Buyers who have to sell something first!

I think that today when a seller starts thinking about selling, he will frequently start by looking at the other homes in his own neighborhood for sale to see what they are selling for, either by calling on signs, or looking them up online in a local IDX.  For years, potential sellers are meeting agents that way. Many sellers will simply call whoever has a lot of signs in the neighborhood, call one of the ten agents they know, call whoever sold them the house, or call the agent their friend used.

The sellers that are left today… well I don’t think too many of them are reading someone’s brilliant and fresh analysis of the market and calling because they think the blogger invented sliced bread. Maybe a few are, but not “most”.  I think most just want to see how much the house across the street is selling for, so they call and ask… and boom they are talking to the listing agent or the IDX agent.  Those agents, if they are smart, are the early birds that get the worms.

A blog can be very valuable even if the agent isn’t a great writer and the dominant agent in an area, simply by explaining the process, showcasing the area, and creating the relevant content and keywords that are required to have a presence in the web that someone can actually find while they are searching for info online. In order for your site to be considered an authority it has to have all of the related keywords that apply to your industry. What better way is there to get that authority than by writing posts that explain the process: The appraisal, the inspection, the financing, the staging, the showing, the contracts etc.etc.etc. Obviously there are other factors that influence your position in the search results, but having the semantically related words (keywords) that apply to your industry is an essential ingredient.

If the website ranks on Google and has traffic, the IDX will give you a steady stream of buyers, and a lighter stream of sellers.  The blog gets you to the party and the IDX is what gets the cute girl to ask you to dance, what happens after that is up to you.

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  • 44 comments

    44 Comments so far

    1. Eric Bramlett March 14th, 2011 8:45 am

      I agree wholeheartedly. A great RETS/IDX system is imperative to systematically convert buyer leads.

    2. Joe Lane March 14th, 2011 9:08 am

      Thanks Don and great post! What IDX would you recommend to work with let’s say, a WordPress blog?

    3. Jeff Brown March 14th, 2011 9:13 am

      Hey Dan — Like Eric, I can’t find fault with your take on this. I’ve had to generate leads since late 2003 by methods other than an IDX. Why? The best reason of all: I haven’t had a local market since then. That’s why I’ve had to limp along getting my online related leads from blogging alone.

      My personal observation has been that agents following you formula have succeeded, sometimes wildly.

      Thankfully I’m returning to my home market. It’ll be my first chance to see what all the fuss is about with that there IDX thingamagig you guys keep ravin’ about. :) And yes, my sites will have a blog to get ‘em to the dang thing. It’ll be somewhat different cuz we won’t be selling homes to owner users. Those buyers will be referred to agents we know here.

    4. Jeff Brown March 14th, 2011 9:28 am

      Hey Dan — It just dawned on me this is your maiden posting voyage here. You’ve been such a constant part of our conversation, it seemed only natural you’d be contributing here. This is all to provide me cover for not welcoming you with open arms in my comment. :)

      IMHO, you’ve always been a Bloodhound. Welcome!

    5. Sean Purcell March 14th, 2011 9:40 am

      Welcome Dan, we’ve enjoyed quite a few conversations already so, like Jeff, this already feels like old hat. I think I speak for a lot of real estate profesionals when I say “Glad you’re here.”

      I was particularly taken by your observation that you generate so much business from a web site with only 28 posts… and you have 1000!! comments on those posts? (Reminds me of a lesson Eric Blackwell has tried to impart on more than one occasion.) Please give us more detail. What are you writing about? Is there any one subject or post that’s garnered the majority of those comments? That’s a phenomenal amount of prospect interaction and something we all aspire to; can you give us some direction?

      Thanks… and again: welcome.

    6. Joyanne Sloan March 14th, 2011 10:32 am

      Sorry Dan, I don’t think I agree with you on this one. Statistically speaking, most agents who have a website use a templated one provided by their broker with an integrated IDX feed which means that if buyers are finding their agents online, most all of those sites will have searching capabilities and therefore be equal in functionality.

      A blog is indeed a great vehicle for increasing rank and authority in a given farm but I cannot support the idea that IDX alone is a conversion tool. If it were, all the agents who have a website with an IDX feed would be doing a better job of converting prospects into clients.

      What most agents don’t realize is that 95% of real estate buyers are looking for homes leaving only 5% looking for agents… So, I actually believe (and relay to my consulting clients) that they focus on blogging about particular homes for sale in the area they want to dominate. Now THAT is keyword-driven blogging at its best.

      Even if you’re a brand new agent, you can get permission to promote listings that belong to competing brokers. This is called a reciprocity agreement and it exists in most places.

      There are countless listing agents who are too lazy to actively promote their listing (beyond a flyer and the MLS) and will gladly give ambitious agents permission to market their listings and thereby capture buyer leads.

      This subject is obviously more complex than I can get into in a comment. But my point is that agents should be actively intercepting prospective buyers where they’re looking which is measurably more FOR HOMES and less for information about the real estate process.

      Thanks,

      Joyanne

    7. Mark Brian March 14th, 2011 10:38 am

      I would kindly ask you remove this post before my competition finds it! LOL

      Seriously, being able to constantly add new relevant content combined with IDX that is done correctly for googlejuice is a great combination.

    8. Matt Heisler March 14th, 2011 11:50 am

      Hi Dan-

      I think you hit it right on the head. I had similar feelings after reading Jeff’s post. I had a wise man once say to me a poor strategy well executed is far more successful than a great strategy poorly executed. Our ability to continually refine, improve, and develop a strategy is what makes it work.

    9. Dan Connolly March 14th, 2011 12:01 pm

      Thanks for the welcomes!

      Joe Lane> I use Listingware, not sure if it is available where you are, the ability to customize links by specific search parameters is key.

      Sean> Well my history is different because I moved a templated AA website into the blog format and of the 128 static pages I have, many of them have articles on the various aspects of the biz that accomplish somewhat of the same task as the blog posts that I am suggesting. So my semantic keywords and ranking signals come from those pages as well.

      But for someone starting from scratch I would introduce all content in the blog post format rather than the way that I have it. But with regard to the many comments, they are primarily on two posts, one which addresses the FHA appraisal and one about Loans after bankruptcy. I rank in the top few results for “FHA appraisal” and get the comments and lots of private emails every day from people all over the country fighting appraisals. Not much benefit to me since I start every reply with: “I am not an appraiser, I am a Realtor” and then offer whatever suggestion I can come up with. But again, it’s satisfying some of the requirement for fresh content, and it feels good to help people frustrated by the process.

    10. Dan Connolly March 14th, 2011 4:31 pm

      Joyanne
      My point was the IDX is what makes the phone ring. A blog without one might have a lot of traffic, but it traditionally does not get many calls. The IDX is the tool that converts a simple blog into a lead generating tool. What converts the caller into a client is a different discussion.

    11. Jeff Brown March 14th, 2011 4:43 pm

      “A blog without one might have a lot of traffic, but it traditionally does not get many calls.”

      That’s not my experience.

    12. Dan Connolly March 14th, 2011 5:14 pm

      Jeff you are the exception to the rule. :)

      In my original post I said that if you dominated an area (or in your case a niche) it is possible to generate business with a simple blog. Your blog is a fountain of important and unique investment information that would clearly get people to call. If a Realtor can blog about selling 13 of the 15 homes that sold in a neighborhood last year, that would generate calls.

      My point was that convincing the general public that one is the expert in some niche isn’t the only benchmark of blog success. A blog can be considered successful, in my book, if it brings the newer agent’s website up in the rankings enough so that it can be found at all. When it does, it doesn’t have to be the expertise of the agent that makes the phone ring, it can be the IDX. I think Joyanne is right, that 95% of buyers aren’t looking for an agent, they are just looking for a house.

    13. Jeff Brown March 14th, 2011 5:20 pm

      Thanks Dan. For the record, I’m inches from launching three new sites, two of which will sport IDXs. We’re pretty much adhering to your model. Will keep you in the loop.

    14. Robert Worthington March 14th, 2011 8:39 pm

      idx is the easy way out, but it’s a necessary part of the business. The idx has made me money, I love it. Welcome again Dan.

    15. Thomas A B Johnson March 14th, 2011 9:20 pm

      Welcome, Dan! This is a killer maiden voyage.

      At the agent level there are two barriers to entry in this internet nirvana.
      1) It takes work. Hours of work staring at a word press dashboard. This has to be time dedicated in the wee hours when buyers and sellers are asleep and there is absolutely nothing else closer to the money than the long tail of a functioning word press site. Meaning, if its daylight, do something else. It pays better.
      2) This depends on the local MLS rules. Some allow an agent to buy an IDX feed and have at it. Others allow only brokers to have the IDX feed and charge the broker a pretty steep toll before the IDX provider can even be put in place. Oh, and the IDX provider must be blessed, er, approved, by the keeper of the data. Still other MLS boards will not allow the data out at all. If I were an agent that had geographic mobility I would find a market that had a pulse and an MLS that allowed cost effective agent level IDX.

    16. Joe Montenigro March 15th, 2011 6:21 am

      I agree with you Dan. So what about forced registration on the IDX? I don’t have “free information” stamped on my forehead like a shopping mall kiosk, so I require the cute girl at the party to give me her name and email address before we get to far into the dance…. and don’t you know, that dirty little hussie has been dancing with a dozen other agents at the same time ! Next, I introduce her to my IDX’s cousin, drip email, whose main purpose it to remind her that I still have and use an old fashioned TELEPHONE. And yes, girls are sometimes hesitant to call boys, but they will if you have a really nice…. call to action. And this my friends is why I have dubbed my 2011, the Year of the Telephone. (appplause-applause) but it does in fact start with a blog and then an IDX.

    17. Dan Connolly March 15th, 2011 11:33 am

      I know my approach is wildly unpopular but mine is no forced registration and no drip email. Drip email, in my book, is a cute name for spam.

      I know the industry in general advocates forced registration. You get more so-called leads although in my opinion they aren’t really leads. The smart people know they don’t have to register to get the same information. How do you feel when a website wants you to sign in before you get something you are looking for? I will never do that.

      The agents force registration that way advocate a lot of follow up etc. To me that sounds too much like work. I want them to call me. I don’t want to have to convince anyone to work with me. I would rather they just call and ask for an appointment.

    18. Jeff Brown March 15th, 2011 11:53 am

      Dan — The whole forced/unforced registration debate went down on these pages last year I think. It was indeed a very passionate dialogue. I remember distinctly that advocates of forced registration won me to their side with empirical evidence of cat skin lined walls.

      Your successful production experience seems to be showing something different. Setting aside your personal preference, how do you think you compete for bottom line closed transactions compared to the forced reg crowd in your own market?

    19. Dan Connolly March 15th, 2011 12:14 pm

      I think the forced registration, when coupled with the team of people following up, following up, following up, will likely generate more sales.

      The non forced registration means that everyone who contacts you is actually ready to buy now, and generally just wants to make an appointment to see a house. For whatever reason the numbers I get keep me as busy as I want to be with occasional overflow that I refer out.

      It just depends on how you want to work. I don’t really want to manage a group of agents, or spend a lot of time trying to convince people to work with me. The following up is just too much of a kind of work that I don’t like to do, but that’s just me.

    20. Jeff Brown March 15th, 2011 12:16 pm

      Makes sense to me, thanks.

    21. Joe Montenigro March 15th, 2011 12:40 pm

      So are saying you don’t want to force registration because it’s too hard to follow up?

      I’ve automated the follow up using an autoresponder that personalized each spam….. errr, I mean email message. So it literally takes 30 seconds to forward the lead via email into my system… and then I forget it until or unless they call or email me or unsubscribe. very low maintenance. Send an email to savedsearch “at” hometeamNJ.net or newsletter “at” hometeamNJ.net and I promise I won’t spend two seconds on it :-) but you’ll be forever entrapped in my evil system and may actually have to buy a home in South Jersey to get out it…. or you can unsubscribe.

      The other interesting and proabably unanswerable dilema is, the psychology behind why prospects register or don’t register compared to their “quality” as lead. I DO hate the thought of losing a really quality prospect because of the registration… on that part we agree.

    22. Dan Connolly March 15th, 2011 2:24 pm

      Joe,
      It’s not too hard, I just like it better when they call me.

      Lets keep going with the party analogy. Cute girl asks you to dance, you say, “well, first I need your phone number and email address”. So assuming it’s snowing in hell, she gives you one. (she probably gives you the number to the suicide hot line and a fake email address, but that’s a different story).

      Then you start with drip email and text messages, every few days. First you say how great it was to meet her. Even if she doesn’t answer that one they keep coming. Next one asks her just to go out again, next one asks her for a booty call, then you ask her to marry you, and then it asks her if she isn’t interested, does she have a sister.

      That is how I see forced registration and drip email.:)

      Really I am just trying to be funny. A lot of people make plenty of money that way, more power to them! The great thing about the business is everyone is free to do it whichever way they choose!

    23. Don Reedy March 15th, 2011 8:06 pm

      Dan, welcome once again. I am laughing so very hard at your last comment to Joe. OMG, I’ve used pretty much the same bar/cute gal analogy for years, and you’ve one-upped me for sure. I’m stealing it from you. :)

      But importantly, I agree. I’ve written about the falsity of transparency here before, and to me it’s clear that drip mail is more like spam than Spam is like Spam. (Didn’t we used to use “drip” torture on prisoners?)

      Having said that, however, it’s clear that different business models can and do result in similar results, and if the results were all that mattered, I’d be neutral in this. Yet the game, the contest, the very life of the passion that we bring to our profession demands (for me at least) that the game be played National League style (no designated hitters/spammers), and March Madness style (no pushing, steps and lack of passion like the new NBA).

      I’m so glad you’re writing here now, not just commenting. And for the record, my comment is a hands down 10 out of 10, both for content and your follow-up.

    24. Joe Montenigro March 16th, 2011 7:24 am

      I love the dating analogy too :-) The buyers in this market are difficult to figure out for sure. I think if Justin Bieber were the real estate agent in our analogy, and buyers were the last two girls at the freshman dance (yes, they’re probably the last two girls for a reason), even the teen heartthrob himself would have a hard time getting to first base….. they’d want to wait for something better to come along!

    25. Jim Klein March 16th, 2011 8:56 am

      Don, it’s great to see you writing; I hope all is going well! You too, Dan; great post. I simply love this issue about forced registration.

      In a thousand years, a guy like me wouldn’t register for an MLS search and I’m pretty sure most people are that way. OTOH, I’ve bought exactly one property in over 50 years, so I’m not a great target! OTOOH, I may get into real estate in the future and those who had forced registration won’t be among my potential agents.

      UNLESS it’s awfully clear from their site that they have precisely what I want, either in the way of a specific property or in a clear expression of their exceptional talents.

      It all comes down to the difference between target marketing and mass marketing. They are both legitimate approaches and either one can work well, depending on exactly what you’re selling. Because you can’t sell every home to every buyer, this is a rare case where the approach has to be determined by the business owner. I mean, everything has to be determined by the owner obviously, but this is rare because it’s /your/ values and what /you/ are selling, that are the determining factors. IOW you have to pick your customers beforehand, figure out what they want, and then market to /them/. Jeff won’t waste his time with me for good reason–not too many cats to skin–but Dan or someone else might because there’s the chance for some good future cats. Two different businesses, two different approaches.

      So there’s no right answer to this, but I can tell you this much. If you’re going to have forced registration, then you sure as hell better offer up something that distinguishes you from everyone who doesn’t. All buyers are discerning when they put their money and time on the line, and these days most folks aren’t too anxious about sharing information. Jeff enjoys pretending that he’s just like any regular guy and only works very hard, but everyone else here knows there’s more to the story!

    26. Joyanne Sloan March 16th, 2011 9:49 am

      Hi Dan,
      Just to clarify the point that I was making… I agree that a real estate blog without and IDX likely isn’t worth pursuing. I agree too that conversion is a process and one that takes time and effort which is why I took issue with your specific line “The other important part of the web presence is having the device that actually converts readers/wishful thinkers into bank depositors, and that is the IDX.”

      The larger point I wanted to make is that IDX is merely a tactical tool which you set up and don’t touch again as opposed to a blog which is fully within its creator’s control. As such, a blog can and should be used strategically. Far too few agents understand that muchless do that.

      To illustrate my point, I used Google keyword tool to determine the monthly search volume for the keyword phrase “homes for sale” which shows 5 million (5,000,000) local searches every single month. By contrast, the keyword phrase ‘how to buy real estate’ had a mere 2,900 monthly searches.

      Having said that, there’s an enormous opportunity for agents to blog about actual homes for sale in the neighborhoods in which they work or wish to dominate. Agents are FAR more likely to gain in page rank with the search engines by blogging about housing inventory than the real estate process itself (even if that’s where their expertise is). Suffice it to say, an IDX solution on it’s own will never accomplish driving traffic the way a listing-specific keyword optimized blog could.

      I hope that clarifies my point and the incredible importance of marketing STRATEGICALLY instead of tactically.
      Thanks for listening,
      Joyanne

    27. Joyanne Sloan March 16th, 2011 9:50 am

      Sorry Don for misspelling your name…

    28. Joyanne Sloan March 16th, 2011 9:54 am

      LOL, I had your name right the first time. Let’s just say living is Seattle without being a coffee drinker has its disadvantages. :)

    29. Don Reedy March 16th, 2011 9:54 am

      Thanks Jim. Eye is healing. No resolution as to quantitative outcome, but qualitatively I am feeling fabulous. Writing, living, working, expressing….as Dan has done in this post and you in your comment; well it’s a grand design for folks such as us.

    30. Eric Bramlett March 16th, 2011 9:56 am

      Joyanne –

      A good IDX/RETS is much more than a tool that you set up once and never touch again. A good IDX/RETS will have plugins that allows you to incorporate listings, statistics, & preset searches into your blog/site. A good IDX/RETS will allow you to set up drip property searches for your clients. A great IDX/RETS will automatically set up drip property searches for your clients.

    31. Joyanne Sloan March 16th, 2011 10:18 am

      Thank you Eric for pointing out some of the benefits of a good IDX tool. None the less, my point was that it is indeed just that, a tool that can only be used once someone has finally arrived at your site.

      Typically, the IDX portion of the site is simply framed into the agent’s site but is actually served by the IDX hosting company. As a result, the IDX providor maintains control versus an agent controlling their own blog content.

      What I want to convey is this issue of TRAFFIC generation, and how agents can blog strategically to drive that traffic in the first place. Without a large and consistent number of site visitors, even the fanciest-schmanciest IDX solution will serve no purpose.

      Hope that helps. I appreciate how everyone’s input serves to paint a complete picture of this topic.
      Joyanne

    32. Ashley Smith March 16th, 2011 12:52 pm

      Dan,

      This is an informative and well-written post – so much so that it’s prompted my first comment on this blog. I know this is an entire animal in itself and worthy of its own blog post, but you mention using keywords in blogs for SEO purposes. I have personally read countless real estate blogs that are not enjoyable to read because they are overly-saturated with keywords, and ironically, a lot of them aren’t even ranked in the top 10 in a Google search for those keywords. As someone who is familiar with SEO and keyword research, I can sometimes understand why. However, I’d like to know what your opinion is on balancing keyword density with writing for your audience so you still get the SEO results you’re looking for while not detracting your readers.

    33. Jeff Brown March 16th, 2011 1:14 pm

      Joyanne — “Just to clarify the point that I was making… I agree that a real estate blog without and IDX likely isn’t worth pursuing.”

      For the record, I agree with what you and Dan have been saying. A blog with an IDX will rock for most agents. For the last several years, I’ve done OK with a blog, sans IDX. Also, I’m inches away from launching another highly targeted blog, also without an IDX. I would expect your appraisal of such an effort might be fairly low. We’ll see. I’m not the exception to the rule either.

      Folks will ‘raise their hands’ if they decide you’ve demonstrated skill, real expertise, knowledge, and integrity — in other words, produce results. I’ll publish results of this new venture 90 days after it’s launched.

    34. Joyanne Sloan March 16th, 2011 1:28 pm

      Hi Jeff, that’s wonderful that you’re undertaking a very niche-focused blog. My suggestion is that an and/both approach (targeted blog + IDX) might be what takes your results from “OK” to “WOW”. The measure of success is for you alone to determine.

      My comments stem from the data which indicates that agents will do best when they make themselves visible(via SERPs) in the very place the buyers are most often looking (at properties). So, it would be interesting if you were to do an A/B test with your forthcoming blog… one without IDX and one with. Then you can see for yourself which yields more fruit. Best of luck with your new site,
      Joyanne

    35. Jeff Brown March 16th, 2011 1:44 pm

      Busted! A/B about to commence. :)

    36. Dan Connolly March 16th, 2011 2:48 pm

      Joyanne,
      We are saying the same thing.

      My point is that unless you are Jeff Brown, the typical blog alone, the way most people do it, doesn’t generate a lot of calls. Even if it has enough authority and juice to rise in the SERPs, what I have heard is that generally those types of blogs don’t generate too much biz. When you add the IDX the phone starts to ring. The conversion I was talking about was the thing that would convert a well read (but not too productive) blog into a fountain of business. At the same time a website that is just an IDX doesn’t have enough of the keywords Google is looking for to gain any traction in the SERPs and consequently it also doesn’t generate the calls, since it can’t be found. It’s only when you combine them that the bells start ringing. We agree.

    37. Dan Connolly March 16th, 2011 4:09 pm

      Ashley,
      My opinion about keyword density is that every industry has a wide range of subjects that apply to that industry. In order for the site to be considered an authority it would have to have articles or categories that are about most if not all of the related subjects. For each of the related subjects would have to go into enough depth to be thorough. Each of the related subjects also has some depth and a set of semantically related subjects.

      You will quickly be penalized for any unnatural repetition of keywords. It should always be written for the reader, but you have to cover all of the related subjects to be considered an authority, in depth with insight and a fresh approach.

      There are a lot of subtle signals that go into ranking. Everyone is just guessing at what they are. My guess is that the time visitors spend on the site is part of it, so if the writing isn’t interesting and people bounce off, you won’t benefit. Also if the content isn’t interesting no-one will organically link to it and you won’t benefit.

    38. Eric Bramlett March 16th, 2011 6:11 pm

      Keyword Density is widely accepted among the SEO community as a non-signal – a myth. Until Google’s response to the “miserable failure” Google bomb, you didn’t even need an instance of a keyword on page in order for the keyword to rank for that keyword.

    39. Joe Montenigro March 16th, 2011 6:13 pm

      Ashley wrote: balancing keyword density with writing for your audience so you still get the SEO results you’re looking for while not detracting your readers.>>>>

      Althougth I have not used it, I understand http://www.scribeseo.com to be an outstanding tool for this purpose. There’s a monthly fee for it.

    40. Dave Hood March 16th, 2011 9:14 pm

      Yeah I agree IDX and a blog is a match made in Haven, and it’s even sweeter with a WP blog. Solid SEO and system to nature the leads, and you can’t go wrong. It’s not just having IDX on a blog that will make or break you, it’s still a lot of work to get ranked in Google.

    41. Eric Bramlett March 19th, 2011 2:58 pm
    42. Ashley Smith March 20th, 2011 10:02 pm

      Eric wrote: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/some-opinions-on-the-seo-myths-realities-fight >>>>

      This was a useful article. Thanks for the recommendation!

      And thank you, Dan, for your response. I agree. Content should be written organically much more than scattered with uncomfortably placed keywords.

      Thanks!

    43. Bruce Lemieux March 27th, 2011 4:25 pm

      Since buyers start by looking for homes, my web site + listings are the best marketing tools for me. I feel like my WP site really got traction when I was able to embed IDX listings into targeted landing pages which were complemented with other content — mainly maps and graphs.

      I find that sellers are different animals. They call someone they perceive is successful and experienced in the area. So to attracting listings, targeted direct mail + signs in the ground are the most effective lure for them. The web isn’t so important to them… but maybe that’s changing. Using direct mail to drive sellers to the website has been an effective strategy.

      I’ve resigned myself that I simply don’t have time to ‘blog’, so when I add content, it’s usually pages… or posts that I expect will stay relevant.

    44. Greg P. April 4th, 2011 5:42 pm

      I enjoy reading this blog and have probably never commented here.

      But I wanted to jump in regarding autoresponders/ drip emails.

      You can/should send automated messages that do nothing more than provide information without “asking for a date.”

      I’m seeing it called “spam” but it doesn’t have to be.

      In fact the best thing you can do is use autoresponders to build the trust and show you’re actually there to help. Even a simple message with a link to your greatest blog posts, a short summary of something related to the area (food, schools, local gov info, etc.)

      Send out 10 messages without asking for a single click…it won’t be seen as spam.

      I can’t claim to understand real estate (although love this blog) but I find agents are always selling, selling, selling and most of us just want someone to help.

      Automated email is an easy way to do that.

      Thanks for allowing me to comment:-)