Jonathan Dalton wrote an interesting post on forced IDX registrations (and how forcing registrations is smart business). His point was that by forcing registration, you are effectively pre-qualifying prospects and also providing an opportunity to introduce yourself appropriately and work towards building a long-term relationship. Sure some people might be turned off by the idea and won’t register, but for the ones that do, at least you know they’re prepared to take the next step.
I’ve found that Real Estate Agents stand on both extremes… One preaching forced registration because “that’s how you get the leads” and the other against it because “that’s how you lose leads to your competitors.”
So… Where do you stand?
Do you force registration? Do you allow visitors to view a certain number of listings before requesting that they register? Do you allow unlimited free search?
Ultimately, I think that there’s no one right or wrong way to do it. You should test different options and assess which one works best. Still, I’d be curious to hear what’s worked for you!
Tim O'Keefe House Blogger says
Opt in is getting harder and harder as IDX or listing have become commoditized. There used to be a reason to opt in. Exclusivity. Now the perception is that I can just bail and get the same info at Trulia et al.
So the hard opt in has become a difficult feat and many agent sites have fallen in lead counts against consistent traffic.
Some have chosen a fully accessible opt in hoping their huge database of inventory will wow the consumer into calling them.
The other option is the soft opt in. Give them three or four “freebies” prior to asking them for their information.
This has worked well for some however, still the idx has devolved into a commodity and there is little the industry can do about that at this time.
The only answer is to stack on more value as a reason to opt in. Opting in can also mean more than just Realtor listings. Perhaps it also gets you builder and preforeclosure listings. But it can also get them exclusive market data, school data etc.
Another reason to cause a compelling reasons to opt in is market authority. The you in this. All of the above can be easily duplicated and soon we are back where we are now as a market. The you is your personality, the content only you and your expertise can address. The real reason to do business with you as an agent. I cover this in depth in a complimentary video series at http://www.spiderjuicetechnologies.com/content/
Ricardo, I have done it both ways. First was a “free ride” which was because I was using my then Broker's IDX. After using a program that had forced registration and capturing some leads that led to closings I decided to find a IDX that would allow me to do it either way. I have my IDX set at the 3 or 5 freebies and then registration. They can see what they are getting for their registration that way. I don't require phone number or address. Right now I am not getting registrations either way.
Saundra Washington says
I think it's tough to get IDX registrations when people have so many places they can get the same data. Perhaps another approach is to offer something unique that would encourage people to register: your own analysis or composite of economic data for the community, school or property tax reports, even a round-up of what's happening in the community. In other words, encourage them to sign up by offering them something they can't easily get anywhere else.
Great question Ricardo. I really do not like using the word “forced'. Let's face it… we can't force someone to do something they do not want to do. Consumers will either feel comfortable in signing up for IDX or not.
Home listing data is readily available on a variety of sites. Is your site comprehensive enough and easy to use from a consumer's perspective – is the question to ask.
If it is, then they will sign up for your IDX service without “over thinking” it.
It's all about experimentation and what works for you and your market place. Too many factors to consider.