Competing with the Real Estate Giants
A new IDX real estate website solution is different in ways that make a difference, letting the small brokerage own a full-featured real estate website that is competitive and affordable.
By: LuAnn Turner
The threat of extinction.
Real estate corporations like Prudential and ReMax recognize that most buyers (studies show as much as 80%) turn online to find properties. They respond with websites that have wider searches, more tools and features, promote their listings better (which attracts new listings), and even direct buyers to contact them for a showing of listings not their own.
They dominate the Internet and it is having a serious affect on the independent brokerages who simply can’t afford to keep up.
A radical concept.
Panospheric, a web and software company in Roseburg, Oregon aims to level the playing field with their new IDX real estate website solution called idxCEO, a full-featured website and software system a brokerage can both own and afford.
“Our goal was to give the smaller brokerage the same kind of real estate website as the real estate giants,” says Chris Kunze, Panospheric’
Owning or renting.
The real estate website choices fall into two major categories: ownership and renting – clear concepts for all real estate professionals.
To own a full-featured, IDX real estate website can be very spendy. From $10,000 to $20,000. Add to that web maintenance ($75 an hour), and web hosting. Of course, there are cheaper options, but they lack the professionalism, tools, and features to be competitive.
Hoping to save money and have all the features too, many Realtors choose one of the IDX website “Provider”
The main advantage is the brokerage doesn't have the technical responsibility – no hosting, no uploading, no maintenance – the IDX system updates itself daily with no uploading on the broker’s part.
Pricing is dependent on how many agents, how many listings, how many images, or how many features, and can be as high as $300 every month. Or as low as $25 each month – but again, these cheaper options don’t offer much.
Gaining a foothold.
With idxCEO, the brokerage owns their own website like the RE giants. This means a customized web design, all the features, unlimited agents, unlimited brokerage listings, and even multi-office capability.
The system is fully automated like the IDX providers – no work for the broker to have all listings up-to-date. At the same time, it has multi-level control panels that lets the brokerage have a wide range of website control - if they want. Updates and tech support are free.
“It is a streamlined, secure, user-friendly content management system specially designed for the non-technical brokerage,” says Kunze. “We respect that it is challenging enough to be a real estate professional without needing to be a geek.”
Pricing is simple. $3500 for a brokerage. They have lease to own options that start at under $60 a month and have no contract – you can quit if you want. idxCEO also has a single broker package for $1500. They offer rock-bottom priced hosting too - definitely trying to make it as easy as possible.
Panospheric developed idxCEO using a receptive brokerage, Pat Harmon’s Oakridge Real Estate. She felt their $1000 a year IDX provider service (for 9 years) was doing her company no good. Harmon had watched the quality of listings drop along with sales. She wanted a change.
Oakridge Real Estate is one of five real estate offices in Oakridge, Oregon (pop. 3158) a small town ideally located as a jumping off point for outdoor recreation buffs visiting the Willamette National Forest for hiking, biking, skiing, and camping.
In the first three months of having their new idxCEO website (www.oakridgerealestate.com)
Says Harmon, “The only thing that changed is our new website. Locally, we have a great reputation, but we weren’t reaching beyond that. Now we have the best real estate website in town that really reaches out."
This success is also due to the Search Engine Optimization idxCEO includes. Also, since their website doesn’t use a third party provider to get the listing data, they now get the benefit of the listing content, which helps rank them with Search Engines.
It seems idxCEO has everything it takes to give a smaller, independent brokerage the tools to thrive online and be a Real Estate Resource. As the Internet continues to be a major venue for realty, such a tool is essential.
For more information, visit www.idxceo.com.
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About LuAnn Turner: Ms. Turner researches and writes on various website issues. She evaluates services and products for their effectiveness in serving the needs of both the company and their online visitors.