Should real estate agents capture or not capture a user’s information on their real estate website? This still seems to be a highly debated question. Thanks to Jeff Tomlin, of Point2 Technologies, for his coverage of “Why 95% of Realtors are leaving BIG money on the table.” Jeff talks about the trouble of “Baiting the consumer by providing basic information and then requiring contact information for more data.” Jeff also states what all real estate agents should be aware of… consumers are getting smarter online! They know the technology for public listing data exists, and if you don’t supply it freely they will likely leave your website to find it on your competitors. To prove the point take a look at the chart Jeff provides below. It displays Point2 NLS stats on leads generated as a percentage of unique visits to registration forms.” Look at the staggering decline in registration forms effectiveness since 2004.
Why have consumers shied away from user registration? On this question I agree with Jay’s opinion over at PheonixRealEstateGuy. He is a fan of the “Free Internet and Free Information.” Think about it, that’s what the Internet provides all of us. Imagine the last time you searched for information on any topic. Did you pass up a website that required you to register? I know I have!
So if I don’t make the consumer register on my real estate website, how will I capture the lead? When it comes to this question, I agree with Marrlow Harris at 360 Digest when she says “build a better website, add some good sticky content.” She hit on the essence of what we should all be trying to do via the Internet. Make your website content appealing by exploring a niche, localizing, and enhancing your data for maximum appeal.
It’s important to note that these findings will obviously be different for each real estate market. If all of your competitors require registration for MLS data, you will likely not see the backlash as quickly. But rest assured the Internet will continue transforming in the consumers best interest.
Please share your opinions!