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Designing and developing real estate websites – Common questions about the MLS, mobile, and video

Posted on: June 7th, 2012

Florida real estate demand currently is back on the rise! The Orlando Regional Realtors Association, reports that the price of Orlando homes has increased by 13 percent over the last year and predicts the trend to continue. With fewer houses on the market and a stronger demand, now is the perfect time to refine your real estate website.

Don’t know where to start with your website? Appleton Creative is your go-to website wizard! We’ve built campaigns for several large players in the industry, including RE/MAX, Isleworth, Stockworth, Albany Bahamas, and CREW. Over the years, these clients have relied on us for their digital and web-based needs. Today, we’ve complied a list of our most frequently asked questions from our real estate clients.

“How should I manage my real estate listings online?”

If you are a real estate agent that wants to display listings online, there are two key strategies:

1. Tap into your MLS

The MLS is already the driving force behind all your listings, why not use the data you’ve already so diligently entered? Thanks to RETS (the Real Estate Standards Organization), you can present MLS/IDX listings seamlessly within your own website. These directly hosted listing also help boost your SEO rankings with quality content.

Want to see an example? Visit Stockworth Realty. In addition to the MLS feed, we organized listings by Central Florida region and provided visitors a way to save/share their favorite properties and contact Stockworth Realty agents directly about viewings.

Listings pull seamlessly from the MLS feed, refreshing every 30 minutes.

 

2. Manage your listings in-house

If you have a smaller inventory and want to go the extra mile, consider adding listings manually to your website. One of our clients, Isleworth Realty, prefers to manage their luxury home listings by hand. This allows agents a greater degree of control over the customer’s browsing experience. Thanks to a CMS we’ve built for them, adding properties is a simple, fast, and intuitive process.

Want to see how easy it is to add properties, including beautiful photo galleries? Check out a screenshot from their CMS (Content Management System):

Adding multiple images is as simple as drag and drop

 

 

The final product auto-sizes all images and assembles them into an interactive photo gallery.

“How important is mobile?”

 Mobile usage is continuing to pick up momentum. Increasing evidence suggests consumers are more likely to call or email an agent about a listing from a mobile device than from laptop or desktop computer. Among visitors to Reator.com, iPad and iPhone users are 160 to 300 percent more likely to contact an agent than desktop and laptop users.

“Do I need a native app or mobile website?”

 Zillow’s Vice President of industry solutions, Justin La Joie, believes there is a transition from the native app and there’s going to be more Web applications rivaling the native apps.

But John Lim, president and CEO of Mobile Card Cast, thinks that brokers should focus on how their website appears on mobile devices. “There’s nothing wrong with having a mobile application, but if you don’t have a mobile site, all those business cards you hand out with URLs on them are garbage,” Lim said.

“Should I include videos on my website?” 

Video (and Youtube) is now more important than ever. Bring your website to life by adding a special touch. Studies have shown that 73 percent of homeowners say they’re more likely to list with a realtor offering to do video, yet only 12 percent of agents currently utilize this tool.

Appleton Creative is always ahead of the game. As leaders in mobile development, we can help you create a mobile website for your Apple or Android device! If you’re interested in talking more about our business options, give us a call today at 407-246-0092 or contact us at info@appletoncreative.com.

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