The most popular activity on my site appears to be searching through our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Usually, 30-40 people a day do searches using this tool, which can be found in the right-hand column of this page.
What I’ve always been confused about is, why do people use it?
The “public” MLS search only provides you with general listing information – MLS #, price, and location. Plus, the listing agent’s information.
The “member-only” MLS search, on the other hand, provides you with address, description, etc. Also, you can save your searches, and receive once-daily emails of new listings fitting your criteria, as they come on the market.
The issue is, MLSPIN regulations require that I, as agent, collect an email address from you before giving you access to the database. This is for my benefit, as it allows me a way to engage you, as visitor, as a client (nice comma use).
And, of course, not everyone wants to give out their email addresses.
Do people use the public search to get a general idea of what’s out there? Or, are these people first-time visitors to my site, just looking around?
I don’t know.
I guess people don’t want to register, because they aren’t that serious about buying, or perhaps they already have an agent, and just come here for the stories, then they do a quick search? Or perhaps they don’t want to register because they feel that obligate them to work with me?
If it’s the third reason, I am working on a way to fix that.
While I would want to at least have a cursory conversation with anyone who registers, I wouldn’t require someone to work with me, if they signed up. For one thing, they may be looking in areas I don’t cover (outer-boroughs, for example).
But, soon, I won’t even require that – soon, visitors will be able to sign-up on this page immediately for access to the complete MLS database simply by providing an email address, without waiting for authorization or for a password to be sent to them (meaning, you could just put in a fake email address, obviously. If you were that devious …).
The majority of people visiting this website come here, read the stories, then go on with their lives. A few (my heroes) contact me and we work together to find them new homes.
It’s a fine-line. Should this site exist to provide information, or should its main goal be client-generation?
The look, feel, content, design, and functionality of the site would be different, based on which direction I chose to go.
For example, I ran Google Ads for awhile. Simple text ads in the right-handed column. Brought in a hundred bucks or so, per month.
If this was a “content” site, I could expand on that, the idea being that this is an advertiser-supported, information site. And, over time, I could generate more revenue, that way.
Using this site to pursue new clients means it would look different and appeal to a different set of people. For example, there would be more “calls-to-action” – more buttons saying “contact me!”, for example, and I would promote myself and my services much more than I do, currently.
I know what readers think – do both!
That’s not usually the way it’s done, however.
If you visit other blogs, real estate or otherwise, you can see what I mean.
If you’ve ever been to Curbed.com, the mother-ship of real estate blogs, that’s a perfect example. It’s all about content. You’d never confuse it for a real estate agent’s website. It exists to provide information and entertainment. It is advertiser-supported. And, I’m assuming, wildly profitable. They have a paid staff of seven or eight people (hi Lock!).
Then you have the agent-run real estate blogs. This space is “owned” by four blogs, in Boston.
These are all agent-focused websites, with the goal being to get you to contact the owners of the sites to use them as your real estate agents.
So, I don’t know.
The “wildly-profitable” direction sounds very intriguing. Especially since I’m already spending all my time on the blog, from dawn to midnight. Ha-ha.
Contact me to set up an appointment to start your Boston condo buying process.
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Updated: January 2018