One of the most common questions we receive from our clients is, "How do I become the top-ranked real estate website in my market?"
Perform a quick Google search for real estate in any U.S. market, and you'll almost undoubtedly see search portal giants like Zillow and Trulia holding the top ranking spots.
How have these search portals come to dominate the search results? And what can you do as an agent to surpass them?
Why Do Users Love Real Estate Portals?
To start, we must ask ourselves why users love portals to begin with. And the answer is simple: users love their intuitive platforms.
Pull up any real estate listings portal and you're likely to see a "map to the left, listing thumbnails to the right" layout. This listing layout has become the standard—home buyers have come to expect it, and it's become second nature to them to use it.
Search portal giants have invested millions of dollars into R&D to perfect these platforms, and they're constantly tinkering to stay modern.
As an agent or brokerage, it can feel impossible to compete with these industry titans.
That is, until you remember their weakness: portals can offer adequate search technology to cover any market, but they can't offer true hyper local expertise in any individual market.
And this is a major opportunity for you. At REW, we asked what would happen if we put portal-inspired search in the hands of the real estate industry's top professionals.
Here are three ways REW will help you dominate your market.
How You Can Take on Zillow and Win
1. Recognize search portals as your true competition
Until recent years, Realtors have measured their success against other Realtors. They've compared their website and rankings relative to their local competition.
But the game has changed. If you're aiming to truly dominate your market, you have to consider search portals like Zillow as your direct competition.
Ultimately, search engines like Google want to return the best website for any given search. So don't settle for having the best website relative to local agents. Aim to have the best website you can possibly build.
Take inspiration from portal IDX technology and then take it to the next level using knowledge that only you have about your market.
2. Dazzle users with your local knowledge
Agents and brokers will always have the advantage of being local. As hard as portals like Zillow can try, they will never know what it's like to live in your market—to know every question a local home buyer or seller may have.
Research indicates that even 75% of millennials would rather work with a local agent rather than an online resource, citing local insight and personal touch as their biggest factors.
So while Zillow can offer basic information like price range, beds, and baths, brokerages and agents can provide so much more:
- In-depth, first-hand knowledge of the local market and its history
- Rich narrative and storytelling about the community
- Captivating visuals, like 360 photos and videos
3. Integrate your local knowledge into your search technology
Returning to what users love most about search portals—the search layout—it's crucial that you leverage your local knowledge into your search.
To go above and beyond Zillow, start with the side-by-side listings and map search that users love, but then come over the top with far more local information than Zillow can offer.
For example, are you in a market with heavy traffic congestion? Imagine how useful it would be to allow your site visitors to search for a home based on drive time to work. Zillow can't offer that.
Do you live on the coast where your clients only want to search for luxury waterfront properties? Then provide that functionality directly in your search.
Whatever it is that people are searching for in your market, be the site to provide it to them. That's the value of custom.
The only way to beat the portals and their generalized search is to invest in a custom real estate platform that includes an intuitive search layout, but beyond that, allows you to provide the hyper local search experience that users crave.
Introducing: Discover by Real Estate Webmasters
Real Estate Webmasters is already known for our best-in-class front end design—and now we've added portal-inspired home search technology to provide an exceptional localized search.
What sets Discover apart?
Designed by Real Estate Webmasters' in-house Research & Development team, Discover will help put agents and brokerages back on top of the real estate search game.
Discover delivers the side-by-side map and listings search functionality that users demand, with the added ability to customize the search to suit your market.
Beyond the basic search fields, you can add any search field offered in your local MLS feed to give users the homes that search their exact criteria.
Want even more? Additional data integrations like Onboard Informatics, Inrix Drive Time, or nearby amenities are easily added to your order of the Discover platform.
Sophisticated & Responsive Design
Not only is the search modern and fresh, but the rest of the design is too. The frontend looks equally stylish on any device, designed to impress both desktop and mobile users.
The platform itself is incredibly fast, mobile-responsive, and SEO-friendly—setting the table for search engine success.
VR and 360 Capabilities
Discover features the ability to dazzle your users with 360 degree photos, videos, and slideshow options on the home page and enhanced listing pages.
Nothing impresses a potential client more than giving them a full 360 or 3D walkthrough of their own home.
Backed by the REW CRM and REW Leads App
Your lead management strategy should be as sophisticated as your site. The REW CRM and the REW Leads companion app enable you and your team to manage every lead effectively and efficiently.
Want to see how Discover can be tailored to your market? Contact one of REW's Product Consultants now:
Interested in Discover?
Want to provide the best search experience in your market?
Try a demo of the Discover now.