My friend Seth Price, aka, Best Dressed Man in Real Estate, works for a startup called Placester. Many of you know the company, as it makes IDX websites for brokers and agents. High quality design templates and custom websites is Placester’s game. Or rather it was Placester’s game.
This morning, Placester announced that it had raised an additional $5.5M in funding. That news by itself isn’t something I’d normally write about, but there is an interesting angle here.
I’m still on the road, and overly occupied, but the latest news about CRMLS (a former client) is exciting and deserves at least a couple of comments. From Andrea Brambila’s report:
Brokers who belong to the nation’s largest multiple listing service will soon get a capability they’ve long clamored for: the option to upload listing data directly from their own back-end office systems to the MLS.
“We have some very large brokers that would love to have their agents input their listing information into the broker’s system” and then upload it to the MLS, CRMLS CEO Art Carter told Inman News.
Currently, agents must log into the MLS and key in the same listing information separately. Or they can enter listing data into their MLS system first, and the MLS will feed the information back to their broker’s back-end office system.
Yep. While the technology to do this two-way flow has been around for years, CRMLS is making like Lewis & Clark and exploring the wild unknowns here. The rest of the industry will benefit from watching how things unfold. Kudos to Art, his team, and to the CRMLS Board for taking this important step.
If you click on over, you can read all the comments. What I was after was whether, in the age of Internet-is-King, the MLS remained relevant to practitioners for the purpose of advertising a property. And if so, just how relevant.
A couple of days ago, there was a rumor floating around Wall Street that Realogy would acquire Trulia. Both Trulia and Realogy threw cold water on that dream quickly. Nonetheless, I found the whole thing fascinating, since a similar scenario was exactly a “Black Swan” event I used to amuse the audience at the last T3 Summit. Here’s the video, courtesy of Stefan Swanepoel and T3:
Black Swan #2 was that Realogy would acquire Zillow. Heh.
Do I still think Realogy would acquire a major portal? Not really. I never thought it in the first place, but brought it up so as to get the people at T3 thinking in a different way.
But the whole brief chatter got me thinking further, and I draw together various separate strands to make the claim that one day in the not-too-distant future, we could (not that we will, but that we could) see a major acquisition of a major “portal” (in quotes for a reason).
My friends over at Clareity Consulting have released a new white paper entitled, “Is Your IDX Website Mobile Friendly, or Driving Away Business“. You can download the PDF by clicking on that link. It’s a really solid report if you’re in the market for a new IDX website, or need to redo your existing one so that it is mobile friendly.
Because, as Clareity says, citing a Google study:
If your website is not mobile-friendly, it’s time to get a new website. A 2013 NAR study shows that 68% of consumers already use a mobile device rather than a desktop or laptop computer to look for a new home. Many brokers and agents spend a lot of time and money trying to drive consumers to their website, buying online ads for their listings and worrying about search engine optimization (SEO) and so forth – but are they wasting their resources? 61% of consumers on a tablet or phone who visit a website that isn’t mobile friendly leave the site immediately and may never come back. You only have one chance to make that first impression – is it a good one?
They then give you a primer on mobile websites, including adaptive design, responsive design, and of course, native apps. Then Clareity provides a helpful list of vendors.
So as far as that goes, it’s an excellent paper, and I would encourage you to go read the whole thing. But you know me. That ain’t the end of the discussion here.
The heretical question I have is not whether your IDX website is mobile friendly or not, but whether you should have an IDX website at all in this day and age.