I posted an entry on Bloodhound Blog that turned into a gigantic sh*tfit. My statement was pretty simple: We’ve done a lot of A/B testing, and forced registration produces many more leads and results in more closed transactions than open registration. Pretty simple concept. I invited people to offer data to the contrary.
As Russell Shaw pointed out, it turned into a near religious argument (Bob Wilson summarized well in a comment, as well.) But enough of the whole milieu.
During the course of the conversation/argument, I visited a lot of real estate sites. This is good practice for me, as I run 5 broad & niche term sites & I’m always looking for new ideas. Something struck me on many of the sites…
People don’t like to read. Why do you think television is so popular? Hulu? Youtube? Most users like to passively watch video or look at pictures.
Many agent sites are heavily text based – some going so far as to make their blog their home page. Many had “tutorials” you had to click through before you hit their IDX search. Here’s a hint:
Put down the ego pipe and give your users what they want.
What do they want? Funny enough…most people go online searching for real estate to find listings. People want listings with lots of pictures. An easy way to contact you if they want more information. *Maybe* market stats (for when they get really serious.) Interest rates. Prospective mortgage payments.
If you got into real estate to publish books, rethink your business strategy. If you’re in real estate, like it or not, you’re in the business of selling houses. You sell by giving your buyers what they want.