Posting Listings on Your Site: A Step-by-Step Guide
For the Advanced Salesperson
Depending on your MLS’s reciprocity regulations, you may be able to copy all the current listings from your MLS onto your own Web site. This technique gives buyers the impression that you control all the listings in your market—unless your competition is using the same strategy. Before you copy files, however, you should check with your state licensing agency to be sure you're not violating the state’s real estate license law. —Michael Russer, "Mr. Internet," Russer Communications, Santa Barbara, Calif.
You also can realize some of the benefits of online listing by posting your listing on your own or your company’s Web site.
- Create, or have your Web designer create, a standard master HTML form for all your listings. Make labeled lines for information you will always include, such as age of the house, square footage, number of bedrooms, and so forth. Use your local MLS listing as a guide for what to include, but don’t forget to leave a space for several promotional lines about the property at the top of each page.
- Leave designated spaces for one to three photos in the template that can be pasted in later.
- Take digital photos of the exterior and the one or two best features of the house and then download the photos into a software program that will allow you to manipulate them, such as Adobe Photoshop or Image Ready.
- Use the program to resize the photos to fit the spaces designated on your template. Compress them so that they will take up less bandwidth and load more quickly. Save files as a “jpg” file.
- Copy the photos into the HTML file of your pre-created listing template, as you would insert copy or a picture into a Word document, using a Web authoring program, such as Dreamweaver, Front Page, or GoLive.
- Save the template using a unique name (the name of the property is easiest) and the proper extension (.htm or .html). Don’t forget to rename the file, or it will replace your master template.
- Connect to your Web site and transfer the new listing file using the file transfer protocol feature of the Web authoring software. In Dreamweaver, look under “Site:Site Files.” In GoLive, the windows will be divided in half on your screen—the local file (the HTML file on your hard drive) to the remote location (your Web page). Send the local file from your hard disk to the remote Web server by clicking on its name in the list and then clicking the “put” button. A window will pop up asking you if you want to “include independent files.” Say “yes” and you will transfer the photo along with the file. In Dreamweaver, use a drag and drop technique to transfer files to your FTP client directory window.
- Personalize customer interaction with feedback buttons that fire off an automatic "thank you" or comfirmation e-mail if a potential client has inquired about a listing on your site.
- Software such as IDX Broker Pro make it easy to display listings and manage lead generation. Most people visit your site to search for real estate so make this process as simple and hassle free as possible.
- Personalization is essential to the success of your Web site and the listings therein. Make sure that your page stands out from the rest using templates that go beyond the ordinary. Point2Agent Premium, for example, is a program that creates premium templates that are customizable and have a unique look. If you're not so tech savvy, you may need to hire a web designer to assist you with this process.
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