real estate databasesWho owns or controls your Atlanta real estate data? If you are a resale agent, it might be the local MLS, your broker or even some other third party. However, for many local Atlanta new home builders the answer may not be any different. Many builders are confused by all of the options available today, and often don’t know what they can do using their own website. Mitch Levinson, managing partner of Marketing RELEVANCE recently covered this topic in-depth in a three part series on the Marketing RELEVANCE blog. Below are some excerpts from the posts.

Making Heads and Tails of Your New Home Data covers the cost of creating and maintaining your own database versus the missed opportunity cost of not having your own. As a home builder that owns your own database, you control all of the information related to your listings, floor plans, inventory homes, quick delivery homes, communities, amenities, pictures and so forth. This database can feed your mobile site, social media pages (including displaying your listings on your Facebook page) and blog. You can even set up your own XML feed to automatically populate your data on third-party listing sites. Basically,  the database will support your website and everything else that you create, and because you own it, you will be in control.

The Three Little Letters You Need to Know explains what IDX and XML are and the benefits of them to the new home industry. IDX stands for Internet Data Exchange. IDX is used to transfer data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to your website. Basically, this ‘feed’ allows your listings (and possibly other local agent listings) to display on your website. XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. This  ‘technical’ language facilitates the transfer of information between databases. This is the most common process for data transfer in our industry. Basically, your website should be set up where it would create an XML file every night in the format that the receiver of your data would need.

Top Five Reasons to Own Your Mobile Site details the top reasons you should be in control of your mobile site. At a glance:

  1. Control: By owning your own mobile site, you completely control the user experience on your website. From the URL and content to the search engine optimization (SEO) and branding!
  2. Content: Content is king, and many “free” or “included” mobile websites don’t display everything customers want.
  3. Traffic: If you don’t own your site, chances are you don’t “own” your traffic either. When you utilize a third party source for your mobile site, Google associates that traffic to that third party site and the traffic you receive to that site is not monitored through your Google Analytics account.
  4. SEO: Similar to number four, when you don’t own your mobile site, you also can’t control your SEO.
  5. Branding: Owning your own site allows you to build the site exactly like you want from the colors and fonts to the images and logos.

As you are making your 2013 marketing plans, make sure that you plan to take control of your future. Click on any of the headlines above to read the full articles, and then let us know what questions you have. Plan to be a control freak in the New Year! If you’re ready to control your own home building destiny or for more information on website development, contact Marketing RELEVANCE.

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