This morning has been an exciting one. John Denver apparently enjoys the functionality of my website!
Our Search for Homes feature, like all other similar features you find on the thousands of real estate websites, is provided courtesy (for $$$) of an IDX provider. It notifies me when someone has signed up to perform a search. Now, I have commented before, that I have always taken a steadfast contrarian approach to this information; I ignore it. My position has always been that people searching for homes on-line are doing it on-line, in large part, for the anonymity they enjoy. Call it fear of commitment, or perhaps they are already “married” to another agent, but I have assumed that if they wanted to “speak” to me, they would hit the “contact” button or (gasp) pick up the phone.
John Denver’s arrival at our site was somewhat timely. Just this week I took a call from a representative of the IDX service, and a 45-minute conversation ensued about how I wasn’t harnessing the power of my site. He was simply stunned, to say the least, that I had turned off all of the auto-email features (“No one has ever done this before!”) and yet still had hundreds of active visitors signed up for searches. “Just think what you could accomplish with a little direct contact!”, he remarked. “Some people may have questions and may be too shy to make the first move”.
Or maybe, most people don’t want to be courted, at least not at this point. Now, I admit, I am in a bit of a quandry. The fact is that I am not a not-for-profit business (not intentionally, anyway). The website, while there for anyone to enjoy, is not, strickly speaking, a public service announcement. It is there to promote our listings and, I will readily admit, promote ourselves. So, why then do I have such a difficult time taking a little more self-promotional, proactive approach and directly contacting my visitors?
John Denver, for the record, is not the victim of mistaken identity. His phone number was given at 555-5555. I hope he lives in a very big house, because he apparently has a lot of roommates! Not so coincidentally, the following other visitors to my site also share this phone number: Ben Dover, A A, B B, Mickey Mouse, and Joe Shmo, to name a few. Many of these friends of John sign in and never return, but many more return often to perform new searches, all the while signing in under their stage names. They clearly don’t want me to contact them with helpful real estate information; I suspect there are many more honest people who have entered legitimate names who feel the same way.
Until I figure out the right way to help those that need or want it without affronting the “just looking” crowd, rest assured that hitting the contact button will never result in my appearing at your front door unannounced packing my marketing package and client testimonials. Questions? Call, email, or hit the Ask the Brokers button here, and we will respond swiftly and professionally, and just once. Unless, of course, you are ready to make a commitment. First comes love, then comes marraige, then comes… the Buyer Broker Agreement?
I have always resisted the Buyer Broker Agreement as well. If we need a prenup, then maybe we haven’t established enough trust and mutual respect to enter a relationship at all. More on that one later this week.