Our fabulous home search solution provider, Diverse Solutions, has just upgraded our Phoenix home search system.
The many enhancements include:
- The ability to search for bank owned / foreclosure / REO properties.
- The ability to search for pre-foreclosure / short sale properties.
- The ability to search for homes by school districts.
- The ability to search for homes by days listed on the market.
- The ability to search for properties based on price change percentage over time.
- The ability to add personal notes to homes (requires minimal registration).
- Users are no longer required to have “Cookies” enabled. This alleviates some privacy concerns and is supposed to help those using the Safari browsers have a better search experience.
Additional enhancements have been made to improve the “look and feel” and speed of the system.
For years I never required registration to use the MLS home search functions. Well, technically, it’s an IDX (Internet Data eXchange) search. The difference is tricky, but more importantly from a user’s perspective it doesn’t matter as for all practical purposes you are searching all homes listed in the Phoenix Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Then a few months ago I experimented with requiring user registration. While there is no question that the number of “leads” produced in this manner increased greatly, the fact is that I don’t follow up / call / email anyone that simply wants to search for homes. (I know for a fact that many real estate agents and brokers are shaking their heads in disbelief right now). The way I figure it, you guys are pretty smart. If you need help, you’ll ask for it. And I’m more than happy to help.
Since I don’t “follow up” there seems little reason to force people to register. So that functionality has been turned off. Now if you want access to some wicked cool things like saved searches, the ability to get automatic updates of new homes, build your own RSS feeds for specific home searches and more, then you will need to supply an email address and password. You still won’t be hassled or get newsletters, refrigerator magnets or any other trinkets real estate agents are prone to distribute. That’s not how we roll. But to access things like auto-updates and saved searches, there has to be a way to identify you from the other several hundred that are using this tool. Email is the way that is done. Trust me, I loathe spam and your email address will never, ever, be sold or compromised.
So if you are looking to search for Phoenix homes, look no further. Head on over to the newly enhanced “Search the Phoenix MLS” page and search to your heart’s content.
Feedback, as always, is appreciated.
Lisa Glowacki says
I think this could be a big help. I was just sitting here trying to figure out why people are not buying at the good listed prices. I figure they must be waiting for the property to be foreclosed on. Even bank owned properties in the winter in New England can be risky due to the fact most properties will be winterized requiring the potential buyer to turn on utilities, put oil in the tank, etc to do a proper inspection. We know you can face problems sometimes if the property isn't winterized properly.
**Lisa Glowacki´s last blog post..Election Day Rhode Island. MUST SEE. Everyone Person has a Right to His/Her Choice. No Matter What Age.</abbr></abbr>
I am a realtor in Florida as well as an Internet Marketer. I've tested this on-going debate: forced sign up vs. free search access.
My team's results of site visitors overwhelmingly goes with your hunch: visitors HATE being forced to opt-in before they're allowed to search.
In fact, here's one other FACT according to our testing: the "canned" free reports, whether forced opt-in or free, are worthless.
This will not shock or even surprise you: those reports LACK personality. Is it any wonder why your visitors keep returning to your site? Hardly. You provide regular, on-going VALUE.
I've read your blog for some time. You're not afraid to share your thoughts and opinions. That's what people want, isn't it?
On one of my blogs recently launched, I follow the approach you've perfected…be transparent, provide quality, ongoing content & genuinely desire to help others.
Thanks for offering great content, Jay. You're a rare find on the Internet! 🙂
**Mike´s last blog post..Credit Repair After Identity Theft Can Be As Bad As the Killer Who Breaks Down Your Front Door In Broad Daylight…With Police Helpless To Protect You!</abbr></abbr>
Jay - The Phoenix Real Estate Guy says
@Lisa – you know, you can fix that whole winterizing thing by relocating to Phoenix… 😉
@Mike – thanks for the kind words!
Julia V says
I don’t know if you have noticed this so far… Because this new version is so reliant on selecting only from the dropdown menu when entering City, Community, Tract, Zip, here’s a major drawback.
ref: my dsSearch link: http://idx.diversesolutions.com/search/460
1. First of all the drop down is only limited to 10 items. Some cities or subdivisions may really have as many as 20 but only 10 are shown…. but that doesn’t really matter, see #2.
2. It is tedious to select each and every item just to see all available listing. Take Fishhawk in Tampa Bay for example.
By selecting ALL of Fishhawk in the drop down menu, you are only able to show 43 when there is actually 145. See results from new version below and results from a link from the old version.
New version: shows 43 results after selecting all of Fishhawk items tediously:
Old version: shows 145 results.
We have been thinking about just letting visitors search for some time now without registering but we get so many great leads when we do require them after so many searches. When you have such a great IDX solution like we do from Diverse Solutions it gives the visitor more of an incentive because it is so unique. However, in this age of free information why not. Who knows…
@Julia – It looks as though it is not a problem with Diverse Solutions but more with your MLS. How about some standards with how tract information is entered. I don't know about your customers but mine wouldn't know what a % does? I have had their IDX solution from it was first released and I have never heard of that much less my customers. I am assuming this is some type of wildcard that is an undocumented feature? If that is in fact what it is that would be horrible. Talk about getting more results that they didn't intend to get not to mention making it confusing. I am very happy with their new enhancements as my customers seem to be too.
Julia V says
@Danielle. I don't know about my MLS but it seems it's with your MLS as well. Case in point: If you have a client searching for all available homes in "Acacia Crossing" (or Acacia Crossings), they will find less than 40 in your MLS search. Double check that with your actual MLS. This is precisely what I'm talking about. In the old version you are able to find ALL available Acacia Crossing listings… "Ahwatukee" should have at least 185 search results. dsSearch will find less than 80.
@Julia – I just tested it and we are not experiencing any problems with the number of results from our IDX when searching by city, community, tract or zip that you are referring to. But if there is a problem I'm sure Diverse Solutions is working on it.
Tampa Real Estate says
Adding those search options will increase your sales and visitors to your website, thanks for this great option, I think a few websites have this option, this will make you unique