Episode 380: Understanding Showcase IDX and Building Relationships With Your Customer Online

Episode Timeline

In the 380th episode of the Mail Right Show, Jonathan Denwood and Robert Newnan were joined by Kurt Uhlir to discuss Showcase IDX and how real estate agents can follow up with their clients and build relationships with them online. Kurt Uhlir, Chief Marketing Officer at Showcase IDX, helped create three marketing channels that Showcase IDX uses today: location-based marketing, social media management, and influencer marketing. Over the past decade, Robert Newman has been working in the real estate SEO business as the CEO of Inbound REM, an inbound marketing firm. Meanwhile, Jonathan Denwood is the joint founder and CEO of Mail Right, a platform that builds beautiful websites on WordPress and combines a suite of digital marketing tools in a streamlined, user-friendly package.

What makes showcase IDX different from other IDX tools?

Showcase IDX has done a great job providing a tool that helps realtors get traffic back to the site. What sets Showcase IDX apart from other competitors is that it is part of the whole website that’s built-in, an all-in-one or a standalone IDX. Showcase IDX is the only one that’s part of your website. While the competitors may have little widgets that will embed into your sites, with Showcase IDX, the main search takes place on a subdomain search. When you go look on the technical side, Google is smart enough to know that when a subdomain or an iframe that it’s not on the same server as the rest of your site, it treats it very differently. Not that you can’t get organic traffic, but it would be hard to rank for most of the buying keywords with any of the competitors there because Google doesn’t give that credit to your website. They will give it to whoever’s hosting that subdomain website or the iframe. That’s different from when all the one solution is out there. But you look at other competitors, and being a realtor, you may get the lead, but there’s an 85 or 90 % chance that the buyer will still go to Zillow to do the home search, and a competitive agent will call your client. But showcase IDX is on the opposite end of that spectrum; people tend to use it and return to your site.

How do successful agents utilize Showcase IDX?

Patrick Huggins, a compass agent in Nashville, Tennessee, gets 50,000 organic visitors or more monthly from Google. And it’s not just because he dropped a $100 plug-in there, but it’s what his team does with the technology.

He’s also building local community pages. He’d have a page for Brentwood, condos in Brentwood, townhomes in Brentwood, and open houses in Brentwood, and he build those pages over time. When a provider finishes building a website, many agents think it’s all done. Patrick didn’t take that approach. He knew that people only sometimes search for addresses. They search for subdivisions, community property types, and areas. He then started building those community pages that showcase IDX technology but put his own unique words on there. Having that standard operating procedure- making that community pages two or five every week is what most agents won’t do. They either want to write a small or big check and be done with it instead of starting it up and building these over time. Did he do the first pages perfectly? No. But he keeps doing those time and time again. Because anything in marketing, as we all know, whether it’s inbound, drip campaigns, pay-per-click, or SEO, takes consistency and refining things.

Moreover, if you did condos in Brentwood, Tennessee, for example, and you don’t put something unique on the page, there could be 100 agents using Showcase IDX in Brentwood, and they’re all going to be the same basic list of things that are available for condos there unless you do something different. Different sites also do get hit with sometimes waves of spam that come up at times. Sometimes, that also happens as you start to rank much more, and you’ll get lower-quality leads. And if you have a site that doesn’t rank, you’re getting very few leads. Pay-per-click leads are good for getting responses, but they’re not always the best at converting to closed transactions and ROI.

What happens after closed transactions using Showcase IDX?

Compared to others, what happens to your closed transactions using showcase IDX, whether organic or pay-per-click? Those transactions are very good. But you need to be able to vet and pull out clients and choose who not to work with, especially as your business starts to grow. The result also depends on where that traffic comes from on the page. And so those that are getting their traffic and leads from those community pages, especially where they’ve written with unique content. However, the issue is that sometimes, you can also use the technology to drive a ton of traffic to your home page, which is generally a lower-quality lead, no matter what industry you’re in. But if somebody has searched for Brentwood, Tennessee, or Brentwood Condos and your website shows up, and click on that, there’s such a high one that’s a very buyer-related keyword. The organic side is when they build the community pages with the content, which is strategically incorporated into their inbound marketing efforts, whether it be through pay-per-click advertising or content marketing initiatives.

Then, for example, you meet somebody in the real world at Brentwood, Tennessee, you ask the person if they’re looking for a home in the area, and you can follow up the community page with 500 words of unique content about Brentwood. By doing so, you have passed a vetting test that Zillow and many other agents might not have. While other agents may have community pages, their content usually only covers a limited range of topics. But with the said approach, the agent has something to follow up with.

There’s also another agent in Florida who started building community pages. When he met somebody, he would engage with them by offering them valuable information instead of just giving them his business card and hoping they’d follow up. For instance, if he discovered that someone had free time over the weekend, he would take the opportunity to suggest nearby open houses. By leveraging his knowledge of available properties, he would say to that person that there are some open houses in this area; if the person is interested, he will provide his site containing all the beachfront condos available for viewing this weekend and will ask the person for its email address to send you the link. That was the first part of his process. It changed his interaction because it changed from a mere exchange of contact details into a sales opportunity. Rather than simply requesting business cards or personal information, he offered a tangible benefit by providing access to available open houses, which appealed to the individual’s interests.

Why should they use a WordPress website while utilizing Showcase IDX?

There are other platforms like Wix and Squarespace, but WordPress is just so far advanced. Wix and WordPress may come along as the two have a similar ecosystem. It’s just that Showcase IDX can’t integrate with other platforms the way they can on WordPress. And so the ability of Showcase IDX to integrate with WordPress and, in a proprietary way, make their content appear native to Google is something they can’t do on other platforms right now. WordPress was also showcased in choosing the right CRM and marketing agency to do things on top of it. That’s what you get when you do it yourself or have somebody else assemble the best-of-the-breed searches. So always choose WordPress.

But there’s nothing wrong with doing a Reel Geeks, a KV Core, or Sync. However, agents must consider whether they want an all-in-one or a best-of-breed tech stack. KV Core, Sync, and real geeks are nice because they’re all together. If you need a platform to help your companies put together the full stack, these three platforms will work out of the box. But are they the best? Well, no, but they serve a good purpose. And that connectivity is wonderful for many agents.