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About Mike McGee

My wife Tina and I own and operate Intown Elite Real Estate in Atlanta GA. Like most small business owners, I wear many hats. I'm the broker, IT support guy and amateur webmaster, among other things. I run a few websites, including my primary site at IntownElite.com, a niche site at JacksonLakeHouses.com covering lake homes near Atlanta, and others.

Vendor Review – Sierra Interactive

by Mike McGee on 9:35 am December 20, 2016

intown-elite-homepage

In my previous post I mentioned I had found a new website/IDX vendor and promised to tell you who it was in an upcoming review post. Well, that time has finally come. The vendor I chose for our Intown Atlanta real estate website is Sierra Interactive and below is a video overview. I’m sure I didn’t cover everything in the video, so feel free to ask questions in the comments. I’ll answer what I can, but if you want to get specifics straight from the horse’s mouth, contact … Read More »

The Sad Decline of Diverse Solutions IDX

by Mike McGee on 6:22 pm September 1, 2016

Painful decline in my website traffic due to extended outages at Diverse Solutions

If you’ve followed my posts here on Geek Estate, you know I’ve had a long history as a customer of Diverse Solutions. I’m not sure exactly when I started with them, probably sometime in 2008, but I was using their dsSearchAgent (Mapping IDX) well before they launched dsIDXpress (WordPress IDX). Their Mapping IDX was truly innovative, enabling DIY agent/broker/webmasters to embed a world-class search tool as attractive and intuitive as any custom option available at the time. Then they released their revolutionary WordPress IDX plugin, democratizing indexable IDX … Read More »

Do REALTORS think it’s OK to SPAM Now?

by Mike McGee on 9:50 am January 21, 2016

Nospam_clip_art

Facebook has recently become replete with countless real estate groups of every stripe. There are tech support groups, online marketing groups, direct mail groups, WordPress groups, video groups and so on, all focusing on the real estate realm. This can be a great resource to brainstorm with others in the industry, hammer out best-practices, find cool tools, etc. But it can also become an annoyance when you just want to see what’s up with your college buddies but your newsfeed ends up inundated with real estate posts. … Read More »

Zillow is competing against you, and using your own name to do it

by Mike McGee on 12:22 pm May 30, 2015

zillow

I’m not one of those guys who thinks that Zillow aims to put agents out of business. Zillow needs agents, as they are Zillow’s primary revenue source. But neither have I deluded myself into thinking that Zillow is not competing with agents & brokers. They clearly are. Many Zillow apologists will deny this, claiming their only goal is to help agents succeed. Yes, Zillow does help many agents get business, but that’s not mutually exclusive with competing against them. (More about this later.) This, in and … Read More »

Lightbulbs, your Business and your Life

by Mike McGee on 5:12 am September 9, 2014

Photo credit: photohannah on Flickr. CC license

Is that post title cryptic enough for you? What do lightbulbs have to do with real estate? Well, it’s not about LEDs or CFLs, it’s about priorities. Confused? Hopefully I can shed light on the subject. As real estate agents and brokers, we have no shortage of people offering advice to us. Marketing companies harvest our email addresses from our MLS and send us all kinds of “surefire” ways to increase our business. Real estate “coaches” encourage us to prospect more. Market more. Blog more. List more. Sell … Read More »

2014 Map Search IDX Roundup & Review

by Mike McGee on 6:04 am July 21, 2014

Mapping IDX

I mentioned in a previous post that I intended to do a video review of several IDX products with a primary focus on their map search capabilities. This turned out to be a much longer project than I had expected, hence the delay, but I’ve finally got it done. Before jumping into the video, I want to touch on why I wanted to do this. In the introduction to the video, I discuss why I think map search is still relevant.  Indeed, I think it’s … Read More »

How to make money with a real estate startup – infographic

by Mike McGee on 7:59 am April 22, 2014

I saw this infographic the other day on entrepreneur.com: The first step made me think of real estate right away: “Find a product that is popular but not yet perfect.” Does that not describe virtually everything in real estate? Practically every tech tool I use in real estate is far from perfect. Think about it: CRM, IDX, Document mangement, MLS software, etc. Much of it is counterintuitive, inadequate, incomplete and downright frustrating. It makes me realize what opportunities exist in real estate technology for a killer … Read More »

What’s the best mapping IDX?

by Mike McGee on 8:05 am April 8, 2014

In a subsequent post I plan to do a video review of several of the mapping IDX products out there. You might say that IDX comparisons have been done to death, but I want to specifically focus on the usability aspect of map search products. While most IDX providers include some sort of map interface, I find that many don’t produce they type of intuitive user experience that today’s home buyer seeks. So far I have on my list to review (in no particular order): … Read More »

Responsive real estate website design – a DIY project, Part 2

by Mike McGee on 6:09 am February 3, 2014

OK, it’s taken a lot longer than I expected, but it’s finally time for the “big reveal” of the new, mobile-responsive makeover of my company’s website, IntownElite.com. But first, some background on the project. If you have a fairly simple site, consisting primarily of text with some photos, this can be fairly simple. A well-designed, responsive theme takes care of the rest, making your content look good on all devices, right out of the box. However, if you have more complex content, your workload can … Read More »

Responsive real estate website design – a DIY project, Part 1

by Mike McGee on 1:54 pm December 9, 2013

IntownEliteiPhone

A few of you may know that I’m currently redeveloping our Atlanta real estate website, IntownElite.com, to give it a design refresh. Though I considered outsourcing our website to an all-in-one design / hosting / idx service provider, in the end I decided I was too much of a WordPress addict (read: control freak) to give up that flexibility. With WordPress, for virtually anything you want to do, “there’s a plugin for that.” (In fact, there are some excellent plugins that come in very handy specifically … Read More »

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