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How to Differentiate: Is Data the Answer?

I noticed this ad from Black Knight over on Inman today:

The “Differentiation Begins with Data” caught my attention. The thing is, I’m not so sure that’s a true statement. I happen to believe the way to differentiate is more simplicity, and less data.

What do you think is the key to differentiation?

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • I agree with the ad. I also agree with simplicity, although more data and simplicity are kind of work against each other.

    That being said, my website definitely shoots for more data and not less, and all the time ways to make it simple to access that data.

    I probably lose users because my site looks to complex at first, but I also gain users because my site has more data.

  • Andrew Weinberger

    Too much data is a bad thing. It’s similar to when a site has too many listings (many being duplicates). The trick is striking a balance and offering a good amount of data in a nice package. I still think the real problem with most real estate sites is the poor UX, and lots of unorganized data and low quality listings are a big part of the problem.

    • Agree, UX is critical.

      Most IDX sites do not have duplicate listings, at least none that I have ever seen.

      Not sure what you mean low quality listings. Do you mean the photos are bad or the listing itself is not nice?

      • Andrew Weinberger

        I’m referring to listing portals where finding duplicate listings or expired listings are relatively common.
        IDX sites are a different animal and typically have pretty good listings, but they suffer from design flaws, poor UX, etc. Most firms with IDX sites use an off-the-shelf IDX which typically leads to a less robust experience in general and a very poor mobile experience.

        • Agreed, the portals seem to have trouble displaying accurate data.

          I have not tested a lot of idx sites on my phone, I will have to give it a try, I thought they were all mobile friendly.

          • Andrew Weinberger

            They’re usually not optimized for mobile. A listing portal can usually capture leads much more efficiently, especially on mobile. The other issue with IDX sites is relatively poor filters/maps/etc. It’s true that you could build your own site, but a large majority of IDX sites are these $100-200/month solutions that are really quite bad.

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