My interaction with IDX solutions has been an ongoing process for almost 20 years as a Real Estate company owner and as a Web Designer/SEO expert. To clarify up front, I am not employed by Real Geeks nor by any other IDX company. I was an active Broker in Charge of my own Real Estate firm on the coast of North Carolina for 16 years. My firm acted as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agency, and therefore we had no listings, no inventory and no way to get in front of potential clients except the internet, print and word of mouth. I wasn’t a believer in print, especially without listings, so I turned to the internet. I had my first website built for a company I was with, and then in 2001 I launched my own real estate firm, Coastal Carolina Properties in Wilmington, NC. I used several different IDX solutions over the years, including a custom built one, Real Estate Webmasters and one more I can’t remember the name of.
In 2009 I made the decision to move to Hawaii where I launched a web design firm, One Wave Designs. Shortly after I changed my IDX solution to Real Geeks, mostly because I thought they had the best platform for SEO. It made all of the difference. My traffic went from 10,000-12,000 visitors a month to over 40,000 visitors a month. And today we average 65,000 – 70,000visitors a month on that site. We also went from 140-150 leads a month at the time to today, where we average 1200-1400 leads a month. Please bear in mind that Wilmington has a population of under 100,000 in the city, and less than 300,000 in the entire metro area. I’m proud to say that the site generated over $20 million in closed sales in 2011, solely off of internet generated leads.
Although my web design firm builds many types of websites (real estate and non real estate), we also are contacted regularly by real estate companies and agents for help with their websites. We currently maintaining 13 total active Real Estate websites for various companies and agents all over the United States, including Florida, New Mexico, South Carolina, California, Texas and a few other states. All of them use the Real Geeks solution, and since using it, none have made a change back to a different IDX solution. I, myself, have no intention of switching any time soon, if ever. And here’s some of the main (but not all) of the reasons I believe why…..
Pros of Real Geeks
- SEO Friendly. There’s so many ways to utilize the types of pages and property features to be SEO friendly as well as many simple options to control pages and indexing properties and blogs.
- Simplicity – The sites run fast and are not bulky with extras that in reality most buyers and seller don’t use. Real Geeks was designed and built by Jeff Manson, a successful real estate broker and SEO Expert. I believe he built it knowing what buyers and sellers really want from a real estate site, and nothing more.
- Reasonably priced. Their start-up fee and monthly hosting costs are very competitive.
- Lead Management System – Although there are more robust systems out there, the Real Geeks LMS has enough options to cover just about anything. The reality is that most agents don’t use most of the features on any LMS, they tend to just buy into what they think will work best, but then never use it. The LMS in Real Geeks has more than enough options, but is simple enough not to lose you.
- Lead Capture is simple and painless, not too intrusive or bulky.
- Easy control of indexing options of pages and properties.
- Fast support with issues if they arise.
- Fast servers. I’ve never, not once, had a slow load time with their sites.
No, Real Geeks isn’t perfect. There are some flaws in it, but most are minimal and certainly not enough to get me to switch.
Flaws With Real Geeks
- Minimal design choices. While they do offer several design choices, they are all very similar. This probably doesn’t pose a huge problem until you get several of them within the same area, and then it’s a noticeable issue.
- Difficult to add in some of the extras when you do need them. Although I, personally don’t like them, because we manage over a dozen of them, some clients like to bulk up their sites with added “Modules” and such. Real Geeks limits your ability to add these mini-programs. I believe they do it to help keep their servers running a fast and smooth as possible, but for someone who has programming abilities, I’d like to be able to add some simple things at times, like custom style 4sheets.
- Their sign-up form doesn’t allow the potential client to indicate if they’re working with an agent already. This can sometimes cause an issue when a client is already working with an agent, but the LMS automatically sends the lead to another agent.
- Lack of different menu options like drop downs.
All in all, I am very satisfied with the Real Geeks solution. For me, it’s the actual leads and SEO positioning that matter the most. I can say that when put into the proper hands, Real Geeks websites are normally in the top 3 of any area of real estate they are being used in. I recently launched a real estate site here in Honolulu, Aloha Hawaii Homes. Prior to switching to Real Geeks they had about 10 leads a month, we’re now averaging that every day, and that’s only 2 months into it.
Note from the Editor: Not sure what Geek Build 2012 is? It’s building a few real estate websites from scratch publicly with the help of the Geek Estate Community and overseen by an experienced steering committee. Read more about Geek Build 2012 here, or view all posts related to Geek Build 2012 here.
**Geek Build logo designed by Dominic Morrocco at M Squared Real Estate.