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SANDICOR Launches a Consumer Site — I Don't Get It

Sandicor is now in the business of competing to be a top 20 consumer real estate website in San Diego. Here’s the email that was sent out yesterday to all SANDICOR members

San Diego’s four Association of REALTORS® and Sandicor are excited to announce the release of a new consumer website! This website is designed to turn the consumer’s focus back to Brokers and Agents and away from third party sites such as Zillow and Trulia that rank among the top 20 websites in the category of San Diego real estate. In addition to the Sandicor MLS site, there will be four additional websites branded to each of the four Shareholder REALTOR® Associations that own Sandicor. The goal is simply to reverse the trend of consumers going out to and staying on third party sites and to drive consumer traffic back to our member’s websites. Recent analysis (click here to view relevant video from Victor Lund) using HitWise (an Experian company) has shown that website traffic from third party sites to broker and agent sites has significantly declined and that consumers are staying on the third party sites for their San Diego real estate information. We want to change this! The four Realtor Associations and Sandicor consumer websites are intended to “unseat” these third party sites as the de facto resources for property searches and property information in San Diego County.

Developed around a powerful and flexible search engine, the websites provide the following benefits for brokers and agents:

–Deliver leads to brokers and agents
–Drive traffic back to brokers and agents and away from third party sites like Trulia and Zillow
–Facilitate a consumer’s search for San Diego County real estate information and properties.
–Provide consumers with unbiased, timely (updated every 10 minutes) and comprehensive data – all of which are valued and preferred by the consumer
–Allow the consumer to find an agent using a name, affiliated office or location
–Permit county-wide Open House searches
–Provide valuable Community Data
–Provide links to helpful information such as Population Statistics, School Systems, and Government Resources
–Offers a variety of reports for both Brokers and Agents on their listings such as the number of views of their listings in a search, the number of times the listing was displayed and emailed and more.
–Lead to a reduction in the fees paid by Brokers for participation in national third party sites.

There is no additional fee to provide this tremendous benefit. Sandicor can leverage the consumer view that the MLS is the trusted source for real estate information provided by and for the real estate professionals in San Diego County. The consumer knows MLS data is unbiased, timely and comprehensive.

Please watch for future emails informing you of what reports will be available to you and how to update your contact information. We look forward to making the sites a success and to help bring the business back to you! Go ahead, click on the link below and take a test drive now!

http://consumer.sandicor.com

My Thoughts

My big question is WHY would a consumer use the site Sandicor released? Why would a consumer look at Sandicor’s new consumer site, as opposed to an agent or broker site like Gellens.com or SanDiegoCastles.com (both of these sites are clients of Virtual Results). On the agent/broker sites? The listings are the same. The community data is better. The search experience is BETTER. That leaves me puzzled why money was spent on this new “consumer” site.

As far as Sandicor’s goal of ranking as a top 20 site in their market? Remember, you need a solid SEO foundation to rank — and this is not a solid SEO foundation if you ask me. For proof — visit the “community info” portion of the site, navigate to ANY community from the drop down in the upper left, and notice that the URL (http://consumer.sandicor.com/sitecontent/snd/communityinfo.aspx) and title tag (Community Info) remain the same no matter what community you are viewing. That means that community portion of the site is 1 page in the eyes of Google.

The Zillow’s of the world have absolutely nothing to worry about. Honestly, I struggle to see how MLS’ ever plan to compete with the Zillow’s of the world. They are not in the business of building amazing consumer experiences. Zillow is.

As I commented on Kris Berg’s post, why the industry continues to pay for, and release subpar website solutions like this that will likely never yield any results, I have no idea. My hunch is this site will be scrapped in a year or two and will just serve as a distraction for the MLS in their quest to remain relevant to their members.

But what do I know…

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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