Playing It Local: How to Use Content Marketing to Compete with Zillow

June 28th 2016 in Blog

National MLS search engines like Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com dominate the MLS search market, making it easy for homebuyers to search for properties before ever connecting with a Realtor. So why would clients visit your website or download your app when these national brands are familiar and accessible?

In order to compete with Zillow, you have to provide value to your clients that corporate can’t. Competing with corporate does not mean playing their game their way. In fact, quite the opposite.

The way to compete with Zillow is to not try to be Zillow. 

Your greatest strength is that you are small and local. Corporate companies will never be able to provide the personal, local information through content marketing that an individual agent can. You know your area and your clients in a way that corporate executives never could. That is why clients hire you: because they trust you to personally manage the home-buying and selling process for them.

This is why we built Wovax apps with content marketing in mind. Wovax apps are not just IDX search apps: they also integrate fully with your website. Anything you have in your website may be added to the app. As you provide value on your website that is local and pertinent to clients, you can link it all to your app and send push notifications whenever you publish updates. As you consistently provide value through your app, you will keep clients engaged and connected to your branding.

Not sure where to start? Here are four ways you can use content marketing to keep clients engaged:

1. Write a blog for your niche market.

Is your town full of foodies? Post reviews of local eateries and whole foods stores. Do the locals love live music and boutique breweries? Consider writing a blog people can count on for weekly reviews of local beers and for finding out what’s playing this Saturday evening. Perhaps your local market is saturated with dog-lovers. Zillow doesn’t know and, frankly, doesn’t care.

2. Add local info to your listings that is not found in the MLS. 

If your community is into all things green, highlight the energy efficient lighting system and solar panels on the properties you’re marketing. If your town can’t get enough of the stars and stripes, include local history in the property descriptions. If a house was owned by Booker T. Washington, make sure that information is on the listing. Clients will come to your site to find this kind of information they can’t find on corporate IDX sites. Because Wovax pulls the MLS listings into your site as editable pages, you can easily add this kind of information directly to an existing listing.

3. Review local vendors and affiliates. 

It takes more than one to sell a house. Your clients will need to work with appraisers, contractors, electricians, home-stagers, plumbers, loan officers, financial advisors, etc. Make their job easier by providing a list of local service providers you’ve had a good experience with. And since fresh content on your website drives traffic and boosts SEO, consider adding a vendor-highlight category to your blog, where you can periodically feature various vendors.

4. Keep a calendar of local open houses. 

Choose a day of the week and post a list of upcoming open houses, then send push notifications through your mobile app linking to that post. Oftentimes locals enjoy knowing what’s going on in the real estate market, even if they’re not quite ready to sell their homes.

Real estate really is all about the relationships, and Wovax enables you to use technology to build and cultivate those relationships.

If your goal is to compete with corporate by playing corporate’s game, you’ve already lost. The way to compete with Zillow is by doing what they can’t: playing it local.

Have you liked us on Facebook or followed us on Twitter? We’re on Instagram, too! If you’d like to keep up to date with the latest innovations at Wovax, check us out on social media, and feel free to contact us with questions or to schedule a demo. We’d love to meet you!

Client Feature: Crossvine Realty

June 23rd 2016 in Blog

headshot-thumbnail“I’ve been surprised at how quickly my page rankings have improved. I am already on the 3rd or 4th results pages for some of the more competitive search terms that I was not even ranking for before, even with no [additional] content on those landing pages!” – Eric Thomson, Owner and Broker at Crossvine Realty in Houston

Eric Thomson has been selling real estate in his home state of Texas for seven years and just launched his own boutique brokerage in the suburbs of Houston. It was a pleasure working with Eric to build his website and mobile apps for iOS and Android for his new brokerage, and we’re excited as he is to see how quickly he’s moving up in search engines with Wovax IDX.

If you’d like Wovax to design your custom branded real estate website and mobile apps, check out our Pro package. Please also feel free to contact us with any questions or to schedule a demo. We’re happy to help!

Understanding IDX: What Makes Wovax WordPress IDX Unique?

June 20th 2016 in Blog

Realtors have been displaying MLS listings on their websites for years, so that’s nothing new. And for a few years, indexing property listings to improve SEO has been a best practice. So what makes Wovax WordPress IDX unique?

The easiest way to understand the difference is to explain the available options for displaying MLS listings. Before Wovax, there were three main options for displaying MLS content on Realtors’ websites: iframes, IDX, and indexable IDX.

Option 1: iframes

An iframe is an MLS search window/HTML element that real estate agents can add to their site. This essentially works like a YouTube video that is embedded into a real estate website. Searches through the frame are not recognized as traffic on the site, and the MLS listings are simply streamed in from an external site. Though agents may refer to iframes as IDX, they are not IDX, as no data is actually transferred. Content is not added to the agent’s real estate website, and customization is limited. This means that in addition to being unattractive and clunky, iframes provide no SEO benefit.

Option 2: IDX

IDX–Internet Data Exchange–translates raw MLS listing data (such as a RETS feed) into an attractive format on your site. MLS listings are embedded into your real estate website, matching the design of the rest of your website. However, all IDXs are not created equal. Some host the data on a different website, so it only appears to be on your real estate website. MLS listings match the design of your site, but the content is actually located on an entirely different website. Your real estate website is a window into the website that actually hosts the data–and search engines know that. With this IDX the domain name changes when you search for properties (e.g. www.yourrealestatecompany.com-> yourrealestatecompany.idxprovider.com). This may provide a better user experience than an iframe, but it does not help your SEO.

Option 3: Indexable IDX

Before Wovax, this was the best available option. Each MLS property is given its own domain name that looks like this: yourrealestatecompany.com/real-estate-property-address. These are supposed to improve your SEO, because your real estate website has a URL for every MLS listing. However, although the domain name may help your ranking in Google, the content of the MLS listings is still hosted on an external website. The easiest way to see this is to inspect the photos. When you open a photo from one of the MLS listings in it’s own window, you can see that the photo is actually hosted on a different IDX website. A website user would never know the difference – but Google does.

Wovax WordPress IDX

Wovax IDX creates an individual page for each new MLS listing that works exactly like a blog post. All of the content, including the photos, exists as a copy directly on the Realtor’s own IDX website and may be accessed and edited just like a blog post. If a Realtor wants to add a drone video to a listing, they can easily do this with Wovax IDX. Google sees the MLS data on a Wovax WordPress IDX website exactly as it would see a frequently updated blog. And because the app and website are integrated in realtime, any traffic through the mobile app counts as traffic on the website.

With Wovax IDX, everything on your website works towards your SEO. As it should.

Have you liked us on Facebook or followed us on Twitter? We’re on Instagram, too! If you’d like to keep up to date with the latest innovations at Wovax, check us out on social media, and feel free to contact us. We’d love to meet you!

Client Feature: Ralston Group Properties

June 15th 2016 in Blog

Alicia_fb_size-150x150“The Wovax team exceeded my expectations. Working with Wovax has not only benefited my firm, it’s convinced me that true ‘customer service’ is still alive and well. Wovax did what they promised…and they communicated well throughout the project. Wovax continues to host our website & app — that gives me confidence. We look forward to Wovax’s next endeavor. Sign us up! Thank you, Wovax.” Alicia Ralston, owner and broker at Ralston Group Properties in Boise

Alicia leads a real estate team from her beautiful modern office in downtown Boise. We built our Bauhaus theme from the ground up for Ralston Group Properties, and we love how it looks with the vibrant colors of her branding. Thanks for trusting us with your website and mobile apps, Alicia!

If you’d like Wovax to design your custom branded real estate website and mobile apps, check out our Pro package. Please also feel free to contact us with any questions or to schedule a demo. We’re happy to help!

IDX Indexing and Choosing the Right Provider

April 11th 2016 in Blog, Wovax

We’re often asked if Wovax IDX is like IDX Broker, since they are currently one of the largest IDX providers. The answer is yes and no. Yes, we are both IDX providers – we bring MLS listings from the raw data feed (RETS) and display them in an attractive way on your website. But the IDX is very different.

Let me explain:

IDX Broker pulls the MLS listings onto your site so that they appear to exist on your website. However, when you search for properties, you move from yourwebsite.com to yourwebsite.idxbroker.com, which is really the IDX Broker website. The MLS listings are hosted on IDXBroker.com which displays them in a way that mirrors your site. Since the property search is visually consistent with your website, the end user experience is essentially the same as if the content lived on your website.

The downside to having all the listings hosted on IDX Broker instead of your website is that the MLS listings do not benefit your website’s SEO. SEO – search engine optimization – is the process of making your website more appealing to Google so that you rank higher in the search results. There are many ways to optimize a site for premium search engine placement, and one of the most crucial is adding fresh content. Google doesn’t want its users to encounter dead websites up on top. A website that hasn’t been updated for a while will eventually lose its ranking to one that is being updated on a regular basis.

This is where Wovax is unique. We built Wovax IDX to use the MLS listings to work toward your SEO by hosting all the content on your own website rather than on a third party server. When we index the MLS listings into your website, each listing becomes a custom WordPress post. Let’s say that you have 18,000 listings on your MLS board. You now have 18,000 separate pages on your website. Each time the feed from your MLS board refreshes (which is multiple times a day), any of the indexed MLS listings that have been changed or removed are updated automatically, and new properties are added. Each new listing appears as fresh content on your site – just as if you had added new pages or blog posts.

Some premium options of IDX Broker (as well as other IDX providers such as Showcase IDX, Diverse Solutions, Real Geeks, and iHomeFinder) appear to keep the MLS search and listings on your website. But a quick inspection of the elements on the website will show much of the content is still being hosted on an external site. An easy way to tell if a site is doing this “streaming” technique is to right click on one of the MLS listing’s pictures and select “Open Image in New Tab.” Look at the URL. Unless you are using Wovax or a custom-built IDX, that image will not be on your website domain.

A visually attractive design will make clients love your website. Wovax IDX helps those clients find you by making Google love it, too.

If you’d like to learn more about Wovax IDX or take a tour of the back end of one of our websites, drop us a line in the chat window here on the Wovax website or give our office a ring at (208) 874-5014.

Wovax IDX Indexing real estate website mobile app smartphone IDX Broker IDXBroker MLS WordPress plugin Smartphone app iOS android iPhone Smartphone WordPress IDX

Access indexed properties in the backend of the system.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Wovax Office

February 24th 2016 in Blog

3D scanning is fast becoming an affordable option for realtors who want clients to get the best look possible at properties. And as the first 3D scanning business in Moscow, Idaho, Inhouse 3D is an exciting new addition to our ever-burgeoning business landscape. They recently scanned the Wovax office as part of their first wave of projects. Whether you’re a realtor looking to give a home listing that extra pizazz or a business owner with a great space to show off, we give them two enthusiastic thumbs up for any virtual tour needs you might have! Check out their growing portfolio here.

Wovax is Hiring

December 31st 2015 in Blog

Wovax (http://wovax.com/) is looking for a capable and motivated person to join our team in either a part-time or full-time capacity as a website development / operations support technician.

Prior website development experience is desirable, but not required (training will be provided). All applicants should at least be computer/internet savvy and be characterized by excellent communication skills, have the ability to learn quickly and independently, as well as be self-motivated and professional.

Primary duties involve working in WordPress to create and update websites for our clients, including creating and manipulating both HTML and CSS code. Additional duties may be assigned based on aptitude and interest.

• Position types available: Part time (minimum of 20 hrs/week) & Full-time (40 hrs/week)
• Location: Wovax’s 3rd St. office in Moscow, Idaho

• Compensation: hourly rate DOE + participation in the company’s annual profits’ bonus pool — higher hourly rates considered for users with advanced WordPress, HTML, & CSS skills and experience


To apply, please e-mail Lendl Meyer at lendl@wovax.com with a resume and examples of previous website projects if applicable.

Inman Reviews Wovax IDX and Apps for Real Estate

December 10th 2015 in Blog, Technology, Wovax

Inman wrote a great piece about Wovax this morning. Check it out here: http://www.inman.com/2015/12/10/wovax-is-re-inventing-the-way-agents-use-their-idx-feeds/

“This is really unique software…Wovax is offering agents an easy, affordable way to capture mobile-savvy home shoppers. When coupled with a listing-rich website, it becomes an effective end-to-end lead generation strategy.” – Craig Rowe, Tech Columnist at Inman

And while you’re at it, enjoy a discount on your setup here at Wovax with december2015.

Wovax for Real Estate Is Here!

August 10th 2015 in Blog

We are thrilled to announce that today, August 10th, 2015, we have launched Wovax for Real Estate nationwide.

Find out how our IDX and apps are transforming real estate marketing and technology at wovax.com/real-estate.

For more information or to order Wovax IDX and Apps, contact us at info@wovax.com or (208) 874-5014.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!