Sierra Interactive | Custom Real Estate IDX Websites | Review

Sierra Interactive | Custom Real Estate IDX Websites | Review


Okay. Hello, this is Robert Newman I am
a real estate marketing expert out of California. I’m going to be reviewing
Sierra Interactive which is a custom-ish it’s like a custom real estate IDX
website provider. I will explain that. Real estate website providers fall into
a few different categories usually it’s kind of like a very moment idx provider
that’s just basically real basic search function on top of a real basic design.
They’re very expensive. Sierra Interactive falls into the middle of this. They
have a fairly nice IDX and fairly good designs but they’re not on the
highest end of the market but I was just watching a very in-depth review of a
Sierra Interactive website by Mike McGee and I was just kind of, I was
preparing to write this article or to first talk to you about this company,
Sierra Interactive. Okay, when I went to check his site though
he talked a lot about SEO So I thought I’d go check the site and
then check it for SEO value and this is what i found. I spend a lot of time and he in
his video was talking over and over again about how he’s finding it much
easier to work with and WordPress but this video is six months old and obviously.
Yeah refresh it. Okay so there’s something going on with the
site. The site is actually broken and my challenge with there’s a lot of
advantages and disadvantages to be fair in terms of owning your own site versus
something else. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and I always
end up opting around owning your own site because worst case scenario you can go
on to Upwork which is a contractor site and you can literally contact somebody
in India at whatever 9 pm and by 11 p.m. you can have a fix
on the website, this would be fixed. Dealing with the company out of Minima
let’s just assume they’re the most responsive company in the whole entire
world. They’re not at work right now. So you send an email into somebody
that somebody forwards the email to somebody else
my local time is 8:00 p.m. in Kentucky that’s 10 p.m. so 11 p.m. and the
chances I’m not saying that it’s not possible I’m saying it’s highly unlikely
that anybody is up or awake. We’re going to do any kind of business before the
next day. So they get into the office then they get the email most of the time
service works like this taking minimum 24 hours to address. When you open your
own website you can, it can be as high or low of a priority as you want or if you
have a service provider managing the site for you and it’s WordPress if that
service provider doesn’t respond to you and you own the site and access to the
site you can actually apply the solution yourself. Granted most realtors don’t
have enough knowledge to understand how to get a contractor off of work and then
get them to fix your website. I get that. But, if something happens to this,
to Sierra Interactive, I’m not saying it has or will but if it did. This realtor is boned. If
they don’t pick up the phone, if they decide that it’s a bad day, if there’s a
technology problem at their actual office. Whatever it is this guy is really
deep in it with no other solution because you can get deep in it to if you own their
own WordPress website. The two situations could be similar however in one
scenario you have a backup option. He has no backup options either Sierra
Interactive fixes this or they don’t and his option to move this website is going
to be incredibly difficult because Siera has supported all of his
information into a custom CRM and he no longer has the option to port. Let’s say
into another WordPress era and that lack of flexibility, that putting
all your eggs in one basket is the thing that I constantly rail against. It is
just about a given technology and I get this guy and Sierra Interactive to
get into the core of the review. They’re a very good company, they have a lot of really
cool things in their IDX and the way that I got turned on to Sierra
Interactive is one of my clients who is a really big blogger introduced them to me
conceptually and he’s a very good real-estate technology guy. He’s one of
the best real estate bloggers in the country and he has the traffic to prove
it. He’s cornered his market on search, he beats Zillow and Trulia. He epitomizes
everything that I talk about to real estate agents. He’s cornered, he does even
10 or 15 percent of all of the sales in his area which is huge. It’s a huge
number about six hundred transactions per year. So it shows what the power of
digital marketing is and he does all that. So he’s savvy and he’s going
with these guys which is why I look at them they they do look great. So let’s
let’s get into the meat of the review this is their pricing, there is
it one-time setup fee and I’m sure that this is probably three or four times as
much. Premier sites versus regular size is merely the design elements. I have
others of their sites pulled up. So everything is fine it just happened to
be that one website and these are some examples of their sites. My guess would
be as with all of my other reviews in case you haven’t watched any. I pull up, I
look at a website provider statistically through the eyes of being an SEO expert.
What I’m looking for is do they seem to know how to market themselves. If they
don’t the chances of them to market you are very slim and one of the things
that was spoken about a lot was both my quiet and this Mike McGee
guy are talking about how SEO friendly the IDX is and that couldn’t
be farther from the truth. So there is some misinformation
being transferred by this provider down to the real estate client who buys
it and then makes a purchasing decision and that’s the kind of stuff
that makes me do reviews it and make sure that you get properly educated. So
one of those ways that we can tell We can simply say hey, he’s IDX is
there any actual SEO value on these sites that are being built. So I’ve taken
literally the highest value site that is connected to this website. So this is a
pretty good Ahrefs rank. Okay the site being recognized for two hundred
and twelve two thousand keywords but the organic traffic is only two hundred and
sixty five you won’t know this but this domain authority, there’s nothing wrong
with a domain authority or the URL authority. That’s what these numbers mean
up here and this is a tremendous amount of backlinks which I like votes for a
website. So let’s just pretend that all we’re talking about is about sixteen
thousand people have voted for this site, that’s a lot or sixteen thousand
individual pages on the internet had voted for the site and that’s a lot. So
let’s see what these top pages are. So this is Norton Commons, it’s pretty good at
anything position wise that is one through ten is on the first page. So we
start looking at this Ohio River property for sale. So that’s pretty good, the
name of the broker that’s pretty good. Elite Homes that’s the name of the
brokerage, that’s pretty good. Homes for Sale in Louisville, that’s pretty
good. Open houses in Louisville Kentucky,
that’s pretty good. Foreclosure Louisville Kentucky, that’s pretty good
except they’re on the second page probably this is saying they’re
delivering nine visitors, seven visitors, seven visitors. This is the traffic so
while it does have some good search and I want to be really clear here, this is
the best, this is the best of all the Sierra interactive sites. So let’s look
at a second best that is this one and there’s about four hundred.
So we’re looking at the best. One of the things my tool does is it shows me, so
each one of these like, everybody who makes websites
put the signature on the website. Real estate websites buys your signature on
the site, these signatures leave a footprint, the footprint is connected to
their parent site and this tool allows me to see those footprints.
So there may be some footprints that this tool isn’t picking up but chances
are strong it’s picked up most. So we know that they have about 400 live web sites
out there and I’m looking at some of the top of those a lot of web sites and
if you’re curious to know how did I decide what was top. This is Sierra Interactive, what I did so
there’re backlinks, that’s this. That’s those footprints I was talking about and
these DR and UR you are which is domain rating you URL rating it’s right
sequentially these are our how many different pages so these websites
have a lot of pages on them. You can see these are the top and these are the URL
ratings and these are domain rating. So you can kind of see where these guys are
all at and I’m picking the top three. That’s what I’m looking at. So here we
are then again, this one’s better it’s got $1400 for
organic traffic on their site. That’s good organic traffic and 775 that’s okay
that’s what their top pager are. So their home page is connected bend oregon real
estate which by the way is highly related to their domain name and most of
their traffic over fifty percent comes in on the home page and that domain
name strength and you have a total of maybe 200 other visitors that are coming
off a few other pages. That’s not bad, this inn thing doesn’t
matter, lots for sale that’s their top thing, north west crossings and bend oregon is
also a second tier SEO word. So in terms of all the websites of
this type I really admit that Sierra Interactive is definitely better than
most, it’s not great and if they’re selling a big
like SEO value concept along with the site itself
they shouldn’t be. It’s only okay, and a real estate agent could use this
site for SEO, I think. But they really have to know their stuff. When my other
client gets on this platform and starts to use it we really know how friendly it
is for SEO or not and one of those ways we’re going to know is that he do
homing aids. These numbers yeah is something like thirty or forty thousand people
coming into a site per month and he’s got a huge domain for me like fifty five
sixty. So when he moves on to this platform they will literally have the
most experienced SEO experienced online marketer that they’ve ever acquired and
he loses business by moving here we know for sure that loses traffic, loses
domain authority we know that this platform is not all that SEO friendly but we’ll soon find
out. Ok so here’s some interesting things I get as I review Sierra Interactive
not a very good search but anyway. You see the video that I found right here. So you
want to just do reviews Sierra Interactive you see this, there’s five reviews that
are all five starters. There’s very few reviews and interestingly enough I’m
number four, this is my page right here for the same search. So I’m going to say
that there are some really super cool functions and you should look at this to
take a look at the IDX there are some really cool functions. Functions that you
won’t see anywhere else. I would personally be very surprised if
conversion, turning these things into names, email addresses is a higher
conversion rate than anything else but why do I say that because over the years I
played around with some of the best IDX tools in the world. Key ones that
the average users like you would have access to like Triana and
a few others that are so incredibly upscale you have to spend twenty five
thousand just to put them on your website and here’s what I’ve discovered. Another
great one was special match which was made by Grant Gould who was the founder
of house hunter and it was a lifestyle search. It was super cool you could pick
any element you wanted how many churches, how many hospitals, how many everything
and throw them to a neighborhood and search by homes based on lifestyle
criteria and it was super revolutionary and real estate agents loved it but
guess who didn’t, the end users and it cancelled the project special match is
is no more. It can still look for it online, you can still see my review, you can
still receive what the service actually did but when you’re talking about people
doing the searches they mostly want to see information on homes and they don’t
care as much as you think that they do about all these extra features. Now I’m
doing that there’s one feature I think that users will get into which is the
ground-level way that this service gets into an area. Like you can get, there’s
some way that you can kind of there we go. Now this isn’t the only service that
does this okay there are many other IDX’s that provide this
particular feature. This one just kind of has a slightly better navigation into it.
It’s just a cleaner landing page so I do like all of that. What is false though
is that there is this Mike McGee is saying many times over he feels like
this tool is better than a compendium of tools that he could get on WordPress
and that’s not even close to being the truth. This was just a real estate agent
that got hired of researching plugins and other things and the constant battle
of trying to get his website to do what he wanted it to do. So instead he went to a
provider that seemingly had all the tools that he wanted and that’s
always the trade off. You trade functionality for independence and the
ability to provide solutions for yourself. Most Realtors don’t want to
provide solutions for themselves they just would
really prefer that their solution provider do it all. So one of the big
things that Mike McGee points out is this has a real clean, real nice
weed management section. Now none of these sites are getting very many leads
and how do I know that? They’re not getting enough traffic to get enough like a huge
amount of leads. So it’s just not possible really.
So what do I mean? Let’s be super specific, let’s just say these guys are
getting 500 unique visitors. A great conversion rate is anywhere from 1 to 3%
which means anywhere from 5 to 15 people. The average conversion rate from lead to
transaction for a real estate agent is 1 in 9, that’s nationwide. The numbers can
change a lot so give them a little bit of a leeway there but so what you’re
looking at is maybe this site is doing one conversion. Now Boomtown by
comparison is going to give you hundreds of leads to manage and they have a much
better CRM in lead management system. This one that has a pretty good one but
you’re not going to drive that into your website unless you’re using PVC and none
of these top companies are. So what is, like how do I summarize all that? You
have to be real clear about what you want but a WordPress website backed up
by follow us will give you all this functionality in terms of lead
management and more plus the independence that I mention. The thing
is that Mike didn’t know about follow up loss or if he did he’s used it in
something in mind but I’ve never talked to a realtor that didn’t like follow up loss
and I mean that literally never for a lead management system. So it’s the
best one on the market it’s not that expensive so and it connects to almost
everything. So in other words you can dump your leads into it from every
source then it manages it for you, does round robins all the lead dispersion
stuff, automatically text you the email you need. Does all these things that this
this service doesn’t for sure. So it’s a give and take and most of the time what
Realtors don’t understand is they’re just simply lacking in knowledge and part
of the reason they’re lacking knowledge is that really great content marketers
don’t exist and that’s a gap I’m trying to fill. In other
words what’s a great content marketer? Somebody who’s constantly providing the
solutions in terms of information that you yourself haven’t discovered, saving
you time, energy and money when you go out to research stuff like this and
saving you potentially tens of thousands of dollars in a year or two of lost
time if you end up making a decision that doesn’t actually match what your
vision was for that decision. This is a really sweet product and if you’re
looking for a relative, like a mid-range service that has a great IDX and you’re
willing to spend let’s call it one or two thousand dollars driving PPC into
this platform it will probably be pretty well for you. You will never own it, you’ll
never own the traffic, these guys will not let me take the platform with you. So
you’re stuck with them if you decide to go with Sierra Interactive. Mike McGee is stuck with
these guys. He’s gonna have a very hard time leading his content back out of
this to WordPress and Sierra traffic isn’t gonna volunteer to do it for him. I
don’t think unless they really screwed up and they owe him up big like make up
and they care about their social reputation but nobody’s making comments
about it. So I don’t know how much they care but I still think that this on the
surface based on everything as he says that these guys are a high-quality provider,
that is why they’re on my list of top 20 and if this is the kind of solution that
you’re looking for but if you do want an all-inclusive thing with a really
nice IDX search package. This is absolutely either the best or one of the
best and it’s the best in this price range that’s for sure. You can’t get this nice of an
IDX spending 25 grand with real estate webmasters. So in terms of price versus
what you get this is the best in class and let’s just compare it to cars. It’s
it’s like a mid-range economy vehicle is what this website is
because it lacks profit potential in terms of real estate lead generation. so anyway
I hope you found this all very helpful please leave your comments below as
usual or comment on my website or my blog post and I’ll see you on the
next review.

3 thoughts on “Sierra Interactive | Custom Real Estate IDX Websites | Review

  1. Hey! so How did that Top Agent like his SEO performance after a few months at Sierra Interactive? šŸ™‚

  2. Who are the top IDX plugin provider for SEO? I have looked at IDX Broker, ihomefinder and Showcase. I like the IDX broker is fully customizable with CSS. I plan to use a WP site. Im done with hand cuffing myself to the big companies.

  3. Have you heard of or have any thoughts on firepoint? Iā€™m just
    curious because one of the top teams in my area (Anchorage/Mat-Su) uses them and they have the same cost per month as Sierra Interactive.

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