The MLS Search capability is the most popular feature of my website. Dozens of people drop my every day to search for properties. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably spent time there, too. I use an MLS Search system provided by a 3rd party company, IDX Pro. Its the best ‘off the shelf’ system I found, but the ability to customize it is very limited. We’re considering "rolling our own" MLS Search system, which will be an expensive and time consuming endeavor and almost unheard of for a little company like Catskills Buyer Agency. But I think, with your help, we can build a better, more responsive and user friendly system.
There are some limitations imposed by the rules of the Sullivan County Multiple Listing Service that I have no control over. For example, we can’t show the "Days on Market" or the direct property address of a listing, nor can we include "sold" listings. But within the rules, there’s a lot of flexibility about what could be done.
So let’s build a new and better MLS Search together. If you’re like most buyers, you’ve been on a lot of Realtor websites in different areas, and have tried a lot of search systems. There are some you’ve loved and some, I’m sure, you’ve, well, loved less. I’d like to hear what you like – and don’t like – about my MLS search, as well as other sites you’ve been on. If there’s a real estate website anywhere – it doesn’t have to be here – that you really like, I’d like to hear about it.
Here are some starter thoughts on what I think are limitations of the MLS Search on my site. I think the photos are too small, especially on larger higher resolution monitors. There’s no ability to search just for lakefront houses, or lakefront houses on a motorboat lake, for example. The current search system groups anything water related into a single search category ‘Waterfront’ — that includes lakefront, riverfront, stream front, properties with ponds, and properties with lake rights. What I do like in IDX Pro is the ability to save listings, save searches, and receive daily updates of new listings that meet your search criteria.
What do you like and don’t like? What would you like to see? Is the current search system as easy to use as I think it is, or are there aspects of it that are frustrating? I’d really appreciate your thoughts.