Broker Website of the Future

The Broker Website of the Future will adopt three Web 2.0 features to enhance communication and data delivery between the agents and the consumer:

1) Local content in the blog format that pops up when a consumer searches, either by clicking on a listings map or via a listings search application, for a property in that locale. The consumer will be directed either by popup window or link to one of the broker's local agents' blogs that exist as a subdomain within the broker site. (Pardon the crude google map illustration)

2) Chat boxes - the spread of the
Meebo chatboxes across the real estate blogosphere represents a first stage in anonymous online exchange that supports lead generation. A chatbox on a broker website is analogous to floortime at an open house (this is Kevin's idea!). Consumers want anonymity when they are exploring real estate, and a chat box allows online users to ask questions and create a dialogue that can eventually blossom into a lead.

Imagine when Meebo or another chat 2.0 company develop multiple small chat box widgets that can be mashup into maps. The widgets could be placemarks that looks like "operator on duty" telephones and placed on a map to alert consumers that an agent is available to chat in that city. Clicking on the "I'm online"  telephone placemark would pop up a chat box to start a conversation with a local agent "on call".

3) Data Widgets - Altos Research pioneered the real time market analysis widget. Clicking on the widget leads the consumer to a weekly market analysis subscription screen that initiates the connection between the broker/agent and the potential client. Widgets will be developed for broker websites based on the APIs provided by RE 2.0 companies like Trulia or Zillow - automatic home valuations, real estate video ads, local agent databases - can theoretically fit into a 100x150 pixel box on the website. It's quite possible to build two-way interactivity into the widgets, say, even chat functionality that will allow the audience to ask real time questions about the data being presented on the widget.

Any broker websites out there that have any Web 2.0 features yet? The pioneer brokers who incorporate Web 2.0 will reap the benefits of traffic and search engine page rank over their competition... check out how a blog like Future of Real Estate Marketing ranks in Alexa reach with Bay Area IDX websites Coldwell Banker and Alain Pinel.

Domus Consulting Group is working with brokers and their agents nationally to develop next generation online presence. Feel free to contact us...


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What did you think of this article?

  • 5/7/2007 6:05 AM For Sale By Locals: A New Real Estate Approach wrote:
    There is an excellent discussion of broker websites of the future over at TransparentRE.  This article exists only because perhaps I am a bit more ambitious in my hopes for the real estate website of the future.  Platform Integration: Many of the mor...
  • 5/7/2007 10:35 AM - The Blog wrote:
    Heralded blogger Pat Kitano put together a list of 3 Web 2.0 features that he expects to be adopted by brokerages in the near future. While I agree with Pat, I think that his list is just the tip of the ice burg. In my two part series I will describe my v
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  • 5/7/2007 4:56 AM Jim Kimmons wrote:

    I was using the Meebo chat, but I'm now using [url=]Realping[/url], so that I can talk to them and push selected web pages onto their screen, even from my cell phone.

    It opened up the hours I was available and makes pushing a listing or other page for discussion a breeze.

    By the way, I don't know how to make a link hot here, if it's possible, thus the attempt.
    Reply to this
    1. 6/25/2008 1:09 PM Oahu Real Estate wrote:
      I like the ability to push pages to the user as well as being able to see where the user came from and what keyword they found your site through. You can pay for these services called "Live Chat"
      Reply to this

  • 5/7/2007 6:17 AM Pearl wrote:
    When is the future coming? I think I have to go back to school for this. . .
    Reply to this

  • 5/7/2007 6:39 AM Shaun McLane wrote:
    Great post. I've tried to incorporate these into my site, but the only one that has been successful is my chat box. I chose plugoo over meebo because of the gtalk integration. I can receive messages on my cell - making me available 18 out of 24 hours a day. You can see it in action on Try me out. As far as a great map - I think the best integration of a web 2.0 map goes to AMAZING! They have been featured on www.poshd,com for their innovation.
    Reply to this

  • 5/7/2007 7:30 AM Tony wrote:
    I guess trackbacks arent working on your site. We published some thoughts based on your posting:
    Reply to this
    1. 10/1/2008 4:54 PM real estate Maui wrote:
      Tony, you make some interesting additions to this post. I recommend that readers check it out.
      Reply to this
      1. 10/1/2008 5:18 PM Kauai real estate wrote:
        I agree with you 100% Tony does make some great points.
        Reply to this

  • 5/7/2007 8:34 AM John Schroeder - Waunakee RE/MAX Preferred Realtor wrote:
    Now we are talking!!!

    Using the Google Map platform the possibilities are really endless. The trick is to define what is the information/applications that home buyers and sellers will find helpful and enter this info on the map without making the info overbearing. Local Blogs, community info, video of listings as well as the communities, a way to chat with buyers and sellers. Putting this together into a interactive/user friendly map would be very cool.
    I hope that ALTOS RESEARCH makes their data available for Madison,WI soon!
    Reply to this

  • 5/7/2007 11:21 AM Alex Mather wrote:
    Pat: love the list! I think that brokerages need to look into integrating local social content rather than just including blogs written by their agents in efforts to provide even more transparency. Is the best source of this content?

    In any case, I've expanded a bit upon your list on my blog. Let me know what you think.
    Reply to this

  • 5/7/2007 12:44 PM John Schroeder - Waunakee RE/MAX Preferred Realtor wrote:
    Would a wordpress blog be the best "host" for this "google map"? I would think that the bigger the map the better and with my typepad blogs I am constrained in the width of each column.
    Reply to this
    1. 5/7/2007 4:45 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      Pardon the delayed comments... I appreciate all your input and ideas... I will post any articles that expand on the topic of the future broker websites... thanks!

      Reply to this

  • 5/7/2007 5:10 PM Boston Real Estate wrote:
    What is Domus Consulting Groups URL? How do we contact? Thx
    Reply to this
    1. 5/7/2007 9:30 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      No website yet... please email me at pkitano (at)

      Reply to this
  • 5/7/2007 5:46 PM MANUEL MOLINA wrote:
    Great topic, great insights. I agree with your thesis. Will share with you soon (in August) the new online closing services (intl. property) we have been working on fro the past 6 months.
    I enjoy reading your blog.
    Manuel (from Los cabos, Mexico)
    Reply to this
  • 5/7/2007 11:07 PM Incredible Agent wrote:
    Pat, This is exactly what we've been building at Incredible Agent over the past year. There are always new features and widgets to add to our tools, but our sites are very much in the web 2.0 realm. We will be adding new 2.0 features very soon. I'd love to talk more about this to find out what other suggestions you'd have for a RE 2.0 website.
    Reply to this
  • 5/8/2007 12:18 PM Arlington VA real estate wrote:
    Son of a snitch! Every time I think I'm getting ahead and embracing real estate 2.0 I read an article like this and end up feeling so far behind. I cannot wait to add the chatbox. Even I can figure that out!

    Reply to this
  • 1/24/2008 6:28 PM California Real Estate wrote:
    Great ideas, I have to admit but let's not forget to go back to basics. For example, let's master real estate search and the basic Google Maps/listings data mashup before the bells and whisles. Fine tune and optimize your lead generation, lead management and transaction processes before worrying about enabling online chat at your website.
    Reply to this
  • 1/27/2008 5:22 PM joe peffer wrote:
    it's been 8 months since this post was written-we should at least be looking for RE 2.1 by now, right?
    Who has it all out there? Blueroof is very cool but soo not pretty. who is the best of the best web 2.0 brokerage site and how has it helped them attract both clients and agents to work for them?
    Reply to this
  • 2/17/2008 3:58 AM Paul Francis, ABR,CRS wrote:
    Nice extensive list you provided to promote interaction with readers. It certainly beats real estate agents with websites telling the world that they are number 1 or littered with worthless awards!
    Reply to this
  • 3/12/2008 6:59 PM Alex from PDX wrote:
    Mine already does this. Some people like the maps other dont. I personally like to use them in combination.
    Reply to this
  • 3/22/2008 6:33 PM San Diego Real Estate wrote:
    This is a great article and very informative. I think that we are already seeing real estate head in this direction and it's good to see the added value and improvements being made!
    Reply to this
  • 4/13/2008 6:30 PM Jay wrote:
    Noce post. I look forward to see those websites of the future and implement the technology on my web site to provide customers with the best interactive information available.
    Reply to this
  • 4/14/2008 8:42 AM Mitch Argon, Reno Real Estate wrote:
    Thought provoking concepts. How about this one -

    Save Listings (search results) to GPS (TomTom, Garmin, etc.). Google Maps allows you to save your current map location to these devices. Why not be able to save a set of listings to a GPS from an IDX solution so the prospective buyer can "tour" the homes productively and on their own schedule. In addition to downloading the geocodes and address, some devices allow you to also add extended fields (price, bed, bath, photo, etc.) so the user can have access to summary information at their fingertips. Of course, the branding on each of these listings goes to the agent/broker site where they were downloaded from.

    IDX vendors - why has nobody jumped on this? I am offering similar services to buyer prospects from my site now. Take a look at the beginning of this concept at

    No auto download from the site yet (I have to do this from the MLS and geocode address with excel macros, etc.).

    This is simply an extension of the IDX web site into the consumers hands when on the road.
    Reply to this
  • 5/9/2008 12:28 PM Jacqui - Las Vegas Real Estate wrote:
    You have to wonder how much it will affect the industry. There are several sites using web 2.0 technologies, but whether it has helped them remains to be seen. Some of them might be seen as too gimmicky and turn off potential customers. I think the trick will be a balancing act.
    Reply to this
  • 6/25/2008 1:03 PM Oahu Real Estate wrote:
    I really like the idea of the chat boxes. We have been toying with this idea for awhile along with the local blog being pushed to the user when they search a certain area.

    We hope to have these 2 features on our site within the next 6 months.
    Reply to this
  • 8/2/2008 1:24 PM Hawaii real estate wrote:
    Agents really need to be looking for more ways to engage with the consumer. The chat boxes are a really great way to start a dialogue with the potential buyer or seller. i think you will see more and more of that. We are definitely looking at all ways to increase our effectivenes.
    Reply to this
  • 9/5/2008 5:28 AM Raymundo wrote:
    Thank you very much for your preposition. But it has been long time since your article was published. I agree with you that the Broker Website of the Future will adopt three Web 2.0 features to help us in our job. I'll try to incorporate these into my site.
    Reply to this
  • 9/6/2008 12:53 AM Posta Kusu wrote:
    thank you for post
    Reply to this
  • 9/6/2008 12:43 PM mars wrote:
    thnks for entry
    Reply to this
  • 9/12/2008 2:11 AM WebEngineer wrote:
    Woow ! Thx.. Dude

    Reply to this
  • 9/12/2008 4:56 AM Mynet Sohbet wrote:
    thank you man
    Reply to this
  • 9/13/2008 3:20 PM Hawaii real estate company wrote:
    This is a great post with a lot of super ideas. We just launched our new design and Hawaii real estate search. Some features are not live yet, but will hopefully be functioning by the end of next week. Looks like I could pull a few ideas from here and use them on our site improve it!

    Thanks for sharing your insights.
    Reply to this
  • 9/25/2008 12:37 PM Johnathon wrote:
    I hope that your ideas that the Broker Website of the Future will adopt three Web 2.0 features to enhance communication and data delivery between the agents and the consumer will become true.
    Reply to this
  • 10/1/2008 7:10 PM San Diego Homes wrote:
    Not sure where you are making the connection between 2.0 widgets and page rank, except to help the page rank of the widget makers.
    Reply to this
  • 11/1/2008 4:03 PM ELiTeHaCKeR wrote:
    What is Domus Consulting Groups URL? How do we contact? Thx
    Reply to this

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