7. Neighborhood Features – Having a full range of visuals and data about a property is the central issue for homebuyers. Most would also like a sense of the neighborhood.
8. Visiting and Choosing a Property – Once a homebuyer has identified properties of interest, he or she may want to compare their features.
9. Costs of a Listing – Information about comparable sales, a property’s sales history, and local market trends can help make an informed decision.
10. Advertisement and Policies – Advertisements enable an MLS to monetize its site and connect consumers with services they may need. They can also detract from a site’s appearance of objectivity and authority.
11. Appearance of Sites – Use white space and “normal” size fonts as appropriate. Don’t treat the listing page like a data dump.
12. Accessibility – International buyers and non-English speakers represent a growing number of purchasers, yet only 8 percent of sites offer multiple languages.
13. Mobile – Technology companies sell more mobile phones than computers, yet less than 50 percent of MLSs have mobile sites.
14. Search Engine Optimization – Thirty-six percent of MLS sites received a PageRank of 4 or 5, and only 41 percent had listings indexed by Google!
15. MLS Data Security – “Scrapers” make up a hidden audience as they scan your site, copy your data and use it or resell it for unlicensed purposes.
Saul Klein is industry principal for Point2 and John Reilly is director of RealTown.