Why is it that so many Real Estate Websites insist on having an “Advanced Search” facility when all they are really good for is driving away potential customers. Even worse, some of them don’t even bother with a Basic Search option at all.
Advanced Search is a descendant of the bright idea of some very clever (ahem) programmers/web designers to show off just how, dare I say it, clever they are.
Yes, it enables you to search for a property that sits on a plot of at least 800 m² but no more than 1200 m², has between 4 & 6 bedrooms and of course those absolutely necessary gold leaf plated taps in the marble tiled bathrooms, infinity pool & gravel drive.
Yes, you can do the search Edwin Urrutia and with some very clever and very complicated database calls you will get the properties that you are looking for. Exactly none. Zero. Zilch.
The problem is, the more detailed the search the less chance of there being even a single property to match it to. The Advanced Search is just another way of saying “Sorry, we don’t have what you’re looking for…” and not matter how many times you place the “Please register so we can keep you updated” form in front of them, chances are they’ll leave never to return.
A website has just seconds to retain the user and a search “No properties match your requirements” result has exactly the opposite effect.
Why spend hours of your time and/or money blogging, twittering, posting on forums, writing articles and paying for online adverts to drive traffic to your site, only to give them a reason to leave.
Why not do the opposite? Your listings are your content, ensure that your users read it. Give them enough to search for a reasonable shortlist of your portfolio so obliging them to read through it. Most clients will get to what they are after by searching for bedrooms, property type, location and price.
Or make it even easier for the user and give them predefined searches that they perform with just the single click of a mouse.
The “Advanced Search” is the function of the Estate Agent that knows their listings, not the function of your potential clients. It’s time to archive the advanced search button from your website and start retaining your clients and harvesting their details.