The Internet Changes Everything
The biggest change in real estate in the past 20 years has been the ascendance of the Internet. The vast majority of buyers begin their search for a new home on the Internet, and nearly every home for sale can be found somewhere on the Internet. You can now find your home, apply for a mortgage, acquire homeowners insurance, and conduct much of the paperwork right on the Internet.
Internet Savvy Realtor
Being an Internet-savvy Realtor means more than just have a web site. It is estimated less than 60% of all realtors have web sites, but the vast majority of those are “cookie cutter” sites. We feel the template based sites are all the same and don’t really help buyers and sellers find what they are looking for. Hence, we have developed our own site in-house with information our buyers and sellers regularly ask. We also post information relevant to the local OKC metro real estate marketplace, such as attractions and events.
MLS Integrated on KayPratt.com
I have been pushing hard to bring our OKC Metro MLS system into modern times, and finally accomplished this in 2009. We were the first Realtor™ in the OKC Metro to have the MLS system tightly integrated with our site. In the past Realtors were forced to “frame” the MLS which did not result in tight integration. True integration means the MLS data is downloaded directly to our web site each night so we have the most current information available to our clients, and this MLS data is tightly integrated to all other aspects of our web site.
Google Map Searching
I led the push to allow MLS downloads so that we could fully integrate listings into my own web site. This allows us to better control the customer search experience and provide additional tools for searching the MLS. We have features such as Google Maps searching. This allows you to click a map of the area you are interested in, and see all the listings that meet your criteria on the map. You can easily change the criteria and see the updated listing, then go view that listing with a click of your mouse. We also have larger images and faster searching than the old framed solutions.
Automatic Email of New Listings
Another feature of our tightly integrated web site is the ability for my clients to set up an account on my site, create different search criteria, and have my web site automatically send you new homes that are listed on the market that meet your criteria. This is great for investors or for people who have very specific needs in mind, or just clients that are willing to wait for just the right home. You can be one of the first people to know about a new listing when it is posted.
In addition, once you find homes that you like, you can email them to friends and family for their review. This way others can share in the excitement of your new home search.
Saved Home Galleries
When you find a particular home that interests you, my site allows you to save it to a gallery. You can add an unlimited number of homes to the gallery, remove ones that no longer are of interest, share your gallery with your spouse or others, and send me the gallery when you are ready for showings. I can then pull comps on the homes and provide more detailed information such as tax records. Once we have narrowed down the list to your favorites, we can then print out a list of homes for us to visit. This tight integration and features of my site make your home search much more pleasant and efficent.
Virtual tours offer buyers the ability to walk through your home and see it as if they were already there. Unlike other realtors who use outside companies with templates to develop their virtual tours, we produce all of our tours in-house. This allows us to highlight features of your home that buyers otherwise might not notice.