The Search Changes I Have Made and the Ones I Can’t

avatarthumbnail.jpgAt the end of last week I made a small change to the search capabilities here and on my other half-dozen websites. Since the beginning of August I’ve been requiring those looking at homes on the sites to register with a name, phone number and e-mail address if they want to see property details after running a search.

As of last week, you now have three free searches and eight or so properties you can view before you have to sign up. (If you want to save your searches, you still need to register but this is common sense – you can’t save searches and have updates sent to you if the software doesn’t know where to send them.)

Why the change? In short, it’s because I found myself following up with people who only wanted to know the list price on the house around the corner from them. Which is fine as far as it goes, but when you’re in the business of helping people buy and sell homes and when time is limited because of the crush of people who are looking at more than one home at any given time, I needed to prioritize who I added to the database and who I didn’t.

And that’s the full extent of the logic. To my admitted surprise, I’ve had next to no pushback on the registration in general. Yes, there are the jerks who think their creative fake names are funny, but if there hasn’t been at least a valid e-mail address these folks got dumped from the system before they finished their initial search. No sense wasting precious resources on the unappreciative.

So that’s the change I was able to make. Now for the one I can’t …

On these sites, I have all of the homes for sale in the Arizona Regional MLS (the lone exceptions are those handful of homes where the agent has opted not to have the home marketed via the Internet, which means you won’t see it here, through anyone else’s IDX search or on Basically, the sale is a secret.)

Not everything you see is my listing. So if you see a listing with only one photograph, that’s all I have to show you because the listing agent couldn’t be bothered with a second photo (much less several more.) Likewise, on these homes my knowledge is limited to what you see in the listings. At some point after we decide to work together I can work to get more information, but at first blush what you see is all I have.

One last thing that isn’t a change so much as a heads’ up. When you’re looking at the listings, check the property details for the following entry – “Contingency”. If you see that, there’s already an accepted offer on the home and the best you’re likely going to be able to do is make an offer to be placed in backup position. In some cases, there could be many others already ahead of you in line.

Of course, if you’re looking for something a tad more specific and a little more timely – daily updates to your inbox, for instance, drop me a line and I’ll get you up and running with a personalized search that will allow you to review the homes as they hit the market.

Happy hunting!

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Portland Real Estate 9 years ago

    I have had this debate with several people. Forcing lead capture tends to annoy clients, and then you get a million Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse entries in your lead list. I prefer to offer a voluntary lead capture from IDX Blogger that only asks for contact information when a client saves a favorite or requests a showing.

  • Jonathan Dalton 9 years ago

    Except I haven’t had that experience. Less than 2% of the people to come to my website have registered with bogus info.

    Voluntary lead capture sounds good, except I’m running a business and it’s often not sufficient to wait until someone decides to contact me when I’m competing against 40,000 others locally.

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