Yes, You (Probably) Should Require Website Registration

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Did you know you can require users of your website to register to view your listings and those provided by IDX search? You can. In fact you have three options:
  1. Allow people to search without registration.
  2. Require registration to do any search.
  3. Require registration after the user views listing details on two properties.
Yes, your iHOUSE website allows you to choose any of these three options.

Why should you (probably) require registration?

The whole purpose of your website is to help you get listings and sell properties. In many instances this means you need leads – the ability to contact people who are genuinely interested in buying or selling real estate with your help. Properly set up and managed your website will do just that. More specifically, you probably want to take advantage of iHOUSE’s Teaser Registration. This means that after looking at two listings, the user will be asked to register if they want to see more. Essentially what’s happening is you’re letting your website sort who is a looky-loo and who isn’t. In fact, iHOUSE has done some research and found that a website like yours, using the Teaser Registration option, can generate up to 14 times more leads than other sites. Looking at two listings lets the user know that your site is easy to use, tells them about you, and shows your site has lots of other useful information. It’s like giving them a free trial. Those that are truly interested will register – and those are the leads you want. You also need to require some sort of registration if you want to take advantage of your site’s ability to create a database of clients for you and to track their activity. The registration is used to generate that information. This puts you in the driver’s seat because you know a whole lot about your client before you even contact them. We’ll talk more about using those features shortly.

How to set up your registration

Setting up Teaser Registration (or requiring registration of everyone) is easy.
  1. Log into your site
  2. Choose Admin. Menu from the top of the page.
  3. Under Settings, choose Visitor Registration.
  4. On the Visitor Registration page, pick the type of registration you want, or none at all.
  5. Check Make phone number a required field for registration if you want to be able to call them.

Of passwords and CAPTCHA

First of all, CAPTCHA is a way to stop automatic registration by spammers and scammers. It’s similar to a password except the code that each person registering has to enter is generated randomly for each person signing up. It’s an extra step which does put some people off, and CAPTCHAs can be difficult to see. My very personal preference is to skip it unless I get indications of trouble that it could prevent. Others use it regularly. Like CAPTCHA, you don’t have to require a password, but it doesn’t hurt. Most people have figured out how to remember the passwords they create and it does give your site a bit of a security boost.

Up to 3 questions

On the same page you’ll find a place to ask up to three questions. You might, for example, want to know if they are already working with an agent, or how long before they plan to move. You can leave the question unanswered or give them a choice of answers by separating the answers you write with commas. Keep the questions and any suggested answers simple… you want them to be easy to answer and not confuse the person registering. Remember to click Save Settings and you’re all set. Know too that any and all of these settings can be changed whenever you feel the need. About (probably) – you know your business, your area, and the type of client you’re looking for. You may have a perfectly good reason for not requiring registration. What are your reasons for requiring or not requiring registration? 
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Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Rob Enslin