Are you still relying on a third party source to host and maintain all of your precious new home data? While there may be a cost to creating and maintaining your own database, the opportunity cost of not having your own is greater.
Let’s look at one scenario. You’re a home building company that doesn’t own your own database, and instead you are using a third party site to host all of your data. That might be the local MLS, where your agent has your ‘listings,’ or it might be an online advertising aggregator that you pay to advertise with and they ‘include’ this service. In this case, you are completely relying on the third party to not only input all of your information correctly, but to also deliver it to where it needs to go. You’re also not guaranteed that they are going to let you display all of the information you would want. Let’s face it, your agent typically uses industry acronyms and language that you will now have on your website describing your homes, and you may be limited to your actual listed inventory and not your base plans in each community. Additionally, third party data is often priced per community, so the more active communities you have, the more you pay; and, if you stop paying or advertising with that company, the listings on your website and your information, everywhere that the information was populated, disappears.
Here’s a look at the flip side of the coin. If you’re a home building company that owns your own database, then you can control all of the information related to your listings, floor plans, inventory homes, quick delivery homes, communities, amenities, pictures and so forth. Once you have this database, you’ll then be able to deliver your information wherever you want and however you want. Your mobile site, social media pages, blog and even your own XML feed can be set up to automatically deliver your data to third-party listing sites in order to populate their site with the information you want in the way you want to deliver it, every single day. Essentially, the database would support your website and everything else that you create, and because you own it, you will be in control.
See the difference? Both sides of this coin are not equal when it comes to controlling your company’s important information and owning your own data.