The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Forced Registration: Are You Are Pissing Off 90% Of Your Website Visitors

forced registration real estateLet’s play a game.
You are recently married. You and your spouse live in the Phoenix Metro area, you live in an apartment. Like so many other couples you want your slice of the American dream – a home, white picket fence and all. The apartment you are renting now is small, and dirty, and loud, and a waste. The definition of Functional Obsolescence would have a picture of your apartment. You cringe every time you write that check for $800, $900 maybe even $1200 – for RENT!

As important as a home is on your “to do” list, a car is more pressing right now. Yours is toast. This bad boy is disintegrating right in front of your eyes. You need a new ride – and quick.

You search the usual  places – Google, craigslist, auto trader – looking for your next car. You remember the horror stories of others buying a car that had been totaled or flooded so you decide not to buy private party, you need a warranty, that means – dealership.

You are going “foreign” this time, your friend just got a cool KIA,the one with the commercial of those dancing Hamsters, and she love’s it, yes it has good gas mileage, it has side curtain airbags and all that “stuff” but what you really cared about was the iPod Jack, what’s a nice ride without your favorite music? “Kia’s for sale in Mesa”, Kia dealerships mesa, 2009 Kia for sale” is your search.



Google brings back the first 10 results – of almost 900,000! Talk about information overload. You scan the excerpts, for a clue of what each website is really about, is it local? Is it a dealership? Does it fit your needs? Found one! You click and there before you are a list of Kia’s for sale in Mesa, AZ.

You see one that looks interesting, it’s in your price range, model year looks good, it’s the right color, miles look good as well so you click on it.


A form pops up blocking your “prize” with instructions “Please register to see this car”. Forced Registration.

You could register on the website to see the car but you know that means you will likely receive a phone call or email from a SALES PERSON, [and likely waaaaaay more than one call or email] trying to convince you to come in and take a test drive. Do you really want to give your personal information to a SALES PERSON? Is it even worth it? There are plenty of dealerships in the area, maybe one of the other 889,000 websites will not require you to give away your personal info?

What do you do?

Would you register on that website or would you press the back button, return to the SERPS and select another website – one that may not require you to register?

This scenario happens every day with consumers that land on real estate websites from a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing. They ask it a question, select a result, click through to it and when required to register to view properties they have a split second to decide if they will register and give you their information [name, email address, phone number] OR [get pissed] press the back button and continue on their merry way.

While there are a limited number of Kia’s for sale in Mesa, or even Arizona that have the right miles, color and options there are over 20,000 real state agents in Maricopa County, most of them have a real estate website with an IDX that allows consumers to view properties, many real estate agents with more than one website. And that’s just the real estate agent websites, don’t forget about the aggregators –,,, etc. What is obvious to the consumer is this: THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF REAL ESTATE WEBSITES to pick from – they all have the same data anyway – don’t they? [No, but that’s another post].

One of the things I teach REALTORS® here in Phoenix is, when it comes to writing content to get found online by their ideal client they need to take their REALTOR® hats off and put their CONSUMER hat’s on. “Stop thinking like a real estate agent and start thinking like a home buyer or seller” I say. It is in this spirit I ask you, What would you do?  Would you have given the dealership your contact info to view that Kia or would you have continued your search for a website that provided the info with no strings attached?

Most real estate agents have websites but an astounding 90+% of them have never, and most likely will never, generate a lead for their owner. The deck is stacked up against them from the gitty up. Template website, flash based, basic IDX, little or No SEO, No content OR duplicate content, etc but for the other 10% of real estate agents that are getting most of their business from the web, you can see why this would be a legitimate concern.

It’s been my experience that people WILL REGISTER for PERCEIVED VALUE. What is their benefit to doing so? It can’t be access to information they can get anywhere else [or believe they can]. Requiring your visitors to register on your websites before they can view homes for sale is most likely pissing off the majority of visitors to your website. Visitors that [if they can help it] will never come back again.

Doesn’t sound like a good business model does it?

So what can you do? Pissing off 90% of your visitors that found your websites with a requirement to register does not sound sustainable. You know the goal of Internet marketing is

  • Traffic
  • Conversion
Here is an idea. Offer the FREE IDX search you get from your local MLS.Yep, I’m talking about the one that every real estate agent has, the one that isn’t sexy or beautiful in any way, the one that includes the REALTOR® jargon like BR, BA, SQ FT, SUB – that one. BUT, as a value add, offer option, an indexable IDX built specifically for WordPress that provides a complete home search – it’s sexy, beautiful, user friendly, full of great information including the ability to search by subdivision, REO, Short Sale, zip code, etc. It even includes compelling calls to action like “See This Home Today, I Have A Question About This Home or What Is My Home Worth?” 


This way you are not pissing off anyone. You are providing the info your visitors want but you are allowing consumers to register to get the premium content. Sounds like a win/win to me. Consumers get the the information they want, you get a lead. Even better, anyone that registers for the premium search is “all in”, they should expect a call or email from you.

What are you still doing here?


Thoughts? Of course now you are left wondering “where in the world am I going to get a beautiful, user friendly, sexy indexable IDX for WordPress with compelling calls to action?

Contact MyTitleGuy for your Real Estate Marketing Needs

Whether you are a real estate agent looking to grow your business, or a loan officer that needs help getting your real estate clients "found" online - I can help. Please fill out the information below and I'll get back to you asap.
  • Feel free to tell me ahead of time what you want help with. If you have a website that you want me to look at before we talk on the phone, please send it to me. I look forward to speaking with you.


Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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