Server Error in ‘/’ Application.

That seems to be the most popular message lately for viewers looking at Advanced Access real estate sites. And to add insult to injury, Customer Support seems to be missing in action! Over the last few days when it comes to giving their clients any answers to the latest problems, CS seems unwilling to post any details. Sites barely load, working in the virtual office is a waste of time since pages never load, IDX is down, and the list goes on and on. We are not talking about just a simple outage that has been corrected, we are talking about several days of poor hosting with no solutions being brought forward from Customer Service. It’s no wonder that the e-Pro sponsors no longer recommend this company!

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Advanced Access Finally Running Out Of Steam!

Yep! That’s right folks! Advanced Access has finally run out of gas or so it appears. Several days ago agents were reporting outages about the same time Florida went without power due to a repairman accidentally shutting off the backup switch while making repairs. The only problem is, Advanced Access is based in California and so are their servers! Well, they finally got sites back online with a weak response in the forums stating that ALL 3.0 sites were now functioning. Great AA, but how about telling us what went wrong?

Following the days that this power outage occurred, agents continued to report that they couldn’t accomplish updates in their virtual office area. Advanced Access NEVER ONCE responded to these issues, totally ignoring the bombardment of problems being reported. Agents are seeing blank pages, white lines, partial pages, etc. when working on their pages. Today, I tried uploading a photo and was met by a blank screen that refused to load. I finally had to load it on another site and point at it in order to complete my task.

Today is Sunday when many consumers are looking on the Internet for homes. I tried about ten different AA sites and if I were a consumer, I would have clicked off these sites long before they ever loaded. It is not surprising to see the almost daily posts from agents who are not planning on renewing their accounts. A company that refuses to be upfront with their clients and keep them informed of problems and planned solutions will soon be history. How long can Advanced Access continue to survive on just the revenue from new accounts? I often see numerous “Guests” viewing the forum. If you are one of these, take heed and spend your hard earned money on a winner, not a loser like Advanced Access.

Another DOWN Weekend for Advanced Access Sites

When will it end? Once again Advanced Access can’t seem to get through a busy consumer searching weekend with all of their sites and IDX remaining online! Many agents are currently reporting that their sites are up, then down, then up, then down, like a roller coaster ride. Others have reported that their interior pages are not appearing or their IDX is offline and unavailable for consumers to search for homes. I’m sure that once again we will all see the canned excuse from Advanced Access Customer Support reporting the same old, same old, with no solutions. If I were a betting person, I wouldn’t give this outfit much chance of long term survival since they seem to be on life support already!

Clients Bailing From Advanced Access Sites

While doing some Googling for ‘Advanced Access sites’ the other day, I came across a blog from www.WebNewsForUs.com that made mention of several great looking Advanced Access sites. Upon recognizing many of the agents in the post, I clicked on the half-dozen hyperlinks and wasn’t surprised to find that ALL of the FORMER Advanced Access clients were now hosting their real estate websites elsewhere. I knew that several of them weren’t active on AA’s forum anymore and had gone elsewhere but was surprised to see that ALL the ones that were touted in the article had left. Just another example of the problems that exist at Advanced Access and why some of the greatest sites (as well as agents) that were once hosted there have bailed out. Are YOU a former AA client, and if so, WHY did you not renew with them?

Advanced Access Sites DOWN per Agents & Clients

Well, it seems like Advanced Access just can’t seem to figure out the magic formula to keep the power on. Once again, agents and their clients are reporting that the websites are unavailable. This has been an ongoing problem with Advanced Access for quite some time, even though they claim to have a state-of-the-art backup system in place. The other problem is trying to reach Customer Service to report any problems, as many agents indicate that calls go unanswered or they tire of being on hold forever waiting for a supervisor. All this should change once enough agents bail out and the size of the Advanced Access client base becomes something that they are capable of handling. Is there anyone who can save them before they go under?

Advanced Access promotes ForSaleByOwner.com

In a snafu to all their paying clients, Advanced Access elected to include an article in their February newsletter promoting ForSaleByOwner.com . I wonder how many agents missed it and sent it to their clients before AA was blasted for including something that takes away from Realtors® income and replaced it with something more appropriate.

Here’s an excerpt of the article:

How to Sell Your Home in a Tight Market
(ARA) – Now that the New Year is underway, a lot of people are wondering what 2008 has in store for the real estate market. Industry experts say it could be a tough year for people who put their home on the market.

With more than 4.2 million homes currently on the market and more to come as spring “selling season” arrives, home prices are falling to entice buyers to get off the sidelines. Buyers, of course, are drawn to houses offering the best deal for the money. With home prices threatening to go lower or, at best, remain unchanged, many home sellers are concerned about selling their home for less than it was worth just a year or two ago. Add to that the fact that real estate agents typically eat up five to six percent of a home’s sales price, and that’s even less money that will go to the seller.

This probably explains why many sellers are choosing to forgo working with an agent and save on commission, allowing them to price their homes more competitively. There are now more people using ForSaleByOwner.com, the nation’s largest Web site for these home sellers, than at any other time in the company’s history.

There’s big money to be saved. An analysis performed by the company found that real estate agents and brokers collected $55 billion in commissions in 2007, an average of $13,900 per home sold. People like Joseph De Luca of Enfield, Conn., question the wisdom of paying so much when, with a little effort, he could do the job himself and save thousands of dollars.

“An agent is going to market the home by putting a yard sign out front, posting an ad on the Internet and holding a few open houses. Why pay a five or six percent commission when I can do that myself,” asks De Luca.

Instead of spending thousands on an agent, he invested $249 to market his three-bedroom home on ForSaleByOwner.com. DeLuca’s listing package included a guidebook to selling your own home, and other resources to walk him through the entire real estate process. He also received a ForSaleByOwner.com yard sign that signaled potential buyers to view his home on the Internet, and a home appraisal report that compared his home to others in the area and gave him market information so that he could price his home accurately.

De Luca noticed that similar homes in his neighborhood were listed at more than $340,000 and hadn’t moved. Figuring that he was saving on commissions, he sold his house for $335,000 within 45 days. Had he gone with a commissioned agent, it would have had to sell for $355,000 in order for him to pocket the same amount. “I’ll never use a real estate agent again,” De Luca proudly says.

Another ForSaleByOwner.com customer, Bruce Brandywine of Tampa, Fla., attracted a buyer who saw his online ForSaleByOwner.com property ad and toured it during an open house that he hosted himself. “Who knows my home and can possibly explain its features and attributes better than myself?” he asked rhetorically. To close the deal and give him piece of mind that nothing was overlooked, he hired a real estate attorney to handle all of the necessary paperwork.

Brandywine is not the only one choosing to skip the “middleman.” ForSaleByOwner.com estimates that ‘for sale by owner’ sellers saved almost $9 billion in home value during 2007.

“The real estate market is expected to be tough for at least the first half of 2008, so we expect more people will avoid using a commissioned agent in order to price their home competitively and save more of their home’s value.” says Eric Mangan, director of consumer relations at ForSaleByOwner.com.

Whether you’re planning to sell in the near future, or are looking to buy, log on to http://www.ForSaleByOwner.com for the help you need today.

Courtesy of ARA Content

“Brief” Power Outage At Advanced Access adds 1,000 Hits!

Amazing what a ‘brief’ power outage at Advanced Access can do to this blog! I wonder if AA got 1,000 hits in the last four days. Going back and reading some of the 13 pages on the AA forum thread from when the lights went out on ‘Black Friday’ in May of 2006, it was astonishing to see how many agents had closed their accounts with Advanced Access. After that fiasco they posted this about their new server setup at the new location:

“The new data center is a state-of-the-art facility with multiple fiber paths for Internet connectivity, redundant environmental control systems, on-staff AC and electrical technicians and on-site backup diesel generators.”

The recent power outage only ranked as ‘brief’ although all sites were down during prime time for over four hours with a very weak explanation. Stay tuned………