Previous month:
July 2007
Next month:
September 2007

Know your visitors - track like the pros

One of the most important requirements for effective online marketing is the ability to measure results on-going and quickly so that effective Trial and Fail tests can be performed. You have to be able to tell which technique works and which one does not so that you can manage your time and resources properly.

What if you can tell when the traffic flow coming from Craigslist starts declining? It's time to post your listing again. Should you post your listing on Kijiji and Backpage as well? Try it, then by reviewing the top referral sites, you will see if they show up as the source of visitors. How about quantifying the value of posting detailed description and neighborhood information on your property flyer. You will easily see how the organic search engine traffic increases. How about seeing the pictures of people who stopped by? You may be able to ask for referrals. What if you could share a weekly report with your sellers on how many people viewed their property, where did they come from, what information they were interested in? Now you can. It will surely present you as an online marketing professional and result in referrals from your clients. Of course, if all you need is a simple page view counter for quick review, it is also available with RealBird now.

We - at RealBird - are using the very same tool set that is now made available for all of the RealBird members for free. It helped us creating the classified sites referral traffic comparison posted previously and we established great partnerships by finding people talking about us, which we would have otherwise be unaware of. We even fixed software bugs using these services ! The value is tremendous.

Announcing the industry's most comprehensive website analytics tool set for real estate listing marketing. See real-time statistics, get detailed, comprehensive reports for for weekly and monthly reviews and start a community around your listings.

Below are the services you can now integrate with your RealBird Listing Publisher service for free.

Clicky Web Analytics Clicky is a real-time web analytics tool. One of our favorites!
You will see visitors as soon as they swing by at your site.
It is a great tool especially for referral source tracking, including traffic coming from classified sites such as Craigslist and search engines.

Cost: Free for most features 


Google Analytics provides a very detailed reporting tool for every aspects of your website analytics need. It is not a real-time tool (data delayed approximately half a day) but the detailed reports can be used for weekly and monthly analysis to see what is working and what needs improvement in your online marketing activity.

Cost: Free


MyBlogLog - a service of Yahoo - is more than just a website reporting tool. We believe that this is a must have for real estate professionals for promoting listings and services, for community building and networking. After signing up with MyBlogLog, you will be able leave your "footstep" on other websites and blogs (assuming they installed the MyBlogLog widget also). Your picture will appear on those websites with a link to your own MyBlogLog communities (e.g. your RealBird listing sites). After you installed your own tracking code with the RealBird Listing Publisher service, you will also be able to see pictures of people who visited your listing sites (again, assuming that they are MyBlogLog members as well). It will enable you to start discussions with real world people and to build an online community for name recognition purposes and eventually, for lead generation. This is a must have in our opinion.

Setting up these free services with RealBird is simple:

  1. Register for free or login to RealBird
  2. On the dashboard or the listings page, click "Visitor stats"
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions: configure Clicky, Google Analytics and MyBlogLog tracking code
  4. Enter them into the configuration screen on RealBird
  5. Save the page

Tracking of the website visitors starts immediately.

As always send us your case studies, best practices and your experiences with these new features.

-- Zoltan Szendro

RealBird.com


Smiling Faces: video montage of RealBird members

We have created two Animoto movies; this time we are using the photos and logos of many, randomly selected RealBird members. (For those of you who did not make it in these cuts, we'll post more Animoto movies later with different pictures.) The photo selection process was random and the selection was only limited by the resources we had: we uploaded hundreds of photos and the unique and amazing slideshow generation feature of Animoto further randomized it based on the pattern of the music selected. You can see that the videos using different music styles generate distinct presentations:

Video with French chanson style music
Artist: Bruno Stimart   Title: Hello Madame

Video with jazzy, downbeat music with some latin vibes
Artist: Mettle Music   Title: Nubuck

Like the videos? Feel free to grab them and post them on your own blog (use the Post it button on the top left corner of the video).

I would be very interested to hear some innovative ideas on how to best utilize this technology for real estate presentations. Carson at RealEstateRemix.com had some ideas. I was thinking maybe using Animoto with photos of the agents of a particular brokerage for corporate presentations and multimedia. Any ideas?

Make sure you check out Animoto. And of course, just like with any other video types, you can embed your Animoto video into your RealBird listing sites.

Have fun with Animoto !

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com


Ocean View and Pacific Breeze

3 new luxury real estate sites have been released. All three of them are covering different areas of the West Coast: Santa Cruz, Seattle and San Diego

LuxurySantaCruz.com

LuxurySantaCruz.com

It is a service of Patti Lyles and powered by RealBird's technology. LuxurySantaCruz.com showcases homes and condos priced $2 million or more. Listings are from the RE InfoLink MLS (IDX) and the database is updated daily.

LuxuryCasas.com

LuxuryCasas.com

Focusing on the North County area of San Diego, LuxuryCasas.com maps are updated daily with $2 million plus residential  properties. It is a service of Roberta Murphy (The Murphy Group)

LuxuriousSeattleHomes.com

LuxuriousSeattleHomes.com

LuxuriousSeattleHomes.com is a service of Brian Wiegand (SeattleHomes.com) To see the daily updated list of luxury properties in the Seattle area, visit LuxuriousSeattleHomes.com


-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com


Top 25 RealBird users and referral stats

RealBird Listing Publisher stats

We did some digging in the log reports (Google Analytics and Clicky) to see how different 3rd party classifieds sites (the ones RealBird distributes your listings to) compare in terms of referral traffic. The numbers are based on the unique visitor referral traffic, relative to each others.

  1. Craigslist - 26% - Manual posting only takes a few minutes per listing using the HTML code  and instructions provided by RealBird. This is a must have for anybody serious about online listing marketing and RealBird makes it very easy and quick for you to do so.
  2. Trulia - 22% - It's automatic. Just post your listing on RealBird and it appears on Trulia with no additional actions required
  3. Edgeio - 19% - Automatic distribution.
  4. Vast.com - 17% - Automatic distribution.
  5. Google - 7% - Automatic distribution. Includes referrals from Google Base, Google  organic search results and Google Maps.
  6. Oodle - 5% - Automatic distribution.
  7. Backpage - 1% - Manual posting only takes a few minutes per listing using RealBird's code.
  8. SearchOnMaps.com - 1% - Automatic distribution. RealBird's recently released real estate yellow pages, property and home valuation portal
  9. Lycos - 1% - Automatic distribution.
  10. IceRocket - 1% - Automatic distribution.

Craigslist requires a little extra time (1-2 minutes per listing) to manually post to and the code provided for RealBird listings makes it very easy and effective. Just publish your listing with RealBird, upload the property photos and click "Post it on Craigslist". The HTML code is automatically generated and following the 4-step instruction, you can be done in minutes from start to finish. Get the attention your listings deserve.

RealBird Map-based MLS Search stats

Below is a list of the top 25 RealBird members based on the number of unique visitors on their RealBird Map-based MLS search widget (within the last month). Please note, that  the high traffic is most likely due to the fact, that their websites or blogs receive a lot of traffic anyway, but following the best practices of how to deploy the RealBird service can improve usability and visibility and therefore can generate more leads. We thought we congratulate them by listing their websites and help others to see how to best utilize the RealBird Map-based IDX search service. We keep the exact numbers confidential as it may be their trade secret. The list is in alphabetical order.

Start your free RealBird membership

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com


End of the slideshow as we know it

I received an email from the Animoto guys this morning that their service is available for the public as of today. Animoto uses a patent-pending technology to produce high-impact video from your pictures and music.

Quote from their website: " Each video is a fully customized orchestration of user-selected images and music.  Produced on a widescreen format, Animoto videos have the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer."

Since we started to promote real estate videos more than a year ago, one of the main barriers to entry for most real estate agents was the high "cost" of production. While the cost of hardware and software to take and edit video is insignificant, the time and expertise required to actually produce it with an acceptable quality made it prohibitive for most of the agents.

Animoto might very well be the answer to this. The process is quite simple. You create a free account with them and upload your property images and music or choose from their selection. Their rendering engine takes care of the rest. Analyzing the music, it will create a high-impact, music video style, embeddable slide-show widget.

Amazing technology.  And of course, fully supported by the free RealBird Listing Publisher property website builder to enhance your listing presentation.

Here is the work-flow I suggest:

  1. Take as many high-resolution pictures of your property as possible including exterior and interior, such as the kitchen, living room etc. You can always discard bad images after downloading them to your computer.
  2. Organize the pictures into presentation sections (exterior, kitchen, living room, master bedroom). E.g. put them in separate folders on your computer
  3. Create several short clips with Animoto
  4. Create a free property website with RealBird
  5. Upload all the pictures to RealBird
  6. Embed each Animoto clips under the video section of your RealBird listing site. Add a title above the embed code to describe the clip.

Below is a short example clip using photos of my baby nephews:

I would love to feature some of your listings on this blog if you are using Animoto. Send us your RealBird property link with Animoto clips embedded  (or add it as a comment below) and we'll feature it in our case studies category.

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com