Previous month:
November 2007
Next month:
January 2008

MLS hotlist slideshow widget

The new RealBird Map-based MLS Search service has a pretty neat, new feature, which enables real estate agents and brokers to create widgets for their MLS hotlists. A hotlist can be matching IDX listings of any search criteria configured to provide market snapshots or even for farming purposes. It can be a service to track activities in a particular geographic area or a niche search such as luxury homes or budget lands. The RealBird service provides many ways to create eye-catching widgets for MLS hotlists to acquire new visitors for your IDX search. These widgets can be distributed via emails, blogs, social networks and even via banner ad networks. The following tutorial walks you through the steps of creating a slideshow widget for the most recently listed properties withing a search criteria and market area:

MLS Hotlist Slidehow Widget

For the sake of this example, let's configure an MLS hotlist slideshow widget for luxury homes in Saratoga, CA using Rona Arjomand's live service. To keep the interest level high, while walking through the setup steps, I included the end result first. The slideshow below rotates the matching properties' photos using the a shuffle effect but many more effects are available for you to chose from. Hovering the mouse over the image reveals the brief characteristics of the property such as list price, bedrooms, bathsrooms and address if available. Clicking on the photo will open the private labeled RealBird Map-based MLS Search service and  will zoom to the subject property. The Map-based Search can be configured to provide a lead capture email form for more information or to redirect to even more details provided by your 3rd party IDX service.

The following are the setup steps:

1) Start your own RealBird Map-based MLS Search service


2) Jump to your desired location (use the location entry, panning and zooming tools)


3) Set the search criteria and click "Search"


4) Click the "Just listed" button, then click the raw RSS feed link, which will open another browser window. Copy that RSS Url from the address bar



5) Login to your RealBird member area, visit the "Widgets" pages and select "MLS Search". Select the "MLS Photo Slideshow" tab and paste the RSS Url you copied in step 4


6) Select the desired slideshow size and transition effect from the drop down list. The preview updates as soon as you click the "Preview and get code" button. Finally, copy the generated code from this page and paste it into your website or blog.

     

Live examples:

  1. Tim Wade embedded two MLS hotlist slideshow widgets on the left sidebar of the website showing recently listed Single Family and Condos respectively.
  2. Dave Roberts demonstrates it on his ActiveRain blog embedding a "Windsor bargain homes" hotlist slideshow

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com


Second iPod Touch drawing winner announced

Patti_lyles Congratulations for Patti Lyles for winning the iPod Touch prize of our latest sweepstakes. The drawing date was Dec 9. Of course, thanks for all of you who participated and invited fellow real estate professionals to join RealBird. Make sure to subscribe to our blog feed to get notified on upcoming sweepstakes.

You can read our blog posts here about RealBird's iPhone and iPod Touch support.

-- Zoltan Szendro

RealBird.com


Map-based MLS Search 2.0

Map-based MLS Search 2.0 Introducing the RealBird Map-based MLS Search 2.0

It's been a while since our last major update of the RealBird Map-based MLS Search service. I am pleased to announce that the new version is now available for real estate agents and brokers in our current MLS coverage areas. (More MLS coverage is added ongoing)

There are many, many new features and novel benefits of this new release. I am going to post tutorials on a regular basis of concepts and techniques about how to best utilize these features. At this time, let me  emphasize a unique marketing concept, which enables real estate agents to reach out for home buyers beyond their website, via syndicated featured listings, viral marketing and social networks.

The problem

Your IDX solution is only as good as the level of traffic you receive on your website. Unless you have sufficient traffic coming to your site, the most advanced technology locked up on your site will not bring you business, simply because nobody knows about the value it provides. One of the most powerful real estate marketing techniques is blogging and not just because you can show off your expertise and niche while building brand and trust (the content), but for being a technology solution which reaches out for buyers and pulls them back to your online presence, your blog or website, where you can provide them with additional services (the reach). Since blogs are syndicated by default, expressed via machine readable RSS and loved by search engines, your content (and online business identity) can go a really long way to reach consumers by feed readers, aggregators, fellow bloggers sharing and tracking back your content and most importantly by search engines. In short: you "push" your information via blogs to meaningful destinations where consumers search and research and "pull" them back to your website for more. This is very powerful, no question about it.

Following this marketing concept established by real estate blogs, we decided to port the technique to single property websites:

The solution

For the first time in the industry, the RealBird Listing Publisher enables you to create Single Property Websites with Map-based MLS Search embedded for instant, live showcase of nearby for sale properties.  Take the following scenario for example:

  1. You create a single property website with RealBird and embed the Map-based MLS Search application
  2. Your listing site is automatically syndicated to Google Base, Zillow, Trulia, Geebo, Oodle, Vast and more and you can easily post it to Craigslist, Kijiji and Backpage for even more traffic
  3. A home buyer finds your featured listing on any of those highly popular portals
  4. The home buyer clicks thru to visit your RealBird single property website
  5. If your featured listing is not a perfect match, the home buyer is provided with an instant option to see similar for sale properties without ever leaving your site. In other words, you capture a portion of the traffic of home buyers from major portals. That portion can be huge relative to your regular website traffic.

Your IDX search solution (the home buyer lead capturing tool) is pushed one click closer to high profile destinations, to portals where most of the online home buyers start their search. Similar to blogging, the RealBird Listing Publisher pushes your information to 3rd party sites with high consumer traffic (portals and search engines) and "pulls" home buyers back to your full IDX solution.

Since the RealBird Listing Publisher also allows you to manage and promote your pending and sold inventory, listings sites which are already indexed by major search engines will continue to bring cumulative traffic and leads to your IDX solutions via your single property websites even after your own listing is sold !

The Listing Publisher is available for agents and brokers in the US, nationwide. For the embedded MLS Search option, please check the coverage on RealBird .com (You can also request coverage there. We'll do our best to implement new MLSs as soon as possible, based on user demand)

Below are a few examples of live single property websites with the Map-based Search integrated:

Stay tuned for the upcoming tutorials on other new features such the visually stunning MLS Hotlist widgets.


-- Zoltan Szendro

RealBird.com


Geebo.com - even more exposure for your listings

Geebo.com In our continued effort to bring even more exposure for your listings, we have updated our distribution platform. RealBird now automatically syndicates listings to Geebo.com

Publish your property once with RealBird and it will be posted on Geebo.com with details, property photo and link back to your RealBird single property website. Update the property details via RealBird and your changes will reflect on Geebo automatically as well.

From Geebo: "Geebo.com is quickly becoming the go-to marketing tool of the trade for real estate brokers, automotive dealers, employers and individuals leaping into online marketing because it offers new and better ways to reach their client base.  Since Geebo's start in 2000 in Sacramento, California as a pure and simple online classified site it has expanded into 83 communities including the major metropolitan regions of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Seattle.  BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE. . . . Geebo's unrivaled advertising value and user convenience, in particular the capability to search listings by zip code, is what has really grabbed customers' attention and put it on marketers' maps in the last year."

Very dedicated team with clean, focused concept. Similar to Craigslist, they provide a easy to use and fast user experience. According to Geebo, they have over 200,000 unique monthly visitors.  That's a whole lot of attention for your listings !

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com