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Market statistics charts are now available for 1,778 more zip codes

The Altos Research market statistics charts and the associated lead capturing service is now available for an additional 1,778 zip codes in the US with RealBird single property websites, extending the coverage to over 8,000 zip codes nationwide.

We had a post earlier about the automatically embedded, free median price charts, but for those of you who join in now, here is the overview: The Altos median price chart is highly informative feature which provides your single property website visitors with an instant, up-to-date market snapshot and a facility to quickly contact you for more detailed market statistics (click through to the example below). The median price is a free add-on to the RealBird Listing Publisher with continuously growing coverage.

Altos Research also provides complete, real-time market reports, private labeled with your photo and contact information as their full service. This is a stunningly effective listing tool and also powerful to use for farming. I embedded Scott's introduction presentation below. If you decide to sign up for the full service with Altos, make sure you use realbird as the referral ID in order to take advantage of a 25% discount.

   

This is how the feature works: all of your current and future RealBird property websites - which falls into the current 8,000+ zip codes coverage of Altos - includes a "Market Stats" tab with a large chart showing the median price change in the last 90 days and in the last 7 days. Below the chart, there is a simple contact form for your visitors to inquire for more details. Since this is an automatic add-on to your single property site, no additional action is required on your side. The market stats chart will automatically appear when coverage is added for your listings zip code. (By default, this feature is turned on,  but of course, you have the option to turn it off per listing if you decide to do so)

See this Bayville, New Jersey listing for an example:

Waterfront living - Bayville, NJ

To learn more about Alto Research visit www.altosresearch.com , make sure you enter realbird below the Referral Type field (25% off for RealBird members), if you decide to sign up for the full service.

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com


How to embed Obeo virtual tours into RealBird single listing websites

The new Obeo virtual tours can be seamlessly embedded into the RealBird single property websites as the example shows below. Obeo did a great job upgrading their virtual tours, they are good looking with many different visual options.

See the live RealBird listing website below as an example:

Somerset area home with exceptional views

Click on the "Virtual Tour" tab to see it in action.

More notable features on Michelle Young & Michelle Boulot's RealBird listing website :

  1. Great use of the background image visual customization feature. Online visitors have a short attention span, especially when they arrive to a listing website through home searches on major portals. The background image in this case captures attention, makes the site stand out and as with previous examples, communicates one of the main characteristics and selling point of the property instantly ("exceptional view")
  2. The embedded Plugoo chat enables visitors to chat live with the listing agent. Plugoo is one of our favorites. It is light-weight and connects to your existing IM client: GTalk, Y Messenger etc. No need to log into another service every day and your visitors can use the online widget without being on the same IM network as the agent is.
  3. Altos Research market stats chart ("Market Stats") tab shows an upward trend in median price for the zip code. Great impulse for the visitor to consider making the call sooner than later.

This site is as close to perfect as it gets, in terms of utilizing and benefiting from the flexibility and many features RealBird has to offer of for listing presentation and promotion. Good job, Michelle & Michelle.

To embed your own Obeo virtual tours into your RealBird listing sites, copy the the following iframe code into the "Embedded media" section of the property website editor:

<iframe src="http://www.obeo.com/Public/Viewer/Default.aspx?ID=463882" style="border:0px" width="100%" height="600px" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Replace, the highlighted Obeo virtual tour ID with your own of course. It's that simple.

-- Zoltan Szendro
Create your own Single Property Websites on RealBird for free, in minutes


Driving directions with Street View - makes sense

The Google Map's driving directions now includes Street View to aid your navigation. The concept makes a lot of sense. One of the hardest things in getting from A to B using regular flat maps and satellite photos is knowing all the tricky turns one may encounter and not having any visual reference while driving. Google now makes it easier to overcome some of these obstacles by providing detailed close-ups of your turns and surroundings through Street View.

Here are some issues I still see:

  1. Coverage is still very limited to make Street View a standard for consumer navigation
  2. I could not find any information on how often Google updates an already photographed area and how often they add new coverage. Out of date imagery might be a problem if one picks an obsolete visual reference.
  3. While standard, "flat" driving directions can be printed and you can take those directions with you on the road (still the most common way of using online directions unless you have a GPS system in your car), the interactive Street View might be no help, once you leave your computer. You still have to memorize those reference points

What I'd like to see in terms of new features:

  1. Access to this new feature through the API. One can develop similar custom application with the already available API, but it is unnecessarily complex. Google could just extend the current Directions API to make this implementation a no-brainer with their existing routing API. I guess they will, shortly.
  2. GPS Navigation version. Again, I guess, this is already in the works, but having Street View available in car navigation systems can make a lot of sense. It is more of a user interface design challenge, than getting the data there. Current navigation systems are optimized for providing enough information while trying to keep the driver's eye on the road for most of the time. Showing Street View on the car's GPS screen can be very distractive, unless some smart UI is designed.
  3. Mobile version. Once Street View hits the mobile devices, the biggest value I believe is in aiding navigation. Actually, while brainstorming with myself, I found, that probably the most useless IPhone application would be the one, which shows Google Street View at your current location on your IPhone. Rather than just looking around, you would stare at your IPhone screen to see what surrounds you. For aiding navigation on the other hand, with the proper user interface, Street View can be valuable on mobile devices as well. It could help you identify surroundings to help you decide whether you are on the right track to get from A to B
  4. I still believe, that the most important technical addition to the current Street View technology would be to enable developers to add interaction and project media into the Flash component itself. Rather than just controlling the imagery, one could enhance it with additional information, just like you do with regular Google maps through the API.

In any case, just like we anticipated, Google is pushing Street View very  seriously and we can assume that a lot of new announcements will be coming on a regular basis.

See Google's introduction video below:

As many of you might have read it on our ActiveRain post, RealBird is featured on the Google Maps API blog (actually one of our clients RealBird listing website using Street View).

Make sure you see the chain of events which led to being featured on Google using the power of blogging.

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com