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May 2009
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July 2009

RealBird Virtual Tours - even more affordable ways to get them

Virtual-Tour-3 We rationalized a little bit the way we provide the powerful and unique RealBird Virtual Tour add-ons for your listings. From now on, you can get branded (photo, contact information, outgoing links, your blog posts etc.) and unbranded, MLS-friendly RealBird Virtual Tours the following ways:

Single listing virtual tour

  1. Single listing upgrade - $9.99 one time fee  
  2. Street address domain name (listing domain name) -  $14.99 / year -It can be purchased through our domain name store for one year only or multiple years with auto-renew. You get your very own listing domain name and also the virtual tour upgrade   

Unlimited virtual tour - upgrade service from Free to Pro or Premium

  1. Pro service level - unlmited virtual tours for only $99/year. The service level also includes the ad-free RealBird Property Search service with map-based search option. This option is available US nationwide. No setup fee, just a low yearly subscription fee. Compare this to what you would pay otherwise for other vendors. 
  2. Premium service level - Map-based IDX Search customers are now also provided with unlimited virtual tours. This service is available only on limited markets, but where available, members get a full featured, unlimited virtual tour service (RealBird Virtual Tour), ad-free, full featured RealBird Property Search (powered by Google Base) and the RealBird Map-based IDX Search widget. Service fee is either $199 or $299 / year depending on the MLS. For this low fee, you get all of our service offerings that can be used both for prospecting home buyers and for powerful listing marketing.  
All existing Map-based IDX search customers are automatically upgraded to the Premium service level of course. Just log into your RealBird account and on the list of listings page, you will see the the virtual tour links for your properties - both branded and the unbranded version which you can add to your MLS record for massive distribution via IDX feeds. 

-- Zoltan






Map-based Search as a default option is now available

We have released a new, advanced configuration option for the RealBird Property Search service. RealBird members with PRO subscription level ($99/year) can now configure the service so that it opens the result map by default for pre-set searches and also upon your user submitting a new search criteria.

See an example using our RealBird Demo Account. 

RealBird Property Map Search Demo

To configure your own, register with or login to RealBird and change your settings on the Property Search configuration page.

-- Zoltan
RealBird.com 


Have a real estate related Facebook Page?

We started to collect links to real estate related Facebook Pages (on Twitter)

If you have a real estate related Facebook Page please tweet the link and also add the tag #refacebook for tracking.

You can click here to post your link on Twitter. This link places the tag in your status update automatically.

And you can see all the tweets tagged with #refacebook here

Thanks

-- Zoltan
RealBird.com


Batch photo upload, ping.fm, ipromote and other feature updates

Since the release of the new RealBird Property Search beta service, we have been continuously adding new features for both the Listing Publisher and the Property Search services. Most of them are focusing on productivity and design updates, but they also include new partnerships and integration of the two products in order to channel visitors back and forth between your RealBird services (serving both the seller and buyer side). Below is the summary of new features.

Batch photo upload

Batch-upload
This feature was long due and one of the most requested. You can now upload property pictures in batches (40 at once). The single photo size has also been increased from 1 GB to 4 GB. Up till now, the most time consuming part of publishing a listing with RealBird was to upload the property pictures one by one. In order to create effective listing presentations, we always promoted the use of many high quality photos so that you grab the attention of potential buyers and also to pre-qualify them. But up till now it was - let's be honest - a pain to upload more than a few photos. Not any more. The new photo upload utility works great and reduces the time it require to upload all of your photos to practically no time. Click the button, select all photos at once, the photo upload starts immediately. A handy progress bar shows the upload process. Once all photos area loaded, you can use the rearrange tool to drag them into the right order and the photo caption tool to add custom title for the photos (see below)  

Photo captions

The photo management utility is also extended with a photo caption editor. You can now add a description for each photo on a simple-to-use interface. These titles show up on the virtual tours and the slideshow widgets. It is also useful for advance SEO as Google's Image search for example qualifies images by their surrounding text including the content of the "title" HTML tag of the image object.   

Message Archive

Every day, hundreds of email inquiries are sent to different RealBird members through their RealBird single property websites. Up till now (May 29 actually) these emails were "only" emails with all of its  limitations, i.e. we had absolutely no idea whether you actually received the email inquiry or not due to spam filters or because the email got burried in your inbox. We knew that there had to be something done about this, as one of the biggest value of RealBird was jeopordized: its ability to actually reach buyers and deliver inquiries and showing requests to you. From now on, all email communication through RealBird is also saved in your RealBird member area, including inquiries via all 3 services: the RealBird Listing Publisher, the RealBird Property Search and the RealBird Map-based IDX widget. Make sure that you log into RealBird at least once a week to check for new inquiries that you may missed as an email. Unviewed communication is highlighted so you will be able to easily identify new messages since your last visit.  

You can access your RealBird Message Archive on the main, blue navigation bar in the member area

Ping.fm

Ping-fm
Ping.fm is a free service that makes it very easy to update your social networks at once. Once you signed up with them, you can add your social network accounts (they support 40 different ones now) such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Delicious and many others. After this one time setup is completed, you can use the new link on the list of listings page in your RealBird member area to announce your new listing on all of these networks with only one click. Fast, easy and effective.

Bulk email tool to announce your new listing 

Email-form
Besides ping.fm, we also support social bookmarking and sharing via the updated AddThis widget on the listing management page. This set of sharing links also include an email tool (pictured above), which you can use to announce your listings to your sphere, friends  and former clients. It is even capable of importing your contacts from GMail, Yahoo Mail or Hotmail so that bulk email announcement is even easier. Please do not spam ! Email only those who you know would not mind receiving the emails.

Viewr.com syndication

Viewr-logo
We are pleased to announce our partnership with Viewr.com - a global real estate marketplace. All active and published RealBird listings are now automatically syndicated to Viewr.com as well. No additional action is required on your part. Just enjoy the ride.

ipromote partnership

ipromote
Another new partnership we are very pleased to announce is with ipromote. ipromote has an innovative technology which can turn any web page including your RealBird single property website into a standard size, display advertisement. Upon signup, they will distribute your ads to major websites including MSN and Yahoo. These are CPC (cost-per-click) ads, and click-through cost is as low as $0.49.click with a minimum daily commitment of $5. Just enter your RealBird listing site's Url (or any other Url of your websites or blog) and ipromote will create the display ads in a few seconds. You can then customize your ads if needed and sign up with their low cost advertising package of your choice. While this is a for-fee add-on to our service, it is a very affordable way for incremental reach and your sellers will absolutely love the publicity that you will provide. And since it is a CPC advertising solution, branding and exposure is completely free. You can read more about how ipromote works here. We are going to have an even tighter integration with the ipromote system via their linking API soon and we'll revisit the value proposition in more details.  

Your Twitter, Facebook, ActiveRain and MyBlogLog profile

Nestor-and-Katerina-Gasset
Screenshot courtesy of Nestor and Katerina Gasset
You can now add your Twitter and Facebook account to your RealBird profile along the existing ActiveRain and MyBlogLog options. These services are now linked with their respective icons from both the Property Search service and also on every single property website's . They provide additional means for your visitors and clients to get to know you and to connect with you. 

New Craigslist embed code

We can't emphasize it enough: Taking the time to post and repost your listings to Craigslist is one of the best things you can do to your seller and to your listing. It is the destinations with one of the highest traffic and the audience is a very targeted demographics. We released an upgrade of the RealBird generated Craigslist embed code. It now adds a highy visible banner in the footer, which links to your RealBird Property Search and in effect, channels home buyer traffic on Craigslist onto your own Property Search. This feature works great. We have many confirmed leads by agents who use the new Craigslist code. We have more details about this new feature and the traffic channeling concept on our ActiveRain blog 


-- Zoltan