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August 2009
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October 2009

Facebook Profile listing widget, new ActiveRain and blog embed code and other feature updates

We had many feature releases in the last couple of weeks, plus many improvements of existing features. The article below summarizes the result of the last month R&D efforts here at RealBird. I organized the new and updated features by products, but note that some of the improvements are interconnected, hence providing additional benefits by channeling visitors from one of your RealBird services to the other.

But first thing first. Check out these examples of the just released embed code optimized for ActiveRain, Localism and your regular blog with SEO in mind. Just enter your listings in RealBird as usual and use the new link on the member management page called "Embed it in ActiveRain & blog post". You can configure the width and show or hide contact info and center or left align the widget.

New RealBird embed code examples

PGA NATIONAL GOLF ESTATE - Escape To Your Private Oasis


Overview
Maps
Photos
Features
Description
Video
Neighborhood
Market Stats














$2,499,777
Single Family Home
For Sale
Main Features
7 Bedrooms
6 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
Lot: 0.86 acre(s)
Location
5 Rabbits Run
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

Nestor and Katerina Gasset

Nestor and Katerina Gasset

International Properties and Investments, Inc
(561) 753-0135
coachkaterina@gmail.com
http://www.wellington-luxury-homes.com



Listed by: International Properties and Investments Inc.
Our recent listings
Subscribe to our listing feed
See more Palm Beach Gardens, FL real estate for sale


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Unforgettable Views Olympia Waterfront


Overview
Maps
Photos
Features
Description
About Olympia














$999,000
Single Family Home
For Sale
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
Interior: 3551 sqft
Lot: 0.64 acre(s)
Location
7500 Sandy Point Beach Rd. NE
Olympia, WA 98516

Mike Conner

Mike Conner

City Realty, Inc.
(360) 970-4408
mike@cityrealtyolympia.com
http://www.cityrealtyinc.com



Listed by: City Realty, Inc.
Our recent listings
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See more Olympia, WA real estate for sale


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Live Work TownHome in Market Common - Incredible Location and Price


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description














$329,900
Townhouse
For Sale
Main Features
2 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
2 Partial Bathrooms
Interior: 2150 sqft
Location
Howard Avenue
2834-D
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588

MIRELA MONTE

MIRELA MONTE

BUYERS' CHOICE REALTY
(843) 251-2378
Mirela@BuyersChoiceSC.com
http://www.MyrtleBeachHomes.US



Listed by: Mirela Monte
Our recent listings
Subscribe to our listing feed
See more Myrtle Beach, SC real estate for sale


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RealBird Listing Publisher - new features

  • "Homes for Sale" tab widget for both your Facebook Profile and Facebook Page
  • New ActiveRain and Localism optimized embed code with stunningly good looking slideshows (see examples above)
  • New Photowall listing inventory widget
  • Updated configuration tool for the Featured Listings Map widget with Google Earth 3D view and options to generate maps for your sold and pending inventory as well
  • iPromote integration
  • Your RealBird single property websites now link to your RealBird Property Search, providing more comparable properties for your visitors. All leads go to you.

RealBird Property Search - new features

  • The search RSS now includes MediaRSS extension
    Photos are now attached to the RSS items with the industry standard machine readable MediaRSS extension, hence allows advanced reusability, e.g. tou can use it now to create slideshow and other media widgets using 3rd party services
  • Mapped search results as default option
    PRO subscribers can now configure the service to show the mapped results by default.
  • Advanced configuration options.
  • Configure the service so that clicking on the property search result keeps the details page in the same iframe. The default behavior is to break out of the embedded frame into new window.
  • Hiding header and footer for smooth integration.
  • These are PRO options as well. Please contact us for instructions.

New PRO subscription option - go monthly for only $11.95

Some of the new features are RealBird PRO only options, like the industry-first Facebook Profile and Facebook Page widget, MLS-compatible unbranded virtual tours, ad-free Property Search. To make your upgrade decision easier, we introduced a monthly payment option for only $11.95/month. You can upgrade instantly through the member area. Just log in and click the Upgrade link either on the member landing page or on the listing management page

If you like these new features, please consider upgrading to the PRO account in the RealBird member area. It's only $11.95 per month (equals only a few bucks or less per listing per month)

-- Zoltan 
RealBird.com

 


Free RealBird Webinar - Social Networking Secrets With Gabe Gross and Coach Katerina Gasset

Join RealBird's Gabe Gross and Coach Katerina Gasset for another fun and information packed, free webinar: Thursday October 8, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

 

The cheese has moved! 

 

It used to be, just a few years ago, that having a nice real estate website was all you needed to start generating leads from the Internet.  Today that is no longer the case.  Your customers may be searching for a listing with Google Search, or go to one of the classified portals like Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia, etc.  or, “hang out” and learn about home buying or selling on their favorite social networking sites: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, ActiveRain etc.  To maintain a steady stream of leads you will need to “fish” in all these places for clients and connect with them before your competition does.

 

In this free webinar webcoach Katerina Gasset (http://www.coachkaterinaseo.com and http://activerain.com/wellingtonhomes) and Gabe Gross of RealBird will show you how to go about using social networking to generate new business. 

 

To sign up please fill out the form here:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEtuZm9nVjJ0bWJhVTZFTGpKbDZ4eVE6MA..

 

You will then receive a GotoWebinar invite with instructions how to join the day before the webinar.

 

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you at the webinar.


Facebook contest. Win an iPod Touch

This post is reblogged from ActiveRain

 ------

As many of our regular readers know, we started another iPod Touch sweepstakes on Aug 14. The original rule was that we draw an iPod Touch among our RealBird Facebook Page fans, once the number of fans reach 1,000. Ambitious it was, slow it became. While we have more and more fans every day, based on the current trend it would take a long time before a lucky winner can walk away with the iPod. So we decided to change the rules.

We are going to select the winner, as soon as we reach 500 fans. Currently, we are at 232, so this goal can be reached much faster. This is good for you - our favorite fan - as you do not have to wait that long and your chances of winning just doubled. It is also good for us. Even though our "fan acquisition cost" - excuse us for this term - just doubled, the main reason for this sweepstakes is to experiment with our Facebook Page and to test social media campaigns, hence keeping the campaign dynamic and the interest level high is valuable for us. In order to have a meaningful result of this experiment, we also want to know the "true cost" of a marketing campaign based on this new media.  

Those of you who already are fans of us on Facebook, you are all in, the campaign is on. For those of you who just join in now, there is only one simple step to take. Visit our Facebook Page and click the "Become a Fan" button, that's all. Two seconds of work, no purchase necessary and 1 in 500 chance of winning a brand new iPhone Touch (8GB)

As I said before, helping us share this message is really, really cool, because it shortens the time required to reach the goal and the drawing, while your chance of winning remains exactly the same, 1 in 500, even if all your readers and colleagues join. You can easily reblog this post or retweet and share it with the tools at the bottom of the post.

And that leads to the analyses of this campaign - as promised:

There are 3 main online advertising categories in general:

  1. CPM - Cost per Impression - you pay for every impressions. Typically banner ads (display ads) fall in this category
  2. CPC - Cost per Click - you pay when somebody clicks on your ad and arrive to your site or whatever you designated as a destination. Google AdWords is the most well-known implementation of this.
  3. CPP or CPA - Cost per Performance or Cost per Action - you pay when somebody takes some sort of actions after clicking on your ad, such as registering with your service, filling in a survey form, purchasing a product on your site etc.

All 3 types are widely used and benefit advertisers in different ways. One of the challenges with these regular advertising methods is that their effectiveness only show after some time, while you are spending money on them from day one. It's true, that with advanced ad networks (like Google AdWords), you can minimize your risk by following conversion rates closely and run trial and fail campaigns and adjust them according to the results, but nevertheless, it requires a lot of follow-up, analysis, tracking and expertise to achieve the best results. 

The social media campaign we are experimenting with differs in many ways.

Technically, it falls into the CPA category because we will only have cost (purchasing the iPod) when a certain action is taken by the audience (becoming a fan of our Facebook Page). The main difference is that we do not have any cost until the overall goal is reached, i.e. 500 of you fan our Facebook Page. And that is a huge difference. It is a true, zero-risk trial and fail campaign. If we never meet our goal, cost will never occur. 

There are also many benefits for us as an "advertiser" using this approach:

  1. The action required to participate is a high value participation: We gain Facebook Fans - a more engaged audience than the one we could reach by any other means
  2. The Facebook platform also syndicates the actions taken by our Fans (fanning, posting on our wall, commenting on our FaceBook page) so there is a built-in viral marketing utility
  3. During the campaign - since fans have to remain fans until we reach the goal - we have an ongoing communication channel to the audience, so subsequent messages can be delivered in a bi-directional, personal and engaging ways
  4. While some Fans will disappear after the contest is over, we hope that most of them will remain and hence we successfully build a community around our services and brand.
  5. It is the vested interest of our contest participants to share the sweepstakes. The sooner it reaches the goal, the sooner the winner is selected. And there is no downside bacause the chance of winning is pre-set and remains the same, i.e. 1 in 500. In other words, this type of campaign is capable of mobilizing the very participants in order to jump-start viral marketing.

Now let's see the numbers: 

The 8GB iPod Touch costs us $229+tax+shipping. Let's say $250 for the sake of this calculation. So our campaign cost is $250 (excluding soft costs, like time spent on executing it, human resources etc.) Our goal is 500 fans, that makes the CPA cost - fan acquisition cost -  $0.50

Prior to starting this campaign, we checked how much it would cost us to promote our Facebook Page to REALTORS(R) on Facebook. Facebook's own ad network calculated us the following campaign cost. If we choose CPM ads - paying by the impression of our ad - it would cost us $0.32 (CPM) cents per thousands impression or $0.74 per click-through if we selected CPC advertising.

While the CPM cost looks smaller, than our CPA cost, keep in mind that the click-through rate will be small and out of those who clicked-through, those who actually become our fan will be even smaller. If you add all the other benefits of our campaign - fans remain fan while the contest is running, no ongoing cost, but only at the time when the goal is reached - it becomes clear that the cost of our sweepstakes based campaign is much smaller than any of the advertising methods Facebook is suggesting. Comparing to Facebook's $0.74 CPC rate is even easier. It is more expensive for a click, than ours is for an actual action. If you consider that let's say 50% of the click-through traffic will fan us, than you are actually comparing effective CPA cost of $1.48 to our $0.50. With all the additional risks associated with CPC ads (ongoing cost, guesstimate of the 50% conversion rate) it is a no-brainer to see the cost benefit of our sweepstakes-based campaign.

So how can you apply this advertising method to gain Fans for your own Real Estate Facebook Page?

If you are serious about building a community on your real estate Facebook Page, you can start a similar sweepstakes-based campaign yourself. We can not advise on the legality of a sweepstakes in your area, so once you have the concept figured our, consult with an attorney on your own, but below are a few tips on how to make it as effective as possible.

  1. Pick a reasonable goal: How many fans do you want to gain? Be reasonable. We reduced our goal to 500 to keep the contest interesting and realistic. It is important to make a goal, which is high value for you, but not unrealistic for your audience.
  2. Select a good prize: This is exciting and important. You want to pick one which has high appeal, fits into your overall profile, business and message and ideally has incremental value for you. 
    1. For example, if you will give away an iPod Touch you can also engrave it with your name and website, online, while checking out in the Apple Store. So besides the core goal of the campaign (gaining Fans) you also gain incremental benefit, the lucky winner will be always reminded of you and where the gift came from.
    2. Another good prize for real estate campaigns could be to team up with a local retailer or restaurant. You could give away a fine dinner for two sponsored by your partner restaurant. This could be a win-win for everybody. You gain followers on your real estate Facebook Page and the prize does not cost you a penny, the restaurant, retailer gains a very low cost advertising (compare the $60+- the dinner will cost them to how much it would cost them to place an ad in a local newspaper) and your winner gets a great prize. It's up to you whether you pay for the prize or you make the partner pay for it, but I believe that there are many verticals (restaurant, retailers etc.) who would find this a very cost effective social media marketing tool for themselves as well and would be glad to pick up the bill for you.
  3. Share, share, share: Just like with our campaign, it is very important to share the contest as much as you can. Tweet about once a week, write follow up blogs, ask your partners to write about it as well and most importantly, ask your readers and Fans to share it as well. They don't "harm" their luck, and by sharing it incrementally, everybody gains.
  4. Analyze, adjust and repeat: It is important to track your campaign during the process and adjust your goals as needed. Once it is concluded, do the simple math, calculate and try to quantify the results. Make sure that you announce the winner, and if the overall result is good (net positive), start a new campaign ASAP. For example, once we reached our goal of 500 fans, and upon our final analysis, we will start a new one with the goal of 100 fans. We will also try to find a partner who will provide the prize themselves in order to experiment with that approach as well.

I hope you found this post useful and if you decide to start your own social media campaign on Facebook, we would love to hear about it.

If you are not yet a Fan of our RealBird Facebook Page, please click here and become a fan. You will be instantly entered in our iPod Touch sweepstakes and will have a 1 in 500 chance of winning the prize.

Finally, please share, share, share this post. Remember, no matter how much you share the contest, it will not reduce your chance of winning.

Thanks


-- Zoltan 
RealBird.com