Learn how Carova Rentals achieved over 6,800 Facebook Likes on their RealBird listing

This is simple amazing: Carova Rentals of North Carolina ran a 3-day vacation rental giveaway recently and their RealBird listing ( Bayberry Dune, Carova, NC ) has gained over 6,800 Facebook "Likes"; by far the most we've ever seen on a RealBird single property website

We are very glad to announce, that Carova Rentals will join us on our Feb 6, 2013 RealBird webinar as a guest speaker. They will introduce the campaign, explain the result they achieved and the challenges they ran into running such a special and successful Facebook promotion.

If your schedule allows, please make sure that you join us next Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013 (8 AM Pacific time) for the hour-long, free RealBird webinar. Just follow the link below to register:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/717552952

Thanks for Carova Rental for being a guest speaker and we hope to see you at the webinar.

-- The RealBird Team
www.realbird.com 


Summary of new RealBird features launched in 2011

RealBird-Bird-LargeToday is the last business day of 2011 and we thought it is the good time to summarize the main new RealBird features that we launched in 2011. 

Switched the RealBird Property Search from Google Base to Oodle data

As you may recall Google suddenly announced in January '11 the discontinuation of Google Base. Because the RealBird Property Search was based on data from Google Base, we had to find another solution. We successfully ported the application to use real estate data from Oodle, soft launched in March and made it available for all RealBird members in June. The new search application has been working great ever since and has delivered thousands and thousands of buyer leads to RealBird members.

New listing inventory widget replaced the old version, with color themes and custom transition effects

We retired one of our legacy sidebar listing inventory widgets and replaced it with a brand new one, which can be configured with custom color theme and custom transition effects.

The first version of the RealBird Mobile Real Estate Website was launched

In March, we launched the first version of the RealBird Mobile Real Estate Website service with vanity domain name and QR code support. Within weeks, thousands of mobile sites were set up by RealBird PRO members. It also received coverage from Inman News.  

The second version of the Mobile Real Estate Website added Property Search support

Soon after the initial launch, we also completed the mobile user interface for the RealBird Property Search and added to the RealBird Mobile Property Website service. Update to the platform (and the new desktop IE support) also made it possible from then on to embed the mobile real estate website on regular blogs and pages with the handy RealBird widget, including the inclusion of the QR code and a call-for-action message.

Default Property Website Theme editor added

One of the powerful features of the RealBird single property websites has always been the versatile theme editor. We realized however that even with the easy-to-use interface, it has been an unnecessary hassle to set up the custom design for each listing one by one, so we introduced the same powerful theme editor tool as a global configuration option. In other words, RealBird members can now set up a default custom design once and all new property sites will inherit this theme.

Introduced 3 Facebook Real Estate Page applications

Just in time for Facebook's application platform overhaul during the summer, we released three Facebook applications for different RealBird services. You can now easily add your listing inventory widget, map-based property search and your mobile real estate website to your Facebook business page.

Diligent SEO work brought major results: video thumbnails of your property websites are now shown on Google

We've been always focusing on SEO best practices, but 2011 brought some break throughs: Finally, over 1 million pages on RealBird has been indexed by Google and to our great surprise, RealBird became one of the few real estate information providers whose pages have been enhanced with video thumbnails on the Google search result pages. This is a very positive and stunning SEO news and together with the high ranking of the RealBird property websites, it represents a major improvement in visibility for our members.

Tighter integration of your RealBird featured listings and map-based property search

We also introduced a small, but powerful feature for RealBird PRO members. The RealBird map-based property search can now be configured to show your own featured listings as "sticky", highlighted icons on the map. We call them "sticky" icons, because they are shown on the map independently from the actual search criteria, as long as their location falls within the current map boundaries. This a great, non-intrusive advertisement of your own properties to home buyers using your map search.

United Kingdom coverage added to RealBird

We also extended support for most of the RealBird services for estate agents in the United Kingdom. With this launch, RealBird now provides online marketing services to US, Canada and UK agents and brokers. 

Brand new, major redesign of the flagship RealBird single property website platform launched

It's been a long time coming and finally, in October, we launched a major redesign of our flagship RealBird Listing Publisher property website platform. The system has many, many improvements and new features, while remaining fully backward compatible: new layout design, improved SEO, improved load speed, deeper social media integration, better lead capture, more automatic integration with 3rd party services such as Walkscore, ability to add more custom pages and content and many more features. We were very happy to receive an overwhelmingly positive response from all of our members regarding this major update.

New Craigslist property ad generator released

A revamped Craigslist property ad generator was launched in November, making it much easier for RealBird members to create a Craigslist ad with unlimited color theme options. Craigslist is one of the most popular classifieds ad platforms and this new tool makes it way easier to create much better looking ads for your RealBird listings. 

SMS keyword property marketing added to your mobile marketing toolkit

Just in time for the holiday season, we added a new listing marketing service to the RealBird mobile toolkit. We integrated RealBird with the leading SMS technology provider, Twilio and introduced SMS keyword marketing for your properties with an amazing, automatic lead capture feature.

Last but not least, 7,616 real estate professionals joined RealBird in 2011. This is our highest yearly registration number ever and we thank you all very much (long time and new members as well) for trusting your real estate marketing on the RealBird platform. 

We Wish You All A Very Happy & Successful New Year !

-- The RealBird Team
RealBird.com 


RealBird is now available in the United Kingdom

RealBird-US-Canada-UK

We are very pleased to announce that the RealBird real estate marketing platform is now available for real estate agents in the United Kingdom. While the RealBird Property Search has been supporting UK search widgets for a while, with this new release, UK based agents can use the Listing Publisher to market their own listings as well. 

Below is the list of the unique features of RealBird PRO for the UK:

  • Unlimited single property websites and virtual tours for your listings 
  • Single property website widgets for your blog and website
  • Listing inventory widgets for your blog and website
  • Listing syndication (currently UK listings are only syndicated to Oodle,
    but more destinations will be added ongoing)
  • Auto-generated QR codes and mobile property websites
  • Exceptional search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media listing marketing tools
  • Custom Facebook Real Estate Page tabs
  • Facebook Listing Pages
  • Property search widgets including map-based property search 
  • Private labeled mobile real estate website with your own city domain name and QR code
  • Browser toolbar for your buyers including the unique cross-site property inquiry tool

With this new release, RealBird PRO now provides coverage for the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. We'll post some UK examples later as they appear in our system.

Stay tuned for the upcoming feature releases including a brand new and highly social single property website platform.

-- RealBird.com 


Facebook Page Apps: Map-based Search and Mobile Real Estate Website

You can now create three distinct Facebook Real Estate Page Tabs with RealBird PRO

  1. one for your Featured Listings
  2. one for your Map-based Search and 
  3. one for promoting your Mobile Real Estate Website
    with live preview and with a call-for-action including your QR code

See the examples below and link to the tutorials:

Map-based Search Facebook Page Tab

Map-based Search Facebook

See a live example on Janie Coffey's Coral Gables Real Estate Facebook Page

or on our RealBird Facebok Page

Mobile Real Estate Website Facebook Page Tab

Mobile Real Estate Facebook

See live example on Janie Coffey's Coral Gables Real Estate Facebook Page

or on our RealBird Facebok Page

Featured Listings Facebook Page Tab

Featured Listings Facebook

See live example on Janie Coffey's Coral Gables Real Estate Facebook Page

or on the RealBird Facebook Page

How to add these modules to your own Facebook Page

We wrote 3 step-by-step tutorials, one for each modules. You can find them on this page. At first glance it may look long due to the screenshots showing each step, but it is really simple:

  1. Add the Static Iframe Tab application to your Facebook Page
  2. Copy and paste the code (mobile site, map-search or featured listings photowall) into the config box
  3. Rename and rearrange the tab link

SEO benefits:

According to the whitepaper we posted earlier and also based on our own experiments, Facebook Page Tabs (and also status updates) are now fully indexed by Google and Bing.

Picking the correct label for those sidebar links and adding the right content may increase your visibility in search engines as well. It's similar to adding multiple pages to your website and blog to target long tail keywords. Adding multiple tabs with the proper headers, tab labels and tab content can help with your Facebook SEO as well. Based on our tutorials, you may want to set up several neighborhood map searches and properly name the tab links accordingly. It is a good Facebook SEO practice and also great for engaging your fans.

Should you have questions on how to use these new features please do not hesitate to ask.

Thanks

 

-- Zoltan 
RealBird.com

 

 


Google +1, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sharing tools are now easier to use with RealBird

We just made it easier for you and your visitors to share your listing information on social networks.

Your RealBird single property websites, your Quick Share page and also the listing editor confirmation page now show a new, large social media sharing module. We have been supporting social network sharing for your listings for years, but this update introduces some accessibility improvements and also adds a large button with counters for the new Google +1 button and for LinkedIn as well.

Social Sharing Buttons

What is Google +1 ?

Google +1 is a brand new social plugin from Google. It is similar to the Facebook Like button you see on many websites ( including your RealBird listing sites). You or your visitors can "vote up" content found either on Google's search result or on 3rd party websites, e.g. your RealBird property websites. Google then uses this vote to highlight and rank search results differently for your network (searchers who you are connected to via Google services, Twitter etc.) 

To vote your properties up in Google's index, you can visit your own RealBird property website, scroll to the bottom and click the +1 button. It takes only a simple click. Or you can visit your QuickShare page (link is provided on the top of the listing management page in the RealBird member area) and click the +1 button for each of your listings. Finally, when you add a new listing in RealBird, the confirmation page will also have the same set of sharing buttons so you can simple click on it as soon as the property is posted. 

Here is an example of how the RealBird listing is presented for your network in Google's search result, once it is voted up by you. In this case, RealBird's Google account voted up a listing and is shown for me as such:

Google +1

How to enable the Facebook Like button ?

Similar to Google +1, the Facebook Like button enables you and your visitors to easily share your listings with their Facebook network with only a single click. In order to enable this feature, you will have to connect your Facebook account to RealBird. This is a standard and secure process, just click on the Facebook Login button in the member area and click Allow on the permission popup page. We do not see your Facebook login info, it's absolutely secure to connect to RealBird.  We require this extra step, because unlike other simple implementations, we support the full Facebook Open Graph and we need to designate you as the admin of the Facebook Listing Page that is created for each of your listings. This is a very powerful feature, but also really easy to set up. A more detailed explanation can be found on this post of ours from a year ago: Don't Forget to Like Yourself - Facebook Listing Pages with RealBird

How to best utilize the LinkedIn button ?

A new addition to the social sharing module is the large LinkedIn button. Some of the features that we really like about this tool are:

  1. Just like Facebook, the LinkedIn module automatically picks up your primary photos and page title so your shares are visually engaging, which can result in higher click-through rates and subsequent share
  2. On the LinkedIn sharing popup, you can also post the RealBird listing website to LinkedIn Groups, including the RealBird Group on LinkedIn
  3. You can also use the LinkedIn tool to share via emails

If you are an active LinkedIn users, we suggest to set up a few geo-targeted real estate LinkedIn groups and start sharing local real estate related info including your RealBird property websites there as well.

The screenshot below shows these options:

LinkedIn
 

To sum it up: You can now quickly access the new sharing module via A) Your RealBird single property website B) Your QuickShare page C) The new listing add/edit confirmation page.

We hope this new feature will make your social media marketing with RealBird much easier...

Enjoy !

 

  -- Zoltan 
  RealBird.com