Google Maps now shows UK homes for sale

Just announced on Google's blog, Google Maps now shows hundreds of thousands of UK property listings just like it does in the US.

Data is sourced by listing syndication providers and is provided via Google Base, again just like in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. 

Interestingly enough we have already been providing the RealBird Map-based Property Search for the UK for a few months, using the same data from Google Base :) Below is an example, courtesy of Graham Phelps of GR Phelps Limited

UK, US and Canadian agents and brokers can provide a private labeled, ultra fast and flexible map-based search on their websites and blogs for their visitors via the RealBird Property Search service. 

All leads our forwarded to the RealBird member agent.

You can learn more about the service and register at RealBird.com


Large Street View with deep linking added to the RealBird single property websites

Many of you may remember when we first released the Google Street View for the RealBird single property websites just 28 hours after the API was introduced by Google. That fast turn over even got us some coverage on Google's own blog. Since then we added more, advanced, large Street View implementations to the MLS-compatible unbranded RealBird Virtual Tours and to the RealBird Property Search service as well.

So it was time to finally improve the original Street View implementation on those single property websites too that are syndicated by default. From now on, your single property websites have a dedicated Street View tab (where available). Here is the list of advanced features for your visitors to browse around your property:

  1. It's a large view, so navigation is much easier
  2. The new Street View now includes the latest UI improvements by Google. Your visitors can double click on a nearby building and the Street View will automatically pan there and turn the viewpoint to face the building. 
  3. The Flash viewer now also shows the approximate address of the location. It is refreshed automatically as your visitor navigates the Street View 
  4. With the icon at the top right, your visitors can get a full screen version of the current Street View
  5. You can deep link to the Street View page of your single property website. Just load your default RealBird site and click the Street View tab. Then link to this Url. Your website will open with the Street View page via this link. Click the image below to see a live example of a gorgeous RealBird property website and an example of the deep linking directly to the Street View page.

737 NE 87th St, Miami, FL 33138
737 NE 87th St, Miami, FL 33138

With this release, we also added the advanced slideshow viewer to the default property website, the same one that was already used on the RealBird Virtual Tours and in the new ActiveRain embed code.

-- Zoltan
RealBird.com


Map-based REO Search available in 5 MLS markets

We have been a bit quiet on this blog for a month or so. To jump-start the conversation again, let me announce the immediate availability of the RealBird Map-based REO Search service in the following 5 MLS markets:

  • REIL - RE InfoLink, California - San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito counties and includes Central Valley MLS data
  • EBRD/MAXMLS - California - Alameda and Contra Costa counties
  • BAREIS - California - Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Solano and Mendocino counties
  • SANDICOR - California - San Diego county
  • MRIS - DC, Maryland and part of Virginia and Pennsylvania

As more and more properties go into foreclosure and eventually end up being bank owned, savvy home buyers and real estate investors seek bargain deals in REOs. Demand for bank owned properties has increased dramatically. With the new RealBird Map-based REO Search tool, you can now service this large home buyer segment and tap into the lucrative business.

Live examples:

MRLBayArea.com



Bay-Area-REO.com

 


Features:

  • Embed live, interactive REO map-based search into your website, blog or even into your ActiveRain blog.
  • Unlimited localized searches: create REO maps for your local neighborhoods. Great for SEO.
  • REO photo and blog sidebar widgets - automatically updated
  • Niche REO searches: luxury bank owned properties, bargain bank owned lands etc.
  • RSS feed for every search: your client will never miss a great deal again
  • Configuration options: show or hide property address, link it to your full property information or use it with the built-in email lead collector


For more information, pricing and to get your REO map-search up and running, please call (866) 551-2934 or email support@realbird.com





RealBird Virtual Tour released - with Google Street View, Google Earth and more

We released the RealBird Virtual Tour product during the weekend: a low cost add-on to the free RealBird single property website. It is an MLS-friendly virtual tour service,  which utilizes most of the technologies we developed over the last year for the free single property websites.

This new product closes a very important loop in our listing marketing platform: The free RealBird Listing Publisher provides many ways to reach home buyers with minimum effort through 1) organic search engine marketing 2) automatic syndication to classified ads portals 3) unique and growing set of listing widgets for publishing on blogs and social network like ActiveRain 4) and additional tools to make it easy and fast to manually post on classified sites - like Craigslist - that do not allow automatic syndication.

With the new, low cost RealBird Virtual Tour add-on, you can now utilize the MLS too, as a distribution platform for your online listing presentations. IDX searches are ubiquitous home buyer tools on real estate websites nowadays. In order for your listing to be highlighted on IDX searches with the virtual tour icon and link, you have to include an unbranded virtual tour though. The RealBird Virtual Tour provides both unbranded and branded version so that you can fully comply with your MLS regulations. It is an optional add-on and costs only $9.99 per listing or $14.99 when purchased with a property domain name. As far as I know, the RealBird Virtual Tour is one of the most cost effective virtual tour on the market to reach home buyers through widely deployed IDX searches.

Unique features include:

  • Large Google Street View where available - your virtual tour is now also a neighborhood tour
  • Complete web analytics - get detailed traffic analysis for your virtual tours using Clicky, Google Analytics and MyBloglog. You will be able to see which local competition brings the most traffic to your virtual tour
  • Unlimited variations of design themes with background images and color themes
  • 7 different maps and live traffic report

See some of the examples below. You can preview your virtual tour, by creating a free RealBird account (or log in if you are already a member), publishing your listing with the Listing Publisher and preview your virtual tour using the links provided. Both branded and unbranded. Make sure you upload high quality photos for best results.

The virtual tour is an optional, low cost add-on to the free service, and we are really excited about the capabilities. So go, check it out and let us know what you think and what you would like us to add to make it even better.

Here are a few examples:

2.7 AC wholesale nursery
Janie Coffey's listing is one of the most unique designs and properties in RealBird.

See the unbranded Virtual Tour
Branded Virtual Tour



Fort Worth, TX single family home
Listing by Brenda Magness, Brenda Blaser & Pam Yoakum Realty Group. Note the Street View and the Market Statistics tab.

Unbranded Virtual Tour
Branded Virtual Tour



Holliston Massachusetts New Construction
Listing by Bill Gassett.  The screenshot shows the embedded 3D Google Earth.

Unbranded Virtual Tour
Branded Virtual Tour

Let us know what you think.

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com


Google Earth API integrated with the RealBird property websites

More and more advanced desktop technologies are being ported to the browser platform and ultimately the barrier between the two will disappear. RIA (Rich Internet Application) frameworks like Flash and Silverlight, online application platforms, like Facebook and OpenSocial and enabling technologies like AJAX and Google Gear started to deliver both the smooth transition between the online and offline environment - i.e. applications can work both connected to and disconnected of the Net - and improvements in speed, performance and user experience. 

Google released an update of the mapping API in June, and the Maps API now includes support for browser based 3D Google Earth maps. This is a product which was even amazing as a desktop application when it was first introduced by Keyhole a few years ago and now the core functionality is ported to the browser. While the Microsoft Virtual Earth technology had similar browser-based, 3D maps for a while, due to the popularity of Google Earth and the KML standard, Google's move is quite significant. This is their first release and it is plug-in based, i.e., the user has to download a small browser extension before this feature is available for them. The current Google Earth API features seem to focus on core navigation and KML integration. One can of course expect, that eventually all of the Google "virtual world" products (Maps, the 3D Google Earth, their recently acquire Lively virtual world platform, Google Street View etc.) will all merge. Imagine being able to start with Google Earth and once zoomed into the street level, being able to smoothly switch to Street View which could show Google ScetchUp architectures and Lively virtual world content. I am not sure how far it is but it's coming within a year or two for sure.

The property websites created with RealBird now provide embedded Google Earth. The feature requires a plug-in to be downloaded and installed by your visitors, but it is designed in a way, that it is transparent to all of those users who do not have it yet installed or do not wish to download the plug-in.

For an example, see Ryan Jenkins listing below.Click the screenshot to see it live.

Google Earth on RealBird

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com