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.
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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.
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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
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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

 


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


MySpace Classifieds has real estate listings through Oodle

The great thing about syndicating RealBird listings to Oodle is that through their ever growing partnership with third-party sites, RealBird listings find their way to even more destinations automatically. We wrote about it on ActiveRain when we first noticed traffic from OverStock (through Vast.com) and Walmart's classifieds sites (through Oodle) and now there is a new prominent Oodle partnership, which takes your RealBird listings even further, capturing the attention of another segment of the Internet population.

On June 28, Oodle announced its parnership with MySpace supplying their newly released MySpace classifieds site with fresh listings. This particular implementation also utilizes the social graph embedded in MySpace: listings can be linked to MySpace profiles and friends can be enlisted to help users buy and sell products. Not being a MySpace user myself, I have not tested these features yet, but I've noticed traffic coming in to RealBird sites from MySpace already.

Oodle syndicates to more than 200 sites, so when you post your listing on RealBird, it is eventually syndicated to an additional 200 portals besides our direct distribution partners. Syndication of the syndicated data. Pretty cool.

I could not find the full list of their partners anywhere on Oodle, but I will inquire about it and list them in a future post.

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com


Street View API released - 28 hours later we are online

Google finally released the Street View API  yesterday. It is pretty neat, although it came short of my expectation of allowing 3rd parties to add hotspots and flash media into the Panorama itself. Maybe with their next release. Nevertheless, the API is clean and powerful and even allows animation controlled from Javascript. We've been promoting Street Views embedding into single property websites and blogs for real estate estate neighborhood presentations, but from now on, the API eliminates the need for the manual tasks.

Hopefully, Google will speed up the addition of new cities. Through the new API implementation, new coverage will be automatically added to the RealBird listing websites, even if coverage is currently unavailable.

This is indeed a great, great feature for real estate. I bet, many new applications will pop-up now that the API is available. Check out the RealBird examples below to see how powerful this new neighborhood tool is when integrated into single property websites.

Denver, CO auction - check out the bargain alert also !

Denver home for sale

Boise, ID single family home

Boise, ID home for sale

-- Zoltan Szendro

RealBird.com


Google Street View - amazing neighborhood virtual tours

We could not wait until Google provides access to the amazing Steet View imagery via their Google Maps API, so we went ahead and for the first time in the industry, we made Google Street Views available for RealBird members with a very simple manual embedding process.

As many of you already know, Google started to take 360° panoramic photographs of streets in 2007, starting with major metropolitan areas. Many in the real estate blogging sphere covered Google's product release and most of them including me found it an amazing and a very valuable tool for real estate virtual presentations. Slide-shows and interior panoramas provide virtual walk-through of the house; maps and aerial photos give great information about things in the vicinity including buildings, schools, points of interest, roads and more and now, finally, with Google Street View, home buyers from remote locations can "walk around" in the neighborhood, virtually, without ever leaving their own place. From interior virtual tours through neighborhood walk-thrus to bird's eye views, finally you can provide virtual presentation for all aspects of your property.

While Google still does not provide API access to this feature (i.e. enabling 3rd parties like us to automatically use this imagery), they quietly released a feature in December, which allows you to embed the interactive Street View  widget into your website and blog. And now with RealBird's capability of handling any kind of embeddable widgets, you can use the Street View on your single property websites built with RealBird Listing Publisher.

How to add Google Street View to your RealBird single property website

Let's see a live example for demonstration, then I will show the simple steps it actually take to do it for your own listings for free.

Click the image below, then on the property website, click "Street View".

Amazing, don't you think?

OK, so  here  are the  steps for setting up a single property website like this. (You  will need to have a free RealBird account)

See if Street View is available for your location

Go to http://maps.google.com, type in the address and see if the Street View button appears on the top right. If Street View is available, drag the little yellow icon to the location where you want your viewpoint to be set . The streets with "Street View"  capability will be highlighted once you click the "Street View"  button.  Drag the person-icon to a location on one of the highlighted streets. As you will see it in the next step, the actual, current Street View will be provided as widget, not your initial location. In other words, fine tune the view of the location before you continue to the next step.

See if Street View is available for your location

Grab the code

Click the "Link to this page" link above the map on the right.

Link to this page option

The second text box contains the default iframe code, which you can copy and paste just like that. You can further customize the widget. Click the link: "Customize and preview embedded map"

Step 3 - Customize code

There is another feature, which can be very useful, but is not obvious as an option on the configuration screen. In some design layouts, you may want to have a full bleed 100% width for the widget. Just take the code Google provides and replace the width="xyz" with width="100%". The Street View widget's width will automatically scale to whatever design you embed it into.

Embed the widget into RealBird single property website

Login on RealBird (or get a free account in a few seconds).

RealBird

Add a new listing or edit an existing one. On the listing editor page, click the Embedded Media tab (it can be used for any widgets: video, slideshow, audio, iframe, in this case we are going to embed the Street View into a listing website)

Post Street View on your RealBird site

Enter "Street View" in the "Tab text" field and paste the embed code into the large text box. "Publish" or "Save as draft" and it's done.

~~~ Easy, elegant and absolutely cool presentation. ~~~

I believe, this is a must have widget for any online listing presentation if Google has coverage for your area. While these manual steps will not be necessary once the Google Maps API gives access to it, but until then, this feature on your RealBird sites can be a great marketing vehicle for virtual presentations and to separate your listings and yourself from the crowd.

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com