The RealBird Nearby Homes Plugin Supports Wordpress 4.0

Wordpress 4.0 just launched yesterday focusing mainly on improving content authoring and management features. We are happy to let you know that the RealBird Wordpress Plugin for adding your Nearby Homes Map-Search widget to your posts is fully compatible with this new Wordpress release. 

Nearby Homes For Sale Plugin

The RealBird Wordpress plugin is available for real estate agents and brokers with RealBird PRO:

  • nationwide across the USA (with data sourced from Oodle's database)
  • IDX sourced in the SF Bay Area (BAREIS, EBRD, MLSListings) and in the MRIS coverage areas in DC, Maryland and Virginia

While our tests show full compatibility with the new Wordpress release, please do not hesitate to contact us if you ran into some issues with it. Thanks.

-- 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 


Your Featured Properties Shown as "Sticky" Icons On Your Map-based Search

We added a simple but powerful new feature to the RealBird Map-based Property Search tool yesterday.

Your own featured listings - published through the RealBird Listing Publisher service - are now shown as "sticky" icons on your RealBird map search. By "sticky" we mean that it is search criteria independent, so no matter what your client is searching for, your own listings within the specific map boundary are always presented to them using a special icon.

Featured Properties Sticky Icons

Click here or the image above to see a live example of this feature, courtesy of Katerina Gasset 

By default, we use a distinct red icon to distinguish between regular properties that match a particular search criteria and your own "sticky" featured listings. We also label the content of the popup with the text "Featured Property" when users hover over these icons.

There is also a configuration tool in the member area: You can turn this feature off, or change the color of the featured listing icons from the default red to green or to blue to blend in with regular matches. The screenshot below shows the simple settings page for this. You can access your own configuration tool in the RealBird member area, under the "Configure Service" tab of the Property Search section.

Sticky Icons Configuration Tool

There are also Url parameters to overwrite your global settings, per map deployment: As you probably know, you can create unlimited pre-set RealBird map-search widgets for different niches. Let's say you have a global configuration for this feature to show your "sticky" listings with red icons on all of your search widgets, but for a few special pre-set widgets, you'd like to turn this new feature off. Adding the Url parameters described below, you can have global settings and overwrite it per deployment. Just add one of the following parameters to the end of the generated widget Url to achieve this:

  • &mapfl=0 (turn this feature off for the particular widget)
  • &mapfl=1 (use red icons for featured listings)
  • &mapfl=2 (use green icons for featured listings)
  • &mapfl=3 (use blue icons for featured listings - blends in with regular search results)

We hope you like this new feature as much as we do :) Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

-- Zoltan 
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

 

 


In the press: RealBird Property Search and Single Property Website Services are Now Available in Canada and United Kingdom

Finally, the press release is on the wire about the RealBird support of the Canadian and UK market. The press release is copied below:

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RealBird Property Search and Single Property Website Services are Now Available in Canada and United Kingdom

RealBird Inc., a leading provider of Internet marketing tools for real estate agents announced today the availability of its service in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Redwood City, CA (PRWEB) April 29, 2010 -- RealBird Inc., a leading provider of Internet marketing tools for real estate agents announced today the availability of its service in Canada and the United Kingdom. The Canadian release includes both the Property Search that accesses the Google Real Estate (Google Base) listings database and also the Listing Publisher, for creating and marketing Single Property Websites for listings. The U.K. version includes at this time the Property Search, with the Listing Publisher to be released at a later date. The cost of the service is $99/year.

The RealBird Property Search has been in use since August 2009 and has undergone since then extensive user testing with hundreds of agents who have reported great results in terms of lead generation and user satisfaction. The Property Search can be easily customized with just a few clicks to create specific search links to be added to websites, blogs, or used in standalone mode as a mini-search website. The Property Search also includes a customer login module where homebuyers can save their searches and favorite listings. An example integration can be seen at http://www.thehousepeople.com

RealBird's Listing Publisher includes tools to enable agents to market their listings and themselves not only using their own websites, but also via major real estate classified sites, blogs, Facebook, Active Rain, Twitter, etc.

Zoltan Szendro, EVP and CTO of RealBird explains: "During the past few years the real estate market has undergone profound changes, and a nice website is no longer enough for agents to generate leads. Consumers will start their home search in many diverse places, such as real estate portals like Trulia, Zillow or Google Maps, or classifieds sites such Craigslist, Oodle, or Backpage, or any of the social media sites like Facebook or ActiveRain. With our service agents can position themselves to be found on all these virtual places, at a very low cost and with little effort."

Al and Peggy Cunningham, Brokers with RE/MAX Realty Services Inc., in Brampton, Ontario ( http://www.thehousepeople.com ) are excited that RealBird have recently expanded into the Canadian market: "We have heard only positive comments about RealBird from all of our American REALTOR® friends. Our goal is always to expose our sellers' properties to the largest number of Buyers in the market. RealBird will help us in this endeavor, resulting in the sellers getting sold quick and for the maximum dollar."

About RealBird:
RealBird's services include listing marketing and lead generation tools uniquely tailored to the needs of the residential and commercial real estate industry. The RealBird Listing Publisher provides a free, next generation Property Website builder with syndication to 3rd party classified sites and advance presentation tools. The RealBird Map-based Search service couples the traditional, form-based MLS search with the ability to browse listings on a street or aerial map. RealBird's latest Property Search Tool widget offers user friendly, flexible implementation with national coverage, using syndicated listing data from Google Base. 
RealBird has over 18,000 subscribers. For additional information, visit http://www.realbird.com

® RealBird is a registered trademark of RealBird Inc.

Contact: Gabriel Gross, (866) 551-2934 
Web: http://www.realbird.com 
Blog: http://realbird.typepad.com 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Redwood-City-CA/RealBird/5611254191

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Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/04/prweb3933414.htm