Caller ID is Now Available for the RealBird SMS Real Estate Marketing platform

SmsTwilio - the service powering the RealBird SMS marketing platform - has some amazing new features using 3rd party Add-ons and we added support for them in RealBird as well.  This is just a quick post about this update while we are working on the full announcement, should you want to start exploring it today.

One of the most useful add-ons is the caller ID lookup feature. With that, you can now receive name, address, emails and other public, non-confidential information about your prospect via service providers like Next Caller. These are all actionable information and will greatly enhance your marketing efforts and best of all, it is a low, per-lead cost, so you only pay for it when you actually receive new inquiries. 

For example, adding Next Caller's add-on to your Twilio account will cost only an additional 5 cents per lead. The standard rate is 1.5 cent per lead and for a total of 1.5+5=6.5 cents per SMS inquiry, you can have access to the clients name, gender, address and email if publicly available.

To add this feature:

  1. Visit your Twilio account's Add-on page
  2. Select the add-on and click "Install" (e.g. Advanced Caller ID by Next Caller)
  3. On the Configuration page of the add-on, under the "Use it" section, select the checkbox for "Incoming SMS Message" and click "Save" at the bottom of that page.

That's all. No changes are necessary in your RealBird account, assuming you already have the SMS platform configured.

We'll publish a more detailed tutorial for new RealBird members and in case you haven't setup the SMS platform yet. In the meantime, should you have questions, please do not hesitate to email or call us.

Important note: Caller ID and related data are provided by third parties via Twilio and RealBird in no way can guarantee accuracy. We are just forwarding that data provided by them to you. Please follow all local and federal regulations when marketing to your clients using these information.

Happy Marketing !

-- The RealBird Team

 


67 Slides From Upworthy That Will Improve Your Real Estate Marketing Overnight

See these 67 slides of content marketing gems from Upworthy If you don't learn at least one new thing from these slides that's applicable for your real estate marketing, than you won't from any other sources. This is just a treasure chest of actionable information, like the one that insists that you write 25 headlines for each shares or the one about how to properly frame them on Facebook. 

Whether you are a fan of Upworthy or not, a follower of growth hacking techniques or just a casual marketer, there are more than one slides that are easily applicable to your online real estate marketing efforts, we promise !

We'd love to hear your takeaway after reading the slides!

And by the way, we did write 25 headlines for this post. We'll be happy to share them, just ask :)

-- Your RealBird Team


Webinar recording: $14.2M Worth Of Listings With Expired Listings Marketing

As promised, we are sharing the recording of the yesterday's webinar with guest speaker Janie Coffey. Over 500 registered to the webinar, it was one of the most popular ones for a long time. Thank you so much Janie for sharing your knowledge with us.

The slides are also available on Slideshare for future reference: 

Thank you so much Janie for being our guest speaker.

 
-- The RealBird Team

What a difference good photography makes ! Or visual communication in real estate marketing

It's no secret that a correctly priced property in an active marketplace will sell in a predictable time frame.

However:

You could speed up the sales cycle, and even sell the property at a higher price by employing professional staging, higher quality photography, and using innovative ways for marketing the listing to reach more well qualified prospects..

As a RealBird case study, please meet this beautiful home on Audubon Lakes Dr in Baton Rouge ( courtesy of Mike Denham & Carmen Widmeier ) 

14815 Audubon Lakes Dr Screenshot

Click the image above to see the actual property website

Following are some of the highlights that make this property website stand out:

  1. Visual communication #1: The background picture instantly suggests that the property is a golf property. No reading of the fine lines is required, it takes just a second for the visitor to realize it - it is visual and intuitive.
  2. Visual communication #2: The property pictures are outstanding and hence suggest "luxury" and "quality". They also suggest that the seller of this property and the real estate agents marketing it take pride in what they are selling. This results in another powerful motivation: "trust". Again, without the need of explanation. It's communicated visually.
  3. Visual communication #3: The primary photo taken during twilight is perfect for communicating "peacefulness" and "relaxation". At least that was my very first thought when first looking at the website. These are two very important considerations for buyers for calling a place a home.

As you see, attention to details like this is very powerful: within seconds of visiting the site, prospective buyers already know that the property is associated with "golf", "leisure", "luxury", "peacefulness" and "trust". Without reading a single sales pitch or digging through detailed descriptions. Powerful marketing right there.

Once these concepts are set as a baseline - as we noticed - Mike and Carmen have put a lot of effort into sharing the website with their network. They also started to announce the availability of the property on their Facebook page, days before it actually hit the market, hence building up excitement. If you click through to the property website, you'll see the growing number of social media shares (Facebook Likes, Tweets etc.) which again, add to the visual communication: New visitors instantly see the many Facebook Likes (35 at the time of writing this) and again, without thinking twice, those social counters provide positive feedback for them that the property is special and desireable, and in the case of an actual prospective buyer, this may create a sense of urgency. We also believe that the higher the counters on those social widgets are, the more likely that a new user will re-share it with their own network of friends.

So go ahead, "walk that extra mile", take good pictures, get inspired by other RealBird members' creations and make sure that you always share your own listings on your social networks. Those counters are part of the visual communication. And it takes only a few seconds.

Carmen and Mike - Congrats. Very well done ! And thanks for letting us use your RealBird property website as a case study. 

-- 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