Special Webinar: Setting up and using the RealBird SMS platform for lead generation

We received many emails and calls asking about details regarding the RealBird Texting/SMS platform, so we decided to hold a short, special webinar this Wednesday so we can better clarify how this capability is set up and ways to use it.  This webinar will be only about texting and related topics, so we expect it to last about 30 minutes. Participants will be able to ask questions of course.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 from 8:00 to 8:30  AM Pacific Time

To register, please use this link:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/472162560


Improved listing management, SMS with signature and Backpage syndication update

We released a few improvements over the weekend, before the rollout of some major new features in the upcoming weeks. Below is a quick list of these updates:

Improved Listing Management Page

Ideal for users who manage a large inventory on RealBird, the listing filter form now retains your settings, so upon subsequent visits (e.g. after updating a listing or log in the next day), the last filter will be applied again. As a practical case, you may have dozens or hundreds of sold listings published through RealBird, but you rarely need to edit or manage them once added. So setting and retaining, Active and "Published only" filters will make managing current listings much easier.

Listing-Management-Page

Backpage syndication update

The automatic syndication to Backpage now shows your broker/company name and your state license number for compliance with local rules. Make sure that you add these information to your profile in RealBird and we'll take care of the rest.

SMS marketing platform bug fix

A software issue has been identified and fixed over the weekend that affected text code handling for those client's whose text messaging app is configured to include their signature automatically. The RealBird SMS Text Message Marketing platform now correctly handles these specific cases as well. 

Advanced, lead capture webhook API

This is an advanced feature and it is valuable for those members who work with 3rd party developers. If configured, we are now posting the details of your lead as you receive them to any 3rd party webhook Url you set. This is a preliminary release of this feature and available upon request. More details about this including documentation and other API features will be posted in the upcoming weeks.

-- The RealBird Team
www.realbird.com


In the press: RealBird® Launches SMS AnyLink™ for Mobile Real Estate Marketing

Please find below the repost of our recent press release about the new RealBird SMS AnyLink™ feature. Existing RealBird PRO members can start using this feature right away, just follow the SMS navigation menu in the member area. For new users, the setup takes only a few minutes:


SMS AnyLink™ is a novel, versatile and low cost mobile marketing tool for real estate professionals. With it real estate agents can set up custom SMS (text messaging) codes for any webpages, such as property websites, property searches, agent or listing videos, virtual tours, open homes and more.

Redwood City, CA (PRWEB) June 19, 2014

RealBird Inc., a leading provider of Internet marketing tools for real estate professionals, announced today the availability of SMS AnyLink™ with its RealBird PRO service. This capability is implemented using Twilio’s Cloud Communications Service and extends the current text marketing capabilities in the RealBird service by allowing agents to set up custom SMS codes for any webpages, such as property websites, property searches, videos, etc. The cost of the service is only $1/month for the phone number and 1.5 cents per lead messages in addition to the RealBird PRO subscription fees.

Once a texting code has been set up, it can be promoted via flyers, print advertising, classified ads, videos, etc. A consumer who texts the code to the agents’ number will instantly receive a response with the corresponding web page link in a shortened format.

Benefits: 

  • Easy to use – it takes less than a minute to set up a new code
  • Versatile – any webpage can be used
  • Effective – can be used for narrow target marketing and agent always gets the lead phone number
  • Provides a competitive edge in listing presentations
  • Low cost - $1/month and 1.5 cents per lead (in addition to the RealBird PRO subscription fee)

The new SMS service is fully integrated with the RealBird PRO service and requires an easy one time setup that takes only a few minutes. Vanity, reusable codes are fully supported to minimize the agents’ costs for printing display panels. This SMS service can also access the agent’s mobile website which is included in the RealBird PRO service by texting “M” to the number, or simply dialing the phone number. The cost of the service is by far the most affordable in the real estate industry.

  • Example use cases for the custom RealBird SMS AnyLink™ service:
  • Preset home search for neighborhood via your IDX
  • Preset home search via some other search engines (e.g. Zillow, Realtor.com etc.)
  • Link to your own website
  • Link to your own blog
  • Link to your own listing inventory widgets
  • Sales, special offer or squeeze and landing pages
  • Recorded voice messages
  • Youtube real estate videos
  • Event, registration pages
  • Craigslist or other advertising posts
  • Open homes pages
  • Area homes sales statistics 

Zoltan Szendro, CTO and Executive VP of RealBird explains: “Text messaging is ubiquitous today and it has now become one of the many convenient ways that consumers can use to shop for real estate. Since our founding we have lead the way in empowering agents to use new technology for real estate. Consumers have fully embraced mobile technology for their real estate shopping and with this launch we have complemented the social media and mobile tools in the RealBird PRO service with a powerful yet low cost capability. We are excited to lead the way and to be able to turn our innovations into useful, easy to use and affordable tools for the real estate industry.”

“The new generation of consumers expect their agents to be on the cutting edge of technology and respond in real time when they request information” - says Jasmina Zivkovic, a REALTOR with BeautifulRichmondHill.com in Ontario. “The half-life of an online lead is less than one hour, and this new texting service allows us to reply to common consumer requests instantly - which was impossible with traditional phones & paging systems. Plus, we'll never again lose a lead because RealBird sends us Caller IDs - unlike Website visitors or QR codes. This makes both our buyers & sellers happy! I would have never dreamed that an online marketing tool can be so low cost and yet so effective.”

The RealBird PRO service also includes: 

  • Property Search with listings sourced with Oodle (map based search, tabular search, blog sidebar widget and WordPress plugin – USA only)
  • Single Property Websites with syndication to the major portals and the ability to promote the agent’s brand, blog, property search, video, etc.. Agents can create unlimited sites and re-publish solds to achieve a cumulative SEO effect.
  • Tools for social media real estate marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist and more)
  • Mobile Media Website for all major smart phones with QR codes and SMS code.

 

About RealBird Inc.: 
RealBird (http://www.realbird.com) is based in the Silicon Valley and was founded in 2003 to develop and provide technology services and products for real estate agents. These include listing and agent marketing and lead generation tools uniquely tailored to the needs of the residential and commercial real estate industry. The founders of RealBird were pioneers in introducing Internet and mobile marketing to the real estate industry.

RealBird has over 44,000 members. For additional information, visit http://www.realbird.com.

® RealBird is a registered trademark of RealBird Inc. SMS AnyLink is a trademark of RealBird, Inc.

Contact: Gabriel Gross, (866) 551-2934 
Email: pr(at)realbird(dot)com 
Web: http://www.realbird.com


Phone call activated, geo location enabled mobile marketing with RealBird and Twilio

This is one of the coolest and most unique features that we launched so far for the RealBird Text Message Marketing platform.

The RealBird Text Message Marketing service is built on top of the Twilio infrastructure. As we wrote when we first launched in December, the primary goal was to provide a text (SMS) keyword marketing tool for you: your prospective buyers see your call-for-action message asking them to text a keyword to your Twilio phone number and when they do so, RealBird returns to them your property information via an SMS reply, while also capturing their phone numbers for you. 

Soon after the launch, we noticed that consumers had a tendency to call the SMS phone number, rather than texting the SMS keywords, so we began to work on RealBird features that can handle incoming calls on your SMS phone number as well.

First, we made sure that prospects who call your marketing phone number are captured in your RealBird contacts database so that you can call them back with more details. Now there is another feature automatically available to RealBird PRO members:

RealBird Geo Enabled Voice Call
This feature is very unique and powerful: When a prospect calls your phone number, we not only store their contact information for you, but we automatically and instantly return to him or her an SMS message on your behalf with a geo location enabled link in it. This is how the workflow goes:

  1. Prospect calls your SMS phone number 
  2. RealBird captures his/her phone number in your RealBird database and sends you an email with the prospect's details 
  3. RealBird hangs up the phone call (we'll have more options for this soon) 
  4. Then instantly, RealBird sends an SMS message back to the prospect: The SMS contains and thank you note, your RealBird phone number to call (your regular number in your profile) 
    AND and link to a special RealBird mobile page 
  5. If this special link is followed by the user via their smartphones, RealBird asks the prospect for permission to access his/her location (via the GPS geolocation feature available in modern smartphones) 

    A) If prospects declines this (or his/her phone does not support geolocation), RealBird redirects the user to your RealBird mobile website's homepage

    B ) If prospect allows the GPS lookup, than RealBird searches your RealBird listings for the nearby property (within 0.2 miles of your prospect's current location) 

    >> If the RealBird listing is found (prospect is in front of your property within 200 feet), then RealBird redirects him/her to your mobile property website showing the property details 

    >> If the listing was not found (e.g. the prospect called your number via a magazine, print ad etc. - i.e. away from your property), RealBird redirects the prospect to your RealBird mobile site's homepage

This is a very powerful and novel feature that bridges phone calls with geolocation enabled smartphones and provides an additional way for you to turn these prospects into clients.

And just like with the SMS feature, you can use this new voice feature to WOW your prospective sellers at listing interviews: You can set up a draft listing on RealBird prior to your meeting and at your seller's house - as a demonstration - you can call your Twilio phone number, receive the geo enabled SMS message and automatically pull up their property information on your smartphone.

If this does not WOW your prospective sellers about your technical/marketing capabilities, I am not sure what will :)

We hope you will like this new RealBird feature and put it to good use.

Should you need help with setting up Twilio with RealBird, please contact us directly as Twilio does not have access to the RealBird backend and they can't support our integration. We are here to help if you need assistance. 

 

-- 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