Archive for the ‘ Technology ’ Category

Is Online Chat Making a Comeback for Websites?

One of the things that we tried a few years back at our brokerage, was to provide “online chat” on our website for visitors who wanted some quick information. The thought was that it would provide the user a better experience and that we would get many more leads because of it. We thought that the ability to provide an “instant response” would engage customers in conversation. That did not turn out to be the case. So we let the project drift for a couple of years.

So what has changed that may make this strategy become a more effective experience, marketing wise? For starters, many more websites in other industries are using it, so customers are becoming accustomed to it. Customer service off of websites has taken two routes as the battle to balance customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing costs has raged. The first effort was to go offshore, but that has proven to be less than satisfactory to the user. Keeping a fully staffed 24 hour a day team here in the states was out of the cost range for the companies. Thus the popularity of online chat for support.

Add to that these following trends and we MAY have the making of a new option for real estate agents: Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Eric Blackwell on September 9th, 2010 under Guest Bloggers, HomeGain, Technology

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In SEO, Do Yahoo and Bing Matter? How to Tell.

One of the questions that I get from REALTORS all of the time while consulting is something like this…

“Do I need to worry about ranking in Yahoo and MSN as well as Google?”

“How much attention should I pay to Yahoo and  MSN?”

While the questions vary slightly, the meaning is exactly the same. Each search engine is different. It is one thing to rank really well on one search engine. It is another thing entirely to rank on two (or more). In the past (before Bing and Yahoo announced that Bing would be powering Yahoo), the answer was splendidly easy. Just worry about Google. The rest do not matter. They simply do not have enough market share to matter.

But what about after Microsoft has spent over $100 million advertising Bing as the “decision engine”? What about once Yahoo is powered by Bing? Will they have enough market share to matter then?

A couple of insights are helpful. The first of them is to know how to get a monthly snapshot of the search engine market share. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Eric Blackwell on October 14th, 2009 under Online Marketing, Technology

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Using Floor Plans To Sell Homes

Floor plans have been a standard element in builder marketing materials for years. Recently there have been a number of positive statistics relating to the use of floor plans in the U.K.

Several of the larger property portals there are promoting the fact that properties with floor plans receive 30% more interest than properties that don’t.

It seems like it’s an affordable marketing tool for Realtors. There are some real estate floor plan solutions out there at $10 or less per plan. One such company we’ve seen is Metropix – a floor plan creation solution for real estate professionals. Within this solution, there are multiple ways to create a floor plan, including a “draw your own service”, which costs $9.99 for 48 hours use.

metropix-floor-plansIt looks like it’s easy to use, too. For example, if you don’t want to draw yourself, there’s an “AutoDraw” feature that converts a rough sketch/plan into a professional floor plan for you. You can decide mid-way through to upgrade your “classic floor plan” into an interactive floor plan with photographs and/or a 3D floor plan or Walk-through.

What’s your opinion as to whether Realtors would market homes and properties with floor plans? Do you currently use a floor plan solution as part of your marketing? Would such marketing be well received by U.S. consumers?

[polldaddy poll="1709007"]

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on June 17th, 2009 under Polls, Technology

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HomeGain Real Estate Blog Now Available on Amazon’s Kindle

If you already have the e-reader device, Kindle, you know how cool it is and you may well be ahead of the game. You can now find the HomeGain Real Estate blog on Kindle.

If you haven’t heard about the Kindle yet, it’s about the size and weight of a paperback book, just 1/3 of an inch – about as thin as a magazine. No PC is required, just download blog posts and books from anywhere. You can read for days without recharging. Plus, with its new text-to-speech feature, Kindle can read every newspaper, magazine, blog, and book out loud to you. Pretty nifty.

The Kindle is much more friendly on the eyes than other portable devices like the iPhone and Blackberry as the screen is larger and not back lit.

To access the HomeGain Real Estate blog on Kindle, just type in “HomeGain” in the search line on your Kindle.

Learn more about Kindle on Amazon.com

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on May 31st, 2009 under HomeGain, Technology

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I’m A Raving Fan of HomeGain’s AgentView – Yes, I Admit It!

I started working with AgentView, formerly known as Source4Sellers, mid November 2006.  Since then much has changed with my business model and with AgentView.

My business grew from a fledgling concept to a full team model.  I had started the month before with HomeGain’s BuyerLink.  The traffic from BuyerLink helped build my faith in Internet marketing and build my lead database.  Even then, I knew that HomeGain was very interested in my success and building a true business partnership.

The AgentView product suite continues to develop and is now a full service ad-free solution which highlights and promotes the participating real estate agent.  When I first started with the product, the Source4Sellers solution contained an agent profile and a full CRM with built-in email campaigns.  Now AgentView is so very much more.  Some of the features include:

  • Agent Profile
  • Homes For Sale
  • Home Values
  • Agent Centric Blog
  • Local Information
  • Home Seller Tools

Agent Profile

The AgentView blog offers so much opportunity to help promote the area real estate agent and my Denver real estate website in an ad-free environment. This page is about the agent and their credentials.  The “Have a Real Estate Question for Brian?” is to the right of your contact information as a call to action.

Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Brian Kinkade on April 22nd, 2009 under AgentView, Technology

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New, Unique Co-Marketing Model: AgentView and RateWindow

Here’s a unique co-marketing business model that combines RateWindow, the wholesale mortgage rate engine and HomeGain’s AgentView to give teams of mortgage brokers and Realtors an innovative online marketing presence. Using RateWindow and AgentView together will help position the Realtor and mortgage broker as a team solution for their local client base.

Please let me know what you think about the new marketing model.

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Posted by: Pat Kitano on March 24th, 2009 under Financing, Mortgage and Home Loans, Technology

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