Widget Spotlight: Creating a Facebook Badge

Our last post on widgets showed you how to create an Altos Research custom widget in Optima 950.  Now we’d like to show you how to create a Facebook Badge using the same custom HTML sidebar widget.

Creating a Facebook Badge is another great way to help clients and prospects find you on Facebook and stay connected to you and your expertise.

First, go to Facebook Badges and select the Badge that you would like to display on your site.  Note: you’ll need to log in to Facebook to access the code for the widget.  For this example, we selected a Pages Badge.  Then, clicked on button labeled Other, which will display a thin rectangular box with code for your Facebook Badge.  Copy the code and paste it into your website or sidebar widget within Optima 950.

Here’s the screen within Optima 950 where you’ll want to paste your Facebook Badge code.

Once you paste your code and save, you’ll have a nice looking Facebook Badge on your IDX page or website similar to the image below.

More widget examples and other tips for your real estate websites in future posts.  Have a great weekend!

 

 

Wild About Widgets for Real Estate Agents

We’ve been thinking quite a bit about widgets recently.  With the release of Optima IDX in 950 pixel-wide format, we’ve added a whole array of great sidebar widgets to our platform.

A widget is a small piece of software code that you can easily place on a page of your website. Generally, they display interesting content from other sites or other portions of your own site.  Widgets are an excellent way to quickly add new content to your site, engage your visitors, and make your content more shareable.

If you are just getting started with widgets, here is one you can use with our new custom HTML widget and should consider using on your real estate website.

Market Trends Charts:  Altos Research, a real estate data firm, offers free market trends chart widgets that you can place on your website. To create your widget, go to Altos Charts and click the TRY IT NOW button at the bottom of the page. Then, select your favorite city, choose your stats, and simply copy the provided HTML.

Next, login to your iHomefinder Control Panel, go to Account Setup -> Design/Branding Setup ->  Widgets. Select the IDX page on which you wish to place the widget, and then drag the “Custom HTML” block to the Selected Widgets area.

Click the little down arrow, paste the HTML you just copied, and click Save.  That’s it!  You’ll now have a nice market trends widget on your chosen page.

These is only one great example of an HTML widget that you can easily pop into your iHomefinder Optima IDX pages.  If you need help, contact us at support@ihomefinder.com.

In addition to custom HTML, we’ve added a bunch of other great widgets to Optima IDX, including featured property galleries, hot sheet galleries, contact forms and more. We’ll cover these and other custom HTML widgets in future posts.

Agents Start Your Blogs: Connect and Expand Your Reach

Often real estate agents and brokers ask us or our reseller partners for surefire ways to increase their website’s ranking with the search engines (e.g. Google and Yahoo).  While we have built Search Engine Optimization (SEO) right into our iSearch Optima IDX platform, we also stress to our clients and partners the importance of creating fresh content that will both delight their clients and prospects, and allow the search engines to index their website.

You may have seen our post back in October 2010 on 101 Things for Real Estate Agents to Blog About.  We still think this is a great list, and we took one topic to create a sample post that we could share with you for possible inspiration on content for your blog.

Number 3 on our list of things to blog about is Local market trends & statistics.  We selected the city of Kensington, CA as our subject for our post, and wrote up a post as if we were an agent or broker in Kensington creating content for their WordPress blog.

See below for our sample blog post:

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Home Prices Holding Steady in Kensington

Recently, I reviewed the statistical information for the area and found that the Kensington real estate market is holding its own compared to other sectors of the Bay area. Per square foot, the average price of a home in this community has only risen a token 0.7% in the past year. Although some agents are pricing homes 7% or more above last year’s average listing amount in the hopes of profiting from a naive buyer, savvy consumers aren’t biting. The actual sales prices aren’t showing the same type of increase, but it’s only a matter of time before we see an upward trend.

What does this mean for my clients? If you’re in the market to buy, you can find a bargain in Kensington. In addition to stable home prices, this exclusive region of Contra Costa County features charming properties with great schools, exceptionally low crime rates, and expansive views of the San Francisco Bay. Whether you’re looking for a home you can really settle into and put down some roots or a lucrative investment property, you can’t go wrong with purchasing a property in this area before the prices finally start going up.

If you’re in the market for a new home, you can’t afford to overlook this area. While the highly-acclaimed school system is one of the first things that draw buyers to the area, the Bay views are often the deal maker. If you’d like to see what Kensington has to offer, give me a call today to schedule a viewing.

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There are many great sources for inspiration on blogging out there.  Books like Content Rules and other resources like the Content Marketing Institute that publishes great articles like “10 Ways to Write Like A Content Marketing Jedi.”

Happy blogging, folks! Share with us really interesting blog posts that you’ve written or found from others out there.  Let’s get creative about communicating with our clients and prospects.

QR Codes Popping Up All Over

If you hadn’t seen our post on how to use QR Codes, click here

Today, on my way into work, I found a great example of a QR Code being used on a sign for a specific property.  Take a look.  It’s as easy as pointing and clicking and prospective buyers are right at your property information.

 

Here’s an example of a direct mail postcard (which arrived on my front porch last week) and nicely uses a QR code. See small black and white box within the picture of the sun room below.

But wait, there’s more.  Below you’ll see a QR code used in a newspaper advertisement in one of our local papers, The Berkeley Daily Planet.

Have you creatively used QR Codes in your marketing efforts?  Send us your examples!

New! Widgets, Optima & More Mobile

iSearch Optima 950 has arrived just in time for summer. We here at iHomefinder have a lot to celebrate about and share with you this season:  customizable widgets, a review of Optima, and more features in our Mobile IDX.

Customizable Widgets

Optima 950 Property Detail Page with Request More Info Widget

 

iSearch Optima 950 has all the great enhancements that you saw with Optima 750, but now with a sidebar and widgets.

The Benefits of Optima Revisited

SEO-Friendly Links

Optima Property Detail Page with SEO-Friendly Links, Social Media Share, Enhanced Listing Data, and Great Design!

 

As with Optima 750, each page within 950 has a unique Universal Resource Locator (URL), which means that search engine robots can access and index all page content. iSearch Optima pages are designed and coded with a focus on SEO.

Social Media Share

 

With the AddThis button, site visitors can easily share links to properties on your site through popular social media sites. Clicking the Facebook or Twitter icons will include the page link in an update or tweet; clicking the Share icon lets users select from a menu of top social networking sites.

Enhanced Listing Data

Enhanced Data Tabs within Optima Details Pages

 

With iSearch Optima, you’ll get more and larger photos, and more integrated listing related data organized in a tabbed format.  These data tabs include a Google Maps and Street View (where available), a Mortgage Calculator, School Information from GreatSchools, and Amenity information from Walk Score.

More Mobile IDX Features

Search Near An Address

Search Near An Address feature on iHomefinder Mobile IDX

 

Mobile site visitors can now search for properties around a specific address. Choosing Search Near an Address from the mobile homepage brings users to a page where they can enter a street number and name, and select a city. Further search fields are available to refine the search.

Top Picks

Top Picks/Hot Sheets are now available through mobile. The index page shows all that are available – clicking on a Top Pick brings the mobile website visitor to the list of properties.

So many new ways to maximize your online real estate marketing with iHomefinder.  Have a great summer and enjoy all the new features!