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Service Available for Fayetteville Regional Association of REALTORS®

The Market House, built 1832, in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina.

iHomefinder IDX is available for North Carolina – Fayetteville Regional Association of REALTORS®.  Our IDX service now includes a NEW Facebook App for Business Pages.  Realtors can choose between our standard IDX Property Search product or our IDX for WordPress Plugin.

Fayetteville Regional Association members can add iHomefinder’s premium Property Search and Lead Capture to their websites, and start developing valuable online relationships with leads and prospects around the most accurate MLS property listing information.

There are so many great ways for Fayetteville REALTORS® to start better serving their clients online with iHomefinder IDX.  Impress your Fayetteville area clients online with Email Updates, Top Picks/Hot Sheets, the NEW Facebook App, Mobile Search and much more.

 

 

 

Widget Spotlight: Yelp

Yes, we’re still wild about widgets for Real Estate Agents. We have two more options to enhance your iHomefinder IDX or real estate website.  Both of these options are through Yelp.  If you are not already familiar with Yelp, it’s a great way for consumers (e.g. home buyers and sellers) to both find local businesses and share their experiences with local businesses through ratings and reviews.  To learn more, here are 10 Things You Should Know About Yelp.

Yelp has two widgets that you can use to dress up your website or IDX.  If you are on Yelp already, and have a great ratings and reviews that you’d like to showcase on your website, you can create a Yelp Business Widget.  Here’s an example of a restaurant in San Francisco that has placed the business widget right on their homepage.  Click here for a site using this widget or see below two examples of this widget.

 

If you would like to set up a business widget, you’ll need to go to Yelp for Business Owners and follow the instructions for generating the code for the widgets we’ve displayed above.

If you don’t yet have a business rating that you’d like to post on your site, you can demonstrate your intimate knowledge of the local area by showing off all the reviews you’ve made for local businesses like restaurants, other real estate related businesses, or other neighborhood services and amenities that are important for families moving into a new neighborhood.  You can do this with the Yelp Bling widget.  Share with your clients or prospects what businesses are great or not so great in your area.  They’ll appreciate it and see that you have your pulse on what’s happening in the neighborhood.

How to create the above Yelp Bling widget.

1. First login to Yelp

2. Then, go to Yelp Bling

3. Choose the color scheme, copy the code and input into the Widget Text section of iHomefinder IDX or your website.  See below for the custom html widget section of the iHomefinder system.

Have you been staying up to date on our other Widget Spotlight posts?  If not, click on: Twitter, Facebook, or Altos Research to see how to add these great widgets to your site.

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

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.