Posts

Get Free Service

If you're a direct client of iHomefinder, you can now get a free month of service* for each iHomefinder client you refer.

It's Easy

Log into your iHomefinder Control Panel and click on REFER A FRIEND to access your referral widget. Referral Button Next, use the share options in your referral widget (shown below) to direct referrals to our website.

Referral Widget

Referral Widget

Your Rewards Credit

When a referral signs up for a paid account, you'll receive an email to let you know you have earned free credit. And you'll see the "Free Credit" reward appear in your referral widget next to the referred client (see "Maria" in the example above). Your referral reward credit(s) will be applied the next time you are billed for your account.

Introducing Brian Barry of All East Bay Properties

 Brian Barry Blog Post Image In 2005, Brian Barry, began working with Jason Crouch at All East Bay Properties. The company was just opening in Emeryville, California, right across the Bay from San Francisco, and Brian had the opportunity to work with them from the start, serving as the marketing and technology manager. Now, with a team of only five, they are one of the top real estate offices in town, specializing in condominiums and rental properties. In a typical year, they sell roughly 30 properties with a topline revenue of $20 million. They attribute their success to consistently drawing in new website visitors and repeat clients with their extensive local knowledge of the East Bay real estate market.

The Evolution of Brian’s Website Promotion

Brian’s team started by investing in social media marketing to complement their regular marketing techniques (such as sending postcards every 2-3 months and regular email marketing). Then, with his background in web design and some search engine optimization (SEO), Brian was able to help the agency rank first in the search results for the search query: “Emeryville real estate.” Later, Google’s algorithm changed and their page dropped a few spots, so Brian began looking more into social media marketing. Brian was fairly new to social media, but he saw how it could add value to his real estate business. Over the past few years, they have maintained a blog that is rich with infographics sourced, in part, from their local MLS. Each of these blog posts are heavily promoted on their social media channels. Brian also created and launched a Facebook ad campaign. As a result, they have received more online exposure, facilitated online interactions, and further established themselves as a local real estate market leader. In fact, over the last few years, their Facebook followers have grown to 5,500. Now, with solid website and social media traffic, he just needed something that would enhance his website with the same functionality as larger brokerages and destination sites. He chose iHomefinder and MarketBoost to provide these tools for his website.

Making the Move to iHomeFinder IDX’s MarketBoost

Brian and his team immediately improved their ability to manage their listings with iHomefinder’s responsive IDX. MarketBoost gave him an advantage in the area because it provided visitors with a wide range of information about sold and open property listings as well as price changes. They couldn’t provide visitors these services in the past, but this gave them a chance to develop deeper online engagement with their potential leads. These tools turned his website into a significant source of leads, and the team capitalized on it by using the lead setting that requires registration after conducting two property searches. Brian can then offer those leads Market Reports via iHomefinder’s MarketBoost, which includes detailed information about the local market. The All East Bay Properties’ team employs a unique method of reaching out to these potential clients by creating markets defined by the specific building rather than a geographic area. Clients love the hyper-local marketing and return to Brian’s website again and again as the detailed market reports provide insights not available from other brokerages. Brian and his team created 12 markets, which will increase in the future. The current markets are all condominium complexes or rental properties where they have amassed a significant amount of local knowledge over the years.

Initial Results

With iHomefinder’s IDX on his website, Brian’s team was able to get more traffic to their site and generate more leads and repeat visitors. Adding iHomefinder’s MarketBoost to their website provided significant value to the brokerage:
  1. Solidify their reputation and image as local real estate experts. Brian and his team have gained the trust of sellers, buyers, and landlords who turn to them to rent and manage their properties. With MarketBoost, they are well-positioned to build upon this trust by providing relevant content to their new and past clients.
  2. Provide a means to nurture leads. For years, sellers and buyers have leveraged the internet to gain market knowledge prior to engaging with real estate agents. Brian and his team leveraged the power of MarketBoost to ensure clients always received the desired information directly from them (instead of the big portals). This keeps them ‘Top-of-Mind’ when the client is ready to transact.
  3. Save valuable agent time. By providing insights from the local market to their potential clients, his agents can free up more of their time to interact with clients much closer to transacting.
Brian is very pleased with the detailed local market information available through MarketBoost. He has established All East Bay Properties as the local real estate experts, and this had led to their growth in both first-time clients and repeat customers.

Learning Center Series: Lead Generation

Lead Generation and event tracking have never been so easy. The all-new Lead Generator platform from iHomefinder is a perfect addition for your IDX website. The Lead Generator combines the power of your IDX website with incremental lead generation services to help you grow your business. PPC Services PPC value is derived by a few things: Targeting the buyer as tightly as possible, Relevance of the ad to the target, Alignment and hyper-targeted detail of the landing page, Defining what the viewer gets in exchange for their contact info. We now do this for you, optimizing your ROI. IDX Event Tracking IDX Event Tracking allows iHomefinder (responsive) clients to measure how users interact with IDX website content. For example, you might want to measure how many times a “Request Info” or “Social Share” was performed. The IDX Event Tracking captures site activity, enabling you to measure your marketing efforts and putting you in control of your online lead generation efforts. Google Analytics will track any URL that you can edit. Emails, Facebook, banner ads-- you can track it all. Site Lead Management We’ve redesigned emails from the ground up, improving the look and feel in a way that’s not only aesthetic but also provides simple and clear ways for leads to interact and engage with listings... ultimately, driving more traffic to your site. The new Lead Generation tool will give you tons of tips to help you get the most out of your lead capture program.   Get Started with Lead Generator by contacting us today. We’ll set up an AdWords account (if needed), schedule a Strategy Session, build out your AdWords instance, manage campaigns and optimize spending and report progress via monthly reporting. We will do it all for you!

Announcing IDX Event Tracking

Leads button pointing  high position with two fingers, blue and grey tones, Conceptual image for increasing sales lead.
With access to the right data, you can maximize your ad spend and optimize your site to convert more visitors to leads. iHomefinder's IDX Event Tracking takes the IDX activity on your site out of the "black box" and puts it alongside all your other important website analytics.
With IDX Event Tracking, you can answer important questions such as:
  • How effective are your PPC campaigns in bringing new leads?
  • Which IDX features are used the most on your site?
  • How many times has a specific listing been viewed?
  • What search keywords originally brought your registered leads to your site?
  • Which of your campaign efforts are converting the most leads?

Get Started Today!

It's easy to start taking advantage of IDX Event Tracking! Select the link below for your account to get started.
Click here if you use Optima Express >> Click here if you use Optima IDX >>

The Benefits of IDX for Today’s Home Buying Market

Today’s home buying process is a lot different than it was even just a few years ago. Now, the majority of buyers use the internet in some way throughout the buying process, whether they’re just checking some listings or looking for an agent who really knows the local area. Real estate professionals need to fit into this new paradigm, and Internet Data Exchange (IDX) is making it possible. An IDX system offers several benefits for agents and brokerages. By implementing these systems, even smaller brokers can compete with larger websites and deliver a wide range of relevant listings. This will also improve the overall customer experience across home computers as well as mobile devices. On top of that, agents have a better opportunity to engage with customers on a deeper level and even establish a position online to get more exposure for their listings. The real estate market can be a real challenge, but with the right tools in place you can fit into the current buying process and start reaching more of the local buyers. Benefits of IDX

Get On The Grid

Available now! Grid view for listings results.

grid-kb This attractive, modern design works on all devices and screen sizes. Just one setting in your Control Panel will enable the grid view throughout your site on:
  • Search results pages
  • Markets/Saved Search pages
  • Featured Listings pages
You can also change the number of results displayed per page, and show or hide the map.

Try it Out

It's easy! Learn how to enable the grid view option >>

WordPress Listing Galleries

Listing Galleries in Optima Express and OmniPress websites will use the display setting you select in your Control Panel.  If you choose, you can override the default setting for any individual Listing Gallery. Learn how >>

Optima Express Plugin Update

If you're using Optima Express, you'll need to update the Optima Express plugin to version 2.6.0 or higher to acess these new features.  

Announcing Optima IDX With Responsive Design

oidx_dvcs Clients using Optima IDX for custom websites can now provide a fully responsive IDX website that will adapt to any device and screen size. With this update to Optima IDX, all iHomefinder products are now fully responsive. View the press release >>

Explore the New Features

  • Responsive design - A single, user-friendly design works on any device or screen size, eliminating the need for a separate mobile website.
  • Large, retina-quality photos on details pages (where available).
  • Larger photos on search results pages.
  • New, improved search user interface.
  • Auto-suggest text search on available advanced search fields.
  • Widgets - Quick Search with 3 layouts, Address Search, Listing ID Search, Contact Us, More Info Request (for property details pages).
  • Built with Bootstrap - Sleek, fast and more customizable than ever.

See a Live Demo

Check it out on our live demo site >>

Make the Switch to Responsive

If you currently use Optima IDX, our step-by-step guide will assist you or your web developer with switching to the responsive version of Optima IDX.

Website Design Best Practices

In our most recent live Learning Center Series webinar, Mark Moineau of IDX Central joined us to discuss best practices for real estate website design. If you were not able to join us for this webinar, a video recording of the webinar is available. Below are some of the highlights of the topics covered.

Design trends are evolving in the industry. These trends include:

  • Responsive design (no redirects for smartphones & tablets)
  • Clean/simple layouts
  • Clear calls to action
  • Big, stunning images
Website

Design Flows Across Your Website

Keep it clean & simple

Your site design should cater to all types of users, including less tech-savvy ones. Avoid complicated menus and navigation.

Header considerations

  • Logo (name/tagline)
  • Clean simple navigation
  • Contact info - phone/contact us

Home page considerations

  • Clearly identify what you do
  • Present your USP (unique selling point)
  • Common sections: search, neighborhood profiles, featured listings, recent news

Neighborhood Pages

  • Include a general description/overview of the neighborhood. These pages provide you with a great opportunity to use long-tail keywords that can bring more organic search engine traffic.
  • Link to homes for sale - or embed into the same page as the overview
  • Call to action (sign up option for new listing emails)
  • Other optional information such as restaurants, schools, news

Listings details page

  • Contact information
  • Call to action - Contact/More Info request form

Map search

  • Offers an engaging, alternate search option
  • Consider including a call to action on the page, such as Need Help?/Contact Form

Design Takeaways

  • Design with mobile in mind
  • Keep it clean/simple
  • Don't overwhelm with options
  • Lead the visitor and offer clear calls to action