Real Estate Apps: Consider This

As a provider of exceptional real estate technology for over a decade we’re often asked our opinions on current design trends and programs making their way throughout the industry.

We feel honored that so many well respected agents and brokerages would look to us as a source of insight into these items; as such make it a priority to be succinct with the information we provide. Whether it be just an agent asking if an email they received is a scam or more in depth questions about best SEO practices we’re always glad to talk with our clients and offer our knowledge towards their success.

One subject that has been a hot button item for a little while now is real estate apps!

We frequently get agents calling and saying “Oh this salesman that was in our broker meeting says we ABSOLUTELY have to have an APP! Gotta have it!” – which is exactly what someone selling apps would likely tell someone they thought might buy one.

So to help dispels some myths we’re putting together these quick points on why a real estate app might NOT be a good idea.

Cost
Apps are not cheap. Even when they promise and guarantee and offer payment plans. If you’re getting anything that’s not already pre-made for someone else it’s going to start around $5k and go up from there. Don’t forget, once it’s built it may still need updates and upgrades to stay current and functional.

Ease of Use
So you find a trustworthy developer, sign a contract, pay your money, and your shiny new app is ready to go…now what?
Well, you’ll need to get it approved and added to the google play and apple stores so people can find it. You’ll need to market the app so that potential users will even know it exists of course, and once they find it they’ll still need to decide if it’s something they want, install it and approve the permissions it needs before they can use it.

You STILL Need A Website
Even if your app goes off without a hitch the hard truth is there is still a large part of the population that will not use your app, even if they know about it. In fact, even if people are using your app you will still need at least the most basic of websites to legitimize yourself in the eyes of most clients and have any presence in search engines. It’s become as much a part of business as having business cards; while it’s never good to put all your eggs in one basket it also doesn’t make sense to just buy baskets because someone said you needed one.

A Better Way…
At Tour Real Estate Inc we provide truly mobile responsive web design! Nothing to download, nothing to install. You just tell your clients to go to your website and they’re greeted with a streamlined experience that puts your services as well as your listings on display in an attractive and easy to view format.¬† You’ve only got to promote your website – as you should be doing anyway – with less cost and time investment than any app could offer. We currently have several elegant real estate web design template that are fully optimized as well as mobile compliant and we’re always glad to offer custom design for those who really want to stand apart from the competition.

While we encourage people to diversify their marketing strategies whenever possible we also strive to help folks keep from spending money frivolously when there is no need to do so. We hope this information has been insightful into some of the reasons why a real estate app might not be the best idea and that you will feel free to contact us should you have any real estate technology needs that we can assist with!

UPDATED FEATURE: Agent Roster

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We’re gearing up for an exciting new year! As part of that we’ve been finishing up several refinements for our real estate website system. Specifically in this case our Agent Results pages for real estate team and brokerages. This updated layout features larger agent profile pictures (so be sure to login and update that photo to something new!) as well as a more streamlined and consistent data-set that put makes the pertinent info for each agent easy to read.

Next up you can expect to see improved agent profile pages as well as stunningly elegant property search results and details pages!
These sort of system updates have been part of our standard service protocol for years. We want our customers to be as successful as we can make them, so we don’t up-charge for every new function under the sun – we just keep making our websites better so that you can reap the benefits!

Are you a real estate professional who is ready to level up their game in the new year?
We can help! For over a decade we’ve helped shape the real estate technology industry; we have the tools and experience you need to seize your digital destiny!

You Don’t Need A Website Anymore…

move more real estate
That’s right! You heard us!
You don’t need a website anymore….
You need 5 of them!

Did we have you going? Maybe even for a minute?

Fact is the rumor mills are alive with Z flag wavers broadly proclaiming that individual real estate agents and brokers should just throw in the towel when it comes to having an online presence…but is this true?

While big box websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com are powerhouses to fully be reckoned with – often dominating google search results even for local searches – does that honestly mean there’s no longer any reason to have your own website?

Don’t break out the kool-aid cups just yet! The answer is a resounding NO!

If anything it may be even more important now to not only have a website of your own but to also make sure that it stands out from the competition and positions you in a place to show the uniqueness of your own brand. It even makes sense to have multiple websites to increase your overall online footprint and capitalize on niche markets that the big box boys might have missed!

While the peanut gallery may say – and is right – that there are a million places where a potential client can search and find houses, that is not what your website should be all about. It never has been, and it never should have been. Your website not only serves as digital business card, lending legitimacy and credibility to your services, but also should function as a means for you to distinguish yourself from the myriad of agents in your area.

You can accomplish this by doing things like making sure to have a page about yourself, reasons why you love the area, or even a local area resources page of links. Even a templated website can serve to set you apart if it allows you to control your content – the key is using it!

are they finding you?

No one can deny that new home buyers are using technology to handle the process of finding the home they want themselves it’s never been more important for agents to show themselves to be the authorities in their industries and areas.

Claim this position by leveraging social media, using extra domains you may have to work a niche market through lead capture pages, and get out there in the community itself to keep your ear to the heartbeat of the cities you serve.

Need help?
Ready to seize your digital destiny and start building equity in your own success? We’re here to make it happen!

Idaho Builder Websites

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Most of you already know we provide some of the very best real estate web sites in the industry, but did you know we also can create exceptional sites for Idaho builders and developers as well? It’s TRUE!

We love working with home builders in Idaho who are looking to showcase their plans and homes. Our builder websites are 100% custom designed to fit your needs – and we don’t believe they need to cost a small fortune! – whether it’s something just basic to get you up and running or a full blown dynamic web presence complete with floor plans and galleries we can help!

Don’t forget developers either!
It’s great when folks work together and our custom designed real estate developer websites provide a platform for agents and builders to come together to showcase a community. It’s a great way to share costs between parties and spotlight listings in the subdivision as it grows.

Need mobile responsive design?
We excel at mobile design and can gladly offer stunning concepts that will be sure to keep your potential buyers coming back. Unlike many other companies who simply forward your domain to some third level dot mobile platform our mobile websites are html compliant and full working versions of your design. We don’t skimp and cut corners – we innovate!

If you are an Idaho home builder feel free to give us a call to find out more about how we can help you create a powerful online presence today!

REALTORS: Reasons Why Your Social Media Falls Flat

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Social media social media social media – boy it sure it a hot topic these days isn’t it?! Guru’s and mavens popping up left and right, all experts – as of this month – in the great unquantifiable thing that is the silver bullet to kill your marketing monster.

We apologize for all of them. Fact is though social media is one of the most cost effective ways for you to get the word out about your services – especially if you’re bold enough to take it on yourself. To help you towards your goals we’ve put together¬† a quick list of common mistakes for the medium; feel free to pass them along to your page manager, guru, samurai, jedi WHATEVER they call themselves as they are likely making the same mistakes.

Not having a goal.
It’s hard to hit the mark if you don’t even have a target. Make sure before you begin your journey in social networking, or hire a ‘professional’, that you have an actual goal in mind. Whether it be simply getting more visibility, getting more sales, or increasing traffic to your website. It’s a lot easier to know if you’re getting there if you have an idea where there is.

Not using social media.
Kind of mind blowing isn’t it?! But if you’re not actually USING the platform how can you expect it to DO anything? Go to the store, buy some eggs, take them home and put them on the counter – now sit there and stare them and berate them for not becoming an omelet. Let us know how that turns out – same thing in social media.

Not understanding likes don’t equal sales.
Visibility is GREAT! People liking your stuff makes you feel happy and fuzzy warm that you’re LIKED….but it doesn’t sell a single unit. And if you’re expecting it to, you may want to refocus your overall marketing plan. Social media advertising is NOT like the advertising agencies of old. Marketing here doesn’t always equal sales, but it can build the relationships that drive sales and improve customer service.

Not shutting up.
B-But…you…you said I needed to post a lot in one of those other blog entries! Actually, I said you need to post consistently; there is a difference, but that’s not the point to this item. The one most common mistake users of social media make is only talking about themselves or their product. People are hit with thousands of pieces of advertising every day. I can assure you not one single potential customer wakes up in the morning looking forward to being spammed or advertised to.

Be sure to diversify your content, don’t just make it about you or your product. Mix in other inspirational, humorous, or interesting information. Be absolutely certain you answer and interact with every single fan that takes THEIR time to engage with your digital presence. There are a billion faceless companies they can look up if they are wanting anything less.

Not being consistent.
Mentioned this above, so this point will be quick. Setting it and forgetting it only works if you’re using one of those rotating ovens. When you post consistently you not only can more easily target your audience but you also are creating momentum for better exposure.

Not focusing.
Trying to do it all is the best way to fail at everything. Pick the social media platforms that best fit your marketing plans and your ability to manage. There is no value to being on 100 social platforms if you are only actively updating two of them. Nothing is more embarrassing to a page owner or disappointing to a visitor than getting to a page or profile and seeing ” Last Updated June 2011″.

You guys are big meanies!
Well…I guess you might think that, but really we just want to help you build real success through social media. Nay-sayers and smoke blowers are killing the industry; many professionals are beginning to simply opt out of it all together. We think that’s a real missed opportunity! Have questions about social media, your real estate website, or how to best use them altogether? We’re glad to help!