New Real Estate Website Design

We’re happy to announce another new real estate website template!
This all new design includes all of the standard tools and functions you’ve come to rely on from Tour Real Estate combined with elegant design. Larger format pages have become the latest trend in web design and we’re providing this new layout to help you keep current on what’s hot. More than just an attractive design, you’ll find our websites to include some of the most powerful real estate searches online today.

Currently available in 5 color themes, each with multiple slideshow options this new template also includes a prominent search bar, calls to action on the homepage, and larger visual elements to encourage website visitor interaction.

Like all of our real estate websites this design comes ready-loaded with great content your visitors will be sure to love, and best of all most of it can be further customized by you to make it your own.

In addition this new design also includes a blog call right on your main page! Don’t worry if you’re no Hemingway, we take care of that for you. Our real estate web system provides a way for you to blog on your own if you want, but otherwise we include content from our free client blog once a month to help keep your website fresh and active.

Want more interaction? Need custom searches?
We can do ALL of that and more! Because we create all of our own code we’re not limited to what a real estate plugin can provide like many wordpress based sites. Whether you have specific MLS areas you want to focus on, certain price ranges, or any criteria available in MLS we can help shape your site around that unique market. Talk to Tour Real Estate Inc for the best in custom real estate website design today to see how we can help you!

Success In Real Estate Can Be Hard To Find….

realtor success

 

There’s nothing easy about being successful. The person on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.
Everyone knows that it takes time and effort to gain anything worthwhile in this world. The online world is no different; you’ve got to work a long time to become an overnight success.

Thankfully you don’t have to walk that road alone!
We know that these days there are any number of real estate website systems out there to choose from, and no matter what the salesman from each company will promise you that theirs is the best, but very few of them have the proven record that Tour Real Estate Inc holds. We’ve been developing real estate websites for over a decade and we know the industry intimately because we helped build it.

Many website systems promise features, or a cheap price, only to turn out to be lackluster or to have you later find out that every new function is an added cost – this is not the case with TourRE! Our toolbox of digital features has steadily expanded over our long history without any added hidden costs.

Here’s a few functions you’re sure to love:
Automatic home finder that drives traffic to your site!
Create Blogs In Your Site To Keep Content Fresh!
Add, Edit, Remove Area Links to Your Partners!
Create Unlimited Custom Pages!
Connect to Social Media!
Display Client Testimonials!
Ready made buyer/seller tips!
…And Much More!

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to real estate or just ready to try something new we’re here to help!
Our websites are backed by great local customer service and tech support. When you call us you reach a real person who knows the system and is able to provide a solution. Whether you need to go live with powerful searches right away or want to develop a custom look to really stand out, get in touch to find out how Tour Real Estate Inc can help you move more real estate!

ADA Compliance: Fact or Fiction

For whatever reason the various real estate news portals across the web circulate a story about the importance of ADA compliance every few years, sending ripples of panic and fear through every real estate website owner online, as well as their poor tech people who manage those sites. To help dispel some myths, and offer some comfort to those confused we’ve prepared this article with helpful information you may want to consider.

Some Basic Info: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.

While it is certainly important to make sure your website is as usable and available as it can be for everyone, concern over these standards at this point in regards to your website is largely a non-issue, here’s three reasons why:

  • Most visually or hearing impaired internet users already have hardware and software that makes the web readable.
  • There are actually NO standard approved ADA compliance rules for websites.*
  • The only way this even becomes a concern is if a suit is brought against you, at which point you have over 14 months to get your website “compliant”.

Some of the items listed as being part of compliance are already taken care of in our system, or in basic standard web design best practices. These include:

  • Text alternatives for images
    Most major images in our system allow for users to edit alt tags as they please.
  • Captions for videos or other multimedia
    These are a standard part of almost all video. Especially via services like Youtube which we support.
  • Presenting content in different ways
    Very vague. Our content is provided in a fairly standard way. Text. Images. Links.
  • Making content easier to see and hear
    Very vague. Most browsers, and other softwares, also handle this on their own already.
  • Making it easier for everyone to use and navigate
    Very vague. Best of all, our websites already do this.
  • Website use from a keyboard
    These settings are generally able to be controlled via the users own system settings.
  • Giving users enough time to read and use the content
    Taken care of! We don’t encourage fast changing slides or page forwards.
  • Making sure the content you present doesn’t cause seizures
    None of our sites use seizure inducing content.
  • Having text that’s readable and understandable
    All of our text is readable.
  • Consistency of content and navigation throughout the site
    Consistency is part of any good web design, and just one of the things that we excel at.
  • Use of error messages and ways to get back to where one started
    Our system always provides error information and a means to go back or reload a page.
  • Content is compatible with various web browsers
    Our sites are tested to be available on all major browsers and screen sizes.

Curiously enough, most of the websites that are announcing this urgent need for compliance themselves are not ADA compliant. We can only assume these radical scare tactics from these sites and news sources is yet another way to Cry Wolf for attention in hopes of increasing interaction and web traffic.

Take Heart!
Once a standardized set of ADA compliance rules is released we will work diligently to include them into our system as part of our frequent, regular updates.

Should you make the decision to future proof your web presence with ADA compliance, we here at Tour Real Estate Inc, your providers of stunning real estate technology for over a decade, are happy to provide custom design towards this goal. Our attractive custom real estate websites provide a visually striking way to define your brand and stand out from the competition. Contact us to find out more!

*In July 2010, the DOJ released an advanced notice of proposed rule making seeking comments on website accessibility issues. The comment period closed in January 2011. The proposed rules have been delayed several times since that date. It appears that we will have to wait a little longer to see those rules—until at least 2018.

Real Estate: The Secret to More Leads

It’s a common misconception: If you build it, they will come. Unfortunately that field of dreams ideal doesn’t work when it comes to the world of websites; truly it hasn’t worked for some time. Years ago, when the web was new, there were relatively few people actively using the internet and thereby fairly low competition. These days all but the most behind the times brokerages have at least a nominal online presence and the competition has gotten FIERCE – to have any hope of getting your share of this lions market you need to be online and bringing your A game.

One of the best ways to do that is by using social media and channeling all of your traffic to the best place for it to go – Your Website.
So how do you make that happen?

You Gotta Work It!
You could be the best REALTOR® in the world and if you don’t tell anyone about it they will never know. The same can be said for your website. It’s out there on the web with a billion other websites, all trying to be number one in the search engines. Your best bet to eliminate some of that noise is to refer real live people you know to your website from the get-go. Tell all your friends, tell your family, look up old high school buddies – shout it from the mountain tops! However you choose to do it, whether it be social media, coffee meet ups, or even print marketing – you’ve got to let people know you have a site if you want them to use it. The website that works the best is the one you promote the most.

More Traffic. More Leads.
It’s really that simple. It comes down to numbers. If your site isn’t getting traffic you won’t be getting leads. If your site is already getting traffic and you’re still not getting leads that tells you there may be problems in what visitors are finding – or not finding! – when they hit the site itself. So how does one get more traffic? Start by telling people about your site as mentioned above, from there get active in local community events to find sponsorship opportunities, put out door hangers, post local classified ads, and leverage social media. Make sure you include your website address on every piece of advertising you create, whether it be printed or digital. Focus your online efforts by stopping posting links to the big box real estate sites to show your listings; send those links to your website instead.

Be Active and Helpful.
Whether it be on Facebook through answering questions or making insightful posts in groups on a regular basis ( you ARE active in local Facebook Groups, aren’t you?! ), or publishing articles on LinkedIn you should do whatever you can to establish yourself as a resource to the people you’re connected to. Become an authority in your field by creating useful information and helping those you engage with to accomplish their goals and overcome challenges – you will gain more trust and a better reputation through being of service to others than through any spammy or self-serving methods. At some point someone who is thankful may want to “pay you back” for being so helpful; rather than ask for money or coffee just politely ask them to leave you a kind review or to keep supporting your online efforts by liking or interacting with your posts.

Establish a Routine – and Stick To It!
The biggest place any advertising efforts, particularly on social media, fail is in consistency. So post daily and interact often, the worst thing for people to see is a page that hasn’t been updated in years. While still not yet a major factor, one of the growing indicators of importance in search engines is incoming traffic numbers and one great way to boost that is by channeling your audience to your website. Do this by posting quality content and always, always, including a link to your main domain. It’s easy enough to do at first when you’re new to social media, it’s the sticking with it month after month that can be a challenge but it’s also what makes the effort pay off.

Do you currently have a real estate website that’s under performing? Maybe you’re just not satisfied with a page and a paragraph on your office site, or some freebie site from your national office, no matter what the reason we can help you step up your website game and move more real estate! We would love the opportunity to talk with you about what you’re currently doing and how it might be improved to help you get optimal visibility online. Contact us today to see how we can help!

The Modesto – Our Latest Mobile Responsive Real Estate Template

We hate to brag, but our latest template THE MODESTO is pretty great!
Mobile responsive and currently available in 4 different color themes this elegant, modern real estate website design is sure to please.

We’ve made sure to include all the features you want like easy searching, intuitive navigation, and great images combined with all the things the search engines love like fast load time and data rich content.

Even our templates stand out from the crowd! Get in the game and show them you mean business – seize your digital destiny and move more real estate!!

Ready for Winter? Is your business?

Winter has always been a little bit slower paced for real estate. People are generally busy getting ready for the holidays and budgets tend to run a little tighter. Rather than sit it out practicing your Maytag Man impersonation the slower months in Winter are an ideal time to keep your game sharp.

Here’s some tips on making that happen:

Play Catchup.
Organize files, clean that bottom drawer, comb the database, unsubscribe to spam, defrag your hard drive…Sounds like a blast doesn’t it?! Fact is these are all day to day drudgeries we put off that tend to build up and kill productivity – so take the time.

Get In Touch.
Get in touch with past clients – hey, the holidays are all about cards from people you haven’t talked to all year, so make one of them yours! Get in touch with your market too – review data and study trends. Get in touch with your media – if you’re going to be spending all that time crushing candy on Facebook you could just as easily be engaging your audience and building a following to help jump start your Spring.

Update All the Things!
This means that agent photo you took when you passed CE. This also means updating old text on your bios and taking a look at your website as well. Chances are there have been some new features or tools released that you can make use of to leverage a better position online.

Play Price is Right.
Winter time sales can be tough, so it’s all about nailing that right price and making things perfect for prospective buyers. Take a little more time, or even expense, and get listings looking great – even consider house staging to help seal the deal.

Plan to Be Awesome.
Being amazing doesn’t just happen. If you do nothing else spend some time taking a look at this past years success, focus only on the good, and then put that down as part of your plan for the coming year. Planning is essential to success, so make sure you take the time to look forward and decide where you want your path to lead.

REALTORS: Are You Winning?

REALTOR WEBSITES
With big players like Zillow and Trulia joining forces the competition in real estate has never been hotter. Combine that with the fact that there are more REALTORS and brokerages online than ever before and it can feel overwhelming just to keep up with what’s popular – much less what actually works.

With all the misinformation, hype, and down right myths going around the internet about the best practices of leveraging those tools even those with the motivation and determination to handle their own marketing strategies can feel lost. Worse still…some agents have all the tools, know how to use them, and still drop the ball.

The good news? It’s not a slope too slippery to climb back up.
Here are a few good tips to refocus your efforts and make the most of what you’re [hopefully] already doing online:

Tell Your Story
Don’t make your marketing just about selling. Yes, you need to showcase your listings and services, but be sure that you’re providing more value than just that. With everyone having a site, that in most cases all provide search functions and similar mls data, the things you share about yourself can be the defining difference in having a recognizable brand that stands out from the rest.

Do the Followup
With so much of a real estate agents long term business being return clients it’s shocking to learn that only bout 17% of them are rehired due to the fact that clients do not remember their agent’s name. Keep your contact close; followup at least a few times a year. It may seem trite but that “Don’t Forget to Set Your Clocks” email or card might be the thing that keeps your face fresh in people’s mind.

Go Real World
Despite being a tech company, and despite the fact that the internet drives so much of todays real estate industry, the face to face interactions you have may be where your biggest progress is made. Attend small business networking groups – or even create your own “Coffee With Your Realtor” events to make yourself visible and available to old clients and new. Don’t rely on technology alone to provide all of your potential leads.

These are broad brushes to pain the picture, so think about ways you can apply these ideas to what works for you. Ultimately it’s not following the trends that will lead to the greatest success but rather finding what resources will bring the most return to how you move real estate and also attract the right kind of clients for you.

Have questions about your real estate marketing?
We have plenty of answers and ideas to help!