New Real Estate Website Feature: Assigned Testimonials

As part of our on-going mission of constantly refining and improving our system we’ve recently add some great new functionality to our testimonials section.
Many of you know, earlier this year we made our testimonials even easier to enter and edit by making them able to be organized via drag-and-drop. Now we’ve improved this function even more for real estate teams and real estate brokerages by providing a means to assign the testimonial you’re creating to a specific agent.

real estate websites

We love making our system even better and passing the improvements on to our real estate website customers! It’s one of the things that sets us apart from other development houses: we listen to our customers. If they have a need and we can provide it, we’re glad to spend a few clock cycles on getting it done so that we can improve our system for all it’s users.

More than websites in a can, we’re a local and highly experienced real estate technology company; we’re happy to be able to provide something unique for those who call on us!

Do you need a real estate website?
Whether it’s for a single agent, a team, a brokerage, or even a builder – if it’s real estate related we can build an effective web presence for the world to see!
Contact us to start realizing your vision for success today!

REALTORS: Does Your Website Need Help?

Our Websites Come in One Flavor: AWESOME!

We don’t fast talk or up-sell you with pricey packages you don’t need. We don’t lock you in to long costly contracts. We JUST deliver results.

For over the last decade Tour Real Estate has consistently provided the very best real estate websites and marketing tools available online. ALL of our websites are highly search engine friendly; come backed by powerful dynamic code which allows you to control your search engine visibility.

For less than the cost of a single print ad, or a few months of unreliable pay per click advertising you could have your own website online 24 hours a day 365 days a year showcasing your listings and services.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

( that’s like 7.148 tweets if you’re counting! )

We founded our company on virtual tours; we still offer some of the best and most affordable real estate photography services in the area.

Better Photos = Better Sales. It’s as simple as that.

A REALTOR.COM survey showed that homes marketed with professional quality photographs sold for nearly 12% more than homes with bad or no images.


Build Your Social Media Army

realtor social mediaSocial media is the fastest growing method for increasing your digital footprint and gaining exposure for your listings and services. More people begin their search for homes, and for qualified REALTORS® online than ever before. To reach this crucial market you need to be highly visible amidst the ever growing tide of real estate professionals online.

In a previous post (brokers) we discussed how TourRE’s powerful website system can help you get all of your agents main web portals connected to your brokerage for optimal online visibility. But even if by some horrible possibility you or your agents don’t have our real estate websites there is still much you and they can do to benefit from social media.

Here’s some tips to turn your agents into a social media army:

Ask them to LIKE and/or follow your company pages and profiles.

Ask them to LIKE, share, or comment on the things your company posts.

Ask them to share a link to the company website as a status update.

Ask them to invite their friends to follow your company pages/profiles.

If they have Google accounts make sure they visit your company site and give it a +1.

Encourage your agents to post their listings and links on the company social profiles.

Get your agents to write articles for the company blog.

Offering your agents special incentives for helping to bolster the brokerages social presence isn’t unheard of either, although in all honesty by them participating in the offices online success they are truly already the recipients of a reward all it’s own.

Social media interaction from individuals is one of the biggest ways to really see results online; these social signals are gaining importance in how search engines rank your websites – what’s more, through social media you are increasing real human interaction independent of  the search engines help. Every agent online makes a difference and with just a little interaction on their parts you can potentially see immense returns.

Have questions about using social media for real estate? TourRE can help! We’re always glad to talk shop and we offer some of the most affordable social media management services online today!

NEW Real Estate Website Template: Helot

Tour Real Estate Inc is proud to announce our latest templated real estate website look – Helot! This new look comes in 4 different color themes to choose from: Tan, Blue, Red, and Black & Tan. It also includes four different flash slideshows to choose from.

This new template features all of our standard homepage modules (which you can fully control) as well as a prominent built-in quick search right on the main page to help get visitors looking at real estate FAST!

Like all of our templated websites we are glad to offer customization for any of our website clients at a low cost to help make this look unique to them. Whether it be a set of custom buttons, or a special header graphic to help make this look unique we are glad to be of service.

Are you suffering with an unattractive or difficult to navigate website? You don’t have to be a victim of bad web design! TourRE can help you make the most of your online presence in order to showcase your REALTOR® services and listings! Contact us today to find out more!

EXTRA EXTRA! New Homepage Module

real estate news moduleGOOD NEWS!

Tour Real Estate Inc, your provider of the best REALTOR® websites online today has just released a NEW homepage module for our modular templated websites!

The new Real Estate News module pulls top real estate based news stories direct from the pages of Yahoo! News and displays them on your homepage. This module is automatic and updates from the news source with new content as it is released! This is a great way to share real estate news with your visitors without having to crawl the news sites looking for information.

It’s easy to add – first, login to your Client Toolbox.
Click Customize Homepage Content in the menu at the left. When that page opens you will see the two boxes containing your modules, just above that click Add/Remove Default Homepage Module. Pick Real Estate News from the list and click Save Changes. The new module will now appear on your front page – revisit the Customize Homepage Content section to move the module and place it wherever you like on your page.

These little homepage modules are just some of the sort of great functions and features we are constantly developing for our real estate website customers. If you have an idea for a module you’d like to see don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re always glad to hear ideas regarding how we might better improve our services.

Stay Tuned to this blog and our other social networks for the latest news and developments from your real estate technology solutions provider, TourRE!

REALTOR Social Management

realtor seoGet TourRE : Get Found

More Tour Real Estate REALTOR® websites appear in the top search engine results than any other one company. We’ve been innovating online real estate for over a decade, and we’re only getting better.

Tour Real Estate Gold Package

In today’s technology driven real estate market you’ve got to be on the very cutting edge if you want to compete. There was a time when simply being online was enough to guarantee your share of the digital audience, this is no longer enough. While EVERY REALTOR® website we produce is highly search engine friendly, and extremely customizable, this special add-on service can help you gain better exposure for your online presence. Here’s what’s included:

Weekly Blog Posts for YOUR target marketFacebook Fan Page Setup / Weekly Management

Twitter Setup / Weekly Management

Gain Quality Backlinks to your site

Website Optimization for YOUR target audience

realtor social marketingTour Real Estate has helped establish the industry standard in real estate technology for over the last decade. We understand social network media for real estate and how you can leverage it to gain better exposure for your listings and services.

Unlike many new real estate technology companies that talk a good game and blow a lot of smoke, we believe in providing our clients with the tools they need, not selling them a lot of hype that they can’t use.

Maybe the Gold Package isn’t for you. Already a TourRE customer? We can work with you to help you make the most of the tools found within our system at little to no cost; are glad to help you learn the keys to better exposure for your digital presence.

Contact us today for your REALTOR search engine optimization consultation so we can custom tailor an online strategy for your success in the coming new year!

How to Create Craigslist Ads via your TourRE Toolbox

Creating graphical Craigslist ads from your TourRE Client Toolbox is easy! You pick the look, the listing, and the message – we supply you with the code to create attractive graphical Craigslist ads.

You must first be sure to have a account on Craigslist. If you do not have one create one before starting the ad making process in the toolbox.

If you already have a Craigslist account, or just created one, the next step is to login to your toolbox. Once there scroll down to the Online Tools section and click Create Craigslist Ad…

On the page that opens you can begin creating your ad. First choose the look of the ad you want to create.

Next enter a short subject for the ad. This will appear as a larger text at the top of the ad body…something like “Great Boise Home for Sale” or “Check Out my New Listing!”

Next pick one of your listings from the drop down list or enter ANY active MLS listing in the space provided. This listing information will appear in your ad along with the main photo from the listing. From here you can choose to include the remarks from MLS and/or enter your own personal message.

Once these steps are complete you can choose PREVIEW to see how the ad will appear or choose GET THE CODE to open a window where you can copy and paste the code to create your ad.

Once you have copied the code simply login to your Craigslist account, choose to POST and then the correct category (usually Real Estate for Sale).

Enter the Price, Posting Title, and Location in Craigslist.
Paste the code from your Toolbox into the space for Posting Description.
You can add additional photos if you like, or the address.
When all information is entered click CONTINUE to preview and finalize your ad.

This is just one more of the great features Tour Real Estate offers in their Client Toolbox for today’s progressive REALTOR. TourRE offers the most powerful REALTOR websites online today – through our dynamic functionality we offer REALTORS the tools they need to control their online presence and move more real estate!!

Effective Realtor Social Marketing

More and more Realtors and real estate companies are finally getting on the social media bandwagon before it completely leaves town. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, and other user content driven platforms have been providing new opportunities to get your message out and reach new audiences for some time now; it’s good to see the real estate industry finally getting up to speed…well, sort of.

Sadly the same things that make social networking great – cheap/free, easy to use with no coding knowledge required, or graphic design skills, or costly printing – can also allow the average user to cleanly shoot themselves directly in the foot. Too often Realtors and other companies are using social media marketing without having an understanding of the best practices in using those platforms.

The result is a flood of marketing communication that falls short of it’s goals, doesn’t even reach it’s target market, or even worse, ends up causing the Realtor or brokerage to lose valuable leads.

The Cost of Social Media Misuse

Many people fall prey to the thinking that more is better. This is not always the case with social marketing. Neither is social marketing the silver bullet for all your marketing challenges – by having the familiar facebook, twitter, and other icons on your site (and even having accounts connected on those sites) will not magically make your traffic soar or have your phone ringing off the hook. Any time a Realtor or real estate company is the victim to any of these misconceptions the usual results is a lot of fap without much flap.

The negative implications that follow may include the following:

  • Wasting marketing, business, technical resources, or funds on low-value communication activities instead of on high-value ones.
  • Creating “noise” and causing target audiences to completely tune out.
  • Damaging your brand to any future marketing that may have actually gained results.

On average most Americans are exposed to between 600 and 3,000 advertising messages every day – perhaps the best reason that MORE advertising doesn’t necessarily equal EFFECTIVE advertising.

So what’s key? Not More Communication, but More Effective Communication!

Chances are your target audience doesn’t want any more advertising in front of them than they are already getting. Which makes it your job to not offer direct advertising but rather informational communication – you can’t just sell the sizzle anymore, if the client base is actually HUNGRY for steak. At the very least you should put more time and effort into creating quality communications that are well designed, attractive, or even humorous in order to keep your audience interested in what you have to say.

Things to Note and Consider for More Impact

You should first create an effective marketing communications strategy by first choosing which social media platforms provide you with the largest potential client base, as well as the most features, to help you fulfill your communication objectives. By choosing platforms and ingredients strategically,with an eye to how they will complement one another, you will create much better results than using them simply because they have become available. There is nothing wrong with being on every social portal out there because very often they create good backlinks, but choose wisely where and how often you publish your content on those portals.

Less Can Be MORE
Jumping on the latest, greatest social bandwagon without first considering who your audience is and what platform is best for reaching them is the leading cause of ineffective Realtor marketing communications.  Social media being often cheap and easy to use is it’s biggest danger; even marketers who should know better are led astray by wanting to get on all available sites without consider if they will be more of a benefit than a waste of time.

And Then? And Then? AND THEN?
Another important thing to consider is the “funny commercial” scenario. You see a commercial on TV the first time and it’s hilarious, you laugh, even maybe tell your friends. You see it the second time, still funny, but not a gut-buster like it was at first. The next time it comes on during the same hour…well…you start loving your DVR. The internet doesn’t have a DVR option; if you are constantly putting out the same content, on 12 different social sites, how many times is someone going to look at it before they are wishing they had a fast forward button?

Offering audiences too many choices for communicating with them, or repetitive messages, can create noise and confusion for you as well as the customer. Did they write you on Facebook or should you be looking for those leads from your blog? While using multiple social forums is good for reaching larger audiences it is important not to be a repeating parrot, or to spread yourself too thin. At the very least make sure you have the point of contact and capture from those portals directed to a single location or limited number of locations – like your Realtor website.

A couple of great methods for boosting the things you are doing on social sites are Realtor eFlyers and lead capture web sites.

eFlyers / Newsletters: Ideal for consolidating information into one location. You can summarize important information, focus on a particular niche, and provide links to pages on your Realtor website or social page where complete information can be found. Give them just a taste in the email and they will follow the link to your site, thus driving up your traffic.

Realtor Lead Capture Sites: A GREAT way to make use of any extra, empty, or forwarded domain names you have laying around. A blank or forwarded domain does almost nothing for your search engine placement or your lead capturing ability. By having a Realtor lead capture website you have the ability to market these stand alone sites based on a specific topic (Foreclosure Homes List, Free Market Analysis etc) to reach a targetted market. They also function as one more backlink to your main website or social profile and best of all they capture leads you can turn into sales.

Ready to Get Started?

Tour Real Estate Inc is the premier Realtor Website and Realtor Marketing provider online today. More than just websites, we offer a wide range of online Realtor marketing and technology to help you move more real estate. Wanting to make more out of your digital presence? Contact TourRE today to find out how we can help you strengthen your online marketing strategy and sell more real estate!

Marketing YOUR Realtor Services Effectively

The internet has changed the game in real estate and for over the last decade Tour Real Estate has been a big part of that change. Honestly, did you ever think back in 1999 that more than 80% of all home sales would begin on the internet? Fact is, that day came long ago, yet still most of the real estate agent base continues to miss out on internet generated sales. This shows while new technology can be effective, like any other tool it must be used properly in order to gain the best results — after all you wouldn’t try to cut down a tree with a hammer, now would you?

So how can it be that over 80% of all home sales start online and yet 90% of all Realtors are unhappy with their online marketing results? Part of it comes down to the simple fact that many do not understand how to use these powerful tools effectively – they are trying to hammer nails with their saw instead of using it to cut wood. Another reason may be that many Realtors think that simply being online, just having a website and using it as a digital business card, is enough; this is a concept that went out the window over 5 years ago. Lastly, many are relying on the free websites and services provided to them by their brokerages to market themselves, instead of leveraging their own individual services via their own website; this can be a costly mistake.

Here’s a few things you need to know:

1. A Strong Brand Leads to Success
No, sorry. When there were only a few hundred available real estate websites online that may have been the case. And while having a good, recognizable brand is still good practice it’s not going to make or break your success – you simply will not be the next Nike of real estate, and even if you are it will not guarantee your online success. Never before has so much information been so available from so many different portals. What’s more with the downfall of so many big business companies, the consumer market is turning quickly to a preference to working with individuals rather than corporate entities. If you are still heavily marketing your corporate brand you’ve got to ask yourself: who is REALLY benefiting from it?

2. Trust your corporate IT department for the best results.
Uhm, no. The corporate IT department is hired by the company, not you, thereby while maintaining your website might fall under their responsibilities insuring the success of your website does not. A website that is designed to be successful for YOU by marketing YOUR listings and services will logically benefit you, not the corporation and thusly it may be a good idea to manage that yourself or hire a company that is your advocate online rather than your brokerages. Corporate has different goals than you do. Corporate isn’t looking to protect your marketplace for you, they are looking to protect your marketplace for them. Use whatever website or marketing your office provides for you, but by all means don’t rely on that alone – by controlling and marketing your own individual Realtor services you can very often out-perform the big business brokerages all on your own.

3. Getting all the technology you can guarantees success.
USING the technology you have is the best method, and even then success is not guaranteed. Regardless of your marketing, your technology, or anything else the fact remains that good Realtors sell houses, nothing else. In the end it will always come down to face to face time and how you help your clients achieve their goals. The technology and marketing can help you find them, bring them in, and make them clients but YOU and you alone will be the biggest selling factor.

You can have video, $50,000 websites, designers bleeding you of thousands of dollars each month, lead management systems, and more — and fail completely. Why? Because all that is worthless if you have no leads or don’t know how to manage them! Most Realtor websites do not provide users with a way to capture leads, much less manage them the way a Tour Real Estate Realtor website does. Agents are tired of fruitless efforts to make their online marketing work and more often, they are simply hiring someone else to do that for them rather than taking their digital presence in hand themselves. It is vitally important that YOU have some level of control over your website, its marketing, and what gets done with the leads that come from it – you can not depend on your company to bring in the leads for you and no amount of technology will do it for you as effectively as you yourself may be able to with some guidance from REAL online marketing experts.

The internet has leveled the playing field and as such you should embrace it and use all the valuable tools it can provide to leverage your Realtor services. In this day and age the individual agent is no longer the little guy, but has the real ability to compete with the big names – provided they have the website and technology that allows them to do so, and the motivation to put in the effort any successful task requires.

Online marketing success comes down to a few things:

  • Maintain a good marketing platform with information available to the consumer upon request; provide them with the information and tools they require.
  • Make certain that people searching the web for homes can find your site. Make sure once they get there they can find what they want easily.
  • Drive traffic through effective online marketing and convert visitors to your site into registrations – and follow up on those leads personally.

There are any number of ways to achieve these tasks above, and we are glad to assist our Realtor Website customers in understanding those methods.  The first step is to use a Realtor website system that puts you in control of your content, search engine visibility, and lead management like the ones provided by Tour Real Estate Inc. Even if you already have a corporate provided website, or a freebie website with some other company, the benefits of having a powerful Realtor website from TourRe as your main marketing portal are too numerous to mention here briefly and we encourage you to visit our website for more details on the numerous services we offer.

Get in control of your digital presence, learn from the experts at TourRE how to best market your services online and before long your broker may be coming to you asking for advice on how they can see results like you have!

Get Connected to the Leader in Online Realtor Solutions :

Realtor Websites | Email Marketing | Lead Capture Websites | Our Portfolio

Order Photos / Virtual Tour | Our Blog | Follow Us on Twitter | Join Us on Facebook

Modern Real Estate Marketing

The real estate agent of today has a much different market to work in that Realtors of the past have ever been confronted with. In the past throwing out buzzwords into classified or print magazine ads, a picture or two, or holding an open house were about your only real options in affordable Realtor marketing that didn’t involve shelling out an arm and a leg for radio time or plastering your face on a giant billboard.

It’s a different world of Realtor marketing; if you aren’t riding the very cusp of the wave you are likely to get washed out to sea in this tumultuous real estate market.

Here’s an example of the OLD way of marketing your listings, taken from the 70’s:

A Northend Boise Realtor listed a home on Harrison Boulevard, her brokerage firm paid for a one and a half line classified ad in the Idaho Statesman that offered the location, a hint of the price and a limited description that read: “Great sun filled home, excel maint, desired locale”. She placed the ad, held a small open house, and while that was enough at the time to drum up a buyer we can look at the cost of that one time print ad, the time spent at the open house, and realize even though it was the only game in town at the time, it definitely may have not been the most cost effective means to move real estate; even if ALL their subscribers saw her ad that would only be about
30,000 possible contacts…maybe in reality 5% of which even saw the ad and of that 5% perhaps 2% were even in the market for a home.

If they were in the know, the same Realtor would market that listing much differently today. FREE social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook would very likely replace the one time print classified ad. She would pay a professional real estate photography or real estate virtual tour company to photograph her listing so it could be posted on her blog,Posterous,, and showcased on her Realtor website. By marketing her real estate online she has not only likely saved money but she has also increased the exposure of the listing by a hundred fold. The internet is world wide, open 24 hours a day 7 days a week!

This may not seem like much, just the cost of a print ad, but fact is for the cost of a one page ad in a magazine or a newspaper your Realtor Website could be up and running, showcasing your listings and your Realtor brand 365 days a year!

A good listing agent is a marketeer first, a salesperson second.
Traditional marketing methods have not disappeared, and are still effective, Just Listed cards, Farming Cards, and open houses all still get results but are likely to not be nearly as cost effective as social networking and technology have made marketing online.

The internet is not a new invention but many real estate professionals are just now beginning to grasp it’s importance in marketing their listings and getting the word out about their services. It is also a powerful tool for Selling Agents as well, as consumer expectations regarding how a home should be marketed have changed as well.

A Realtor Website, no matter how advanced it may be, is not automatic, and should by no means simply be created and forgotten about except for when the bill comes.

If you do not have a Realtor Website system that puts you in control of your content and search engine visibility, GET ONE. Pre-canned Realtor Websites, and freebie Realtor websites almost do more harm than good to your digital presence. You don’t need to be serving out the same content as a thousand other area agents – it benefits the website company, not YOU!

If you yourself are not actively working your Realtor website and putting fresh content and information into it then by all means: PAY SOMEONE to do it for you! Just blogging once a month can provide a noticeable increase in website traffic.

The days of just being online, just having a website, and that being enough are OVER. Your website needs to be fresh and alive to compete with the growing tide of online Realtors vying for a narrowing client base. Don’t risk losing your valuable share of this difficult market because your website was not able to keep up with your real estate business needs.

Contact Tour Real Estate Inc today to find out how you can boost sales and move more real estate by getting an affordable, powerful Realtor Website from us. Already have a TourRE website? We can help you make it even better – drop us a line to find out more about our Boise Search Engine Optimization services, social networking tips, and more to help make your Realtor Website even more effective.