Real Estate Rental Websites

Real Estate Rental WebsitesWith the sluggishness of the economy dragging on, the opportunity that the real estate rental market offers is being taken up by real estate agents.

It is estimated that by 2015 home ownership will drop to the level that it was towards the end of the 1960′s. In this time 10,000,000 homeowners will become real estate renters.

This represents both a loss of units in real estate sales inventory but also an increase in the number of rental transactions.

Getting into the rental real estate market has been seen in the past as being an opportunity to catch the first time home buyer while they are still tennants and also as a way to engage landlords with their services both in finding tennants and assisting in purchasing rental properties.

The real estate websites for real estate agent we are building are increasingly featuring rental sections or even dedicated rental real estate websites such as rentals in Princeton NJ and Westfield rentals.

 

 

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$100 Free Advertising

We are giving away $1,000 of free advertising at google courtesy of our friends at google adwords!*

Ever thought about giving pay per click advertising a go, (you know those adds at the top and on right of google search results window). Well, today you can give it a try with $100 to play with. We are giving away 10 google adwords gift cards.

All you need to do is hit like at facebook or share this by the link below and let us know your mailing address here! The cards will go out to the first 10 we hear from!

*These coupons can only be used for new google adwords accounts

 

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Google Appointment Slots

Ever had to meet individually with a set of people in series? Me too. Have you found a way of doing it that wasn’t excruciatingly cumbersome?

Well, google may have just solved this problem for us. It’s a problem we know well.

Say we go to a real estate office to meet with 8 people. We’d like to meet with each person for 30mins. So in total we need to block out 4hrs. You email out to all the attendees the time frame, say between 12 & 4pm, in half hour sessions, and then you wait to hear back from everyone. Inevitably there will be conflicts and overlaps from the get go.

Everyone will email back to you at a different rate, no sooner has one slot filled, than another wishes to have that same slot, all before you have had time to update the latest available slots.

Introducing Google Appointment Slots

What google has done is added a new function called “Appointment Slots”. The way the process works is as follows:

  • Open your google calendar
  • Click Appointment Slots (shown as a New! feature)
  • Create a block of time or split this large block of time into slots of however long you want

  • then this calendar can either be embedded into your website, or you can create an appointment sign up page
  • then when someone visits their calendar its overlaid with the appointment slots, where their preferred slot can be chosen, which then updates the remaining available slots

Google says that this feature will rolled out within the next few days.

 

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Good Riddance IE 6…

google no longer supporting ie6Today google announced that it is to abandon its support for ‘older browsers’. Google are saying that if you are using IE6 to access: gmail, google docs, calendar, sites etc, you’ll start to loose some functions within them from August 1st.

How many people will this affect? Statcounter think about 17% of google’s current users will be affected by this.

Why are google doing this?

In May 2006, PC World rated IE 6 the eighth worst tech product of all time. However, at the time with 90% of the browser market its probably true to say that there was a fair amount of complacency  at Microsoft. This is demonstrated by the face that it took them 5 years to come up with its replacement IE7!

The fundamental problem with IE6 is that it did not fully support CSS or cascading style sheets.

ie6 css style sheet

IE6 requires it's own CSS

Style sheets are a set of rules that dictate how your website appears on the browser. It controls things such as the position of all the sites elements, the typeface, the size and color of fonts, the roll over effects when your mouse hovers over a link etc. CSS is really the DNA of your website. When you have browser that doesn’t support them it leads to problems.

As a web designer, you are forced to essentially build one style sheet for all browsers IE7 & beyond, and one for IE6 which is essentially a series of hacks and work arounds to make your site behave correctly for those still using IE6. This was a major disservice from Microsoft to omit support for the most basic web design parameters.

Microsoft has also tried to get users to update to newer versions of IE, to some extent, but news that google is essentially going to start forcing their users to migrate to newer plaforms is only a good thing. IE6 has been broken for a long time, we’ll not miss it.

Download the latest version of Internet Explorer here*

Download the latest version of Firefox here*

Download google Chrome here*

*Uploading any software to your computer can exacerbate any existing problems or issues with your machine. We can take no responsibility to anything that happens to your computer during the installation of this software.

 

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Google Chrome | Cloud Print

google chrome cloud printingIf you haven’t already swapped over to google’s chrome browser, here’s another reason to tempt you away from Internet Explorer (that you are probably using to read this).

Imagine you are reading an article on your iphone at an open house and would love to have it print out at home. Or perhaps you are in Starbucks need to print out an email for when you get home, no problem, google cloud print gives you access to your printers from wherever you are.

Much of this week’s browser news has been about the release of the latest  update from Firefox. Firefox account for 30% of the browser market, IE has 45% and google chrome weighs in 3rd at 14% (according to slashgear). Of all of them chrome is the fastest growing.

We’ve been using chrome really since it’s initial beta launch and we haven’t looked back. Like trying anything new, it did feel a little different at first as we weaned ourselves of IE but now, having to check our work in IE is almost a painful experience.

Chrome, is a stunningly good browser. Browsers are the canvas on which we paint our websites, so we are constantly flipping between them to ensure consistency of our websites across all platforms. Chrome is fast, customizable and intuitive.

The rate of new features and improvements that come with it are equally impressive.

My current favorite is Google Cloud Print. What this allows you to do, is print to your printer regardless of your location (as long you are signed into your google account and using Chrome).

google cloud print lets you print to your printer regardless of where you are and what you are trying to print from, iphone, ipad, your laptop in starbucks…

When you are at home or the office your printer is right there, however, how many times have you wanted to print something for later when you are out and about. Or from your phone. Or from your ipad which requires either an air print enabled printer or a $6 app?

How to set up google Cloud Print

Sign into your google account, gmail etc, google apps for business etc.

  1. Click the wrench icon at the top left
  2. Choose options
  3. Click under the hood, scroll down to google cloud print and click sign in to google cloud print.
  4. Sign in (again, I know, I know, but it’s google’s thang) and you should see a confirmation page.
  5. If you want edit down the list of printer to print to click Manage Print Settings, then click Printers  and from there you can delete any printers you don’t want to show up.

Here are the google support docs

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NEW* limeyboy WordPress Real Estate Theme

limeyboy real estate wordpress themeWe love WordPress. We’ve been integrating WordPress blogs into our niche focused community websites for a few years now. We’ve been able to style the blogs to match our websites design and we’ve just taken this to the next level.

We have now replicated the design and functionality of our hand coded sites and created a version of it using the WordPress platform. What you get is the the same customization, style, and functionality but now at a fraction of the cost of our hand coded sites.

We can still theme each site to suit your individuality. We create a custom tailored banner image, (which we give you to use in your offline marketing), if you can think of a color scheme you can have it and we’ll train you how to add all your content.

Our IDX feed integrates seamlessly into your site as well your niche focused jump searches.

The WordPress open framework allows you to add new sections, pages and posts whenever you are ready. If you get stuck, are are unsure of anything were are here with our ongoing support.

 

[Check out our live demo here ]

[Read more about it here]

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National MLS

create a nationwide real estate mlsAs the comment I was writing  on the geekestateblog.com regarding “Getting Nationwide MLS Listing Data” was getting longer and longer I decided that perhaps a blog post maybe the better option.

For anyone who thought that creating their own Nationwide MLS system would be pretty straightforward, this article was a wake up call. There were 3 options for doing this and they ranged from the outlandishly expensive to the numbingly painful.

However, it certainly got me thinking about the MLS system as a whole and how each play with each other…or how they don’t.

In our real estate web design work, we are often coming up against both the inefficiencies and inequalities of the current system. The typical problem we are faced with, (though unlike the agents, only fleetingly) is where an agent has had to be a member of multiple MLSs.

Through no fault of their own, they just happen to play out their real estate careers along a MLS geographical fault line. This fragments their business, their listings and their IDX agreements.

We work with some agents who have to belong to 4 MLSs!

IDX Inefficiencies

This creates inefficiencies everywhere. Multiple places to input listings, multiple IDX agreements. Some MLSs allow co-mingling of their listings in IDX results among those from other MLSs, some do not.  However what the consumer wants is to see everything!

IDX Inequalities

There are also inequalities. An agent can be a member of two adjoining MLSs. One gives them access to the IDX feed, for $0/month, the other charges them $35/month. In addition to this, they also have to pay an IDX provider a fee to interpret this feed and display it in a digestible way.

This seems like an evolution that has resulted in something ludicrous.

Let us know what you think. Take our survey below.

Please share this with the agents you know.

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WordPress | SEO

wordpress real estate seo adviceWant more love for your wordpress blog? One way to get your lovely posts more eyeballs is to make sure you are notifying as many ‘services’ that your blog has been updated.

It’s true that your wordpress blog already pings search engines when you post, but it doesnt hurt to make sure, and to ping more.

WordPress SEO

Click Settings from the left menu, and then click, Writing:

wordpress seo

Click to enlarge

In the Writing page, scroll down to Update Services, you’ll notice that pingomatic is already there. However you can notify way more than the pingomatic services.

Click the Update Services link.

This will bring you to a WordPress.org page:

wordpress seo

Click to enlarge

Scroll down to the bottom of this page where you will see a list titled: XML-RPC Ping Services

wordpress seo

Click to enlarge

Highlight and copy that list. The paste it into your Update Services list on your Writing page, in Settings.

Wordpress seo

Click to enlarge

Click Save Changes to and you are all set.

**Check out our NEW  Wordpress Real Estate theme here!**

limeyboy.com helps real estate agents get more from the web! How can we help you?

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New limeyboy.com Logo?(QR code)

qrcode Ok, so I admit it, I love pixel graphics. I love bar codes too. I don’t what it is about them that is just graphically fascinating, the negative space perhaps? We’ve seen these newer QR codes on our UPS & FedEx packages that come to the office from time to time and really liked them, and now they seem to be coming the main stream.

Although they are very pleasing to my human eye, they are actually designed to be read by your mobile device (formerly known as a telephone). Your phone scans the image, like the bar code reader in the grocery store, and your phone’s browser will then take you a predetermined website address…such as your listing.

Recently, very recently, we have started hearing requests from real estate agents we work with about incorporating them into their marketing.

The suggestion is that you place this on your yard sign for example and folks scan it, and then are taken to your site.

All sounds good, although this is predicated upon your potential client having downloaded the app onto their “device formerly known as a telephone” so that they can read this and make sense out of it.

At the moment, this is something that the usual gang of tech-comfy-agents, want to do, who knows if it will hit mainstream.

For me though, this really reminds me of a device that we were sent during the dot-com madness. It was an additional mouse which sat your your desk, (which tragically looked like a mouse of the furry nature), and it was essentially a bar code reader. You would bring your bar codes to your desk, and then scan them to be taken to the company’s website. Having gone through the kitchen pantry shelves, the novelty wore off pretty fast.

For me, using the phone’s GPS location software to pin point you outside a home for sale is a much more likely avenue for the future, than this method.

Are your client’s asking you about this?

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In The Room With Mark Zuckerberg & No One’s Looking At Him

Mark Zuckerberg

No one's looking at each other

The irony being is that he was talking about how communication should be more personal!

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