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Product Review: Immobel’s Multi-Language Website IDX and REAL-Buzz

June 13 2011

Although we set out to write a review of Immobel’s Multi-Language IDX Translation, a look at REAL-Buzz was inevitable. Thus, our review covers both. Many REALTORS® who invest in IDX translation to market to global buyers will also choose to participate in the (free) portal.

Multi-Language IDX
Brokers, agents, MLSs, and associations can have the listings on their website translated into 13 different languages with Immobel’s IDX translation. Although these translations will dramatically change (improve) the function of a website, they won’t impact the aesthetics. For their translation pages, Immobel offers a wide variety of styles to match every website. Custom replication of any website design is also available.

Immobel 1

Immobel didn’t cut any corners with their website translations. The attention-to-detail is evident. To ensure an optimal experience for non-English speakers, even navigation and drop downs are translated. In fact, each view can select the currency they prefer to see prices in, independently of language since many foreign investors keep funds in currencies outside their home country.

Immobel’s marketing materials explain that sites not optimized for other languages will not be delivered in foreign-language search results. So, as part of our review, we decided to see for ourselves. We did a search for “immobilier floride” (“real estate florida” in English) in French Google. As expected, the top sites in the United States – Yahoo! Real Estate, Zillow, etc. – didn’t show up at all. All the returned sites were in French. Immobel says that their translations will be indexed by foreign language search engines.

Facebook IDX Translation
Social media has become an important channel for real estate marketing. Facebook, in particular, is a “must” for most REALTORS®. Immobel made a smart move in offering their IDX translations for Facebook. This was one of the more impressive features that we saw. The IDX translation integration with Facebook is slick – in terms of functionality and aesthetics. Immobel 6

REAL-Buzz is a real estate-specific portal for professionals and consumers. The site is a place where translated IDX listings will live and where international REALTORS® will have profiles. Members can blog, post photos and videos, communicate with potential clients, and network with other real estate professionals.

Immobel clearly took some hints from Facebook, so users can navigate more easily. This is important as REAL-Buzz allows for B2B communication and B2C communication. Once members become familiar with the functionality of the site, they can filter all their activities so that buyers, sellers, and other REALTORS® each see a very different message.Immobel 3

Wrapping Up
As we see it, Immobel’s offerings are essentially in two different stages: the more mature and polished IDX translation and the REAL-Buzz portal, which seems to be still in its adolescence (albeit with good potential).

  • IDX Translation: With their IDX translation, Immobel is doing some important things right – slick social media integration, a global focus, and a broad range of services. Making the most of these services is going to require some coaching and instruction – given the vast number of features, some will inevitably get lost. That’s why we were relieved to hear that Immobel offers guided set-up and tutorials.
  • REAL-Buzz: The ultimate success of REAL-Buzz will rely upon the number of REALTORS® and consumers who embrace the site. Because a membership with REAL-Buzz is free, it is likely that many early adopters will (and have already) created accounts. They will be interested in seeing how membership numbers grow, as will we. In the meantime, by getting in on the ground floor, these folks will be connecting with other early-adopters, people who are also motivated and excited about their field.

We had a chance to learn more about Immobel’s referral network and listing exchange as well. These additional features were very exciting. We’ll share more about them later.

We’re interested in hearing from agents and brokers who have experienced Immobel’s products. Comment here to tell us what you think.