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Howard Hanna Adds 'Find It First' Program to New York Market Areas
The Howard Hanna online real estate search differentiator, Find It First, is now available in the company's New York market areas: Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse/Central New York, Albany/Capital Region and the Southern Tier. The Find It First program allows Howard Hanna agents to market a seller's home for sale exclusively on on the company's website, HowardHanna.com, before it hits the open market.
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Compass Launches New Consumer Experience, AI Capabilities
Compass on Wednesday announced several new product enhancements, bringing it closer to realizing its vision of a streamlined home buying and selling experience powered by the industry's first end-to-end software platform. As part of its efforts to empower consumers engaged in real estate transactions, Compass launched updates to its web and mobile search experiences, including:
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Building Effective Real Estate Community Pages
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Failure of ADA Compliance by Restaurant Website, Says California Court of Appeals
Compliance to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the California Unruh Civil Rights Act received a significant boost this month when the California Court of Appeals affirmed a higher court's ruling against a restaurant (Thurston vs. Midvale Corporation). The California Supreme Court ruled that Midvale Corporation violated the Unruh Act. The ruling found Midvale's restaurant website was not usable by a blind person with a screen reader. When the plaintiff visited the restaurant's website, their screen reader software was unable to make a reservation or read the menu. The Court of Appeal also affirmed the higher court's injunction to force Midvale to update their website to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). ADA compliance is still on our radar and continues to be a hotly debated topic in the courts. Last September, the DoJ punted back to the House of Representatives with a letter asking for clarification of ADA's applicability to websites. Until the House determines proper guidelines on this topic, we can expect the courts to make judgments based on their interpretations. Here are a few highlights from the latest Appellate Court opinions and their relationship to real estate.
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Redfin Becomes First Brokerage to Display Buyer's Agent Commission
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Real Estate Webmasters Planning European Launch with Strong Partner Support
Real Estate Webmasters (REW) is definitely a leader in providing platform technology to real estate brokers in North America. The Canadian based company supports significant brokers, teams, and top producers in both Canada and America with a user count of around 60,000. The pride of the company that differentiates them from most brokerage platforms is customization. If you want it, they will build it. They are particularly strong at helping brokers write content to build traffic though SEO. Europe is about to get a dose of REW.
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Community Data Marketing: BHHS Fox and Roach Gets Creative
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Magic Happens When Broker Culture Fits with Technology Offerings
As consultants, we are constantly asked about the "best technology," and my answer is commonly "the one that you use." It is a short conversation that's loaded with reality. No two brokerages are the same, nor are technology solutions. On countless occasions, we have watched multiple brokerage firms purchase the same technology and have very different results. There is so much that goes into success. Obviously, choosing the right solution for your company is very important. But the truth is that most of the leading technology vendors serving brokers in America are pretty good. RE Technology has a list of 117 technology vendors for the category of Broker Website. That is a crowded field.
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7 Real Estate Website Trends to Watch
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If You Have a Contact Form on Your Site, You Could Face Huge Privacy Law Fines
Recent internet privacy laws have been passed that affect every website looking to capture information from their visitors. If your site has a contact form, requiring personal info (name, email, etc.), then there is a good chance you are in violation of these laws. Here are the passed privacy laws that you may be violating:
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Everyone's a Winner: Lone Wolf and Real Estate Webmasters Push Integration with Announcement of New Strategic Partnership
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Google for Real Estate: Leveraging Google Analytics
You can't know what works and what doesn't on your website if you don't have a way to track your results. Google Analytics is a fairly comprehensive tool you can connect to your website to monitor traffic and other important metrics.
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HowardHanna.com Debuts 'Find It First' Search Feature
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Brokers Need to Rethink Their Website Strategy
Eureka moments come at peculiar times. Often, the information literally jumping off the page at you is invisible through the lens sitting between your brain and Google Analytics. When real estate websites came into play for the industry's brokers, firms built them mainly to allow consumers to search for properties. It was more efficient for a broker to build a broker website to display their listings rather than build a website for each agent.
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Just SEO Will Starve Your Real Estate Website
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Fe Fi Fo Fum: American Search Giants
WAV Group uses benchmarking tools like Hitwise and ComScore to study how brands in real estate accomplish the goal of reaching consumers online. By monitoring the websites and their strategies from month to month, we utilize these data-backed insights to coach our customers on the best practices to maximize their share of voice with the consumer. Here are the national rankings for May:
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Engel & Volkers Launches New Website for the Americas
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It's Time to Modernize the Clickwrap Experience
We've all done it at some point. We've checked the box on a signup form that says we agree to a company's privacy policy, or we've scrolled to the end of a terms-and-conditions page and clicked the "I accept" button. Companies have been using--and people have been accepting--these standard "clickwrap" agreements for years now. The process seems simple enough. One click, and you're done, right? Maybe that's the case for customers. But for companies, clickwraps are more complex, incurring needless risks and costs.
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First-time Home Buyers Need More Tutorials
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Google Signal: Consumer Device Behavior Info from Your Website
Marketing, in general, is a tough business. There are so many tools to use and data to scrounge through; it is impressive that marketers have time to be creative. With Google Signal launched into beta last August, maybe marketers will have a little a bit more time on their hands. One feature Google Signal brings to the table is an insight into cross-device conversion with a website. This new feature exposes consumer conversion behavior from multiple devices. It's a metric that identifies consumers who view your ad on their mobile device and then, later in the day, submit a property inquiry form while on a laptop. When I discussed this feature with several of my marketing director and CMO friends, they were surprised to learn they could have this type of information.
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Real Estate Buyers Want More Process Content
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Does Your Website Work for the Visually Impaired?
Zillow is getting sued for being inaccessible to the visually impaired. A lawsuit was filed against Compass, too. Are you next? Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance is a real thing, sort of. In truth, the only websites required to comply with the ADA are government websites, or key related companies that support government services to Americans.
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Is Your Real Estate Seller Content Hitting the Mark?
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On G-Suite: Google Data Studio Continues to Improve
Google continues to enhance the tools available with a G-Suite subscription. My eyebrows frown when I learn an organization's marketing or operations teams are not taking advantage of one of the Business Intelligence (BI) tools like Google Data Studio. Last week, the Data Studio team just released a bunch of new enhancements and training for their G-Suite customers. Last fall, Google Data Studio came out of beta as a primetime BI data visualization tool. What is even more impressive is the almost weekly cadence of new features being introduced by Google. This simply displays Google's commitment and emphasis in developing tools for easy insights into the data we all own. These are just a few new features and highlights recently released by Data Studio. Data Studio Reports Scheduled to Your Inbox Two weeks after Data Studio came out of beta, the feature of downloading reports as PDF files were made available. A new feature this month is to schedule email delivery of Data Studio reports. Data Studio allows sharing of your reports for online viewing. So, why the need for scheduled email delivery? The schedule email delivery feature just makes it easier to consistently send a report for review. It's a nice benefit for the busiest of executives who can easily open the report from their inbox. If questions arise, they can dive deeper or begin to ask the owner of the report about the information. Version History Keeping version history is vital in controlling the lifecycle when creating content. How many times did you wish there was a way to go back to or reference a previous version of a document? It happens often—we put version numbers, letters, our initials, date and all kinds of characters to demark that a document has changed. The benefit of version history is to only have a single file or report in your folders or shared folders. Data Studio captures a history of changes as you edit reports or data sources. You can view the previous version, who created the version, and the date. You have the ability to recall any previous version and make it current. Other Enhancements or New Features Within the first 12 weeks of the year, Google has improved Data Studio with eight releases—a nice cadence with more coming. Here are a few other niceties from the Data Studio team: Improved formatting of tables Custom rolling dates Get a report link to share, use in web pages, or anywhere else you can use links. Showing missing data as blanks Chart-level aggregations – median, standard deviation, and variance Custom date comparison – this is a nice new feature for additional information in a report. I need to mention that your development team also has the ability to create custom data connectors—a very important feature to pull your own internal data or any of your technology partners' API endpoint data into Data Studio. Data Studio Training Google just released "Introduction to Data Studio." This is a great start for marketers, business owners, technologists, operations, accounting, and business analysts to learn how to visualize and gain insights from their data. The course curriculum teaches you how to connect to the data, creating meaningful reports, and how to share a report with others in your organization. If your organization is on G-Suite, this would be a great opportunity to task someone to learn this tool, even if it on a part-time basis. Why the Frowning Eyebrows? Over the last year, WAV Group has been talking about the importance of knowing your data. There is an old saying: Data builds information, information creates knowledge, and knowledge is power. Leveraging tools such as Data Studio creates observations that can power the direction of the company or enlighten a marketing campaign. My frowning eyebrows are because I am amazed at how many people are not using Data Studio or Microsoft Power BI. Now is the time to dig deep into data and find the meaning within it. Getting started is easy with Data Studio created templates of their products. Start with these templates and look at the community templates. There is one for your Facebook Ad. I know all brokerages, teams of agents, and agents are using Facebook to advertise. Use this template to evaluate and share the performance of your Facebook campaigns. Creating a BI strategy in a brokerage is only going to enhance the competitiveness of your business. Tools like Data Studio and Power BI are skill sets that are not just "nice to have" but are a "must have." The WAV Group has experience in data engineering and data analysis to craft a BI strategy. Contact us to determine which products and insights are a benefit for your business. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Upping Your Game with Real Estate Investor Content
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Are You Asking for Website Feedback and Are You Getting It?
What resources do you have on your real estate website to solicit feedback from your site visitors? We're not talking about feedback to get positive comments to post for testimonials. The feedback we want here is specific information as to visitor experiences on the site and how it meets their needs.
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This Website Is Not Secure!
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Do You Know Your New vs. Returning Visitor Ratio?
Poring over real estate website analytics isn't usually that exciting. When we talk about website analytics, it should be important to a specific benefit for your site. What can we gain from understanding our new versus returning visitor ratio?
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Crye-Leike Website Continues to Garner Top of the Line Industry Awards
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The Concierge Approach to Home Buyer Services
Have you noticed the TV commercials for Carvana, the newest way to shop for a car? It amazes most of us that someone would buy a car sight-unseen, but they're doing it. They totally shop online, then they get the car delivered to them, or they can pick it up at a really amazing "car vending machine." It's glass and you can see the cars as they come down to be dispensed. No, it's definitely not a trend that we'll see in buying homes, but is there a home buyer service or suite of services we can supply that is similar? The facts bear out that home buyers, just like car buyers, want to eliminate the hassles of locating the right home. They would like to avoid some of the steps. Sure, they can do searches online, repeat the searches waiting for new listings, then contact you and go see homes. What if they want the process to be less of a hassle, though?
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Google Flags Websites that Are Not HTTPS as Not Secure
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The Top 5 Must-Have Website Features for Lead Generation
A real estate website shouldn't just be a necessary evil. It should deliver prospects that go to the closing table. Unfortunately, too many real estate websites are more like billboards, attracting passing interest but not delivering closings. Does your real estate website have these necessary lead generation features covered?
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Real Estate News Curation for Your Website
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Real Estate Website Navigation with Summary Excerpt Pages
You and your real estate website visitors are familiar with the side and top navigation structures, many having dropdown menu items for sub-navigation. It works well, as most everyone knows how to use it. However, knowing how to use it and actually doing so is another matter. How can you add user-friendly functionality for your site visitors to help them locate the specific information they want?
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Website Redesign Realities
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Your Website Is No Longer Your Single Biggest Tech Asset
Over the last decade, real estate technology has come a long way. We have seen a surge of products, tools, and platforms claiming to be the "silver bullet" piece of technology that will instantly resolve all of your lead, adoption, and recruiting woes. This pattern of an overwhelmingly large surge of technology offerings becoming available in the space is just as strong as ever. The foundational core of many technology platforms and ancillary tech is a broker's/team's/agent's website. There seems to be an unspoken agreement that the single most important piece of technology a real estate professional can have is their website. Looking further into this belief, many think that the website alone will produce an infinite amount of leads and business as long as it is a unique, one-of-a-kind custom site that has video and parallax elements throughout. While a website is an extremely critical component to your overall technology structure, it is by no means the undisputed single piece that can alleviate the challenges your business has. Having consulted with the top brokerages across the country for over six years, I have seen many trends come and go. From dedicated mobile apps to QR codes, there seems to always be another shiny penny to be chased. One school of thought that is proving itself over and over to be false is the belief that a brokerage should be dedicating most (if not all) of its technology resources into a custom website. Going into 2019, there are many top designed websites that can be obtained in a semi-customized template format or fully customized WordPress format that provides just as great of a UI and UX as customized HTML websites that are five times the cost while, in many cases, delivering more leads than those that cost so much more. So if a single tech asset, namely your website, is not your best tech asset, what is? The best tech asset is actually a strong tech foundation containing multiple components running on a single platform. This allows leads that come in through your website to accurately be captured and nurtured through the same connected platform. It also allows for guaranteed nurturing via native marketing campaigns in the system as well as messages to ensure you stay top of mind to the potential buyer/seller lead you have captured. Components of your foundational technology platform should include the following: A visually pleasing and functional website that provides a great search experience and information A CRM that can capture, qualify and nurture leads and your sphere of influence with relevant and timely data. Preferably via phone, text, and email. Native marketing components and capabilities (landing page builder, squeeze page builder, mass text/email, mobile dialer) Transactional capabilities Ability to connect and deploy other technology platforms from within the system to ensure a true integration To view the original article, visit the Inside Real Estate blog.
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A New Year Real Estate Website Makeover
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Redfin Pushing Own Inventory
I noticed Redfin has done some updating to their website design. In addition to properties placed on 'cards' in the map view, Redfin appears to have fully defaulted the 'Recommended' listings to that of their own. The question is... why did it take them this long?
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What to Include in Your Neighborhood Pages
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Using Domain Names for Real Estate Website Navigation
Before you jump away, this isn't some technical discussion for website programmers. This is all about marketing your real estate website in a more user-friendly way that can improve your lead generation. Now that we have your attention, let's talk about how to use different domain names to direct visitors to different areas of your real estate website.
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Are You Covering Your Neighborhoods Well on Your Website?
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Working Your Real Estate Vendors and Lenders for Content
Where to get real estate website content is a question asked often in the search engines. You may be able to write some or even all of your content when it comes to ability, grammar, and spelling. Or, maybe you have someone to edit what you write. Before you spend money for content that often isn't of high quality, think about what your vendor and business contact partners can provide for you free--and gladly do it.
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REAL Trends Launches 2018 Real Estate Website Rankings
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3 Ways to Refresh Your Tired Real Estate Website
How long has the anchor content on your website been up on the web? Take a trip through your real estate website with an eye on how many images and how much text could be updated for a fresh new look and better usability. As you look through the site, keep one question top-of-mind: If I am a regular visitor, would I be bored having seen this content over and over? Here are some tips and ideas for refreshing your site that will make it more interesting, especially for repeat visitors. You could also generate more leads.
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Tips on What to Include in Your Website Privacy Policy
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Will the GDPR Impact your Real Estate Website? 7 Steps to Prepare for Europe's New Privacy Rules
On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect. Are you ready? You may have noticed some of your favorite websites and apps making updates to their privacy policies and settings. These changes are a direct result of the new Europe Privacy Laws, also known as the GDPR, which will affect how companies manage the data of European Union (EU) residents. These rules may seem like they shouldn't impact your United States based real estate website, but they actually might – and either way, it's a good time to evaluate your own website and make sure it feels secure for new and returning visitors.
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Evergreen Content for Websites, Breaking Content for Blogs
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Top 10 Website Features Real Estate Agents and Brokers Need to Have
Here are the top 10 features that real estate agents and brokers need to have on their websites. How many on this list does your website offer? 1. Lead capture and lead convertibles If you're investing time and money into driving traffic to your website, then it's important that you have the means in place to turn those visitors into leads. Be sure to add lead capture popups to any page on your site, giving visitors an easy opportunity to sign up for your newsletter on helpful real estate tips or any helpful content piece. Unforced registration is usually the preference of the potential client, but you need multiple ways to grow your database organically. Add "calls to action" throughout your site that give clients easy-to-read messages urging a specific action: download your mobile app, search your custom IDX, read your biography, fill out a contact form — again, the possibilities are endless!
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3 Tips to Generate More Website Traffic
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Co-branded Agent Websites: Up Close with globalWOLF
Yesterday, we took at look at the first of two solutions that offer brokers an easy way to deploy co-branded agent websites. Today, we're highlighting globalWOLF, a website management tool from our 2017-18 Technology Guide. What is globalWOLF? globalWOLF is an add-on component to the WOLFconnect front office system, part of Lone Wolf's enterprise suite of brokerage tools. As part of the suite, globalWOLF offers seamless tracking of web leads, analytics, and more.
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Broker-provided Agent Websites: Which is Right for Your Firm?
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Why You Should Use HTTPS for a Safe and Secure Site
Do you have HTTPS or SSL enabled on your real estate website? By implementing HTTPS, you can further protect the integrity of your site, as well as data you are collecting. With HTTPS enabled, you will gain an immeasurable advantage over your competitors by instilling trust in potential leads. First things first: What is SSL? SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) creates an encrypted connection between your web server and your visitors' web browser. This allows for sensitive information (such as passwords or email addresses) to be transmitted without being hacked, tampered with or intercepted. If someone were to capture the data being transferred via HTTPS, it would be unrecognizable. Why do you need it? Perhaps most importantly, Google Chrome displays a 'Not secure' warning for all HTTP pages. By enabling SSL, you'll proactively prevent pop-up warnings and increase the amount of time users spend on your site, resulting in more lead capture opportunities. Not to mention, since security is a top priority for Google, HTTPS enabled sites are automatically given a minor ranking boost! Why should you want it? Google isn't the only one who cares about your website's security; so do prospective clients! According to the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, home seekers rated honesty and trustworthiness as the most important factors when choosing an agent. Well, since 44 percent of home searches start online, this sense of security begins with your real estate website. To sum up, the benefits of HTTPS/SSL compatibility include: Gaining an unparalleled advantage over competing real estate websites by providing visitors with peace of mind. Ensuring you remain at the leading edge of SEO functionality and Google's Chrome browser updates with SSL functionality. Keeping visitors coming to your real estate site is important, and they are more likely to leave if they encounter any roadblocks or feel their security is at risk. Enabling HTTPS or SSL ensures your leads feel safe and secure, while enhancing the credibility of your real estate site. Your visitors will love knowing you take their security seriously! To view the original article, visit the IDX Broker blog.
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What Neighborhood Pages Can Do for Your Real Estate Website
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5 Warning Signs that You Need a New Real Estate Website
Technology advances and design trends change. It is inevitable, and if you make no effort to keep up, you will fall behind. What your audience expects versus what impression they gain from your website is the crucial factor as to whether they stick around. If they are leaving moments after arriving, then your website is failing you. Here are some very clear signs that it is time to replace that old website.
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Getting Started with Google Analytics
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8 Tips and Tricks for Creating Calls-to-Action that Work on Your Real Estate Website
Creating great content is the best way to get the attention of your real estate audience online, but what do you do once you have their attention? Motivate them to action, of course! The call-to-action (CTA) is one of the most important elements of all marketing content. Creating effective calls-to-action should always be a top priority when you're creating new content for your real estate website, blog, and social media accounts. Today, we're going to take a closer look at what goes into creating a call-to-action, and share eight tips for creating effective, eye-catching CTAs of your own.
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25 Ways to Up Your SEO Game and Drive Traffic to Your Real Estate Brokerage's Website
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How REMAX Results Boosted Website Search Traffic by 25 Percent
RE/MAX Results is one of the crown jewels in the RE/MAX franchise group, with more 1100 agents across Minnesota and Wisconsin. RE/MAX Results is among the largest franchises RE/MAX has in the world. The company recently switched website vendors and launched a new custom site developed by TRIBUS. This represents the largest broker to deploy a custom TRIBUS website. Growth in Search Engine Traffic
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Real Trends Reveals 2017 Brokerage and Team Website Rankings
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When Google Analytics Sends You Red Flags
To be successful in the competitive real estate world, you need to continually bring new prospective clients to your website. Yet in order to truly thrive, brokers and agents also need to keep these prospects engaged on their website long enough to make a great impression, which, at times, results in them becoming a client. When a client arrives on a website that loads slowly, has too many pop-up windows, or is designed in a way that makes it difficult to find information, many abandon the site right away. Monitoring a business website's bounce rate – that is, the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave ("bounce") rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site – is crucial to the health of your marketing efforts. Using Google Analytics, you can easily find out if your bounce rate is too high (the average bounce rate is 30-50 percent for lead generation websites) and then use this feedback to optimize your site. So you're probably wondering, what can you do to reduce your bounce rate and increase engagement and conversions? We put together four tips to help you get started.
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Redfin Case Study Shows that Web Traffic Does Not Drive Sales
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[Infographic] Do You Know Where You're Showing Up in Search Results?
Is your website showing up in search results when a new buyer or seller goes online? If you're not getting the results you want, do you know what it takes to move your website's placement in search results? Check out this infographic to discover the who, what, where, why, and how questions you should be asking to improve your search results.
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5 Things Learned from Launching a New Website
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How to Create Custom IDX Searches for More Targeted Web Leads
Chances are good that the real estate technology products you use offer neat features that you don't even know about. Today, we're launching an article series in support of our newly released 2017-18 Technology Guide that highlights unique tricks and productivity hacks that you can accomplish with the tools you already use. We're kicking off our series with step-by-step instructions for creating custom IDX search URLs on WolfNet's Reponsive IDX Platform. Brokers can use this feature to create links to property searches with predetermined search criteria, such as condos under $200k, or homes with pools. You can use this to create detailed neighborhood pages on your brokerage's website, as we'll see in a moment.
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4 Brokerage Marketing Tools that Help Agents Succeed
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