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Google Changes Will Award Mobile Friendly Real Estate Websites with Better Search Results

Starting April 21, 2015, any Real Estate website with a Responsive Mobile Friendly design will be awarded with higher mobile search engine results. Since approximately 70% of all searches start on smart phones and tablets these days, this is big news for REALTORS! These changes can be the difference between you getting an online lead or a call, or not getting either. From Google, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” What all this means is that if your site is not mobile friendly, Google won’t be so friendly to your website when viewed on a mobile device.

What to do?

Well, if you are a RealtyTech customer, then contact us so we can migrate you to one of our new Responsive designs so you comply with Google. This doesn’t take new content or anything and your site will be essentially the same, except now your site will be mobile friendly and responsive. If you have another site, you may want to check and see if it is responsive or not. Responsive sites will change their layout depending upon the device that is using them. An easy test is to look at your site on your desktop, then slowly narrow your browser window. If you see your site adjusting and resizing the content to fit into the window, relax, it’s responsive. If the site just stays there and starts to cut off content on the side you are dragging, then your site is not responsive and you need to act.
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Localizing Your Business: Geo-targeting

Creating geo targeted pages is one of the most important updates you can make to your website. A geo targeted page goes into detail about a geographical area, this could be a valley, city, zip code, tract or a neighborhood. For optimization purposes you want to write original content that is useful, knowledgeable and educational to your clients who are interested in finding a home in the specific area.

Meta Tags

The second step is to update your meta tags (keywords, titles and description) with words and phrases that are relatable to the content that is on the page. If you are writing a page about Woodland Hills then you will want to have “Search Thousands of Woodland Hills Homes for Sale” or “Best Woodland Hills Real Estate Agent Sally Realtor for All Your Real Estate Needs.” or something similar to for the page title.

Content

To keep people on pages for longer you want to have something for people to see visually, this is best done by a few pictures or a short video of the neighborhood. Images will give your clients a better feel of what the area really looks like where as videos on average will increase the duration people spend on that page by 800%.

Leads

The only thing you are missing now is how to get them to become a lead, the best way to do this is to have a custom IDX link that they can use either at the bottom of the page or linked somewhere within the information. If you tell them about how wonderful this neighborhood is they are going to want to see the homes that are available within that area. With RealtyTech’s IDX123 you have the ability to create links to your exact specification, by either city, zip code, tract codes or drawing on a map with our polygon tool!
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The California Real Estate Technology Services (CARETS) Data Feed Has Split Up; How Does This Affect You?

Due to the departure of CRMLS (California Regional Multiple Listing Service) from the CARETS data exchange group, VCRDS (Ventura County Data Services) no longer has access to CRMLS listings. Conversely, CRMLS no longer has access to VCRDS listings.   Both VCRDS and CRMLS will continue to share listing data with SRAR’s CRISNet MLS, the iTech MLS and The MLS/CLAW. What does this mean for Southern California Agent’s IDX solutions? What does it mean for RealtyTech IDX123clients? RealtyTech will continue to provide their clients an IDX with the maximum value possible while remaining in concordance with the recent updates to the data sharing policies. “Basically if you are a member of, say, Southland Regional Association of Realtors and subsequently a CRISNet Member, you will continue to have the old CARETS feed with all former CARETS members,” said RealtyTech CEO Richard Uzelac.   RealtyTech clients who are members of CRISNet, SRAR, or iTech will continue to have full access to listing data from all CARETS members as well as CRMLS. Clients who are members of CRMLS will no longer receive listing data from VCRDS but will continue to receive listing data from CRISNet, SRAR and iTech. Clients who are members of VCRDS will no longer receive listing data from CRMLS but will continue to receive listing data from all other CARETS members.   “Our clients who are going to benefit the most from how we are keeping our data are members of CRISNet and iTech,” said RealtyTech Senior Account Executive Lance Grove. “They will still be receiving CRMLS data which some providers will no longer support.”
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Is Google Leaving You Behind? New Google Rules for Real Estate Agent Website Ranking: Panda 4.0

New Google Rules for Real Estate Agent Website Ranking: Panda 4.0

Recently Google launched their latest rules for website ranking, this one called Panda 4.0. As with Panda algorithms in the past, Panda 4.0 relies on unique content as a major reason your website will rank well. With all else being equal, Agent websites with unique content do better than those that don’t have unique content. Panda 4.0 takes it further with an even greater emphasis on:

LOCALIZATION

What is localization? It is the process of making your website focus on a niche market: A neighborhood, Housing tract, or even a small town, or part of a larger town or city. Sites that generalize their expertise, such as tout they cover ‘All of Southern California’ will tend to be dropped lower in the search results, while sites that specialize in a smaller niche market or online farming area, if they contain unique content for that area, will do much better. The first step is to put a stake in the sand with your ‘farm’ or best area you know the most about and win there. Create unique content for your area; add multiple articles on the area, on its benefits, its schools, its lifestyle, and its real estate market. Do that and your site will start to perform well? Yes! So what is a Real Estate Agent or Real Estate Office to do it they have multiple areas of expertise? Do nothing? No. Start with the first real estate website, get results, then, and build more sites. That’s right, have multiple sites, each one concentrates on one of your key markets. At RealtyTech Inc. we have many agents doing just that. More than one of our Clients have over 5 sites with us, each designed to win in a niche market, and it is working.  Think about it, if you do the work yourself to update the sites, you are only paying between $39 and $59/month per site. If those targeted sites each bring in a, extra two deals per month, the return on your time and investment is awesome. The key here is to start today to localize your first site, make it have a purpose, see the results and take it from there.
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Web Success 2014: Why You Need Your Website to go ‘Local’ to Win Online: Part One

This is RealtyTech’s short series of blogs on the absolute need for Realtors to market their websites LOCALLY and not generally. In the past Realtors and Real Estate Companies could get one website, put their name, company logo and an IDX on it and it would actually show up high on search engines over a wide geographic area. There are even old legacy websites that rank well over multiple areas to this day simply because they are such old sites and Google has given them extra ranking just for being around so long. New sites do not fare so well.
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5 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Need Their Own Websites

Most people turn to the internet when looking for new homes in today’s real estate world. Real Estate Agents need to stay in the game with building their web presence.

Stay Current

From the National Association of Realtors, 96% of Americans are looking to buy their house on the internet. As realtors we need to understand the power of internet in generating the sales we need. The internet makes it easier for potential clients to find you and your properties. Having internet presence will allow all current and potential clients to get in touch with you and the information you have at anytime.
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Photos Make the Difference

Here at RealtyTech, we’d like to imagine that the possibilities with your real estate business are endless. Part of making those dreams a reality reality is having a good solid marketing plan in place for your listings. Breaking it down even further, let’s concentrate on marketing your listings, and even further, PHOTOS! While Sr. Director or Realtor.com I was given the task of going to to AOL Testing Centers in Dulles Virginia outside of Washington DC, (Back with AOL actually mattered), to test one thing and one thing only: How to get a Consumer to contact a Realtor based on that Realtors online presence only. AOL set up a six week study in Dulles and I got to see most of it. We had qualified home buyers sit in a room with one-way mirrors and had them look up real estate online.

Tracking and watching

We tracked and watched their actions to search online, what sites they found, what they did once they found a site, then watched the entire process of them finding a home and then actually contacting a Realtor. The study cost $260,000 back in 2002, but to me, it was priceless.
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Boosting Your Home Sales Today

Investing in a simple facelift for your home is an extremely effective way to market your house for today’s buyers. Here are some tips to get you started Before you List As you arrange to sell your house, it is essential to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Think about what you would prefer to see in a home if you were on their side of the sale. Use websites like Pinterest.com and Goodhousekeeping.com for inspiration in your decorating efforts

1. DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOME

  • assign everything to a neat little box
  • put on a yard sale
  • donate your unwanted or outdated items
  • sell your extra goods on Craigslist or Ebay
  • buy a storage spot
  • tackle some curb appeal projects like trimming, mowing, clearing sidewalks, painting
  • your home will appear bigger and brighter as you clear out all of the excess junk. Cleaning out will allow prospective buyers to see your home at its best.
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