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Online Communities: Taking your farm to the next level!

With the market changing many agents are looking at their current offering’s and trying to re-invent themselves. Why not change some techniques with your geographical farm area to build your name recognition? One idea would be to create an online community or intranet. This online tool is aimed at providing your geographical farm area targeted information ranging from local classifieds, forumns, news, directories, surveys, documents, events–the list goes on.

The Blue Fire Group, based in Littleton Colarado, has created a tool by the name of Non Stop Neighbors. This community-based intranet is designed to allow agents to sponsor a site, as a result gaining neighborhood exposure. Since the agent is providing this resource to local homeowners, they will obtain email addresses as community members join. Non Stop Neighbors helps to ensure visitors keep coming back using automatic communication. Also every neighborhood site has a real estate module allowing the agent to become the local real estate expert and generate quality leads.

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Spice up your next Internet posting! Part #1

Next time you are sitting down for a listing presentation, let the seller’s know that in addition to the MLS you will place their home on classified systems like Craigslist, Google Base or even Microsoft’s Live Expo. To post your listing visit these links:

If you are posting to a community like Craigslist(excepts HTML), and you don’t mind a small CribYourSpace.com logo, this free tool may be the answer to spice up your next profile, blog, web page, or classified ad. Click here to visit CribYourSpace.com

Another service to take not of is Postlets

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Mapping: How it’s improved searching for homes online

In the past when searching for homes online you mainly came accross home photos, content and if you’re lucky, a virtual tour. How things have changed! Many have said 2006 is the year of the map. In the recent past, online mapping has made a dramatic jump forward with Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft all jumping into the open source mapping arena. Of course, the first question you may ask is “How does online mapping help the online real estate experience?”

Imagine searching online for a home. You find a home that peaks your interest. You’ve seen the pictures, but you are not sure where the street is located. Using new mapping technologies you’ll easily see streets, school data, distance to strip malls, freeways, train tracks, towers and more. There are a few companies supplying pre-built packages. The first to come to mind is RealBird.

RealBird, established in 2003, offers a map-based search tool that can be easily branded, customized and added to any real estate website. Choose from Map-based Search or Publisher. RealBirds’ Map-based Search is a powerful IDX property search tool. See example here.

RealBird Publisher does not tap into IDX data. This system has agents enter their listing details once and they will get automatic exposure to 1000’s of syndication partner sites including Google Base (Google’s Classified System), Edgeio.com and more. These listings then show as interactive hotspots on your own maps. On June 14th, 2006 RealBird announced they’ve added the ability to upload video of the property with audio narration from your hard drive, digital video camera or your mobile phone.

If you are in the central valley, IDX Central is your best bet. This Interactive map tool is clean and possibly the most attractive I’ve seen. And just like RealBird you can see from a birds eye view.

Other Options:
MLS Finder