Zoltan of RealBird clued me in to Google’s release of their new Street View API Thursday. Meaning developers can now integrate street view maps with ease. You can bet this API’s popularity will surely explode in real estate websites as buyers will appreciate the convenience of previewing neighborhoods from remote locations.
According to the Internet vs. Traditional Buyers Survey conducted by California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.), mapping technology continues to be one of the highest-rated features used by Internet buyers. Yet when I look around, many real estate Websites are either not leveraging maps at all or using old mapping interfaces to display homes and community info. Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand that this technology can be expensive to deploy. But as a real estate agent you do have options. Why not include the latest mapping on your next single property Website? Check out these two killer features from RealBird and MyMarketWare.
Is Google street view available in your area? If so you are going to enjoy the directions from Zoltan over at RealBird. He recently posted on a very simple way to manually embed Google’s street view into your next listing publisher design. This view will give home searchers an up close view of local streets and neighborhoods as if they were driving down the street. Potential buyers can visualize their drive to the freeway or downtown without leaving their chair.
Our own NikNik offers MarketSites to real estate agents utilizing the latest in satellite imagery called pictometry. These visually pleasing aerial photos come from Microsoft Live and the give your web audience a surprisingly clear view of the neighborhood. Click your mouse on the satellite image and drag to explore new areas. Zoom in to 20 meters for an extreme and detailed close up. Take a look at backyard conditions, as well as distances to schools and park–you can do it all.
As a real estate professional you’re in and out of neighborhoods all the time. You’re expected to know your area well. But at times you still need some directional assistance. When those times arise, you may be thanking Google. Recently the Google Mobile Maps crew has launched a new “GPS-Like”’ technology called “My Location”. This new feature is freely available for most web-enabled phones, and you don’t need to have GPS on your device for it to work.
So how exactly does the My Location technology work?
Google will pinpoint your location within 1000 meters by calculating and estimating your handset location based on the unique footprint of surrounding cell towers. To start up this feature from with Google Mobile Maps, click “0” and your approximate location will be displayed on the Map. Your location will be represented by a blue dot if you have GPS or a blue dot with a light blue circle around if you do not have GPS. This dot is your approximate location.
To get started, simply text the word “bluedot” to 33669 or visit www.Google.com/gmm on your mobile device to download the application.
Other useful Google Mobile Apps:
Occasionally here at MyTechOpinion – Technology for Real Estate we will invite a guest writer from a top real estate technology company. This week I am pleased to announce that Stephen Jagger from Ubertor has the spotlight. (By the way…Ubertor also provides SingleProperty websites that allow you to keep all the data within your original site, while having a domain go directly to your single property site.)
Reggie asked me to write a post about what makes Ubertor real estate agent websites so different from our competitors. Here are a few points that make us different. To really get a feel for it, feel free to order a website on our system and you will get the first 30 days free. What a great way to try us out.
1. Google Webmaster Guidelines
We have built our real estate agent websites to follow Google’s http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769
Our system has the ability of being integrated into Google Sitemaps, Google Maps, Feedburner.com plus you can post any widget that you like into your website. It is quick and easy to manage.
4. IDX Compatibility
We have created the system so that any agent anywhere can use it. Want to have your areas property search built in? No problem, you can use our MLS tab within the control panel to add your MLS property search or the IDX feed of your choice. Here are some examples:
http://www.sandiegocastles.com/ – San Diego, CA
http://www.jeffandsteve.com/ – Palo Alto, CA
http://www.moveuputah.com/ – Draper, UT
http://www.historicmodern.com/ – Okeechobee, FL
Without using CSS you can add pages, delete pages, change page names, add banner images, remove the banner completely, flip the template colors, plus much more. The system is built to give you as much flexibility as possible so that you can have a unique look and feel for your website.
There is so much that can be done with an Ubertor website and so many reasons why you should have one. From a dollar point of view we are so confident that you will love our product we will give you the first 30 days free. Plus there is NO Setup Fee, No Contract and No Obligation. Check us our here http://www.ubertor.com/
Here is an interview I did with the Real Estate Channel that answers some more questions about Ubertor:
Here are some testimonials about our product:
“This is just a little note to let you know how pleased I am that I made the move to Ubertor. As you know I had a website designed, built and marketed professionally some years ago. This site was and is a great source of business for me so I was really nervous about changing anything. I wondered, why mess with something that is working? However the site was hard to work with and I had to pay people to do changes to the site, upload photos, etc. etc. I was not skilled enough to do my own work on it. My new Ubertor site is great! It doesn’t take much training to be really good at managing my own site! I am really happy with it.
I still stay up were I was in the search engines too.”
Trish Anderson, RE/MAX All Points
“Ubertor is a small Real Estate software provider based out of Vancouver, Canada that is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking a simple, all-in-one solution to get your real estate business on the Internet.”
Joel Burslem – FutureOfRealEstateMarketing.com
“Ubertor’s product was the first I found that offers the flexibility I desired. The sites are simple enough for the novice yet offer the more sophisticated user the tools required for full content control, such as access to code and the ability to add and edit pages and site navigation. Of course, your featured homes presentation software is among the best I have encountered.”
Kris Berg, Prudential California Realty
San Diego, California
“This has become the best RE sales tool that I have ever invested in! I have referred other fellow agents within my office to their services & they all have been equally impressed. I must say I LOVE my website & the results it gets! Ubertor was so easy to work with in tweaking my site & their support is super! Their excellence continues to exceed my expectations. Use them they are GREAT!!!”
Steve Church, The Muljat Group
According to NAR, approximately 70% of buyers want to know more about the community they are buying in, so you’ll want to use the rich-text editors to include community and neighborhood information. Potential buyers will also see a “ValPak” icon to the map providing local coupons to enhance their experience. The Listing Publisher will also cross market your listings on each custom site you’ve created. You will also want to include these listings on your personal website. Simply grab their ‘Just Listed” widget to display your listings in the side bar of your website or blog. Or maybe it’s GeoRSS mapping widget you’re looking for. This widget will provide your website visitors local street maps, amazing 40 degree angle “bird’s eye” views (HOT technology) with local points of interest overlay.
Once your site is built, easily publish your listing site to a domain of your choice. Now it’s time to syndicate your listing for maximum exposure. RealBird can help you get the word out to Google Base, Trulia, Edgeio, Lycos Classifieds, Oodle, Local.com, Vast, and RealBird’s own SearchOnMaps.com. You can also grab the code to post on tools like Craigslist, Backpage, Kijiji, Facebook etc.