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Hyperlocal web pages for Realtors with no writing required

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Local web pages in seconds

Real estate website company, a la mode, inc. has announced the launch of their “Featured Community Pages” which are hyperlocal pages created by users’ filling in of a few fields which creates a web page for an agent’s website about a very local area.

The goal of the community pages is to give users a better shot at being found in Google for applicable areas of expertise rather than attempting to compete for the entire city.

Many agents make the mistake of launching a blog and writing all about “Dallas real estate” which is a phrase that is not only misleading (no agent is an expert about every street in this giant city), but unlikely to be a term a new writer ranks for as hundreds of agents have been writing about this phrase for years. More accurate and desirable for legitimate buyers that have narrowed their search is “Highland Park historic homes” or “White Rock Lake homes for sale.”

The company says that with only a few key points about an area like cross streets and landmarks, their GhostWriter tool inserts the answers into sentences and paragraphs and builds the pages “just like a human would” which generates completely custom, local web pages in about ten minutes. The service is free for current Gold and Platinum XSite users.

Custom, local content

Kara Calderon, EVP, Marketing Real Estate Solutions Division at a la mode, inc. told AGBeat, “REALTORS ask me all the time, “what’s the secret to online success?” and my answer is always the same – fresh, custom, local content. But naturally, there are challenges that come with that like knowing what to write about, finding the time, or just getting started. That’s why this new XSite feature is so important, it gives REALTORS the ability to create completely custom, hyper-local content in about ten minutes by just filling in a few fields specific to their area. We take care of the rest.”

How to set up within XSites:

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Ron Reed

    January 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Automatically generating content with a bot, software system, content spinning or any "automation" tool is always a BAD idea. There is no magic bullet for content creation. The search engines will see right through this and will quickly identify this as content SPAM. A la mode should know better.

  2. Eric Estate

    January 20, 2012 at 9:25 am

    +1 Ron. How is your personality, as an Agent, going to come through if you aren't writing your own copy? Google guidelines have shown over and over that you need to write for people, not for search engines. As with everything, be yourself, especially when it comes to your website.

  3. Kara Calderon

    January 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Hey guys – We'd love it if agents wrote their own unique, hyperlocal content. But the reality is 1) agents simply don't have the time, or 2) they don't know where to start when it comes to writing content. So we built this tool to help agents with both of those issues. We encourage (always have and always will) agents to edit content we provide to make it even more unique and, to your point Eric, to reflect their personality.

  4. Dena Stevens

    January 25, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I agree! Consumers aren't stupid they are going to know if the agent wrote the information or if it's canned. And Google is going to know as well. If you don't have time to write it yourself don't bother. And if you don't have the time include local pictures you took yourself.

  5. Dena Stevens

    January 25, 2012 at 7:57 am

    I agree! Consumers aren't stupid they are going to know if the agent wrote the information or if it's canned. And Google is going to know as well. If you don't have time to write it yourself don't bother. And if you do have the time include local pictures you took yourself.

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Business News

Is insecurity the root of overworking in today’s workforce?

(CAREER) Why are professionals who “made it” in their field still chronically overworked? Why are people still glorifying a lack of sleep in the name of the hustle?!

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So you got that job you wanted after prepping for months, and everything seems cool and good… but you’re working way more hours than scheduled. Skipping lunch, coming in early and staying late, and picking up any project that comes your way. You’re overworked.

Getting the job was supposed to be a mark of success in itself, but now, work is your life and everyone is wondering how you can be working so much if you’re already successful.

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Laura Empson delves into what drives employees to overwork themselves. Empson is a professor of Management of Professional Service firms at the University of London, and has spend the last 25 years researching business practices.

Her recently published book Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas, focuses on business organizational theory and behavior, based on 500 interviews with senior professionals in the world’s largest organizations.

Over the course of her research, Empson encountered numerous reports of people in white-collar positions pushing themselves to work exhausting hours. Decades ago, those with white-collar jobs in law firms, accountancy firms, and management consultancies worked towards senior management positions to gain partnership.

Once partnership was reached, all the hard work paid off in the form of autonomy and flexibility with scheduling and projects. Now, even entry-level employees are working overextended hours.

An HR director interviewed by Empson noted, “The rest of the firm sees the senior people working these hours and emulates them.” There’s a drive to mirror upper management, even at the cost of health.

Empson’s research indicates insecurity is the root of this behavior. Insecurity about when work is really done, how management will perceive employees, and what counts as hard work. Intangible knowledge work provokes insecurity since there’s rarely ever a way to tell when this work is complete.

Colleagues turn into competitors, and suddenly working outside of your regular hours becomes seen as normal if you want to keep up with the competition. You want to stand out from the crowd, so staying late a few days a week starts to feel normal.

This can turn into a slippery slope, and when being overworked feels like the norm, you may not notice taking on even more extra hours and responsibilities to feel like you’re contributing efficiently to the company.

During her research, Empson found that some recruiters admitted to hiring “insecure overachievers” for their firms.

Insecure overachievers are incredibly ambitious and motivated, but driven by feelings of inadequacy. Financial insecurity and disproportionately tying self-worth to productivity are just a few contributing factors to their self-doubt.

As a result, these kind of people are amazingly self-disciplined, and likely to pursue elite positions with professional organizations. Fear of being exposed as inadequate drives insecure employees to work long hours to prove themselves

Even upper level management is subject to this same insecurity.

Organizational pressures can make even the most established leader overwork themselves.

Empson notes, “Working hard can be rewarding and exhilarating. But consider how you are living. Recognize when you are driving yourself and your staff too hard, and learn how to help yourself and your colleagues to step back from the brink.“

Analyze your organization’s conscious and unconscious messaging about achievement, and make sure you’re setting and enforcing realistic expectations for your team.

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The most common buzzwords (still) used in job descriptions

(BUSINESS) Employers are trying their best to attract really high quality talent, but the buzzwords that continue to plague the process are lame, annoying, and often insulting.

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It’s that time of year again. Year-in-review lists abound and Indeed.com is no exception. The website for employers and potential employees has taken a look back at the year in job descriptions and released its list of the weirdest job titles used in online listings.

They found the usual suspects — yes, sadly rockstar and hero still make the cut — but a few other keywords skyrocketed up the charts in 2018.

Indeed recognized seven top-performing buzzwords in its research: genius, guru, hero, ninja, superhero, rockstar, and wizard. Among these Top 7, some were up over previous years, while others’ popularity seems to be fading.

Employers really loved referencing masked assassins in their descriptions this year, resulting in a 90 percent year-over-year jump for ninja, and a 140 percent increase for the term since Indeed began tracking these stats in 2015.

Wizards and heroes didn’t fare as well. Job titles containing “wizard” were down 17 percent from 2017 and use of the word “hero” was down a whopping 44 percent since last year. Superhero ended the year up over 2017 (19 percent), but is still down by 55 percent since 2015.

So which states are touting these weird (some might say annoying) titles the most? The answers aren’t too surprising. California tops the list for ninja, genius, rockstar, wizard, and guru. Texas, whose capital is Austin, aka Silicon Hills, loves using hero, superhero, guru, rockstar, and ninja. Populous states New York and Florida make the list for using several of the buzzwords — no surprise there. But a few smaller states snuck into the Top 4, including Ohio (No. 1 “superhero” user) and Utah (No. 4 on the “rockstar” and “wizard” lists).

While many companies like to use these so-called creative terms to convey a sense of a hip and cool company culture, does using these “fun” titles actually find the best candidates? According to Indeed, the answer might be “not exactly.” Job seekers aren’t necessarily searching for terms like ninja or guru, so they might not even find the job they would be the perfect fit for. And truth be told, many experienced job seekers are turned off by these weird titles and might not even apply to the job in the first place.

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Half of the jobs Amazon will offer at their new headquarters won’t be tech

(BUSINESS NEWS) As Amazon begins laying solid plans to start hiring, some are upset that half of the new jobs won’t be tech jobs – let’s discuss why.

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As 2019 gears up, one of the biggest tech stories of 2018 will carry into this year, and that’s Amazon HQ. Amazon’s two new headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia and Long Island City, New York have promised about 50,000 new jobs coming in 2019 according to Engadget and the Wall Street Journal.

The catch? Only half of those jobs will be in tech. Some are upset about this, so we’ll explain:

Naturally, a behemoth like Amazon has many moving parts and these two facilities will require different roles to keep the company functioning. An estimated 25,000 jobs will be in support roles like administration, marketing, finance, maintenance, and human resources. For the cities they’ll occupy, this means there will be more than one way to find employment besides tech or IT.

It’s undeniable that Amazon’s $5 billion investment will vastly change these two communities. Employment opportunities can bring growth for residents, however it will depend upon the company’s ability to hire local. Likewise, Amazon’s presence will draw city transplants, a tactic that historically raises property values and living costs (looking at you, Seattle).

Crystal City is expected to see a huge influx in traffic and housing, according to The Washington Post. Although the state has promised to allocate resources into transportation, and Amazon assures a slow growth at first, thousands of workers will need accommodation.

For Long Island City, a community who’s already transforming from industrial yards to a blooming arts neighborhood, we will likely see its gentrification reach new heights. LIC is set to become the digital-lifestyle relative across the river from its cousin, Manhattan.

In any case, residents can hope to take advantage of the varying positions that will need filling in 2019.

However, everyone should brace for change as this corporate beast gradually awakens.

Whatever the new headquarters will bring, we can expect it to be, in typical Amazon fashion, bold and flashy.

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