Skip the fluff
A few weeks ago I wrote a post called “Whats a lead?” that was meant to grab agents by scruff to wake them up to the idea that they are buying crap rolled up in a tortilla. The idea that we as a profession can continue to purchase pie in the sky products that promise everything and deliver nothing must cease- at once. Why? because we as agents are the standard in the industry, we establish what is and isn’t good for our consumer, the products we deliver to our consumer is a direct reflection on us, our business, and our standards.
Agent Genius Seal of Approval
It is in this vein that Agent Genius will begin approving products with our Seal of Approval. So far Real Estate Shows has made that list and now we want to introduce you to dsSearchAgent. Diverse Solutions presents to agents a web2.0 search product that not only thrills home seekers, it delivers home buyers from the comfort of their home to your office.
The Consumer Side
- Simple to use slider’s allow users to target their search easily
- Ajax means your home seekers never wait for page reloads
- Advanced search means your consumer can narrow down to specifics
- Details page provides
- Printing, PDF, Direct Linking, RSS feed of their search & chat live feature
- Offers an area and neighborhood profile information
- Schools, neighborhood info, nearest shopping feature
- Valuate the home on Zillow.com (optional)
- Calculate their payments
- View map or results with a single click
- Contact you directly from the same screen
- A search box for “find nearest pizza, library, school, directions & more
- Did I mention with Ajax, the page never changes? Superb
- And yes, Google Street View is integrated already!
The simple navigation limits the complexed nature of map searching and makes home shopping fun, leaving your buyer excited to click the contact or speak to an agent button to talk to you about listings in your market.
Everyone is hawking leads these days, but I say, build opportunities with buyers and sellers by offering fantastic products to your consumers. We spend wild amounts of cash on our websites but search and presentation of current listings has always fallen short- but not anymore.
The Agent Side
- Well laid out control panel
- Downloadable chat client allows you or 4 other agents to chat in round robin with seekers
- When seekers contact you, the listing in question is embedded for quick information delivery
- Create forms that you can use with form builder- CMAs, Contact forms and more
- Completely change the color of search site to match your current site
- Build your own brand by using modules (widgets) to broadcast
- Create individual modules to highlight various neighborhoods
- Create RSS feeds to your blog sidebar of just listing properties
- Create modules to embed in your neighborhood blogs
- Create modules of your office listings
- this option is just limitless and fantastic- a custom clickable module embedded anywhere
- Stats – know where your shoppers searched
- Create reasons for them to return by encouraging registration
- Help is built in (Ajax) for your consumers so you don’t have to be tech savvy
- Email Campaign from the backend – completely customizable and simple to use
- and there’s a lot more…
The Cons I found
Before I get into the cons, let me just say that I’ve been working with Robert Luna Director of Business Development for Diverse Solutions and I warned him a list of cons would be coming. Believe it or not Robert welcomed the input with open arms and delivered my questions to CEO, Justin LaJoie where I had answers in a matter of just a few hours. What that tells me is that Diverse Solutions is growing, and they’re eager to make their product even better. Often in this business most of what we see is a great product created and then forgotten. Rarely updated, these products become antiquated and left behind by technology. This makes dsSearchAgent a fantastic investment for any broker or agent.
What’s up with the cons?
Q: iphone and Palm is not yet compatible with dsSearchAgent
Q: The Diverse Solutions logo seems intrusive and competes with Agent branding
A: I can definitely agree with that. No one has really said anything. I think it was initially done for page balance. But there is no reason why we can’t back it much smaller.
Q: More control of where module (widget) clickers are delivered
A: We can’t agree with you more. It is actually already on our development list and will be in our next round of improvements. The development schedule has not been set for this yet though.
Q: I’ve seen MLS updates get as far behind as 3.5 days. I think all services have this problem, but what can be done to minimize the delay?
A: Thank you for the heads up on this. 3.5 days behind is way too long between updates. I checked with one of our developers and it seems it is a problem with ABOR and how and what they are delivering as far as data. We are in contact with them now to resolve this problem. Once the data becomes available it is downloaded and processed between 1 to 6 hours usually.
dsSearchAgent comes complete with a fantastic customer service team designed to assist you in setting up your IDX all the way to creating custom sites. All services offer support and a great team to answer all of your questions, and take suggestions all designed to deliver a fantastic search product to your potential clients. So check out what the cool kids are offering your customers- dsSearchAgent!
Not all areas are covered yet
As of today not all MLS IDX systems are covered, but your demand creates that coverage. So check today to see if your city is available and if not, ask to be informed of when the service will be offered.
Get an Agent Genius Discount!
For a limited time Diverse Solutions is offering to waive setup fees on dsSearchAgent for our readers through May! This saves you $200.00! All you have to do is give this promo code when signing up [AG6108].
Avoid Blah-Blah Conversation With This Voicemail Cloaking Device
Please Dear Lord, Don’t Let Them Pick Up, So I Can Leave A Voice Mail and Make A Quick Get Away.
You know those times when you have to return a phone call, share an update, remind someone about something? And those times where there’s no getting around it, you have to make the call and deliver your message, but you’re short on time, patience, courage, or ___________?
Guess What? I Have Good News For You.
SlyDial allows you to make a call from your cell phone to their cell phone, but their cell phone won’t ring. Instead of their phone ringing, SlyDial lets you dial directly into their voice mail, and leave a message. Yeah, that’s right, call directly into their voice mail, and their phone doesn’t ring. Check it out, it probably works on your smart phone.
You can get more details and info here. The App. is free and straight forward. It looks like the picture below when it’s launched on the iPhone4.
Thanks for reading. Cheers.
PS. fyi, I don’t work for, nor am I in any way associated with, employed by, or even know anyone at SlyDial. In other words, there’s nothing in for me by saying nice things about SlyDial, except the pleasure of telling you about a tool you might find handy.
New Realtor.com iPhone App
Realtor.com launched their new iPhone application and gave a few of us the chance to play with it and tear it to pieces before the launch (maybe they didn’t quite put it that way, but it’s the way I’m approaching it).
When I first open these new apps, I always think of the intent and this one is pretty obvious. The Realtor.com iphone app iss totally and completely designed with the end consumer in mind (sorry Realtors if you thought it could be about you). It’s about providing the latest property information in the quickest, easiest and most user friendly fashion possible.
When you open the app, a home screen gives you several options, including searching for nearby homes for sale, nearby open houses or perform a new search by location or MLS ID. You can allow for the app to use your current location and it actually gives you nearby listings currently for sale (also giving you the option to narrow down your criteria). This can be really cool if you are driving in a neighborhood and just want to get property information without having to even get out of the car or make a phone call. (Bad for agents that rely on the client to actually make that call to capture their business).
You can view a map option or a list option of properties and are able to actually click on any given one and get detailed information, not only on the property, but also the listing agent and the brokerage (very similar to what you see on Realtor.com). You can scroll through photos of the listing and turn the phone to get bigger photos and you can save the property and include notes to go with it.
What’s even more fascinating is the option to contact the listing agent on the spot. You can call them by clicking on their telephone number, you can email them, visit their site and add them to your contacts. (I know I’m an over achiever, but wouldn’t it be cool if you could tweet or facebook them as well?).
My favorite feature is the “drive around and use your location” to find listings – but you can also enter an address for a particular listing and/or its surrounding competitors and even enter the MLS number.
Great move on Realtor.com to empower the consumer. Personally, an educated consumer is the best one in my book, but here’s the beef many will have…You can now say “Buh Bye” to Buyers’ Agents, with this app, listing agents will have the upper hand – this will give quick and easy information to the local consumer (not the end for those buyers agents that work with absentee and relocating clients).
I can now see me getting bombarded by calls from people who “forget” to tell me they are working with another agent and just wanted quick info. I can also see my clients calling other agents just because their information was handy. We’ll just have to see how this extra communication tool will evolve….it could be detrimental for many.
The question of who does Realtor.com work for will inevitably come up. Many will criticize this as a tool of disintermediation, but if we are smart, we will not only know how to use this information in our favor, but we will welcome it with open arms. I do wonder if it could be possible to personalize this particular iphone app for a fee so that Realtors can offer it to their clients (of course I would try to come up with a win-win for everyone).
For now it’s time for everyone to make sure their contact information is correct on their listings, and especially Realtor.com. Listing agents will have the ability to answer inquiries on the spot, staying above the competition with customer service always at the top of the priority list.
And for the record, I’m not associated with Realtor.com, so feel free to kill it if you have the itch.
Desktop Analytics – Polaris
I’m a big fan of keeping a pulse on the health of my blogs and sites. Polaris has released a desktop application that allows you to keep track of your Google Analytics, on your desktop.
The free version only allows monitoring from one account, while the $15/year version will allow multiple accounts.
The system features are very easy to setup and it works on the AIR installation system, which most of us already have with the Twitter apps. It was quick to download and install.
Polaris shows total visits, pageviews, activities by date, visits statistics and tons more. Essentially anything that you would benefit from in Google Analytics, but on the desktop.
The current product is cool, but the company is also advertising some interesting upcoming products.
Dopac is our flagship web analytics solution that brings Google Analytics to your desktop with a host of new features and possibilities. Based on the success and experience of our previously released beta product, the “Google Analytics Reporting Suite”, Dopac takes the original experience to the next level and brings a lot of new concepts to the table.
Rayet is our strange kid on the block. It’s experimental, funky and fun!
With Rayet we are aiming to make web analytics reporting smarter. Instead of generating a lot of good looking graphs and charts Rayet will cut to the chase and analyze your data for you. Rayet will give you suggestions on how to improve your website experience based on the analytical data available. By comparing different time samples it will tell what works and what doesn’t. Being in very early development there’s currently no release date planned yet.
- Phobia is made for one single purpose; impress your boss, client or anyone else you need to suck up to. It gives you data ownership by allowing you to export or synchronize your data in any given format. Anything from smart looking spreadsheets, pretty PDF’s or entertaining presentations is entirely possible! More info on features and release will be up here soon.
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